Why is email removed from my “Trash” folder after 7 days?

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When setting up an IMAP email account on an iOS device such as the iPad, iPod, or iPhone, the device will automatically delete messages in the “Trash” folder on our servers after 7 days. This is the default setting for all IMAP accounts set up through iOS.

Normally, this is the desired behavior. Messages that you intend to keep should be stored outside of the “Trash” folder, since that folder is automatically cleared by many mail programs.

Some users wish to disable this feature altogether. To do so, you can:

  • tap Settings
  • tap Mail (for iOS 10) or Mail, Contacts, Calendars (for iOS 9 and previous versions)
  • tap address@example.com
  • tap Account address@example.com
  • tap Advanced at the bottom of the account settings

In the advanced settings under the Deleted Messages section, you can choose any option between Never and After one month. This controls how long messages can stay in the “Trash” folder before they’re automatically deleted by the device.