How to Rename an eMail Account in iOS to be More Descriptive

Apr 2, 2014 - 12 Comments

Mail for iOS If you have multiple email accounts setup with Mail app on your iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably noticed that each email account name defaults to the provider, like “iCloud”, “Gmail”, “Outlook”, and “Yahoo”. Those names aren’t the most explanatory, and it can become even more confusing when you have two mail accounts from the same service provider setup with Mail app, where you may end up with “Gmail” and “Gmail” or “Outlook” and “Outlook”, one of which may be the default address while the other is a miscellaneous inbox, with no obvious differentiator between the two. This is what it may look like in the Settings and Mail app Mailboxes view, a bit confusing until you go deeper:

Different Mail accounts with the same name, rename the email accounts in iOS

Instead of putting up with those nondescript and sometimes confusingly repetitive email account names, you can rename the account to something much more meaningful, like the email address, or the function of that account. This is handled through the iOS Mail app settings, and it simply changes the user side and view of things, it has no impact on how the email sends or presents to the outside world.

Rename a Mail account in iOS

In this example we’ll take an iPhone that has two email accounts setup on it, both of which are confusingly named the same thing in the Mail settings and Mail app. Let’s rename the mail account to give it a more descriptive name.

Renaming a Mail Account on the iPhone / iPad

This will rename the mail account description that you see in the Settings and Mail apps, it will not change the contact name of the account, and it has no impact on the outside world when sending emails. This will also not change an email address.

  1. Open the general “Settings” app on the iPhone / iPad home screen and then go to settings for “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
  2. Tap on the specific email account which you want to rename
  3. At the next screen, tap on the email address itself near the top of the Settings panel
  4. Select a Mail account to rename in iOS

  5. Look under “Description” and enter the new identifying name for the email account, then tap on “Done” to set the change
  6. Rename iOS Mail account in iOS

The change will take effect immediately in both Mail Settings and, perhaps more importantly, in the Mail app itself when looking at the account Mailboxes and inbox views.

The newly chosen description becomes the new mail account name, seen here in this example by changing “Outlook” to “Name@Outlook”:

Rename an Email Account on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

This is less important if you only have one account for each provider and you know exactly what they are just by looking at the mail provider name, but for those of us with multiple email accounts it can be really useful and help to quickly differentiate which account is which. My preference is to set them to look like email addresses, like “name@domain” since that is usually the most obvious indicator as to what the account is used for, but name them for whatever makes the most sense for you.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maclogo says:

    I am trying to rename several of my MacMail Inboxes on an iPhone 11, version 16.4.1 (One is named “iCloud”). i go to Mail>Accounts>iCloud>Name, Numbers,Email in Settings. At the top it shows “Name” (shows my name there), but when I click on it it just goes to a 3-line entry for “First, Middle, Last”. There is no place to enter a new Inbox name. So where can I go to do that? Other instructions I’ve found seem easy, but I think they are for iPhone versions prior to what I have (16.4.1) Help!

  2. Faizel Patel says:

    How do you rename the iCloud descriptor as I reloaded it and now can’t rename it and tried few options but can’t get to the part of renaming it

  3. Jose Manoj says:

    for iphone
    Go to settings->Accounts & Passwords->Select Account -> Click on Account -> Change Description and press Done

  4. Les says:

    This is no longer correct in IOS 11.
    Mail, Contacts, and Calendar are no longer one item in Settings. You now use “Accounts & Passwords” to access your email accounts to change add or delete them.

  5. Hannah says:


  6. Tim says:

    Should be a way to rename the icloud mail inbox name instead generic “icloud”. I would like to see the actual email address (apple ID) displayed at least so I know what “icloud” account it is when I check my email on iphone/ipad.

  7. MLee says:

    Want to change Account “name iCloud” to a more descriptive name. Doesn’t appear to be a way in iOS 10 update.

  8. Mark says:

    Works thanks!

  9. raees says:

    Hey it worked for me my device is iPhone 5S thanks :D
    Platform iOS 8.4.1

  10. Michaela says:

    I can change the name description of email accounts, but not change the “iCloud” description. This is because iCloud is the name of the service itself, so of course you can’t change the name, that would be like trying to rename iPhone to something else.

    • Cindy says:

      This doesn’t make sense to me. You should still be able to rename your iCloud inbox to something more descriptive.

  11. Royce Lithgo says:

    Doesn’t work for iCloud. There is no description field for that account.

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