Q: I can't seem to permanently delete e-mails on my iPhone 13. After I delete the e-mails, they come back to my inbox later. This happens even if, after deleting the e-mails, I empty the trash folder. Even e-mails that I move to the junk folder come back to the inbox. How can I fix this?

JIM TRAVERSE, Colorado Springs

A: Your phone isn't communicating properly with your e-mail provider's server. 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, each time your phone retrieves new messages from the server, the e-mails you thought you had deleted show up in your inbox again.

To correct this, you need to set your phone so that it tells the mail server which e-mails you have chosen to delete. The server will then remove the deleted messages from its inbox and send them to its own trash or junk folders. And the next time you download new mail from the server, the deleted e-mails won't reappear in your phone's inbox.

To do that, go to your iPhone's Settings, click on Mail and then click on "accounts." On the next screen, click on your e-mail 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 e-mail address, and on the following screen click "advanced."

On the next screen, under "mailbox behaviors" click "deleted mailbox." You'll see two lists: "On my phone," which contains only a "trash" mailbox, and "On the server," which contains several mailboxes, including "trash."

Be sure that "trash" on the server is checked, and that "trash" on the phone is not checked. Go back two screens to the "account" page and click "done" at the upper right corner.

Q: After my older HP laptop awakens from "sleep" mode, the Microsoft Edge browser automatically starts up. Is there a way to prevent Edge from doing this?


A: Your browser problem is probably caused by apps that are running in the background on your PC and doing things you don't want done.

Here are several suggested fixes for the problem (note that they don't work in every case):

  • Prevent apps from trying to "set up" your PC. Click the Start button and choose Settings. Within Settings, select Accounts and then "Sign-in options." Turn off the option "Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up after an update." (This option may be on the Sign-in options page, or you may need to first click "privacy" on that page to locate it.) Reboot the PC.
  • Turn off "Windows Spotlight," which lets ads and pictures be downloaded when your screen is "locked." Open Settings and click "personalization." Click "lock screen," and go to "personalize your lock screen." Use the dropdown menu to change "Windows Spotlight" to "picture." Choose a background picture to use and reboot the PC.
  • Open Edge and click the three dots at the upper-right corner. From the resulting list, choose Settings. From the drop-down menu at the upper left of the Settings page, choose "system and performance." Turn off "Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed." Reboot the PC.

Steve Alexander, a longtime business and technology reporter for the Star Tribune, started the 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 papers around the country. Alexander, who retired from the Star Tribune in 2014, is now retiring the column, which will be published next week for the final time.