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QUICK TIP: How to Set a Default Account in macOS Mail

macOS Big Sur icon

I have six email addresses: five business ones and one personal address. If I don’t set a default mail account, each time I write a new email it’s sent from one of my business addresses. If I want to send the mail from my personal address, I have to remember to choose the correct personal account from a drop-down box.

However, most of my email correspondence is business-related, so I want my Apple World Today email address to be my default email account. (I’m the editor of the news site). Thankfully, that’s easy with macOS.

Set Default Mail Account

Open the Mail application on your Mac and select “Mail > Preferences” from the menu bar.

macOS Mail viewing preferences

Click the Composing tab at the top of the Composing preferences window.

macOS Mail Compose Preferences

Choose the desired account from the drop-down menu next to “Send new messages from.”

Send new mail preferences default mail account

If you want to use another mail server to send a message, in the New Message compose window, below “To, Cc, Subject” is the From line where you can select a different server from which to send your mail.

Select the From address in macOS Mail

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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  • This should have been really helpful. However, when I go to “send new email from this address” my primary email address is no longer in the list after 15 years of being the default. At the same time, I can no longer reorder my email accounts under Accounts. My fear is this has to do with buying my first cellphone recently and having icloud appear in every list even though I don’t wish to use it and have not signed up for an account. Can you help?

  • Thanks. These are the kind of articles that makes worth visiting this site. Well done!

  • Thank yo but your suggestion does not work if you have an iCloud address and an address of your ISP. The port settings for iCloud and ISP are different for some reason that is not clear to me