It’s easy to add email accounts, such as iCloud, Google, Yahoo, or, to an iOS device. However, what if you have a self-hosted email account with a custom domain? No worries. That’s just as easy.

A self-hosted email account is one that’s not Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. If you registered a custom domain name (for example,, you’ve probably set up at least one email address for yourself at that domain. We’ll show you how to add that email address to an iOS device, using an iPad as an example.

To begin, tap the “Settings” icon on the home screen.

On the right side of the “Settings” screen, tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.

On the right side of the screen, tap “Add Account”.


In the list of email account types that display, tap “Other”.

In the “Mail” section, tap “Add Mail Account”.

On the “New Account” dialog box, enter your “Name”, “Email”, “Password”, and “Description” for the email account you want to add. Then, tap “Next”.

The next screen allows you to select whether you want to set up your email account using IMAP or POP. We recommend using IMAP, which is the default selection. In the “Incoming Mail Server” section, enter the “Host Name”, “User Name”, and “Password”. Then, enter the same information for the “Outgoing Mail Server”. Note that the “User Name” and “Password” are optional for the “Outgoing Mail Server”. Check with the company hosting your domain and email accounts for the host names for the incoming and outgoing mail servers. Tap “Next” once you are done entering the account info.

On the “IMAP” dialog box, select what you want to sync on your iOS device and then tap “Save”.

In the “Accounts” section, you’ll notice that your email account is added to the list. To change settings for the new account, tap on the new account in the list of “Accounts”.

Under “IMAP”, tap “Account”.

The on-screen keyboard automatically displays. However, we want to get to the options under the keyboard, so tap on the keyboard close button in the lower-right corner of the keyboard, as shown below.


At the bottom of the “Account” dialog box, tap “Advanced”.

By default, when you delete an email message from an IMAP account in the Mail app on an iOS device, the message is deleted from the server after one week after deleting the message from the device. This gives you a chance to download the message in other mail clients you use on other devices. However, you can adjust this time frame by tapping “Remove” on the “Advanced” dialog box.

On the “Remove” dialog box, select a desired timeframe for removing deleted messages from the server. You can have Mail remove the deleted messages “After one day”, “After one week”, or “After one month”. Once a message is removed from the server, it will only exist in Mail, or any other devices to which you downloaded the message. If you want to leave messages on the server permanently, select “Never”. Your messages will remain on all your devices, email clients, and on the server.

Once you’ve made your selection, tap “Advanced” in the upper-left corner of the dialog box to close it.

Your new selection for the “Remove” option displays to the right of “Remove”. To close the “Advanced” dialog box, tap “Account” in the upper-left corner of the dialog box.

You are returned to the “Account” dialog box. To close it, tap “Done”.

Tap the “Mail” icon to open the app.


Your newly added email account displays in the list of “Mailboxes” on the left side of the Mail window. Tap the name of your new email account to access your email.

Just like your other email accounts, the messages display on the left side of the Mail window. The list of messages might be blocking part of the current message being displayed, depending on whether your device is in portrait or landscape mode. Tap the name of the email account in the upper-left corner to return to the list of “Mailboxes”.

This procedure will also work on iPhones, so, if you add your email account to both your iPad and iPhone and set the “Remove” option to an amount of time that allows you to download email to both devices, you can have your email wherever you go, no matter which device you’re using.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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