How to delete or move e-mail messages

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
E-mail icon

E-mail is an excellent tool for sending messages, pictures, and documents to other users. But, like its physical form, you're bound to get some mail that you don't want (often referred to as spam). In other cases, there are messages users would like to hold on to for one reason or another. To keep your inbox clean and organized, you need to delete or move old or unwanted e-mail messages. To proceed, select your e-mail client from the list below and follow the instructions.

Google Gmail logo.

Google Gmail

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. On the left side of the window, select the folder from which you'd like to delete or move messages.

Selector for the Inbox folder in Gmail.

  1. Once you've selected your folder, you have a few options:

Deleting a single message

Right-click the message you'd like to delete and then select Delete from the drop-down menu that appears.

Right-click menu in Gmail.

Deleting or moving multiple messages

  1. Click the checkbox(s) next to each of the messages you'd like to delete or move.

Checkboxes to delete or move messages in Gmail.

Tip

You may select every message on the page by clicking the Select checkbox (shown below) above the message list window.

Checkbox that selects all messages in Gmail.

  1. To delete messages, click the trash icon located in the bar above the folder window (A). To move messages, click the folder icon (B), then select the appropriate destination from the drop-down menu that appears.

Delete and move icons in Gmail.

Outlook.com logo.

Microsoft Outlook online (formerly Hotmail)

  1. Log into your Microsoft Outlook.com e-mail account.
  2. On the left side of the window, select the folder from which you'd like to delete or move messages.

Folder list in Outlook online.

  1. Once the folder is open, there are a few options for deleting and moving mail:

Delete a single message

To delete a single message, move your mouse over the message and click the trash can icon that appears.

How to delete a single e-mail message in Outlook online.

Delete multiple messages

  1. To delete multiple messages, move your mouse over each message and click the checkbox that appears next to them.

Select multiple messages in Outlook online.

  1. Once you've made your message selections, click the Delete icon in Outlook online. icon located above the open folder's window.
Tip

You can delete every message shown in the current window by clicking the Delete all button in Outlook online. button.

Moving messages

  1. To move messages, place your mouse over each message and click the checkbox that appears next to them.

How to select multiple messages in Outlook online.

  1. After making your selections, click the down arrow on the Move to icon in Outlook online. icon (above the open folder's window), then select a destination folder from the drop-down menu that appears.
Yahoo! mail logo.

Yahoo! mail

  1. Log into your Yahoo! e-mail account.
  2. On the left side of the window, underneath the Compose button in Yahoo! mail. button, select the folder from which you'd like to delete or move messages.

Menu from which you select a folder in Yahoo! mail.

  1. Once the folder is open, there are a few options for deleting or moving your messages:

Delete a single message

To delete a single message, move your mouse over the date next to the message (it's on the far right side). Click the red Trash can icon in Yahoo! mail. that appears to remove that mail entry.

Delete multiple messages

  1. To delete multiple messages, click the checkboxes that appear next to them.

Selected inbox images in Yahoo! mail.

  1. Once you've made your message selections, click the Delete button in Yahoo! mail. icon located above the open folder's window.
Tip

You can select every message in the current window by clicking the Select all icon in Yahoo! mail. icon above the message list.

Moving messages

  1. To move messages, click the checkboxes that appear next to them.

Selected inbox images in Yahoo! mail.

  1. Once you've made your message selections, click the Move button in Yahoo! mail. icon (located above the open folder's window), then select a destination folder from the drop-down menu that appears.
Tip

You can select every message in the current window by clicking the Select all icon in Yahoo! mail. icon above the message list.

E-mail on iPhone or iPad

Delete single e-mail message

E-mail messages viewed through the Mail app on an iPhone or iPad can be deleted one at a time by following the steps below.

  1. Open the Mail app on the iPhone or iPad.
  2. In the Mail app, find the e-mail message you want to delete. Using your finger, swipe from right to left on that e-mail message.
  3. Three options appear on the right side of the e-mail message. Tap the Trash option to delete the message.

OR

  1. In the Mail app, tap the e-mail message you want to delete, to view the e-mail.
  2. On the e-mail view screen, tap the Trash icon at the bottom of the screen.

Delete multiple e-mails

If you want to delete multiple e-mail messages at one time, follow the steps below.

  1. In the Mail app, tap the Edit option at the top-right of the Inbox screen.
  2. To the left of each e-mail message, a bubble is visible. Tap each e-mail message that you want to delete, so that the bubble is blue with a checkmark inside it.
  3. After selecting the messages to be deleted, tap the Trash option at the bottom right of the Inbox screen.