Not for the first time, I'm adding an IMAP account to my iphone with over a year's worth of email in the Trash folder and my iPhone has deleted them all as the default setting is to purge emails over a week old. I am currently in the process of restoring them from backups.

Strangely, I can't find anyone else complaining about this but it's not OK with me. Is there a way to stop this happening?

  • Another reason to use POP, just saying... – Tetsujin Jun 1 '16 at 19:31
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    Don't keep trash for long periods - they are deleted and so you have said you don't want them. If for some odd reason you want to keep all mail - don't delete them move them to a folder. Trash his not designed for a place to keep things – mmmmmm Jun 2 '16 at 11:46
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    Yes, my Trash is set to purge emails over a certain age, but that is controlled by my mail server and the retention period is longer than a week. That Apple arbitrarily sets the default value to a week and then applies that setting the minute you add a mail account is unacceptable to me. – Darren Jun 3 '16 at 6:27
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    What should it "arbitrarily" be set at? Trash is not a storage folder. The fact you are keeping them there for over a year indicates you should be storing them in some other folder. Regardless of what platform you're on, Trash is intended to be a temporary safety net when you accidentally delete something, not a permanent filing spot for emails you can't quite let go of. It's the same thing as when you throw something in the garbage can in real life. You have a short time period to retrieve it, but unless you're a hoarder, it's going to be permanently removed in a week or two. – tubedogg Oct 21 '16 at 4:17

To change the setting, go to Settings → Mail, Contacts, Calendars → iCloud → Mail (under Advanced) → Advanced → Remove (under Deleted Messages) and set the time period after which deleted messages are removed.

You should not expect anything deleted to persist at all. You have instructed for it to be deleted and this is what you should expect.

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    Yes, I'm aware of the setting. My issue is that the default is applied when you add a mail account before you get a chance to change it. And I disagree with your premise. I have moved them to my Trash folder, that is not the same as me being happy to have them purged. Would it be OK with you if software arbitrarily emptied your computer's Recycle Bin? That kind of safety net is there for a reason. – Darren Jun 3 '16 at 6:25
  • thanks grg! to change the settings on ipad with iOS 12: settings -> passwords&accounts -> account name -> account -> advanced -> remove -> change to never – Ger K Mar 17 '19 at 10:56

Darren: Yes, the Default setting is 1 week and you don't like it. So change it to Never.

My hubby accidentally deleted a Proposal. Bc his Mac techie set his iPad Mini up (a talented guy but my hubby refused to wait for me to use the Mac techie, an Apple Beta tester, who has been setting up all my devices for years). When I went to my own iPhone which my Mac Wizard synched with all my other 5 devices: 3 iPhones. 2 iPads, a Mac laptop and the desktop, the Wizard KNOWS to change those kinds of silly things Apple does, my own Mail Trash accounts are set to Never delete.

Best of all, there's always AppleCare support if you invested in it as we always do for the maximum allowable period, a Senior Tech Advisor took over the call and case: Apple was able to RESTORE almost all of his Sent emails which had disappeared for no reason. He got back 97 of Proposals, spanning more than 1 year. The emailed Proposol was NOT among them but I knew enough about iOS to go into Advanced Settings to check on what was the time limit on Deleted emails. Sure enough, the techie he used left it in Default (Mac Wizard would have known my hubby's tech skills are poor and would have safeguarded us by changing the Delete settings to Never). My other devices are all set to Never after being in the Mac Wizard's hands for syncing a few months ago. If you call Apple in Cupertino, you usually get better service (fewer mistakes) than making a Genius Bar appointment. If you have a problem communicating with a particular CSR, politely hang up and call back for another one. With Apple, there is usually more than 1 way to solve any problem. One must simply exercise patience and courtesy. Best of luck.

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    How does this answer differ from the accepted answer? – fsb Oct 20 '16 at 21:38

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