Auto empty email Trash folder?

My wife reads her email on her iPad using the iPad mail client and an IMAP configuration. When she deletes a message it sends the message to the DreamHost webmail’s Trash folder. Over a period of time the number of trashed messages continues to grow.

Is there any way to configure the server’s Trash folder to permanently delete messages after a certain amount of time, or maybe even as soon as a message is sent to Trash?

Messages in the trash folder should purge, but it doesn’t immediately.

Are you sure they are going to the dreamhost trash folder tho? The default method iOS uses is a trash folder on the device. That can be changed in the advanced mail settings, but it won’t be that way unless you specifically did it.

To find out if you’re using the server trash folder log into her dreamhost email via webmail and check the trash folder and see if it’s the same messages as on the iPad. Also look how far back they go datewise.

On the iPad you can also click Settings -> Mail, Contacts, and Calenders ->(select the account) -> then click the “account” line that also includes the email address -> then click advanced settings.

The purpose of the trash not immediatly deleting of course is that it’s like the recycle bin on a computer, designed to keep you from making a mistake that you can’t recover from.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I’m sure the messages are going to the DreamHost trash folder. I can see them there using webmail and clear them using the webmail Purge feature.

I have the iPad settings as you describe, but the reason for wanting messages to be deleted from the server as well as the iPad is so those same deleted messages don’t show up on other devices, in my wife’s case an iPhone and MacBook.

I hear you about the similarity to the recycle bin, but if I’m sure I want to permanently delete something on my PC I can shift-del it and it’s gone. Same thing with mail using a Windows mail client.

What would work, I’m thinking, is an option to delete Trashed messages after a period of time…a week, month, etc. That would give you time to catch a mistake if you make one but would still avoid the necessity of housekeeping using webmail.

If there’s no such feature I’ll post it on the suggestions forum (and not hold my breath).

edit: I have posted this request on the Suggestions board.

It sounds like the macbook and iPhone then are NOT set to use the server trash folder. I have an iPad, iPhone and windows computer all set to use the server trash folder and I DO see the same trashed messages on each, I just double checked that fact.

AFAIK, that the way it works now. I never purge my dreamhost trash folders manually, but the messages don’t stay there permanently. I don’t know the amount of time they stay however, maybe DH_Elle S can tell us.

The length of time messages are kept in the Trash folder is controlled by the mail client. Here’s a screenshot of where it is in the Mac OS X Mail application:


There’s an analogous setting in the iOS Mail application. Make sure it’s not set to “never”.

Thanks! I never understood that that setting effected an IMAP servers trash folder. I had assumed that it only applied if the devices trash folder was in use. I should have realized tho, apple’s good at disabling settings when they don’t apply and that one is not disabled =]

Sorry I missed this! Glad to see Andrew F was able to help shed some light! :slight_smile:

Thanks to all for the suggestions and info.

My wife’s MacBook pro’s “Mailbox Behaviors” looks slightly different than the screenshot posted by Andrew F. Ours has an additional option, under Moved deleted messages to the Trash mailbox, that is “Store deleted messages on the server.”

I have that additional option checked. Maybe I’ll try unchecking it.

The iPad 2 (iOS 7) Advanced options also look different. Under Mailbox Behaviors I have Deleted Mailbox set to Trash. Move Discarded Message Into: is set to Deleted Mailbox. And Deleted Messages Remove is set to After one day.

It’s still not clear to me that the Trash folder on the devices is the same as the trash folder on the DreamHost server, but I’m watching the behavior to see if messages in the server’s trash folder are actually removed after one day.

Thanks again.

I would set all 3 to use the server deleted/trash and set the Deleted Messages Remove to one day (or any value other than never) on all 3.

Ok…thanks to your help in another thread, LakeRat, here are some screenshots to show the current settings on all 3 devices:

iPad Settings

iPhone Settings

MacBook Pro Settings

Any further suggestions are welcome. In the mean time, I’m going to be watching the behavior of all 3 devices when deleting messages, and watching how long those messages stay in the DreamHost Trash folder without manual intervention.

As far as the trash mailboxes go, it looks like you have things set as I would set them.

On the iPad and iPhone, I would also set the Drafts and Sent mailboxes to the server Drafts and Sent. As far as Sent goes, if you want to look at something that was sent it’s much easier to use the servers folder because then you don’t have to remember which device it was sent from. As far as drafts, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started to reply on my iPhone and then switched to my laptop because I can type faster.

Good suggestions LakeRat. Thanks once again.

Update: As the screenshots I posted earlier showed, I had my wife’s iPad and iPhone set to remove deleted messages after one day. Her MacBook was set to permanently erase when quitting mail.

It’s been 5 days since those settings were entered, hundreds of messages have been sent to the server’s trash folder, and none of them have been permanently deleted.

Unless someone has any other suggestions/ideas, I’m back to thinking DreamHost would need to provide a folder option to set how long before messages are deleted after they are sent to trash.