How to Configure Your Email Account on the iPhone

By Joe Hutsko, Barbara Boyd

The first step to using Mail is setting up an account. You configure your email account directly on your iPhone with a series of taps. Apple has been kind enough to insert the technical stuff needed to access some of the most used email services. For the following email services, you need to have your email address and password handy:

  • AOL

  • iCloud

  • Google Mail

  • Microsoft Exchange

  • Outlook.com

  • Yahoo!

Setting up an iCloud account

If you set up an iCloud email account when you created your Apple ID, you have an @icloud.com address. If you’re a long-time Apple user, you may have an address that ends with @me.com or @mac.com, both of which work transparently with iCloud.com. You may have already turned on your iCloud account when you set up iCloud syncing.

Follow these steps to set up your iCloud email on your iPhone:

  1. Tap Settings on the Home screen, and then tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

    You have to scroll down.

  2. If you have no email account, the Add Account screen opens directly.

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    If you see iCloud but Mail isn’t listed or you don’t see iCloud at all but you want to add it, tap Add Account and go to Step 3.

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  3. Tap iCloud.

    iCloud recognizes the @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com email address domains as iCloud accounts.

  4. Type in the email address and password associated with your Apple ID and then tap the Next button.

    If you don’t have an Apple ID, tap Get a Free Apple ID and follow the onscreen instructions to set one up.

    Your account is verified.

  5. The iCloud screen opens.

    A message asks if you want iCloud to use the Location of Your iPhone.

    You have a series of options and toggle switches that turn those options on. Turning an option on means that the information in that app is accessed by your iPhone from iCloud. Any other devices you access iCloud with, such as an iPad, Mac, or Windows PC, can access the same information.

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  6. Tap or slide the toggle Mail switch to the on position.

    Turn this on and you receive your iCloud mail on your iPhone.

Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and Outlook.com accounts

Apple has already put the incoming and outgoing server information for the most popular email providers on iPhone. If you use Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, or Outlook.com, do the following:

  1. Tap Settings on the Home screen, and then tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

  2. Tap Add Account.

  3. The Add Account screen opens.

  4. Tap the name of the account you use; for example, Google Mail, also known as Gmail.

  5. The Google Mail (or Yahoo! or AOL or Outlook.com) screen opens.

    Filling in the Name field is optional. Type your email address in the Address field and your password in the Password field.

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  6. Tap the Next button in the upper-right corner.

    Your account is verified.

    Your email screen opens. You have a few options to consider turning on or off, depending on the services you use. For our purposes, turn on Mail.

    This connects you to your email account so that messages download to your iPhone in the Mail app and you can send messages from your email account in Mail.

  7. Tap Save.

    Your account is added to the Accounts list of Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings.

The Description field is automatically filled in with Exchange, Google Mail, Yahoo!, AOL, or Outlook.com, but if you tap there, you can change it. For example, you can set up two Gmail accounts: one for personal email exchanges and another for work.

Setting up Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange is often used in a corporate setting where a company-specific server manages the employees’ email. If you use Microsoft Exchange, you may need to ask your network administrator for the server name, and then follow these steps to set up a Microsoft Exchange account on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app; tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars; tap Add Account; and tap Microsoft Exchange.

    The first Exchange screen opens and requests your email address, password, and a description, which is optional.

  2. Fill in the information requested and tap Next.

    The second Exchange screen opens.

  3. Tap each field, fill in the requested information, and tap Next.

    You may have to ask your network administrator for some of the details.

    If Microsoft Auto Discovery didn’t fill in the server address, type it in. It will be something like exchange.company.com. If you use Microsoft’s Office 365 service instead of an Exchange server at your company, it will be outlook.office365.com.

    The Exchange account opens with options for Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders.

  4. Turn Mail on to have email from your Exchange account accessible from your iPhone.

    Turn on the other options as well if you want to access that information from your Exchange account.

Setting up other IMAP and POP accounts

If you or your company uses another email provider, it’s probably an IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP (Post Office Protocol) account. iOS 8 is pretty clever at finding the account and setting it up based on just your email address and password:

  1. Open the Settings app; tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars; tap Add Account; tap Other; and tap Add Mail Account.

    A New Account screen opens.

  2. Fill in your name, email address, password, and a description, and tap Next.

    Mail looks for your account and verifies it.

    Your iPhone automatically recognizes if it’s an IMAP or POP account and presents the appropriate choices.

  3. Turn the options for Mail, Notes, and so on to the On position to have that data accessible from your iPhone, and tap Save.

    The account is added and appears in the list of accounts in the Settings app under Mail, Contacts, Calendars.