How to Delete an Email Account on an iPhone

Remove an email address and all messages or just disable an account

iPhone screen showing option for deleting email account
iStock

Removing email accounts from your iPhone's stock Mail app is a straightforward procedure, although you should consider alternatives to cut down on email noise before you decide to remove an account.

The procedures we outline have been tested using iOS 12. Procedures are similar for recent versions of Apple's mobile operating system.

How to Remove an Email Account from an iPhone

Email accounts accessed through the stock Mail app are managed not from Mail, but from iOS itself. So to add or remove an account, you'll work through the Settings app, not the Mail app.

  1. ​Open Settings.

  2. Tap Passwords & Accounts. In earlier versions of iOS, this might be called ​Mail or Mail, Contacts, Calendars. If you're not using the current iOS version, you might also have to then open Accounts.

  3. Select the email account you wish to remove.

  4. Tap ​Delete Account at the bottom of the screen.

    Passwords & Accounts, Gmail and Delete Account buttons in iOS Settings
  5. Confirm by tapping Delete Account or, in some cases, ​Delete from My iPhone.

Considerations for Email Account Removal

Before you remove the account, though, evaluate the implications.

Deleting an Email Account Removes All Emails From the iPhone

IMAP, POP, and Exchange as well as accounts configured with automatic settings (such as Gmail, Outlook.com, and iCloud Mail) will have all content wiped from your iPhone — iOS Mail will remove all emails and folders listed and created under the account.

​​In other words, you'll no longer see messages in the Mail app.

Deleting an Email Account From the iPhone Doesn't Delete the Account Itself

When you delete an email account from your iPhone, the email account and address remain unchanged. You can still receive and send emails on the web or in other email programs set up to use the email account.

Deleting an Email Account Doesn't Delete the Emails From the Server

For IMAP and Exchange accounts, nothing changes on the server or in any other email program set up to access the same account. iPhone Mail simply stops accessing the messages and folders, and you are no longer be able to send email from the account using that app. Nothing changes for POP accounts either.

If you use POP, the iPhone might be the only place where your emails are stored. This is the case if you've set up iOS Mail to delete emails from the server after downloading them and the same messages have not been saved anywhere else.

Calendars and Other Features of Your Account

Deleting an email account from an iPhone also removes calendars, notes, to-do items, and contacts that use this account. ​If you still want access to those features, you can disable only email for the account.

Alternatives to Deleting an Account from Your iPhone

You need not delete an email account from the iPhone entirely to remove or hide emails.

Disable Email from Your Account

To turn off an email account on the iPhone while still being able to access the same account's calendar, for example:

  1. ​In the Settings app, open Passwords & Accounts, or Mail > Accounts if your phone isn't using the newest iOS version.

  2. Choose an email account from the list.

  3. Disable the email account by toggling the button to off instead of on (i.e., the bubble will be white instead of green to indicate that it's disabled). Make sure ​Mail​ is turned off for IMAP and Exchange accounts. For POP email accounts, make sure ​Account​ is turned off on the same screen.

    Passwords & Accounts, Gmail, Mail toggle to OFF in iOS Settings

You have to tap Done if you're using an older iOS version. If you don't see that button, you can assume that the changes have been saved, and you can exit the settings.

Turning Off Notifications Only

Of course, you could also disable automatic mail checking or notifications for the account. Then you can still receive and send messages from the account, but it remains hidden from obvious sight and conveniently out of the way.

To turn off automatic mail check for an account on an iPhone:

  1. From the Settings app, go to Passwords & Accounts. Some older versions of iOS don't have that menu item. Instead, tap Mail > Accounts.

  2. Open Fetch New Data.

  3. Tap the desired email account.

  4. Make sure Manually is selected. You can find the Manual option on older versions of iOS through the Select Schedule menu.

    Passwords & Accounts, Fetch New Data, Manually buttons in iOS Settings

To disable only the notifications for new messages you receive at an iPhone email account, while the messages are still downloaded automatically and ready once you open Mail:

  1. From the Settings app, open Notifications.

  2. Scroll until you find Mail, and then open it.

  3. Select the account for which you want to disable new mail notifications.

  4. Disable the notifications for that email account by toggling the Allow Notifications button to off (so that it turns white instead of green).

    Notifications, Mail, and Allow Notifications toggle to OFF in iOS Settings

Some older versions of iOS have different settings. If you don't see the above, go instead to Alert style when unlocked and make sure None is selected. Also, see that ​Show in Notification Center and ​Show on Lock Screen are both turned off. You can disable the ​Badge App Icon, too.

Hide a Mailbox Within the Mail App

To hide an account's inbox from the top of Mail's Mailboxes screen:

  1. From the Mail app, swipe left to go to the Mailboxes screen.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Make sure the account is off in the top section by removing the check in the bubble. You can also move an inbox or account farther down by grabbing the three-bar icon () next to it.
  4. Tap Done to save the changes.
Edit, Checkbox, and Done button in iOS Mailboxes screen

To open an account's inbox at any time, tap Inbox under its name on the Mailboxes screen.

You will still receive notifications for emails from VIP senders. Notifications for these messages are handled separately; you receive them even if you have notifications turned off for an account. To change the VIP notification settings, go to ​Notifications​ > ​Mail​ > ​VIP​ and make changes analogous to the ones for the email account.

The same applies to thread notifications. If you have told iOS Mail to alert you to replies you receive in a conversation, the settings for thread notifications will apply instead of those for the account where you receive the email. You can change these alert settings under Notifications > Mail > Thread Notifications in the Settings app.