Apple has provided flexibility when it comes to setting up email accounts on their devices. The choice is between IMAP or POP3 based email accounts on iPhone.
Most people tend to use the setup wizard provided on the iPhone which creates an IMAP account by default. However, some users may prefer to use a POP3 email solution on their devices.
Luckily, Apple provides the ability to setup POP3 email on iPhone, and other Apple devices.
It is not a difficult process but it is more complex than using the wizard. This means you will need to have some basic information in hand to complete the configuration of the mail account.
Other iOS email guides… See our list of iPhone Mail Settings to configure your email account for any major iSP, or how to fix the “Message not yet downloaded from server” iPhone Email Error, or the “Message Could Not Be Moved To Mailbox Trash” Email Error.
How to setup a POP 3 mailbox on your iPhone
1. Find out the following information and make a note of it:
- Your email address
- Your email password
- Your Incoming IMAP server
- Your outgoing POP server
If you are unsure about your incoming and outgoing server details then contact your email account provider or look at my handy list.
2. Press the Home button and choose Settings.
3. Scroll down and click Passwords & Accounts
4. Click Add account
5. Scroll down and select ‘Other’ from the list
6. Select ‘Add mail account’
7. Type in the following information to the screen (you should have made a note of these things in step 1)
Name: Your full name. This will appear as the sender name when people get an email from you
Email: Your email address
Password: Your password for the email account
Description: You can type anything as your description but I would suggest you use your email address
It will then go and look up your account.
8. Click Next at the top right of the screen.
9. Click POP at the top. It should turn blue when you select it.
10. Name, Email, and Description should be already filled in as you added these earlier.
Fill in the user name, which is normally your email address together with the incoming and outgoing host server information (you should have made a note of this in step 1).
11. Click save at the top right and your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will verify your settings.
12. Next, you need to check you are using the correct ‘port numbers’ for your email account.
Once the account details have been saved you will go back to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen. Click your account from the list.
13. Scroll down and select Advanced
14. Type in the port number and choose if you want to use SSL for incoming email (most email accounts use SSL as this protects you and keeps your messages private).
15. Click the button at the top left to return to the previous screen.
16. Click on the outgoing hostname on the screen (you will have got this in step 1).
17. Type in the port number to use for your outgoing mail server.
Remember that if the port uses SSL switch it on. If not, make sure it is switched off or you will have problems sending emails.
18. That’s it – you are done!
iPhone POP3 Email Setup FAQ’s
POP 3 or IMAP – which is the best?
IMAP is best if you access the same email account on many different devices.
For example, if you have a personal email address that is setup on a computer, phone, and tablet.
IMAP allows you to read, reply, and delete messages on one device, and then these changes are automatically synchronized across to the other devices.
So if you read a message on your iPhone then check your messages on a desktop computer the same message will be marked as read there too.
It does have one drawback…
…it uses far more space because all of your messages are kept in an account ‘in the cloud’.
The number of messages can soon spiral out of control resulting in a huge mailbox.
POP 3 is different.
It downloads all the messages from your mailbox onto the device you are using to view them.
So if you read a message on your smartphone it will be downloaded to it. If you then go to your computer then the message will not appear because it is now on your phone. No synchronization occurs.
This can make it very confusing to know where a message ended up if you use multiple devices so it best suited to people who only ever use one device.
One bonus of POP 3 is that it can be configured to not keep a copy of messages on the server meaning it doesn’t use masses of space ‘in the cloud’. Instead, all the messages are stored on your device meaning it has to have the ability to store the messages.
With the smallish storage options available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch this is probably going to run out quickly.
Why use POP 3 on iPhone?
POP 3 email accounts have some advantages:
- Mail is stored on your iPhone, so it’s always accessible even without an internet connection.
- An internet connection is needed only for sending and receiving messages. Everything else can be done without an internet connection.
- It saves storage space on your server because are deleted automatically when they are downloaded to your iPhone.
- It is flexible so you can leave a copy of the email message on the server if you wish.
Choose POP if:
- You only access your mail from your iPhone, and never plan to access it from another device.
- You need access to all your emails.
- You don’t have a reliable connection to the internet.
- You have limited server storage for your messages.