Daily tip: changing the default mail account on your iPhone or iPad

Have multiple email accounts set up on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and not sure how to set the right one up as your default? If you're replying, it should behave and reply from whatever email the person contacted you through. But what about when you compose a new email? Having to toggle between mail accounts can be annoying if you have to do it constantly.

If you typically send most of your emails through one mail account, click through to see how to make that account your default one.

This process should work the same on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad but I'll be using iPhone screens for this example.

  1. Launch Settings from your homescreen.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Scroll down a bit and you'll see a Default Account option.
  4. Tap Default Account and choose the account you'd like your phone to use as the primary account.

You're done! Your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad should now default to whatever mail account you've specified. Give it a try and let us know if it made emailing a better experience for you. And if you have any other email tips, leave them in comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to news@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Daily tip: changing the default mail account on your iPhone or iPad


Re Iphone 5S; I have multiple email accts but often want to see only unread messages of one acct....not a mixture of 75 unread emails from all 3 accts. Anyway to do this?

Hmm, to call this a tip is like expecting people not to check setting capabilities.
What about these tips:

  • Anything that is driven by software has the tips in the settings.
  • If you want an app/device to behave in any particular way, see if any setting can be changed to behave in that way. Most often your idea is implemented by someone likely as smart as you, or even smarter: the developer.
  • whenever you install a program/device and want to know how it works, what it does besides its main purpose: check the setting possibilities. It says a lot about the quality, maturity and versatility of the software.
  • if you look for tips to give: check what settings there are in a program/device and pick a smart one, people will think you're smart and know a lot.
  • a real tip is e.g. How to put in an address on a webpage into a contact easily: copy the address in Safari, paste it in a new mail message, click on the address link while holding, choose add to contact. Then discard the new mail.

Where was I...

To go to the top of full screen listings
To search in such a listing
Tap the center of the menubar, and you'll scroll to the top at the speed of light.
Try it in the list of artists in the iPod app, or (if you have them) the folder list of your email, or even to go to tje top of a webpage...
Tiptiptip... Sharing is caring

Love the tips!
Anyone know how when u select your email icon that it automatically takes you to all of you in boxes instead of the first one in the list? This is super annoying and I even tried deleting and adding again my microsft exchange thinking that it would got to the top of the list. But it didn't work. I would be happy with opening all of the inboxes instead of constanly going Out of that inbox to get to All Inboxes.
Help is appreciated!

Android? It was worse, i was a Nokia addept, but not any longer for obvious reasons. The iPhone 4 I have is my first one. It's so great and intuitive, that finding good tips seems a drag.
Slimeballs, if you did think this was a great tip, better use a public phone...

have to say it was an useful reminder - i have 4 email accounts on my iphone, anyone know how i can make one private cos at the moment anyone picking up phone has access to all accounts. is there an app to keep an email account private and requiring a password

Can you use a .Me alias as your sent from when sending an e-mail on an i-Phone or i-Pad. I was able to find it in the setting on my Mac mini so that when I send out an e-mail it comes from one of my aliases to the main account can not find out to do this on the i-Phone or i-Pad, it seems when you are creating a e-mail under your .Me account it always shows it as being generated from the main account name.

Thanks! It was driving me crazy that I had to constantly change my email address. This tip saved a lot of frustration.

I have one email only which I accidentally set up with my iPad. Since this iPad is shared, I want to remove my email as the default one for this iPad. How do I do this?

I've done this and still have a problem. It goes like this: I have 2 email accounts on my phone, Work and Home. I have the Work email set as the default account. When I send an email from my Work account it is received by the recipient as coming from my Work email. However, when they reply, the response goes to my Home (Gmail) account. The format in the replied to email shows <work.com> <home.com>

It's a real drag because the work responses are getting lost in my gmail in box.

Anybody have this happen or have a suggestion for how to correct it?