If you’ve received an email that you suspect might be spam or worse, then you probably don’t want to open it up to find out. Spammers often use tracking pixels to see whether an email they’ve sent has been read by the recipient, which alerts them of a potential victim for one of their ploys. (You can learn how to stop this in our block email tracking tutorial and How to stop email read receipts in Apple Mail.)
There’s also the chance that an email could have a link to a spoof site that wants to steal your data, so they’re best off being sent straight to the trash. Here’s the simple way to delete an email on your iPhone, iPad or Mac without the need to open it.
How to delete an unopened email on iPhone or iPad
There are a couple of ways to do this, both of which are very easy. The first method uses the Edit option in Mail, while the second employs swipe gestures in the app. Here are the steps you need to take:
Delete an unopened email using the Edit function
Tap the Edit button in the top right corner.
Tap the circle to the left of the email you want to delete.
Tap the Move option at the bottom of the screen.
Choose the Trash or Bin folder to delete the email.
iOS/iPadOS will automatically delete the email.
Foundry / IDG
Delete an unopened email using the swipe menu
Slowly swipe left on the email you want to delete.
When you see the three coloured options appear, remove your finger from the screen.
From the menu that opens, select Delete Message.
Foundry / IDG
How to delete an email without opening it on your Mac
Removing an email from your Mac’s inbox is dead simple. Here’s the quick way to rid yourself of those troublesome missives.
Open the Mail app.
Find the email you want to delete (but don’t click on it).
Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews for Macworld and its sister site Tech Advisor.