How to set the default mail account on your iPhone

If you have more than one email address you need to set a default mail account so the iPhone knows which one to use. Here’s how to do it.

Last week one of my customers called to say that every time she emailed an image from Photos on her iPhone it chose the wrong email account. She wondered how to fix it. The fix was super easy, and super helpful, so here it is for you.

She needed to set a default mail account

When you send something by Mail, but you started outside the Mail app, your iPhone has to choose which email address to send from. For example:

  • When you’re looking at an image in Photos, and then you share it by tapping the Share button, and you choose Mail
  • When you’re looking at a web page in Safari, and then you share it by tapping the Share button, and you choose Mail
  • When you’re looking at an app on the App Store, and then you share it by tapping the Share button, and you choose Mail
  • When you tap a “mail to” link on a webpage

You get the picture– anytime you use the Share button and choose Mail, or you click a link that makes an email, the Mail app is going to use your default mail account. And if you don’t tell Mail which account is the default account the iPhone will choose one for you. If you only have one email account there’s nothing to do, but if you have more than one email account you should have a look at the settings and make sure they are right.

How to set the default mail account

This is easy. In iOS 13 go to Settings, then Mail, then Default Account. Choose the account you want to send things from and you’re done.

Settings, Mail, Default Account
Settings, Mail, Default Account

Tap where it says “Default Account” and ensure that the correct account is chosen. Whichever account you choose, that’s the one that’s going to be used when you use the Sharing button or otherwise generate an email from outside of Mail.

That’s all there is to it.

(While you’re in there you might take a look at the Signature settings (right above Default Account. You can do better than “Sent from my iPhone.”)


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Christian Boyce

Author: Christian Boyce

Christian Boyce is a Mac and iPhone expert specializing in teaching people how to use Apple devices better, to get more done with them, and to have more fun doing it. He bought his first Mac (a Mac Plus) in 1986 and his first iPhone in 2007. He's written books and magazine articles, and given seminars at Macworld Expo, MacFair/LA, and the California Computer Expo. Over 30 years in the business.

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