How to Delete an Email Account on an iPhone

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

Deleting email from iphone
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Until recently, it was phone numbers that changed regularly. Every time you moved or changed service providers, you'd get a new number that had to be changed all over the place. Today, it's email addresses. Maybe you've landed a new job or changed email providers. Whatever the reason, you occasionally need to remove the email account you're accessing with your iPhone. It's a fairly straightforward process.

Screenshots showing how to delete an email account on an iPhone

To remove an email account from your iPhone's Mail app, follow this basic procedure:

  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 list.
  5. Confirm by tapping Delete Account or, in some cases, ​Delete from My iPhone.

Deleting an Email Account Removes All Emails From the iPhone

This is true for all account types: IMAP, POP, and Exchange as well as accounts configured with automatic settings (such as Gmail, Outlook.com, and, of course, iCloud Mail). iOS Mail will remove all emails and folders listed and created under the account.

​​That means you'll no longer see messages in the Mail app. The messages may not be wiped from the phone immediately, though, so it might be possible to recover a portion using forensic data recovery.

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

Your email account and address will 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 will change on the server or in any other email program set up to access the same account. iPhone Mail will simply stop accessing the messages and folders, and you will 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 message have not been saved anywhere else before.

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 these, you can disable only email for the account (see below).

If You Want to Send Emails Using the Account's Email Address

Screenshots showing how to add an email address to an iPhone mail account

Having an email account set up on an iPhone is not necessary to send messages using its address in the From line. Simply add the address as an alias to an account you do use on the iPhone:

  1. From the Settings app, open Passwords & Accounts. If you're not using the current iOS version, you might need to go into Mail > Accounts, POP Account Information > Email.
  2. Choose an email account from the list.
  3. Tap the email address next to Account.
  4. Tap the address again, this time the one next to Email.
  5. Tap ​Add Another Email.
  6. Enter the email address you want to use for sending, and then tap return.
  7. Return to the previous screen with the Account button, or Return if you're using an older iOS version.
  8. Tap ​Done​.

This works only with vanilla IMAP and POP accounts. With Exchange accounts and those using Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and other account types with automatic settings, adding alias addresses for sending is not possible on the iPhone.

You might be able to send from such addresses if you add them to the respective service for sending using their web interface, though. If you add an alias address to an Outlook.com account, for instance, it would be available for use in iOS Mail for sending as well — and automatically.

In the same vein, if you add a sending alias to a POP or IMAP account, make sure the account's outgoing mail server will let you send using the alias address.

Disabling Instead of Deleting

Screenshots showing how to disable an email account on an iPhone

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

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.

Screenshots showing how to change the mail fetch settings on an iPhone email account

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 Manual is selected. You can find the Manual option on older versions of iOS through the Select Schedule menu.
Screenshots showing how to hide email notifications on an iPhone

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).

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.

Screenshots showing how to hide an email account from the list of accounts in the Mail app on an iPhone

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 further down by grabbing the three bar icon () next to it.
  4. Tap Done to save the changes.

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

You will still received notifications for emails from VIP senders. Notifications for these messages are handled separately; you will 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.