How to fix iPad IMAP error “unable to move message to trash”

Last updated : 6 December 2013

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iphone unable to move message

Unable to Move Message: The message could not be moved to the mailbox.

This only happens if you are using IMAP servers for your email and isn’t an issue for POP mailboxes.

Are you a hotmail, live.com or outlook.com user?

This fix does not work for hotmail, live.com, or outlook.com because Microsoft does not use IMAP, it uses Exchange Active Link (EAS).

To fix this error you can either:

This IMAP fix will work if you use Microsoft Exchange services such as Office365.

 

How-to fix this error

1. Press the Home button on your iPad and choose Settings.

iphone settings

2. Scroll down and click “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” from the list.

iphone mail contacts calendars

3. Click your email account – it should have an arrow to the right of the email address displayed.

4. Scroll to the end on the settings and click Advanced.

iphone mail advanced

Can’t see the Advanced button?

Some visitors have reported that they do not see the Advanced button. If this happens to you then you have to delete your IMAP email account and add it again manually. Follow these instructions to add your email account to your iPhone manually. This will then let you see the Advanced button.

5. Scroll down and tap the empty IMAP Path Prefix.

iphone imap prefix

6. Enter INBOX in capitals, then click ‘Accounts’ at the top left and click ‘Done’ at the top right twice to close the settings.

Can’t see the IMAP path prefix?

Some visitors have reported that they do not see the IMAP prefix. If this happens to you then you have to delete your IMAP email account and add it again manually. Follow these instructions to add your email account to your iPhone manually. This will then let you see the Advanced button.

iphone imap prefix fixed

7. Press the Home button and then re-open Mail.

8. You will now be able to delete or move your emails on your iPad without the error message appearing!

Did you find this iPhone fix helpful?

If you found this IMAP fix helpful please take a moment to tweet, like, or share this article by using the buttons at the top of this page. I’d really appreciate it. :)

Also, if you are feeling extra generous after having your issue solved please leave some encouraging feedback in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I love getting feedback from visitors. It encourages me to find further solutions to those awkward little iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Mac problems that we all suffer from.

Thanks for taking the time to read my website and I hope to help you again soon!

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About Kevin Craighead

Hi! My name is Kevin Craighead and I am the guy behind NetChimp.

I have been working in the computer industry since 1988 although my love of electronics goes back even further to my first experience of Pong in the late 70's.

  • Keri

    Solved it first time, it’s been bugging me for ages. Thank you

  • janet

    Thanks. This helped me solve my problem

  • Hector

    Brilliant tip! Just helped my aunt fix her iPAD issue with mail that cannot be deleted. She is ever so thankful!

  • Jonathan

    Brilliant!
    Thanks

  • Lin

    We keep trying to delete an email onour iPad3 sent from a Samsung phone. It disappears, then a few seconds later it comes back with the message, ‘Unable to move message’ and ‘The messgae could not be moved to the mailbox Trash’. All other emails can be deleted without a problem.

  • Christine

    Excellent tip on how to stop getting an error message on my iPad. Really clear instructions and very easy to follow. Thank you! I have added your site to my Favourites as I expect to be consulting you again soon. :-)

  • Sherry S.

    Wow. Thank you so much for the quick fix. Perfect. Followed your detailed instructions and worked perfectly the first time. Thanks again.

  • david

    Brilliant! Why can’t Apple post this up on their forums, or better yet, fix their system properly in the first place so people like you and everyone else don’t have to waste their time doing Apple’s thinking for them? Apple, you’re getting slack, and the difference between you and Microsoft is getting smaller every year, which means that unless you go back to making things properly before you release them you’ll eventually go out of business because you’ll be just as bad as Microsoft and there will be no reason for buyers to choose Apple over Microsoft… Business Law 101 I think it’s called… Work it out or go bust.. Thanks Kevin! Maybe you should apply for a job at Apple..

  • Jennifer

    I deleted my email account from ipad and still can’t add the word – Inbox. Is there something else I can do to make this work?