How to Empty the Trash on Your iPhone

March 13, 2024
David Sunnyside

When it comes to cleaning up space on your iPhone, there are many things you can do — including deleting unused apps, optimizing photos, and clearing cache. But another important thing you should do is regularly empty the trash on your phone, as it will help free up space and avoid getting that dreaded “storage almost full” warning.

Unlike Mac or Windows computers, the iPhone doesn’t have one centralized trash folder, but it does have a few different ones that you need to clear out from time to time. Here’s how to empty the trash on your iPhone in four of the most common apps:

Mail

Deleted emails in the iPhone’s email app aren’t deleted forever. Instead, they remain in a recently deleted folder for 30 days before being automatically purged from your iPhone. If you’re using multiple accounts, this can quickly fill up your iPhone’s storage. The good news is that it’s easy to clear this space from the iPhone’s Mail app.

To do so, first open the Mail app and tap a mail account. Then, tap Trash at the bottom of the screen. This will show you a list of all your trash items. From here, tap the Browse tab (this may be labeled as Trash or Recent Deleted depending on your iOS version). To empty this space, simply select the items you want to remove and then tap Delete All. You’ll be asked to confirm this action, but the selected items will be permanently removed from your iPhone.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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