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

Last updated : 6 December 2013

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When moving or deleting an email on your iPhone you get the error:

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:

It should work if you use Microsoft Exchange services such as Office365.

 

How-to fix this error

1. Press the Home button and choose Settings.

iphone settings

2. Scroll down and click Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

iphone mail contacts calendars

3. Tap your email account.

4. Scroll to the bottom 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 to the bottom 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 iPhone.

Did you find this article helpful?

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

Also, if you are feeling really 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.

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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.

  • michael

    Thanks, this solved a problem that I had on both my iPad and iPhone. and it was so easy but I would not have found it without this article.
    Michael

  • Emma D

    Thanks so much, this worked and I am so happy!

  • http://Www.courtyardfootcare.co.uk Footcare Kate

    Thankyou, had tried all sorts of other things, but this worked!

  • Lafe Dutton

    I spent:
    * 2 hours troubleshooting on the Apple forums
    * 30 minutes at a Genius Bar
    * countless minutes working with my isp and trying different settings

    to solve this problem. And then 2 minutes with this article not only solved this problem, but also fixed the problem with sent mail not showing up in the sent folder. This is on 4 devices my wife and I own.

    Thank you. I can’t believe no one else knew this.

    -lafe

  • Keith

    Thanks!!
    Works fine now.

  • GMan

    GREAT! After YEARS of this problem it’s finally fixed! THANKS!

  • Dirk

    That worked! Thank you very much!

  • John

    This corrected my issue on AtMail (dovecot imap) and iOS 8.1

  • Angela

    Thank you so much! Fixed my problems with inability to trash mails on an iPhone in a trice! Brilliant.

  • Anna Bui

    Yes, It worked. Many thanks. It was annoying that when i receiving a lot of emails a day but couldn’t delete it.. This solve my issue just in a minute. Once again ..Thank you.