Email help for iPhone!
September 3, 2010 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Why did a new iPhone 4 load thousands of email messages when signing into mail the first time? Mail is viewed on a home computer using Outlook. Looking for solutions that do not involve deleting 1500 mail messages by hand.

Asking for my dad: why did his new iPhone (4) load tons of email messages the first time he signed into his email? He and my mom share an email address, and they access the messages in Microsoft Outlook. They save a lot of messages in folders, but not that many. This also did not happen 4 months ago with my mom's iPhone (3). I'm an iPhone user, but not an Outlook user or tech savvy enough to know what setting to change, or apparently how to effectively pose this question to Google. We have tried deleting some old messages in Outlook. Please help us not have to manually delete all these messages on his phone!
posted by shortskirtlongjacket to Technology (3 answers total)
Sounds like they have email set to download (via IMAP or pop) to their home computer, but not to delete after being downloaded.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:56 PM on September 3, 2010

RustyBrooks has it. Likely, Outlook doesn't delete messages from the server. A lot of it can depend on the mail service as well. Using POP, the server will dump everything it has stored in its own inbox. And since Outlook may not be deleting anything from the inbox on the server, it can be a lifetime's (relatively) worth of messages.

Gmail, AOL, and MobileMe setup automatically as IMAP, and IMAP will delete messages as you do, or move them into folders. And if IMAP does load 1500 messages, they should load as 'read', so your dad's iPhone Mail badge won't say there are 1000+ unread messages waiting for him.

I'm not too sure about Yahoo! mail.

As far as not deleting the messages manually goes, if the account is setup as POP, and you have the option from the email provider to use IMAP, delete the account on the iPhone and start over with an IMAP setup. Since all the messages are still on the server, this will only delete the messages off the phone, and not off the server.

If the email provider doesn't allow for IMAP, try logging in to the email through the webmail client and see how many messages are stacked up. Delete the messages he doesn't want, re-setup the account on the iPhone. The downside to this, due to the nature of POP, is that the messages will still come in as 'unread'. It's not the "no deleting messages" solution you were looking for, but it'll have to do.

As far as Outlook goes, check under the email server settings for the POP server settings. I haven't used Outlook in ages, but I found this guide on google for how to delete messages from the server. (It looks like it comes from an ISP).
posted by gc at 2:37 AM on September 4, 2010

Thanks, both of you! Unfortunately by the time I got back to my dad with this most useful information...he had manually deleted all the messages from his phone. He did delete some old messages saved in Outlook on the computer. As far as I know, the phone is now loading only new email messages.
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 8:58 AM on September 6, 2010

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