How to Set Default Accounts for Mail, Contacts, and Calendars on iOS

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It’s pretty likely that if you use iOS on a regular basis that you have more than one account loaded for email, contact, and calendar syncing.

If you’re running more than one account it’s easy to get things confused and save the wrong account as default. Check out the steps below to set the default account for mail, contacts, and calendars and keep yourself on track.


Even though most of us have multiple email accounts, there’s usually one account that we send from on a regular basis. You can set that frequently used account as default so every time you open mail on your iPad or iPhone it sends from the right account.

Open up the Settings app and scroll down until you find Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap on it. Here, scroll down to the Mail section and tap on Default Account.


Finally, tap on the account name that you want to send from by default.

This won’t affect the email account you reply from, but only what account comes up by default when starting a new message.


You can sync contacts from multiple accounts to your iOS device into a nice, combined list but when you add new contacts these will always save to the default account unless you change it. This doesn’t really affect you if you’re only on your iPhone, but if you’re syncing accounts to other devices or systems it’s easy to lose contacts in the mix.

In the same Settings area that you found your mail settings, scroll down until you see the Contacts section.


Tap on Default Account and choose the account you want to save new contacts to by default. If you have an email account that you don’t see listed under contacts, go back and tap on the account in the main accounts list and turn on Contacts for that account.



The last default you should set up is calendars. Just like with your Contacts, the big reason your default calendar matters is when you view events on other devices or computers.

If you’re not syncing a certain calendar on the desktop, but saving events to it on your iPhone, you can easily miss events and show up late.

On the same Mail, Contacts, Calendars page scroll down until you find the Calendar section.

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Just like with Contacts and Mail, tap on Default Calendar and choose the account you want to save new events to by default.



Setting a default account for your Mail, Contacts, and Calendars will only affect the account that comes up by default, but you can always set an email to send from another account, and just as easily set events and contacts to save to other accounts.

By setting defaults you’re only making the addition of these items and sending of email a little simpler and quicker.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

7 thoughts on “How to Set Default Accounts for Mail, Contacts, and Calendars on iOS

  1. I have a problem with duplicate appts showing up on the calendar (I use Google Calendar). But when I delete one they’re both gone!
    Which should be my Default that would include all but not show up more than once?

  2. Hi Brian,

    I came across this article when I was searching how to save contact on iphone to default for Gmail.

    I have the iphone 7 with ios 10.0.2. However I cannot find the default account selection under the “contacts” setting. The default selection is only under “mail” and “calendar” setting.

    So my question is, how do I know which is the default account when I save contacts to my phone?

    Thanks Brian, hope to hear from you soon

    1. Go to Settings>Contacts>Add Account.. add your gmail account through there. Do not add your gmail acct through Settings>Mail.

      AFter which the Default Account under Settings>Contacts will now appear as well as the Groups in Contacts where in you can choose which contacts to show (icloud or gmail etc)

  3. When I go to load a new contact on the iPhone and iPad the default setting for the phone number is labeled radio, the default email is always home. Can these setting be changed to say “work” for each?

  4. On my iPhone 6s I have mail contacts and calendar as separate settings. I need to have them linked as one setting for my yahoo mail to add an app for two factor authenticity. Can you explain how to do that?

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