Are you looking at a Google account or a app on the stock email client? Some accounts allow the option under setup to delete info from the server one deleted from device and other you have to log into a desktop client to delete these file, this is usually configured to avoid accidental deletion..
Also more information of what device you have may help some also...
You are correct about the deletion of emails on your device. Your phone is actually just a reflection of the server. When you delete a Gmail message, it stays in your Trash for up to 30 days (sometimes longer). See this article as a reference. It does move it to the Trash folder. After you delete an email, it will say, "You have deleted 1 conversation," and I give you the option to undo it (taking it out of the trash).
In summary, the actions you take on the device are the same as if you were on a computer. You can always manually empty or permanently delete the emails if you like.
I hope that answers your question.
I think I misled you about the email client question. This is not my gmail account, it's my cable provider (Comcast) email account.
My Comcast email (on my pc) has no more than 15 emails or so in Trash. Because I got a "Phone Low on Space" message, I started checking on my Droid to see what was hogging space - - and turns out it's this email account. I have over 4,000 emails in Trash - arrghh!!
When I try to delete one-by-one (which I REALLY don't want to have to do anyway), the email app crashes.
Before I run completely out of space I'd sure like to fix this. Is it maybe replication settings? Thank you so much for your help.
Thanks for the reply! When you check your Comcast account on the PC, are you checking it in Microsoft Outlook or are you logging in directly through Comcast's website. If you're using Outlook, the trash can represents what's stored in the application and not necessarily the server. I would recommend using Comcast's direct login site, check your email there, and empty the trash can. If you find that there's just a few in the trash (not 4000), then I would recommend removing the email account from your device and setting it up again.
Also, what device do you have? I assume Incredible because of the low space error, but I wanted to double check. You can also clear the cache of your email program by going into Settings> Applications> Manage Applications> All (depending on OS version)> Email> Clear Cache/Clear Data/Force Stop. Re-set up the email account, and that should prevent you from deleting emails one by one (quite tedious). Let me know any other info or if the steps above work/make any sense.