How to Set and Use a Different Return Address in macOS Mail

Need to change or set a return email address in the macOS Mail app? It’s easy.

With Mail open…

  1. Click “Mail” in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
  2. Select “Preferences”
  3. Select the “Composing” tab
  4. Click “Automatically select best account”
Mac Mail Composing Preference with "Send new messages from" selected.
Select the “from” address you want to be your default for all email responses

You’ll see a list of your email accounts. Select the one that you wish to be the default return email address.

That said, the Mail app is pretty smart and is pretty much reliable at associating the email address with a particular account, which is why I don’t set up a specific return address in Mail.

Also, when you reply to an email, you can choose a different return email address than the one associated with the account. Just click and hold the From field and a list of all your email addresses will pop up. Choose the one you want.

Reply email in macOS Mail with "From:" selected showing list of email addresses
You can also select your “from” address in the email reply itself
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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  • Ah, that’s for the OSX version of Mail – after updating my phone to an SE I have found that while Mail can receive, it cannot send with an error message of “invalid sender address” -the folks at GODaddy told me it’s an APple issue – the discussions board tried but has not been able to help. MInd you, it worked fine both inbound and outbound on the iPhone 8 before, after getting the SE it is screwed. And this after I deleted and recreated the mail account – another case of Apple somehow messing up something (don;t get me started on iTunes)