Can’t Update or Change Email Password on iPhone or iPad?

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If you recently updated and changed your email account’s password and then tried updating your iPhone’s Mail App or Account Settings, you likely discovered that there is no easy way to update these account passwords. There is no password entry field on your iPhone’s or iPad’s email account’s information settings! And it seems entirely counter-intuitive–it feels like it SHOULD be there. But instead, there’s just fields for your Name, Email, and even a Description BUT NO PASSWORD. So what gives? How do you really update or change email password on iPhone or other iDevices?Can't Update or Change Email Password on iPhone or iPad?

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Why Isn’t There an Option to Change My Email Password on My iPhone or iPad?

Well, Apple apparently has a reason! We usually do not see a change or update password field in Settings > Accounts & Passwords (or Mail > Accounts for older iOS) because Apple assumes that we manage our passwords through the account provider’s website or app (if applicable) rather than through our iOS’s device settings. Update or Change Email Password on iPhone

Sound confusing? 

Well, it kinds is. Apple doesn’t show us our accounts passwords because once set-up with our email account information, our iPhone and iDevices smoothly communicate with our email provider’s servers. Information transmits back and forth, usually without disruption or the need to continually enter in our password to retrieve all our emails, calendar information, contacts, notes, or anything else you sync between your iDevice and your email account.

So Then How Do You Change an Email Account Password?

First of all, if you simply want to update your password using your device, you quickly notice that you can’t! Instead, you need to visit your account via a browser on your phone to change your password. It just won’t let you do it from the email account settings on your iPhone. There’s no workaround here–change your passwords using the website. Update or Change Email Password Go to Website Icon

Let’s state that again: it is not possible to directly change your email account passwords directly via your Mail App or Accounts & Passwords Settings. You must use the appropriate email website–you can do this from your phone, tablet, or PC using Safari, Chrome, or any browser.

Problems Surface When You Change Your Email or Account Password

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to know that’s the case. That’s because the communication error is a tiny banner sitting at the bottom of your screen–and it does not announce itself!

Here’s What To Do After You Change Your Email Password

To find that error banner, open your Mail App Inbox and look past all the older emails to the very bottom, just above the Home Button or your Gesture Bar–here you should see a message that there’s an Account Error with the specific email address and a blue Details button. Tap that. Password Error for iOS 11 Email Account iPhone iPad

Now, you should get a big on-screen message asking you to enter the password for that particular email account in Settings.Update or Change Email Password on iPhone

If you see that on-screen message, press the Settings option and look for the field Re-enter Password. Tap it and enter your new password. Re-Enter Email Account Passwords iOS 11

It takes a few moments to verify but once done, your email account reconnects, and everything should work normally, as it did with the previous password.

Don’t See Any Error Banner or On-Screen Message to Enter Password?

For some reason, quite a few folks report that they never get an error banner or see an on-screen prompt to enter the password. If that’s you, there are options!

Delete Your Account via Settings

  1. Close the Mail App–this is critical!
    1. For iPhones with Home Buttons, double press Home and swipe up on the Mail App preview to close
    2. For iPhones with No Home Buttons, press and hold your bottom Gesture Bar then swipe up to reveal all your app preview cards in your App Switcher. Then tap and hold the Mail app and swipe up to close it or press the red minus sign (-) in the left corner of the app’s preview
  2. Open Settings > Accounts & Passwords > and select the account that you changed the password on
  3. Tap Delete Account
  4. Tap Delete from My iPhone (or iPad)
  5. Close the Settings App–this is another critical step
    1. For iPhones with Home Buttons, double press Home and swipe up on the Settings App preview to close
    2. For iPhones with No Home Buttons, press and hold your bottom Gesture Bar then swipe up to reveal all your app preview cards in your App Switcher. Then tap and hold the Settings app and swipe up to close it or press the red minus sign (-) in the left corner of the app’s preview
  6. Open Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Add Account
    1. Fill in your details along with that new password to add that account
  7. Open your Mail App and verify it’s working!

Getting the Message that the Account is Already Added? Can't Update or Change Email Password on iPhone or iPad?

If you see an on-screen message that the email account has already been added to your iPhone, even if you just deleted it, try these steps again. And make sure you close the Mail and the Settings Apps in steps 1 and 5.

If that doesn’t help, add in a forced restart after step 4 (Deleting Account.)

Need Another Option?

If you know your Hostname information, there may be a field to enter in your SMTP information directly. Some email accounts have these fields; others do not. Frankly, this method has not worked for us, but a few readers report it worked for them, especially with company accounts.

Check for SMTP Manual Entry

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > and select your account
  2. Tap on your Account’s Email Address
  3. Look for Outgoing Mail Server, SMTP, or something similar and tap that
  4. Tap Add Server…
  5. Manually add in your Host Name, User Name, and Password

Wrapping it Up!

If you think that I used to be able to add my email account passwords, you’re not crazy but rather correct. Yup, in earlier versions of iOS Mail App, you could indeed modify the password. But no longer. And no, it’s not a bug. It’s by design.

So, this is the deal–at least for now. It’s not possible to directly change the password on your iOS device using the Settings app or Mail app. Open your browser of choice, like Safari or Chrome (or whatever you like) and change your password directly there.

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