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How to set-up email on your iPhone and email settings tips

If you’ve unwrapped a shiny new Apple iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or if you’ve inherited an second-hand iPhone, then it’s highly likely you’ll want to set up a new email account.
Apple makes this a far more straightforward process than some other operating systems, but there are many customise options that may not be obvious. Here are some tips on setting up your email and some advice to help ensure it looks and functions exactly to your requirements.

Initial set-up

If you are setting an account up for the first time Click the Mail icon at the bottom of the homescreen. Alternatively go to Settings – Mail, Contacts, Calendars – Accounts – Add Account.

You’ll instantly be prompted to select the account and then fill in your details including your name and password (see above). You can also determine what elements you want to sync – including Calendar and Mail.  Once completed your phone will sync, it usually takes a few minutes for information to be sent from the server, so be patient.

Sending an email

Once your account is set up, to send an email tap the little square icon at the bottom right and the New Message box appears. To select a contact tap the ‘+’ icon on the right to bring up your phone book and select the person. After a while you can start typing the name of the recipient and it will appear underneath.

You can also dictate an email by tapping the microphone icon. Speak slowly and clearly otherwise it won’t recognise what you are saying. 

Multiple Accounts

The Apple iPhone supports multiple email accounts, including: iCloud, Hotmail. AOL, Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange for business. Add these via the Settings menu in the process described above. Once you’ve set-up your accounts these are all grouped together in the Mail menu. You’ll see each account you’ve set-up under Inboxes. You can view messages from all accounts grouped together in All Inboxes, this is called a synchronised inbox.

Compose an email in the individual Inbox (here either Gmail or Hotmail) and it will send from that account. However send it from the the synchronised All Inboxes folder and by default it will select one of your accounts, so if you aren’t careful you may send a business email from a  personal account. We strongly suggest you check first and change it if necessary from Settings – Mail, Contacts, Calendars. We had the choice of either iCloud or Hotmail (but not Gmail).
Alternatively when you come to compose an email, click the Cc/Bcc, From line and it will expand to show each account on the phone, enabling you to select the account to send it from (above right).

Push Email

One thing you’ll need to determine straight away is how frequently email is sent to you phone. This is called ‘Push’ email (referring to the information being pushed to the phone).
In the mail settings menu go to Fetch New Data – Push. If you want email sent to your phone turn the Push slider to On. You then need to determine how often the email is sent to your phone, choose between: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, Hourly or Manually.
If you’re using your phone for work you may need to check it frequently, however be aware that each time email is pushed to your phone over 3G it uses data, so if you have a data cap you’ll find it quickly swallowed up if you are out and about. It also massively consumes the battery, in fact from our experience if you set it to push frequently it won’t last the day.
If you really want to save battery life select Manually and check it over WiFi.


Exploring the settings menu

The iPhone 4S has a wide selection of options that let you customise the look of email, find it by going to Settings – Mail, Contacts, Calendar.


  • Show: Here you can select how many messages you display at once. Choose between: 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1000. It’s entirely personal preference, so we’d suggest experimenting to see what suits you.
  • Preview: This lets you determine how much of the message is visible in your Inbox. The more lines you have,  the less messages will be visible simultaneously. Select one line and you can view five or five lines and you can view three (see below).
  • Font Size: Select the size of the font in your messages between: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and Giant (see below for examples of Small and Giant). This is especially useful if you have visibility problems and need the text to be as large as possible. Note, this applies to messages when you open them NOT your Inbox.
  • Show To/CC Label: Indicates when a message is ‘To’ you in your Inbox. This applies to those sent specifically to you – not group emails where you share the same email address.
  • Ask Before Deleting: Activate this to ensure you get a warning every time you want to delete a message
  • Load Remote Images: Activate On and images embedded within emails load automatically. This uses more data than just text, so will impact on your data allowance. To save data select Off
  • Organise By Thread: Organising by thread means all emails (received and sent) from the same conversation will be grouped together as individual emails (below right), which is really useful if you have a long conversation and want to find a specific email. Otherwise the emails will appear in your Inbox in the chronological order they were sent, which means they aren’t as easy to find.
  • Always BCC myself: Here you receive a copy of every email you send as a blind copy or BCC.
  • Increase Quote Level: This adds indentation when you reply to message.
  • Signature: Use this to add a signature to the end of every email you send. For a business account it may be your address, email and work phone number. If it’s a personal email use think carefully about what you put, although it can save time, do you really want everyone receiving your personal mobile number?
  • Default account: If you have multiple email accounts on your phone, use this to select the email address you use as default. A default email is typically used when you email a picture of web link to someone.