How Do I Delete My Emails?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Email, or “electronic mail,” is a quick and convenient communication system that has widely replaced traditional “snail mail” for many Internet users around the world. However, just like its paper-based counterpart, email also sometimes needs to be disposed. Here is a quick overview of how to delete emails from your email account.

Deleting an individual email

Although the exact format may differ based on which email service you use, most email services sort emails into various categories or folders, with the primary folder usually called the “Inbox.” Emails are typically displayed in a list format that displays the name of the sender and the subject for each individual email. To the left of the sender’s name will be an empty checkbox.

After you have located the email you want to delete, select it by clicking the checkbox next to it. Next, locate the delete button. This is usually located at the top of the page and may be represented by a trashcan icon. Clicking the delete button will remove the email from your inbox or other folder and send it to your deleted email folder, which may be called the “Trash” folder, or simply the “Deleted” folder.

This folder is also usually represented by a trashcan icon, but it is typically located on the left side of the screen. Open the “Trash” folder and find the email you just deleted. Once again, click the checkbox next to the email to select it and click the delete button to permanently remove it from your email account. Most email services will send deleted emails to the “Trash” or “Deleted” folder in order to give users a chance to restore emails that may have been accidentally deleted. However, even if you forget to delete the emails from this folder, most email services will empty the “Deleted” folder after several weeks.

Alternatively, many email services will allow you to quickly delete an email by simply right-clicking on the email and choosing the “Delete” option from the popup menu that appears. Many email services will also provide a dropdown menu of actions within an opened email that includes the option to delete. Either way, you will still need to also delete the email from your “Trash” or “Deleted” folder in order to permanently remove it.

It should be noted that other copies of the email you want to delete may exist in other folders besides your primary inbox. For example, if you responded to an email you want to delete, there may be a copy of your response, along with the original email, saved in your “Sent” email folder. Scan your various email folders to verify that the email you are trying to delete has not been archived in any other locations, such as in the “Drafts” or “Junk” folders.

Deleting multiple emails

While you will essentially follow the same procedure for deleting multiple emails that you do for deleting individual emails, there are several shortcuts provided by most email services that can greatly speed up the process. Most email services will offer a dropdown menu or a checkbox near the top of the page that will select all the emails that are displayed on the page. After you have selected all the emails on a single page, many email services will then give you the option to select all of the emails in that particular folder.

After you have selected all the emails you wish to delete, click the delete button that is usually located at the top of the page, or right-click on one of the emails to open the popup menu that gives you the option to delete. Don’t forget to delete the emails again when they are moved to your “Trash” or “Deleted” folder. Most email services will also allow you to select all of the emails in the “Trash” folder at once for faster deletion.

Congratulations! You have successfully deleted an email (or emails) from your account. If you have any further questions about permanently removing emails from your account, you can always read the “Help” section that is usually available under the “Settings” menu in your email account.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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