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iPhone Mail with MS Exchange Mailbox - Unable to Move Message to Trash

Once in a while I am unable to delete an email message on my iPhone.  It throws an "unable to move message to trash" error message.  I use the normal iPhone Mail app and have an MS Exchange mailbox that syncs with my office email.

While this problem was well-documented for IMAP mailboxes, I could not find a solution for MS Exchange mailboxes.

Turn off the mail sync, then turn it back on.
* Settings
* Mail, Contact, Calendars
* Touch your Exchange email account.  You'll see a list of the things it syncs (e.g. Mail, Contacts, Calendars, etc.).
* Turn off the mail sync.
* Open the Mail app to confirm that your Exchange mailbox is no longer there.
* Return to the settings and switch the mail sync back on.  Your mail will be re-synchronized with the Exchange server and the troublesome messages will disappear.

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  • Guest - Jayson

    Never mind my previous suggestion. A couple of hours later the offending messages were back in my inbox. Looks like only your method truly gets rid of the email messages.

  • Guest - Jayson

    I have been fighting with this issue on random occasions for a long time. Thanks!

    I discovered another solution, at least when the MS Exchange account is a Google Suite account: Move the message that you cannot delete back to the inbox using the Gmail web interface, sync the iPhone mail app, then archive the message again. This solution assumes the message is still available to move back to the inbox, which will be the case if you have Gmail set up to archive deleted messages.

  • Guest - Cody S.

    Just curious here. Before you found this solution, did you remove and readd your email account in iOS?

    While this did work for me, on my side I still had a lot of old emails lingering on, readding strangely didn't work. Thinking emails were still stuck cached. Thanks.

  • Guest - Cody S.

    Removing the account and re-adding it didn't work for me. Only turning off the mail sync, then turning it back on got rid of the pesky emails. You may also want to close the mail app completely by double-tapping the home button and swiping up on the mail app.