Adding an e-mail account to an iPhone in iOS11

Cartoon showing a guy wondering where his mail is

Hardly anyone I know has just one e-mail account…

…so if you’ve got a shiny new iPhone (or iPad) and you want to add your favourite Gmail account or something else, how do you do it?

First of all, you need to decide which e-mail method (or “protocol”) you’re going to use when you transfer your mail to the device…


There are 2 ways you can bring e-mail to your device. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is preferable for two reasons:

  • The e-mail is always held on your e-mail provider’s server and not on your iPhone (taking up storage)
  • If you add the account to multiple devices, the e-mail will always be the same on each device

POP3 (Post Office Protocol) downloads the e-mail to your device and doesn’t give you the ability to see your mail on multiple devices. It’s the more old-fashioned option and is best avoided.

You see the protocol choice when you are setting up your mail account:

IMAP or POP selection on iPhone email setup

So how do you set up that mail account?

In iOS11, you need to:

Tap Settings > scroll down and tap Accounts and Passwords > Add Account

Screenshots showing how to set up a new e-mail account

If you have the earlier iOS10:

Tap Settings > Mail > Accounts > Add Account

If your iPhone has iOS9 (or earlier):

Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account

If you are an iOS11 user, here is a demo of the full process:

Once your new account  is added to your iPhone (or iPad) you have the convenience of being able to check all your Inboxes from the one device…

Screenshot of inboxes in mail app on iPhone

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