Setting a Specific Reply-to/From Address in Apple/iOS Mail

I am looking to change the reply or from address on emails on the Mac and iOS. Not simply selecting a different reply to address from my list of accounts, but to an address that does not have a mailbox on my system. I think Apple prevents this, but hoping maybe someone here has a workaround…

I have a virtual email address at a personal domain (call it This address is automatically forwarded to my personal email at Apple (call it There is no mailbox at therefore I cannot set up an account Apple mail.

I really try to have people email me at, but they always see the listed as the reply to and often start emailing me directly at that address. If I ever choose to move away from iCloud for my email I won’t be able to simply change my forwarding…

Any solutions to this?

  1. Set up a Gmail account or use one you already have.

  2. Forward your domain email to this account.

  3. Add a Gmail alias of your own domain email address:

  4. Add that gmail account to Apple Mail.

Oh, I was excited about this solution, but… Gmail wants to log into my account and their isn’t one. I do not have an email on that domain, it simply forwards all mail sent there to my account.

Apple’s Mac and iOS apps will allow you to have a from address which is different. The problem is that Apple as well as Google’s SMTP servers will not let the app send the message.

I use FastMail for this purpose. I actually have over 400 email addresses. I can compose and send with any of the addresses. However, all messages go out on FastMail’s SMTP server. All received messages wind up in iCloud, Google and FastMail. Think fault tolerant access to messages. I also maintain the multiple repositories due to differences in their respective search capabilities. Although, the search repository I trust the most is a MailSteward Pro MySQL database on my Mac.


Can you go to your domain provider and read your email from their website? Can you reply directly from their console so that your domain address displays in your sent email?

I have a similar forwarding setup with 1and1 (my domain provider) and it works great on Apple Mail on my Mac and iPhone.

No. I cannot read emails at the my site. It is an extra charge for me to have mailboxes there. My domain is hosted by GoDaddy and I am using the free email forwarding service they offer with most domains. This service is intended for people that have email accounts elsewhere and don’t want to set another up at GoDaddy.

At 1and1 we get one free email address with the domain and the ability to either reply from the console or to have the email forwarded. We also get an smtp (outgoing mail address) to use with a different email client.

I have been eyeing Fastmail for a while to offload my email to a centralised solution I would control. But I’m wondering about privacy – are they good? Also, are these solutions (routing iCloud and other adresses through them) kind of “hacky” or are they reliable? I wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of moving everything if it’s to break in a year for some reason. Thanks!

I’ve been with FastMail since at least 2003. During that period they have proven to be more reliable than corporate provided Exchange/IMAP servers, iCloud, and Google. However, during that period, I believe relatively early, at least 10 years ago, they did have one serious outage, where they were down for the good part of a day. However, I did not lose any email and after that outage they completely reconfigured their data centre to build in additional redundancy. I haven’t experienced an access issue of any type since then.

My original interest in FastMail was because I was a user of the now long gone Mulberry app which had strict compliance with and robust support of IMAP standards. This included such advanced features as server side scripting with sieve.

FastMail is easy to setup with your own domains. In terms of integrating with other mail, that too is rather straight forward and I have never had an issue. I use them with iCloud, Gmail, and corporate accounts. FastMail tends to be my primary. Although, after the outage back in the day, I reconfigured my mail so that all messages were ultimately routed to both FastMail and Google. Although, I very rarely use Google. I have used it a couple of times for search.

FastMail has a better than average iOS app. Although, I tend to use both the Apple Mail app on iOS and Mac. However, on iOS I sometimes use FastMail’s, primarily for search or some IMAP administrative type things.

In terms of my original post in this thread, FastMail supports the concepts of your having an account, aliases, and personalities. Your account has to be with them but your aliases and personalities can be almost anything you would like and there is no requirement that a domain you are using be hosted with them. Essentially, as long as you can authenticate your account with their SMTP server you can send and receive for any identity you have setup with them. Including aliases or personalities which are setup on the fly.

I believe one area in which some criticised there offering was that after the introduction of the iPhone, FastMail was late in being able to support push. I was able to work around this because I also had an iCloud account. FastMail’s server side scripting allowed me to direct messages for which I wanted notifications. It also allowed me to send SMS messages to my phone if I was in a country where I didn’t have data access.

The one feature that I don’t use is their SPAM filtering. Please note this is not because I have any negative information and experience. I am a happy SPAMSIEVE user and I have never felt the need to move away from them. Also, I have a Mac that is running 24/7. Spamsieve provides instructions for configuring so that you can control its operation remotely via your iPhone. Spamsieve at least initially was well ahead of iCloud, Google or FastMail. So I used Spamsieve and never felt the need to investigate other alternatives. Also, I could use the same solution on all three platforms rather than three platform specific approaches.

In my history with FastMail they were bought at one point by Opera. It didn’t appear to change their focus. Eventually, the FastMail staff bought the company back from Opera. Both transitions going to Opera and spinning out of Opera were without any drama which was apparent to the users of the service.

I would recommend you check out the experiences of others at There is a FastMail testimonial thread in the FastMail sub-forum there.


Wow. Thank you VERY much for that detailed feedback and writeup. That seems extremely tempting, and I think I’m gonna give it a try. Saving your post for future reference. Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Do you install the profile provided by fastmail or used an app password, and why?

Apologies for the really slow response. I use an app password for fastmail access. I’m uncertain as to what you meant by “profile provided by FastMail”.

They provide a profile like the one that we use for installing the public Beta. This get installed on your phone and it set up everything so you will download fastmail email.

The disadvantage of using the Fastmail-provided profile (at least in iOS) is that you cannot change the ‘from’ address, so you’re stuck sending from your @[fastmaildomain] address.

Good point. Thank you for the information.

How do you work through 400 different email addresses? That’s a lot of different accounts to configure on your mail app.

I just double checked that. I have no problems sending from an “alias” with my Fastmail account that was installed using the profile method. My default Fastmail address is one of my sending personalities, not my actual Fastmail account address.

I added the additional email addresses to the Fastmail account using the iOS settings app -> mail -> Fastmail -> etc.

The stock Apple Mac ‘Mail’ app will do this, put in an unverified ‘reply to’ email address. This is in OSX 11.3.2. But in iOS the stock Apple 'Mail" app will only let you populate the ‘reply to’ with verified email accounts that you have added to the app. I don’t see this feature in Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Gmail and have downloaded Spark, Airmail, Newton, Spike, Postbox, Edison, Canary and Boomerang. I’m beginning to suspect that in iOS this is prohibited. Fastmail is $6.50/month just to test, so I skipped that one. Anyone else have any luck with this? What did you end up doing @DeadSalmon?

1 Like