Mac OS X: Mail - How to change the default account and "From" address

In the Mail application, you can change the default sending account or make changes on a per-message basis.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Changing the default send account for all new messages

Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.1.5

The default account when composing a new message in Mail is the one listed first in the Description column of Mail Preferences. To change this default, you only need to change the order of the names.

Follow these steps:
    1. Choose Mail > Preferences.
    2. Click Accounts.
    3. Drag account names in the Description column to change their order. The account that is listed first is the default account that is used whenever you open a new mail window.

Mac OS X 10.2 and later

The "From" address for a new message will generally be the same as the "To" address of the message that is currently selected. If no message is selected, then the "From" address associated with the currently selected mailbox will be used, if there is one. Otherwise, the default "From" address will be used as described above.

Changing the send account on a per-message basis

When two or more email accounts are set up in Mail, the Account pop-up menu appears in the New Message window. You can use this menu to select an email account other than the default.
Last Modified: Feb 17, 2012

Additional Product Support Information