I'm using IMAP to retrieve emails from an Exchange Server from my iPhone. When I delete emails on the device, the items disappear on the iPhone, but not on the server. Moving emails to another folder doesn't work as well.

Is this an iPhone or Exchange issue? I'm pretty sure this worked on a previous iPhone OS version, but I can't remember when this behavior started. Somebody told me that the iPhone doesn't transmit the IMAP "purge" command. Is there a workaround for this problem?

Note: I know, there I could create am Exchange/ActiveSync account on the iPhone, but that is not an option for me at the moment.

2 Answers 2


Did you check the Advanced account settings on your iPhone. There you can make the iPhone interact with server folders (such as deleted items).

For my Gmail IMAP, i Have deleted items set to "on iPhone", but for your Exchange IMAP you might want to set it to a server folder.

  • +1 I had the same problem using MobileMe. Both on the iPhone and Outlook. Jul 17, 2009 at 14:00

I think your problem is in using IMAP (which traditionally leaves a copy on the server). I have set up my Exchange email on my phone, and any time I take an action on the phone it will immediately make that action on the Exchange server.

  • Yes, I know my problem is in using IMAP ;-) but - as I wrote in the note to my question - at the moment I can't connect via Exchange/ActiveSync.
    – splattne
    Jul 16, 2009 at 14:25
  • BTW: IMAP allows moving/deleting emails in folders. It works with other IMAP clients (I had to write one myself for a web app) ;-)
    – splattne
    Jul 16, 2009 at 14:28

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