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How to change default email on mac

how to change default email on mac

Have you ever found yourself needing to change the default email on your Mac but feeling uncertain about how to proceed? Whether it’s due to a job switch, personal preference, or simply managing multiple email accounts, knowing how to effectively navigate your Mac’s email settings can save you time and ensure your communications are coming from the right place. In this detailed how-to article, I’ll guide you through the process using personal experiences and various methods to change your default email on a Mac.


Common Scenarios:

When Switching Jobs or Email Providers 📧

  • Changing your default email can be crucial when you’ve started a new job and need to set up a professional email address as the default for work-related correspondence.
  • When you switch email providers for personal reasons, setting your preferred account as the default ensures that your communications are consistent and originate from the same address.

Managing Multiple Personal Accounts 📧

  • If you maintain separate email accounts for different aspects of your life, like one for online shopping and another for personal correspondence, changing the default can help you control which account sends out messages.

Reorganizing Digital Communication 📧

  • As part of a larger effort to organize your digital life, you might want to designate a specific email account for certain types of emails, like subscriptions or invoices, making it easier to manage incoming messages.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Change Default Email On Mac:

Method 1: Via Mail Preferences ⚙️

  • Open the Mail app on your Mac by clicking on its icon in the Dock or searching for it using Spotlight.
  • Once Mail is open, navigate to the menu bar at the top of the screen and select ‘Mail’ > ‘Preferences.’
  • In the Preferences window, click on the ‘Composing’ tab.
  • Look for the ‘Send new messages from:’ option, and use the dropdown menu to select the email address you want to set as the default email.
  • Close the Preferences window to save your changes.

Note: This method changes the default email for messages composed within the Mail app itself.

Conclusion: You should now be able to send emails from your chosen default account using the Mail app.

Method 2: The Internet Accounts 📧

  • Click on the Apple menu located at the top left corner of your screen and choose ‘System Preferences.’
  • Select ‘Internet Accounts.’ You might need to scroll down to find this option.
  • From the list on the left, select the email account you’d like to set as the default email.
  • Next to the checkbox for ‘Mail,’ click on the ‘Details’ button and enter your password if prompted.
  • Check the option ‘Use as the default account’ and click ‘OK.’

Note: Changes made under Internet Accounts affect how your Mac interacts with all supported apps, not just the Mail app.

Conclusion: Your Mac will now use the selected email address as the default for all integrated applications.

Method 3: Changing Contact Card Settings 📧

  • Open the Contacts app from your Applications folder or by using Spotlight to search for it.
  • Select the ‘Contacts’ menu and then choose ‘Preferences.’
  • Under the ‘General’ tab, make sure the ‘Default account:’ is set to the desired email account.
  • If it’s not, select the correct account from the dropdown menu.
  • Close the Preferences window to save your selection.

Note: This method ensures that the default email account is used for sharing contact information and other relevant actions within the Contacts app.

Conclusion: You will now be sharing contact information from your preferred email account by default.

Method 4: Assigning a Default Sender in Calendar 📅

  • Launch the Calendar app on your Mac.
  • Click ‘Calendar’ on the menu bar, then select ‘Preferences.’
  • Go to the ‘Accounts’ tab, which will show all the accounts you have added that support calendar features.
  • For each account, click on it and select ‘Account Information.’
  • Find the ‘Default calendar:’ setting and choose which email calendar to use when creating new events.

Note: Calendar preferences allow you to choose a default associated email for event invitations and corresponding communications.

Conclusion: Now, when you create events, they will be associated with the email account you have set as the default calendar.

Method 5: Updating macOS Software 💻

  • Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, then select ‘System Preferences.’
  • Click on ‘Software Update’ to check if there are any available updates for your system.
  • If an update is available, follow the prompts to download and install it.
  • After updating, repeat the steps in any of the previous methods to ensure your settings are correctly applied on the updated system.

Note: Updating macOS can sometimes fix underlying issues that prevent email settings from being saved properly.

Conclusion: With an updated system, you should encounter fewer issues when attempting to set your preferred default email account.


Precautions and Tips:

Key Preferences for Optimized Email Management 📨

  • Verify Details: Always double-check account details and settings after making changes to ensure everything is configured correctly.
  • Check Compatibility: Ensure that your email service is fully compatible with the Mail app on macOS for a smoother experience when setting it as a default.
  • Back Up Information: Before making any major changes, back up your information in case you need to revert to previous settings.

Understand Syncing Across Devices 🔋

  • Be aware of how changes made on your Mac could affect your email settings on other devices if you are using the same accounts synced across Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Utilize iCloud Sync: Take advantage of iCloud’s syncing capabilities to keep email settings consistent across all your Apple devices.

Additional Email Tips and Tricks

Understanding the versatility of Apple’s MacOS when it comes to handling our digital communication can be empowering. Not only can we tailor our default email options but employ a range of additional functionality. For instance, using Smart Mailboxes in the Mail app, you can automatically organize emails by criteria such as sender, date, or subject. This feature can be accessed by navigating to ‘Mailbox’ > ‘New Smart Mailbox’ in the Mail app.

Furthermore, consider exploring third-party email clients like Spark or Thunderbird, which might offer different defaults and configurations that suit your needs better than the native Mail app. Remember that effectively managing your email settings contributes significantly to a streamlined workflow and better focus on productivity.


Changing the default email on your Mac is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance the way you manage your digital communications. By exploring the various methods outlined in this article, you can ensure that your emails are always sent from the address that best represents your current needs or preferences. Keep these steps handy, and don’t hesitate to revisit them anytime your email circumstances change. Visit Apple’s Mail Support for additional assistance and personalized advice to manage your emails on Mac more effectively.


To set a new default email client on your Mac, open the Mail app, click Mail in the menu bar, choose Preferences, click General, and select your preferred email application from the Default email reader dropdown menu.

There isn’t a specific system setting outside of the Mail app for changing the default email. Follow the procedure within the Mail app’s Preferences under the General tab as detailed above.

Yes, to use a web-based service like Gmail or Outlook, you’ll need to install a compatible email client that supports the service and then set it as default in the Mail app preferences.

While you can have multiple email accounts added to your Mail app, only one can be designated as the default email client to handle mailto links and email tasks from other applications.

Changing your default email client won’t affect existing messages in your Mail app. It will merely redirect future email tasks to the newly chosen application.

Mailto links in Safari or any other browser will open in your new default email client that you’ve set in the Mail app preferences. No additional steps are needed.

You can switch back at any time by repeating the steps to set a default email client and choosing the Mail app from the dropdown menu in its preferences.

Most applications on Mac respect the system-wide default email client setting. If you’ve changed it in the Mail app preferences, other apps should automatically use the new setting.

Yes, the steps to change the default email client should be similar across recent versions of macOS. However, the exact procedure might vary slightly. Consult Apple Support if needed.

Changing your default email on Mac won’t automatically change it on other Apple devices. You’ll need to change settings on each device individually. For guidance on Apple devices visit Apple Support.