How to Disable Message Archiving on the iPad

Are you looking for the iPad’s delete button in Mail? The recent release of iOS 4.2 brings many improvements to messaging on the iPad. Among the improvements you will find unified inboxes, threaded messages, and archiving. Archiving messages is one of those options you either love or hate, however if you are on the fence and like to use both Apple does not provide you with that option. By default iOS 4.2 is set to archive messages, however you cannot delete messages if message archiving is enabled. With IOS 4 it is either one or the other, you cannot have both at the same time. So if you find yourself wanting to delete more messages than you want to archive the guide below will show you how to disable message archiving in iOS 4.2.

For those of you who like the use of videos to learn you will find a video at the end of the post showing you how to disable message archiving. If you have any comments or questions please use the comments form at the end of the article.

Note: If you disable message archiving you can always “archive” messages by moving them to the folder of your choice.

Software/Hardware used: iPad running iOS 4.2.

If you own an iPad you may want to consider protecting your iPad’s screen with Zagg Invisible Shield Screen Protectors.

How to Disable Message Archiving on the iPad


You will notice that the Delete button is now an Archive button. To change this button to Delete follow the instructions below.


1. Tap Settings on the Home Screen.


2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars in the Settings pane.

3. Tap the email account you wish to modify under Accounts.

Note: If you have multiple email accounts you must do this for each.


4. Toggle OFF Archive Messages.

5. Tap Done to return to Settings.

Press the Home button and open the Mail App.


The Delete button is back! Now your messages will be deleted instead of archived.

Disable Message Archiving Video

Please post any questions or comments below.

  • Taittems

    God, I am so relieved you have this here! Phew! I HATE archiving messages! What a waste of space! I was afraid I was stuck with it!

  • Alper

    Thx a lot. This solved my problem about quickly deleting mail with iOS 4.2.