How to Set the Default Account in Outlook

Specify the Address Outlook Uses for New Outgoing Messages

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When you reply to an email message, Outlook selects the email account to use for sending your reply. If the original message was sent to an email address that appears in one of your Outlook accounts, the corresponding account is selected for your reply automatically. Only if none of your email addresses appears in the original message does Outlook use the default account for composing a reply. The default account is also used when you compose a new message rather than a reply. While it is possible to change the account used to send a message manually, it is easy to forget this, so it makes sense to set the default to the account you prefer to use.

Set the Default Email Account in Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016

To choose the email account you want to be the default account in Outlook:

  1. Click File in Outlook.

    File menu in Outlook
  2. Make sure the Info category is open.

  3. Click Account Settings.

    Account Settings button in Info panel for Outlook
  4. Select Account Settings from the menu that appears.

    Account Settings section in Account Information window in Outlook
  5. Highlight the account you want to be the default.

  6. Click Set as Default.

    Set as Default button in Account Settings dialog in Outlook
  7. Click Close.

    Close button in Account Settings for Outlook

Set the Default Account in Outlook 2007

To specify an email account as the default account in Outlook:

  1. Select Tools > Account Settings from the menu.

  2. Highlight the desired account.

  3. Click Set as Default.

  4. Click Close.

Set the Default Account in Outlook 2003

To tell Outlook 2003 which of your email accounts you want to be the default account:

  1. Select Tools > Accounts from the menu in Outlook.

  2. Make sure View or change existing e-mail accounts is selected.

  3. Click Next.

  4. Highlight the desired account.

  5. Click Set as Default.

  6. Click Finish to save the change.

Set the Default Account in Outlook 2016 for Mac

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

  1. With Outlook open, go to the Tools menu and click Accounts, where your accounts are listed in the left panel, with the default account at the top of the list.

  2. Click on the account in the left panel you want to make the default account.

  3. At the bottom of the left pane of the Accounts box, click the cog and select Set as Default.

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

On a Mac, when you prefer to forward or reply to an email using an account other than the one the original message was sent to, you can make this change in preferences:

  1. With Outlook open, click Preferences.

  2. Under Email, click Composing.

  3. Clear the box in front of When replying or forwarding, use the format of the original message