Delete all emails in iOS Mail, except for VIP mail

Is there a way in iOS to mass-delete all emails in the Inbox, except for emails from VIPs?

Our email account has over 21,000 emails that are no longer wanted. We want to delete them all except for those from VIPs.

Similar to this article, but not exactly… Delete all emails in a folder in iOS Mail

VIP emails already appear in a Smart Mailbox. Assuming they do not also reside in the Main mailbox (I don’t remember) you could just delete all emails not in VIPs, yes?

If VIP emails do reside in the Main mailbox, just move all VIP messages in the VIP mailbox to a Custom mailbox before your mass-deletion.

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Looks like the second option you recommended makes the most sense for VIPs (as they appear in the Inbox).

Okay.So Smart Mailboxes act essentially like Smart Folders in iTunes, where items that reside are just a filter-view but still are in the main library.

The link I’d posted does say that a custom mailbox moves mail into that mailbox, so you should be able to delete everything else and retain mail in the Custom mailbox.

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move VIP emails to mailbox “on my mac”
select all email on remaining in other accounts -> delete!
move emails back to an imap account mailbox (if needed)

that would be how I’d do it
and do every 6 months when I archive my email to devonthink.

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That is certainly what I’ll try next time, @JKoopmans.

I actually lost all the VIP emails… Here’s how:
Created a mail folder (in iCloud, not sure if that matters), named VIP Folder
Moved VIP emails to that folder
Select All and deleted the remaining messages
*At this point, VIP messages still existed…

Selected All VIP messages and drag to Inbox
*Process seemed to be hanging. So…
Rebuild Index (oops! This empties all deleted items in On My Mac I believe)

Somewhere in the last set of steps, my VIP messages were in motion but didn’t make it back to the Inbox. And are nowhere to be found in iCloud Mail, or on my Mac.

The good news – our mailbox is a lot cleaner… :slight_smile:


time machine backup?

Not an option… We no longer use Time Machine backups.

All is well though, fortunately.

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