How to Set the Default Account in Outlook

Specify the address Outlook uses for new outgoing messages

When you reply to an email message, Outlook sends the reply using the email account that received the original message. If none of your email addresses appears in the original message, Outlook uses the default account to compose a reply. The default account is also used when you compose a new message.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook for Microsoft 365, and Outlook for Mac.

How to Set the Default Account in Outlook

To set the default email account to the account you prefer to use:

  1. Go to the File tab.

  2. Select Info.

    Screenshot of Info tab on File window
  3. Select Account Settings > Account Settings.

    Screenshot of Account Settings
  4. Highlight the account you want to be the default.

    Screenshot of Account Settings dialog
  5. Select Set as Default.

    Screenshot showing Set as Default
  6. Select Close.

Set the Default Account in Outlook for Mac

To set the default account in Outlook 2016 for Mac or Microsoft 365 on a Mac:

  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Accounts.

  2. Select the account you want to make the default account.

    The current default account appears at the top of the list.

    Screenshot of Tools > Accounts
  3. In the lower-left corner, select the cog icon and choose Set as Default.

To send a message from an account other than the default account, select the account under Inbox. Any email you send will be from that account. When you are finished, select the default account under Inbox again.

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