When moving or deleting an email on your iPhone on iPad you get the error:
Unable to Move Message The message could not be moved to the mailbox Trash.
This only happens if you are using IMAP servers for your email and isn’t an issue for POP mailboxes.
Don’t panic – the error is caused by the iPhone operating system iOS and not by a broken device.
This problem is a well-known software ‘glitch’ that has been around since 2012.
Luckily there are a few fairly simple fixes you can try that only takes a few minutes to complete.
‘Unable to move message to trash’ error affects iPhone, iPad, and iPod
The same fix will work for all of these iOS based devices so feel free to follow the same procedure:
- iPod Touch
Tips to try and fix this error:
- Method 1: Change the IMAP Path in iOS email (Try this first)
- Method 2: Change from Wi-Fi to cellular data
- Method 3: Delete email account and add it back again
How-to fix this error
This video shows the fix, alternatively, you can use the easy to follow steps which describe the process in more detail below.
1. Press the Home button and choose Settings.
2. Scroll down and click Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
3. Tap your email account.
4. Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced.
5. Scroll to the bottom and tap the empty IMAP Path 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.
7. Press the Home button and then re-open Mail.
8. You will now be able to delete or move your emails on your iPhone.
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:
It should work if you use Microsoft Exchange services such as Office365.
1. Tap Settings
2. Tap Wi-Fi
3. Turn Wi-Fi off and then back on again using the switch at the top
This will ensure you have a good quality Wi-Fi signal that allows communications with your email.
1. Tap ‘Settings’
2. Tap ‘Passwords and Accounts’
3. Tap the email account that has the issue
4. At the very bottom tap ‘Delete Account’. Don’t worry, deleting your account from your iPhone or iPad does not delete all the email’s within the mailbox.
5. Reboot your iPhone or iPad
6. Add the account back again by clicking ‘Settings’
7. Click Passwords and Accounts’
8. Tap ‘Add Account’
9. Use the on-screen wizard to add your email account to the iPhone or iPad again.
What is the cause of this error?
This issue can be caused by quite a number of potential issues. Specifically it can be caused by:
- Poor quality Wi-Fi or cellular connection
- A corrupt mailbox on your device
- A wrong IMAP path to the Inbox on your mailbox
The 3 fixes listed above resolve these potential issues.
Of the 3 reasons listed the most common is actually the wrong path, which is why I suggest you try this method first.
Apple has worked hard on the Mail App on iOS 12, with the method to access the settings changed. It is likely that they have also addressed this issue too as the number of people affected by this seems to have reduced steadily in the recent past.
However, many people are ‘stuck’ on older releases of iOS so it may be a problem for those with older iPhone’s and iPad’s.
Oddly, this issue has been around for many years and it appears that it has taken Apple 5 or 6 years to finally get round to fixing it properly.
If you are using iOS 12 and still receive this error message and you have tried this fix then please leave a comment. I’d love to know if it is still valid with the latest version of iOS.
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