I am using the non-gmail email application to connect to get email from my university, but the app seems to have a bug and sometimes (probably when there are connection issues) doesn't properly delete emails. These would be deleted from the server, but get stuck in the app. Every time after a refresh operation they reappear even if I delete them over and over again. They reappear even if their date is older than the defined relevant window (e.g. last month). How can I refresh the app to get rid of these zombie emails?


If you don't mind having to completely re-configure it, and start as if you'd just installed that app:

  1. Go to Settings → Apps
  2. Scroll to the app in question, tap it
  3. Select to "Delete Cache" and "Delete Data"

Now you've completely "refreshed" it. With some luck, the app somehow offers to export its configuration; if so, do that first, and re-import the settings after above described "reset" to save you from manually reconfiguring it.

  • Clear data is disabled for this app... Possibly because it is part of the system. Cleaning just the cache didn't help.
    – Grzenio
    Jun 2 '14 at 16:19
  • You might have to force-stop the app (if that button is available) in order to clear data, as its "running service" might "lock access" to its data. Does that work?
    – Izzy
    Jun 2 '14 at 16:21
  • Force-stop is greyed out as well...
    – Grzenio
    Jun 2 '14 at 16:42
  • That's strange. What kind of email app is that? Let me make a wild guess: something to do with Exchange or the like? Only explanation for force-stop and clear-data being grayed out I can come up with is an app registered as device-admin. Could that be the case?
    – Izzy
    Jun 2 '14 at 18:14
  • This is the standard email app (called Email, the icon is white envelope with yellow letter inside), and indeed it is connecting to an exchange server.
    – Grzenio
    Jun 2 '14 at 18:25

I had exactly the same problem myself. The default android app for email took up a lot of storage space. When I tried to clear the Data from the app menu (Settings->Apps->Email) the "Clear Data" button was greyed out.

The process below will reset you connection to you email account, so make sure you know your password and settings so you can reconnect at the end.

I found that the Exchange Email server acquires some security settings, and this leads to the greyed-out option. What you need to override these settings is to go to Settings->Security, scroll to down and click on "Device administrators". You will find a list of programs with special security options, and one of them will be "Email". Uncheck the "Email" program. Once you do this your e-mail account will be reset and deleted and the space that the app takes will be cleared.



if you are using a cheaper phone, and this happens in outlook (Clear data is grey) go to settings-Search for security with the magnifying glass icon; then search for device admin aps click on device admin aps then un-check the outlook device policy..You can now clear the data..restart your phone, and start outlook again, you will need your password, but outlook recognizes your account.


It wants to be device admin in security. Unstick the device admin and use a separate app like OWA for exchange mail

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.