How To Setup iPhone POP3 Email

POP 3 on iPhone

What you need

It is a fairly easy process to create a POP 3 email account.

The most difficult part is to find out what your setting is for your particular email account.

Luckily I have listed the most popular IMAP, SMTP, POP3 settings for your iPhone email account.

The only other thing you need is your email address and password for your email account.

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 on to 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?

Sometimes it isn’t possible to get IMAP working with some Apple devices – which means the only way to check email might be by using POP 3.

If IMAP isn’t an option you have no choice but to use POP 3.

This is why I have created these instructions.

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

passwords and email accounts screen

4. Click Add account

add email account screen

5. Scroll down and select ‘Other’ from the list

Select Other


6. Select ‘Add mail account’

add email account screen

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.

Add email

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

Advanced email settings

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).

Server port

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.

Verify account

18. That’s it – you are done!