How-to: Reorder iPhone email accounts to your liking

One thing that bugs me about the iPhone’s email program is the inability to rearrange the order of email accounts to my liking.

Unfortunately there’s no “Edit” button like Phone Favorites to drag names up or down to reorder them.

But there is a way to reorder your email accounts to your satisfaction. Here’s how:

  1. Plug in your iPhone and launch iTunes.
  2. Select your iPhone in the Devices column on the left, then click the Info tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Click “Sync selected mail accounts:” if it isn’t already selected.
  4. Uncheck any mail accounts that may be selected except the mail account you want to appear at the top of your email accounts list.
  5. Click Sync.
  6. When iTunes finishes syncing leave the prior mail account checked then check the mail account you want to appear as the next account on your email accounts list.
  7. Click Sync.
  8. Repeat step 6 for each additional mail account until you’ve synced them all.

29 Responses to “How-to: Reorder iPhone email accounts to your liking”

  • Thanks, Joey! This is a great tip for one big annoyance I’ve been wishing I could fix. Sweet.

  • Thank you. Elegant solution that could have been made so much easier by our friends at Apple.

  • Very nice! I’ll try this when I get home.

  • Well this won’t work if none of the accounts on your iPhone were originally synced from your computer. Oh well.

  • Dang, this did not work for me and I have ten email accounts. :{ Yesterday I upgraded the iPhone software, so maybe it’s related. v2.2.1 I think it was…

  • As a Day 1 purchaser of an iPhone, this has bugged me for almost 2 years. Your suggestion, which I stumbled upon via another website, worked perfectly for me with 18 accounts, not counting my yahoo push box and gmail accounts. It’s really a shame that Apple permits you to rearrange stock symbols and cities in the Weather app, but ignored this much more useful feature for Mail. You are truly a lifesaver.

  • I have a pile of Gmail and Yahoo accounts – this method doesn’t work for me.

  • I have tried with 3GS and it does not work. I have iTunes on my personal computer. I have my Exchange email on the iPhone and not on my personal computer. It was the first email I setup on the iPhone. Then I added my Gmail, Yahoo and other similar accounts. All these accounts keep on getting to the top with my 1st Gmail (which was the 2nd email account I setup) right on top.

    And I have to navigate to the next page for my office email account even though it is the Default account. I set it as default much later but before some of the later accounts I added – till then the 1st Gmail account was the Default.

    In iTunes, I tried the option mentioned above to sync with Mail Accounts – but in my case, it shows with sync with Outlook or Outlook express – I do have some accounts configured in either of them. I never synced with them till now. My main Gmail and my office Exchange account is not in Outlook or Outlook Express on my Personal laptop.

    So how to go about it?

    Thanks a million in advance for a solution which might work!

  • I found this tip somewhere last year when trying to solve this problem (I have about 12 mail accounts). Tonight I am trying to get my new iPhone 3GS set up and I did the initial sync and … had to go through this again.

    Since the accounts were already in the phone, I had to manually DELETE them one by one from the iPhone, then do the sync again. For some reason, it did take several attempts before my first account showed up, and then on it worked fine.

    Thanks for this.

  • I assume this only works if you sync via iTunes — and that it doesn’t worrk if you sync via MobileMe. Any thoughts?

  • I sync with MobileMe too. You need only do this process once to order the accounts the way you want them, step by step as described, then that’s it, you don’t need to do it again.

  • I use an exchange account and it puts the email account on the bottom of the list. Anybody have a solution to move this to the top of the list.

  • I have the same issue as Mark. The Exchange account seems to always go to the bottom no matter what i try to do (delete and re-add accounts, deactive and reactive). Anybody have success forcing this account to be first on the list?

  • I have the same issue as Jeff and Mark. My exhange account always drops to the bottom.

  • Easy fix. Thanks.

  • Thanks for this. Spent most of the day buggering around with email settings. Nearly finished. Glad it’ not just me!

  • Finally!! Great tip Joe! Can’t believe this post is 18 months old and Apple have done nothing to sort this. I have 20 email accounts that need to be arranged to match my email client. looks like a night of syncing – can’t wait! :S

  • I have the same problem. None of my mail accounts are synced to my computer, therefore none are showing in iTunes.

    My personal and company email accounts are both Exchange accounts at the very bottom of the list. First up is Gmail, then Me, then Yahoo which I don’t use that often compared to the other two.

    Plus to make things worse every time I open the email app it displays the Gmail inbox!!

    This is very frustrating Apple, please fix this very simple issue.

  • You ROCK! Thanks for sharing your solution with us, it is much appreciated:)

  • I used to use this trick all the time, I don’t think this works any longer in iOS 4.2.1 🙁

    any recommendations from anyone???

  • I’m not able to check the “Sync selected mail accounts” in iTunes for my iPhone 3GS. It doesn’t give me that option. It says “No selected mail application can be found” yet I have 3 Hotmail accounts on my phone. How can I fix this?

  • Hi, Valerie. It sounds like you don’t have a mail program set up on the computer you want to sync with. Can you check and reply and I’ll try to help? Joe

  • Hi Joe:

    Thank you very much for your reply. I have three Hotmail accounts on my computer that I’m syncing with, but do they need to be listed somewhere in iTunes? If so, I don’t see where that would be done.

    I really appreciate your help with this.


  • Ah, that explains it. iTunes does not sync with Hotmail accounts when I check iTunes on a Windows PC running Outlook for Windows. But the Gmail accounts do show up. In truth, there’s no special value in syncing your email accounts between iTunes and iPhone except initially, to grab the settings from iTunes so you don’t have to type them in by hand on your iPhone for each of your email accounts. So if you have them set up on your iPhone already, there’s no value in wanting to sync those accounts with iTunes even if it did support Hotmail accounts. Does that make sense? Joe

  • Thanks for your info, Joe. I’m back to my original question though. But I assume that means that I would not be able to change the order of my mailbox accounts as you suggested in your previous instructions. Is there any other way to do it?


  • COME ON Apple! A little edit button can’t be that hard to implement!

  • Worked perfectly! Thanks for sharing.

  • Always happy to hear things are working as described. 🙂 Joe

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