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How to bulk delete email on the iPhone

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY Like many of you, my iPhone checks mail from a number of accounts -- Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, and a personal POP account. The problem? The POP mail doesn't synchronize with my desktop mail client, so I must manually delete dozens of email every single day to avoid having my inbox overrun with unwanted, obsolete messages I already read and deleted on the desktop. I recently discovered a little hack that can help you to bulk delete all the messages in your inbox at once.

I know that this isn't a new trick -- there are tutorials on YouTube over a year old. But it's new to me, and based on mail I see from readers, it will probably be new to you as well. Also, another caveat: It won't work on all iPhones. If you have an iPhone 4S, for example, you will be out of luck.

Ready? Here's what to do:

Open the POP inbox you want to purge and tap Edit.

Select a single email.

Tap and hold the Move button. While continuing to hold Move, tap the selected message a second time to de-select it.

Release Move.

You should now see the option to Move all. Go ahead and move all the messages to the trash.

Now that everything is in the trash, you can visit that folder and tap Delete All to purge all of your messages.

Here's to hoping that Apple improves the way the inbox works in iOS6 (which was unveiled at the World Wide Developers Conference today), so we don't have to resort to funky hacks like this to keep our email cleaned up.

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