Getting Email on Your iPhone Using Your Domain

December 4, 2008 / Updated: December 4, 2008 / Lena Shore

NOTE: This article was written while thinking about the iPhone – but it should also work for your iPod Touch. Just work someplace where you have a good WiFi connection. Additionally, since I wasn’t actually looking at an iPod Touch when I wrote it there may be some menu differences I didn’t consider. If you find any, let me know and I’ll edit the article!

I admit it. I had problems setting up my iphone and getting mail on it from a non-mobileme email. If you are reading this, you are probably experiencing some issues too. Here is a quick overview:

  1. If you are getting a “can’t get email” or “can’t connect” error – your POP (Incoming) information is wrong.
  2. If you are getting a “can’t send mail” problem – something is wrong in your SMTP settings.
  3. Work on only one problem at a time to stay less confused. 
  4. Sounds strange, but turn off your iphone and then turn it back on. This seemed to help on occasion.

I found there were a few things that were causing me some problems. Here is an outline of how to set up your iphone for mail. I’ll point out the pitfalls I encountered as I explain.

Get Ready!

You will need the following bits of information to set up your account. I’ll tag these with brackets so the areas are easy to reference when we hit the next section.

  • Email Address: i.e. <EMAIL-ADDRESS>
  • Domain Name: i.e. <DOMAIN-NAME>(Usually this is the part AFTER the @ symbol in your email address. If your email was [email protected] your domain name is “”.
  • User Name: i.e. <USER-NAME> Case sensitive (Usually, this is the part in front of the @ in your email). If your email was [email protected] your user name is probably “tom”.
  • Password: i.e. <PASSWORD> Case sensitive (If you don’t know your password, call your provider or call me if I’m your provider. If I’m not your provider, I can’t help you. 😉 )
  • Incoming Mail Server: also called POP: i.e. <INCOMING> (This is what retrieves your mail)
  • Outgoing Mail Server: also called SMTP: i.e. <OUTGOING>(This is what sends your email) 
  • Set!

    1. Go to “Settings” –> “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
    2. Select “Add Account” and select “other” and fill in the information as follows
      • Name: Your Name
      • Address: [email protected]
      • Password: <PASSWORD> 
      • Description: This can be anything that makes sense to you. I.E. Work email, home, etc.
    3. Select “Save”. 
    4. Select “Pop” (If you aren’t sure which you have, chances are you have a pop account. If you had an IMAP account, you probably know it.)
    5. Incoming Mail Server
      • Host Name: <DOMAIN-NAME> ( or
      • User Name: <USER-NAME>
      • Password: <PASSWORD>
    6. Outgoing Mail Server 
      • Host Name: <DOMAIN-NAME> ( or
      • User Name and Password: (Not required. This is for SSL accounts only. If you don’t know if you have one, you probably don’t. None of my clients have one.)
    7. Select “Save”

    Verifying the Info

    • Now your iphone is going to try to verify. This is the part where it it says “Cannot Connect using SSL. Do you want to try setting up the account without SSL?”. Tell it YES.
    • If you get another error, you may have typed something in wrong in the “Incoming Mail Server”. We will test the “Outgoing Mail Server” later.
    • You may also get “The certificate for “email address’ may not be valid. Just tell it to continue. 

    If all that went well, you should be taken back to the “Mail, Contact, Calendar” screen. If not, keep checking to make sure you typed things in correctly. Remember your name and password could be CASE SENSITIVE!

    Checking your SMTP Settings

    This is the section that controls what SENDS your mail. You can have any number of SMTPs to choose from, but you really only need one per account. If all your email is on the same server, you only need one SMTP.

    1. From the “Mail, Contact, Calendar” screen, select the account you just created.
    2. Scroll all the way down until you see “Outgoing Mail Server”. 
    3. Select the “SMTP smtp<DOMAIN-NAME>.com
    4. Take a look at what is in there.

    When I first did this, I had let iTunes sync all of my email accounts and it put in all kinds of extra SMTP. Also, it has the AT&T server that I don’t need because I’m using my own domain. What I found was a bunch of stuff that I didn’t need and it was all trying to send mail at once and gumming up the works. Here is what I did to simply  things.

    1. In iTunes (while your iphone is plugged in) go to the “Info” tab and deselect “Sync selected Mail accounts”. In theory this should all work, but for me it didn’t go smoothly and worked better setting up manually. They may have it fixed now, but at the time, it was easier for me to deselect that.
    2. On your iphone (see step 4 previously) turn OFF all the smtp servers except for your Primary Server (which should be the one we just set up. If it all goes smoothly, you can delete the others or just leave them.


    Now it’s time to make sure it is all working.

    1. Go back to your home page on you iphone, navigate and select your Mail icon. 
    2. In your list of accounts select the account we just set up. 
    3. Click the icon in the lower right corner to send a message. Send it to yourself at the email address you just set up. 
    4. If you get an error that says “cannot send” something is wrong with your SMTP settings.
    5. If you get an error that says “cannot retrieve” something is wrong with your POP settings.
    6. Try turning your iphone off and back on.


    You should be all set and be armed to create as many email addresses as you need on your iphone! If you have a specific problem that I didn’t outline here, drop me a line with the error message and I’ll see if I can help.

    Lena Shore

    Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.


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    5. Stuart Young on September 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

      You got me part the way there. You have to press ‘Next’ before you get to ‘Save’. Plus I didn’t see any options titled ‘Pop’. My problem is I accidently changed my password and now my phone constantly says ‘incorrect password’ when I try and log back in. I’ve re set the phone thru my Mac losing a bunch of bookmarks! My phone actually recognises me and my new password in settings but just won’t allow me to get mail. This should be a whole lot more intuitive!!

    6. Susan McMaster on June 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Lena, Thanks for posting this blog. It has been the only one that has gotten as far as I have come but now I am stuck again. It looks like everything went smoothly until I tried to test it and send myself (and my husband) and email. The error I get is: Cannot Send Mail The connection to the outgoing server ‘’ failed. (thats not even the address I have in as the outgoing, I actually have ‘’ my provider uses both buckeye/bex. so I don’t know if this matters, but I did call my provider and he said I could use either one). the rest of the error message is; Additional Outgoing Mail Servers can be configured in Settings>Mail,etc. Any help would be so appreciated. I’ve been working on getting this set-up all day! Thanks, Sue

      • Lena Shore on June 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm


        Are you receiving mail okay? If so, whatever you are using for the pop should give you a clue to what will work for the SMTP. I do have a few suggestions.

        1. First, try – it could make a difference.
        2. Technically, most servers can use or or Try removing the “mail” part from your smtp and try both of the domains again ( and
        3. The other thing you could try is your IP address instead if you know that. You can do a whois lookup on the domain name and get the IP address associated with it.


    7. Petra on June 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you! That was perfect. I’m all set up now!

    8. babyluke77 on June 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Thank You so much! Just what I was looking for. Great help!

    9. frank on June 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      walked around with iphone that was not able to send messages for tooo long. Easy and precise instructions. So awesome!! Thank you!

    10. Fiona on March 11, 2010 at 8:40 am

      That was great advice, thank you for simplifying the jargon!!! I still cannot send email,everytime I try it says the email address is invalid, any advice?!! Thanks a million!

      • Lena on March 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

        Glad it was helpful! Thank you!

        In response to your “invalid email address” problem:

        Usually, this means something is not quite right with one of your recipient’s email addresses. Sometimes a sender will have their “reply to” email address spelled incorrectly and it ends up in your address book. It could be a space or bad character. Double check the email addresses of the people you are sending to and check for things like: More than one ‘@’ sign, username is longer than 300 characters, you’re entering ‘@gmail’ or ‘@yahoo’ instead of ‘’ or ‘’, and extra space somewhere in the email, or maybe their domain name is spelled wrong.

        As a last resort hand type (not auto-fill) their email address and see if it will send.

    11. BigRich on May 17, 2009 at 11:50 pm

      Thanks for your help, I can’t send or retreive mail but I will try your suggestions.

    12. Lena on March 14, 2009 at 8:54 am

      Thanks for the kudos. I found the basic template from and then did some heavy modifications.

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    14. Jimmy Smith on March 13, 2009 at 7:32 pm

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