Alexander: How to prevent deleted emails from coming back on iPhone

s: I can’t permanently delete emails from my iPhone 13. After I delete the emails, they come back to my inbox later. This happens even if, after deleting emails, you empty your Trash folder. Even the emails I move to the junk folder come back to my inbox. How can i fix this?

Jim Travers, Colorado Springs

a: Your phone is not connecting to your email provider’s server properly. As a result, when you delete a message, it disappears from the inbox on your phone but remains in the inbox on the mail server. Then, every time your phone retrieves new messages from the server, emails that it thinks you deleted appear in your inbox again.

To correct this, you need to set your phone to tell the mail server which emails you have chosen to delete. The server will then remove the deleted messages from its inbox and send them to trash or junk folders. And the next time you download new mail from the server, the deleted emails will no longer appear in your phone’s inbox.

To do this, go to your iPhone settings, tap Mail and then tap Accounts. On the next screen, tap on your email account and you’ll see a list of all the features associated with that account, such as mail, contacts, calendars, and notes. At the top of the screen, click on your email address, and on the next screen click on Advanced.

On the next screen, under “Mailbox Behaviors,” tap on “Deleted Mailbox.” You will see two lists: On My Phone, which contains only the Trash mailbox, and On Server, which contains several mailboxes, including Trash.

Make sure “Trash” is selected on the server, and not “Trash” on the phone. Return on two screens to the “Account” page and click on “Done” in the upper right corner.

s: After your old HP laptop wakes up from “sleep,” the Microsoft Edge browser starts automatically. Is there a way to prevent Edge from doing this?

Bill Aschenbach, Blaine

a: It’s possible that your browser problem is caused by apps running in the background on your computer and doing things you don’t want to do.

Here are several suggested solutions to the problem (note that they don’t work in every case):

  • Prevent applications from trying to “set up” your computer. Click the “Start” button and choose “Settings”. Under Settings, select Accounts and then Sign-in options. Turn off the “Use my login information to automatically finish setup after update” option. (This option may be on the login options page, or you may first need to click Privacy on that page to locate it.) Restart the computer.
  • Turn off “Windows Spotlight,” which allows ads and images to be downloaded when your screen is “locked.” Open Settings and click on “Personalization”. Click on “Lock screen” and go to “Customize the lock screen”. Use the drop-down menu to change Windows Spotlight to Image. Choose a background image to use and restart your computer.
  • Open Edge and click on the three dots in the upper-right corner. From the resulting menu, choose Settings. From the dropdown menu at the top left of the Settings page, choose “System and Performance.” Turn off “Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed.” Restart the computer.

Steve Alexander, a longtime business and technology reporter for the Star Tribune, started a Tech Q&A column in 2004 to answer readers’ questions about their digital devices. The column was also distributed by Tribune Media Services and published by other newspapers across the country. Alexander, who retired from the Star Tribune in 2014, is now retiring from the column that will be published next week for the last time.