The best email clients for Windows 2016

An update to my previous guide was long overdue. What did change in the last two years? Unfortunately not much, the Windows email client landscape is still sad and stagnant but there are some good news and a couple of new entries so I thought it was time for an update.

The short story is: for regular not-too-intense use go for Thunderbird; power users can try The Bat or Claws; if email is mission critical, Outlook. Meaning: we are all doomed!

Claws Mail


Let’s start from a new entry. Claws Mail is a Sylpheed spin-off but grew its own personality over time. Despite being lesser know email clients (at least in the Windows realm) and a bit old school, they are both actively developed. Actually they are updated more often than the bigger brother alternatives.

I used Claws Mail extensively on both Windows and Linux, it’s a solid email solution with a lot of plugins. I consider it a hard-core client, configuration is rather complicated especially for gmail accounts, but it’s pretty stable.

The graphics interface is like 1995 all over again but it’s very customizable. You can change layout view, group messages by threads and save sent mail into the same folder of the message you are replying to (ala Gmail).

It is not without fault, though. Apart from the configuration complexity, Gmail integration is not ideal. You have to tinker with your google account and sometimes the drafts are not deleted after you send the message.

Live/Outlook accounts work well but they are pretty slow and sometimes the connection is lost (most likely a Microsoft issue since it happens with the official client too).

It is instead incredibly good at plain ol’ IMAP. All the accounts I have on my servers work like a charm. Fast, smooth and it doesn’t create funky folders/files on the server. So if all you have are standard IMAPS (or POP3 for the matter) accounts, Claws mail really shines.

My vote: 3.4 / 5

The Bat!


An all time favorite. It’s not a free software, but the €20 are hardly an issue.

At Ritlabs they take security very seriously and they made of encryption and malware protection their flagship but the interface is outdated, reminiscent of a Windows XP era that we all love but also trying to forget.

The configuration of common email services (outlook, gmail, yahoo, …) is probably the easiest and fastest I’ve seen so far: just fill email address and password and everything is up and running in seconds. Gmail two-factor-authentication is also taken care of without breaking a sweat.

Same goes for custom IMAP/POP servers but beware that certificate exceptions are not allowed so you better do your self-signed certificates right.

The client features a custom HTML viewer for a better malware protection. It is generally good enough but it certainly doesn’t shine. Looking at HTML emails is a bit like browsing the web on Internet Explorer 5.5 on that PowerMac G4 you have in the attic.

The biggest problem with The Bat! is the complexity of the layout configuration. Changing even the smallest of the details in the user interface becomes a long and tedious endeavor. Options are often named in weird ways and updates to the layout are not shown in real time but you have to go into the preferences, apply the changes, hope that you picked the right check box and start all over again.

If you can get your head around the configuration process, well then, you can hardly beat The Bat! features wise.

My vote: 3.7 / 5



Mozilla abandoned their beloved email client and that’s the best thing that could have happened to Thunderbird.

The community picked it up and not long ago they released the first “community edition”. Mozilla was not clearly able (or interested) to dedicate resources to Thunderbird but the community could save the go-to Outlook alternative.

I installed the latest beta –which is actually due for release today!– to get an idea of what the next version will be. I believe the most welcome addition is the maildir support. You could already enable maildir (compared to mbox), but it has always been an unsupported feature; this time you can select it directly from the advanced options. This means that we can finally save one-file-per-email instead of having one huge file with everything inside. Something that has been requested since the dawn of time but never made it to an official release.

New account configuration is painless, everything worked out of the box including two step verification. IMAP feels less snappy than on Claws or The Bat! and overall Thunderbird is a heavier software, but it is also powered by Firefox and it supports a gazillion plugins.

Gmail integration seems noticeably better than two years ago, and I haven’t encountered major issues in the little time I tested it.

Custom IMAP accounts may need some advanced configuration based on your server setup, but nothing terribly complicated.

I discouraged using Thunderbird in my previous article, but now, in this new incarnation and with the community support I think it is once again the number one email reader choice.

My vote: 3.6 / 5



I’ll try to stay objective here but before I start I need to give you some background story.

When I first reviewed Mailbird almost two years ago (it was version 1-point-something) I discovered that the software was phoning home personal information (email address, name and session ID) to a Mailbird server. Not only that, but they were transferring data in plain text over an unprotected connecting.

I was pretty shocked that all of the reviews at the time failed to mention that and I realized that most of the “best email clients” blog posts on the internet are just click baits.

Anyway, I asked for an explanation to the developers about the curious behavior of their software and I got a reply from their CTO where he says that they are not breaking any law, your email is not considered personal information and their users never complained.

I blogged about my findings and after few months, when my post reached the top of google search results, Mailbird contacted me saying that they solved the issue. They did not. They just obfuscated the same info they were already sending to themselves; there was still no encryption and still no opt-out.

More months passed and with Mailbird v2 they finally introduced the option to opt-out from their stats collection. Will it be true? Time to check it out.

I installed the latest version and fired a packet sniffer. If you don’t disable the usage sharing, Mailbird indeed sends analytics to mixpanel and to one of their server hosted on unoeuro (a cheap 1-euro hosting service).

If you opt-out they don’t send data to mixpanel, but there’s still encrypted communication with Funnily enough that same IP resolves to which was the domain that Mailbird previously used to leak data. I can’t say what they are sharing, but surely the opt-out is not completely opting you out.

UPDATE: I’ve been contacted by Mailbird CTO, he ensures me that the connection to is used exclusively to check and confirm your software license (if you purchased the application).

You’d think that at least they are storing information on a super secure dedicated server, it turned out that the IP is shared with 41 more websites on unoeuro host.

If you are aware of all the above and still willing to use Mailbird, I tested it for you anyway.

The application has an attractive and modern interface, you rarely see such well designed interfaces on Windows but it’s still a bit laggy even on my super powered rig.

Email accounts are easy to setup and everything seems to work out of the box. Development is also very fast and aggressive. Lately I saw a new version coming at least every other week. I find it a bit annoying when an application updates too often, but at least you know that it is a lively email client.

Mailbird also supports plugins. Most of them consist of just a sandboxed browser inside the Mailbird application (such as the Twitter, Lifehacker or The Verge plugins). Why would I want to browse a website inside the mail client is out of my understanding. I guess they have some kind of revenue share with the various sites they host.

Other plugins instead really add new features, such as Contacts and Attachments. Unfortunately there’s no distinction between “fake” and real plugins, so you have to guess from the list.

There’s still no PGP plugin and no intention to implement it, renewing the feeling that Mailbird priority is not security and privacy. Also some basic features are/were missing, but it’s hard to make a list due to their very aggressive update policy; something missing today might be available tomorrow. That is just to say that the core is still young and their strategy seems to prioritize fancy to functionality.

It’s hard to give a vote to Mailbird. If you don’t care about your privacy and ignore the seeming lack of competence of the developers, I would give it 3.5-4 / 5. Otherwise I have to confirm my previous 2 / 5.

Please understand that this a very personal opinion. I encourage you to try Mailbird and contact the developers if you have any doubt about how your personal data is handled.

eM Client


Two years have passed and eM Client is still at version 6.x. Not much changed since my last review.

eM should grant a better integration with Microsoft products thank to AirSync support and indeed the client presents itself as The Outlook alternative.

They tried to design a modern interface that can also be widely customized, but it’s far from perfect and presents small artifacts and glitches here and there.

I had some issues with a hotmail account, the client didn’t block a malicious script in the spam folder and the database got corrupted.

That being said support is top notch, they offered to help through Teamviewer for free and I wasn’t even a registered/paying customer. So I understand that if you are a company that might be a top priority for you.

My vote: 3 / 5

Windows 10 Mail

Windows 10 comes with a new barebone client which should be good enough for the average user.

It is true that it offers good out of the box support for common email services but it’s really too barebone. I honestly don’t think it is any good even for the most casual of the users.

Not only that but it’s also incredibly slow to connect to the various email accounts, especially IMAP.

This software is so embarrassingly useless that it’s not even worth of a review.

My vote: 1 / 5

What else?

There are other options out there but for one reason or another they didn’t make it to my list.

OE Classic is a very much loved email client, easy to use, light and fast but it doesn’t support IMAP, so basically worthless to me.

Inky is more a service than a client, they offer an alternative to the Office 365 + Outlook solution. All your account credentials have to be stored remotely and by the way the client itself is slow and heavy.

Seamonkey is a suite that brings web browser, email and IRC client all under the same roof. I believe it’s more of a nostalgic thing from the Netscape era than an effort to offer something new/different/better. The email client is not bad per-se, but it doesn’t meet my do-one-thing-and-it-right philosophy.

Postbox. Many swear by it but at the end it’s just a customized Thunderbird. I feel that you could better install Mozilla’s client and customize it with a couple of the hundreds plugins available. That being said, there’s nothing wrong about a ready-to-use solution like Postbox, just not my cup of tea.

Opera Mail was promising but it received one security update in years so it’s safe to say that it’s no longer actively developed.

MailPile is also a very interesting project. I personally backed the project on Indiegogo (in 2013 or something), but it’s still beta with major features missing. The blog is constantly updated and development seems to proceed, but it’s still not ready for prime time.


Nowadays 90% of the emails are consumed through the web on Gmail, Yahoo or These providers have absolutely no interest in making things easy for external clients. They need you to connect to your browser so they can track your habits and offer more ads.

Then there’s a 9% of business users that historically used Outlook. These are companies and corporations and you just use what you find installed on your workstation.

The remaining 1% is us nerdy dinosaurs.

It has become an incredibly small niche and things will only get worse. I don’t think we will ever see a decent desktop email client, actually they will probably completely die in a not so distant future.

In the meantime, well, install Thunderbird.

337 thoughts on “The best email clients for Windows 2016”

  1. FYI, emClient is running the beta for v7 at the moment, which amongst others introduces conversation view and a completely reworked editor/viewer (I’m guessing from IE as base to something Chromium like?) I’ve been using it for a while and am reasonably happy with it (narive CardDAV support is nice)

    1. We use eM client in my office (our mail service is through Google Apps/Gmail). eM has lately become very unstable, crash frequently and taking forever to search for a message in the inbox or to move an email to another folder. I really wish gmail’s web client was decent. It would be nice to get rid of the dinosaur that is the email client. But so far Gmail isn’t up to the task of business critical email — but then neither is eM client apparently…

      1. Same experience here with EM Client.

        Searches last longer and longer.
        Same for deletion of blocks of emails.

        Maybe it is because my email database is getting too big.

        But then one major issue with EM Client is that backing up / Restoring / Archiving is substandard.

        You can not back-up or restore individual mails.
        You have to do it for the whole database.
        To restore you have to overwrite current database !!!

        Otherwise, archiving is possible, but only with crude filters (date…).
        Not so clear how to serah and restore from archives.

        The solution I found is to export to indivifual .eml files then re-import to restore, but this is cumbersome and time consuming.

        Generally speaking, I am very cautious of email clients with do not store mails as individual files.
        Once corrupted, then bi mess.
        This is why I had left Thunderbird a few years ago.
        I had lost my whole email database twice…

        Finally, I disagree with quality of customer support.
        When I have crashes, I regularly send info to the guys.
        Never had an answer back, not even an acknowledgement of receipt…

        1. I’ll say this one more time since it seems it doesn’t stick. Thunderbird supports 1-file-per-email!

          1. @matteo meant not 1 attachment per 1 email, but “1 file storage on disc for 1 email”. i.e. non consolidated database for whole mailbox.

            People of pop3 era probably would loved it…

          2. And for the non-nerds (like me) reading this….. matteo is not talking about the files that arrive as email attachments (eg photos). Yes, you can choose where to store each of those files. He is talking about the emails themselves. In the old version, there was one big file with all the downloaded emails you’d received in it. So if inner computer disaster happened and the file got deleted or corrupted – hey presto – all your old emails disappeared without trace, or hope of retrieval. Well, maybe the NSA’s forensic people could get at them, but when it happened to me I couldn’t. 🙁 Neither could my resident geek (who has just explained all this to me!)

      2. True Story Randy Em was good but just keep crashing and lagging – i am looking for another desktop mail client.
        Can anyone recommend any??

        1. Good morning,

          I have been trying out Nylas N1. It is an attractive open-source mail client and works very wel on both Windows and Mac OS. Perhaps give it a try?

          Best regards

          1. Nylas is an Electron based “cloud” email client. This means that you need to rely on and trust Nylas servers with your data, unless you want to install the server that is only available via vagrant (AFAIK). Also being based on Electron makes it a rather slow client.

    2. Today I updated em Client and shocked to know that all my accounts vanished! Even restore from backup did not help. Fortunately, I took a restore point (using Rollback Rx Professional) which save me and restore em Client to the previous version. em Client team should look into this problem.

      1. I had exactly the same problem. Old working accounts via ActiveSync (e-mail, calendar and contacts) was not possible to set up with eM7. Sadly I had to revert to eM6…

    3. I’ve been using EM client for a few years now and am part of the beta group for V7. I’ve stuck with EM client because it’s the best of the Outlook-style desktop applications that will sync with my Google email, calendar and contacts. V7 offers some long overdue features, but it is FULL of bugs – I have documented and reported over 50. If I receive a response at all, it’s usually “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”. They don’t appear to be using any official bug tracking either so I have no idea what the status of any of my report is – most seem to get forgotten.

      I would love to ditch EM client, and would be able to do that if Outlook were to offer Google integration (won’t happen and third party syncronization apps are unreliable), or if Google were to offer something similar.

      Until then, I’ll hobble along with EM client and keep doing periodic research.

      1. FWIW, I use gSyncIt with Outlook and the synchronization has been great. I’ve used it for a couple years now.

    4. I did upgrade to the Pro version of emClient. Its not at all worth what we pay for. It deleted all my mails during upgrade which were in sub folders to Inbox. Now i have to start filing the 6000 emails again. The support is also not that good. they take for ever to respond.

      1. I agree… I use Pro Version, but in spite of the fact that I pay for access to support, even Urgent requests take at least 12 hours for a response. No desktop ‘chat support’ available, nor phone support as far as I can tell. Just a long winded email convo back and forth….
        Scared to change though, as it took forever to set myself up originally! (cos I am not very techy. )

    5. Beware, Herman: I was using eM Client and was very happy with it – until a reboot. eM Client booted up with absolutely no data in it, nothing, not even the connection settings. So I attempted to restore from the backup and received an error message saying that the backup file was missing. The (zip) file was there, large as life and full of data.

      Despite the client still being on trial, and therefore the Pro version with purported help available, no help was forthcoming and a lot of valuable data – and time – was lost.

      Unless you install an external backup alongside eM Client, I definitely would advise against it.

  2. First of all, thank you for this blog post, it’s very appreciated.

    Here are my two cents:
    I’ve been wanting to replace Thunderbird for about two years now, but on Windows there are few modern alternatives. Especially clients that support GPG are hard to find.

    I don’t have many requirements, but basically NO client seems to be able to meet those two together:
    * Modern interface with three pane view (folders – two line message list – message view)
    * GPG support either natively or via plugin

    With my research I’ve come to the following conclusions:
    * There are quite a few (selfhosted) Webmailers that say they support GPG out-of-the-box (Mailpile), but since I have quite a few mail accounts webmail doesn’t suffice (I have yet to find one that does multiple accounts in one tab).
    * Outlook is not an option since it can’t be bought separately these days (and I don’t want to buy an old version).
    * Mailbird (privacy issues aside) doesn’t support GPG and the developers don’t plan anytime soon to do so ( )
    * Claws Mail, The Bat et al have very dated interfaces
    * Others are either webmailers, don’t support GPG, have been abandoned (Opera Mail), or are for Linux only (Geary, Evolution) or any combination of those
    * Nylas N1 looks promising but for privacy I have to take a look into how to host their sync engine myself

    A few final words about Thunderbird:
    * For now I will continue to use it, for lack of better options.
    * I regulary hit bugs in Thunderbird (errors at account setup with 100% correct credentials, problems domains with umlauts, slowness)
    * There’s a thirteen-year-old (!!!) issue on Thunderbirds Bugzilla to implement aforementioned three pane view ( )

    1. I agree with you that Thunderbird is not the “best” but simply it sucks a tiny little less than others.

      If you can swallow the outdated interface, The Bat! is pretty good.

      1. An “outdated” interface is exactly what I want (e.g. Win-XP-like) and that is what I always seek out for new software. A major software set-back in my opinion was “the Ribbon” and other goofy graphics treatments of the past decade.

        1. Agree completely. The ribbon makes you hunt continuously for the feature you need. A complete pile of crap. The OE interface is simply, highly functional, and the application as implemented in XP was reliable and stable. It has some drawbacks, but none which the user cannot workaround. The search feature on MS Office Outlook sucks. You cannot match tags and search strings. If MS would support an email client similar to OE on its new operating systems, I think a lot of XP users would gladly upgrade. There are an estimated 200 million XP users out there. It is the third most popular MS OS after Win-7 and Win-10.

      2. Lately there is a storm over Thuderbird about unavailable “send mail” folders missing. I am not the only complaining…

    2. Twenty-five years after PGP came out they effectively managed to negate email privacy by making it such a PITA.

      Today only nerdy dinosaurs care about privacy.

        1. It’s not a mail client, it’s more of an interface with your EMail, can’t tweak the interface either. And though it’s super light on the RAM (it spiked at 16MB) it just doesn’t work reliably…email retrieval is slow and sometimes it even stalls out completely not displaying the content of any given message. Definitely NOT a nice piece of software.

      1. Nerdy dinosaurs and any person who has lived or studied enough to remember that, not so long ago, millions of people were rounded up and either executed or sent to work to death in slave camps in Siberia, either for having different views of their imposed regime or simply being considered a heavy burden to society.

        You think the world has changed? Wake up, it’s actually getting worse. It only feels otherwise because the last two generations have been given a break and some party time… But we are now almost 3x as many people as when the last world war brought hell on earth and, in all odds, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides that another big spring cleaning is due.

        Most people won’t see the fists coming until they’re punched right in the face without even knowing why. They’re too busy glued to their mobiles, sharing funny cat videos and silly jokes.

        The end of privacy will just make the whole job of rounding them up easier.

        It would be funny, weren’t the stakes so high.

        1. not sure where you are going with this, but thanks for sharing Tiago! 🙂

        2. I agree. I have 10 years of work emails on outlook 2010 in pst files. I don’t want them going on gmail (plus i have 10 years of personal ones too). But this morning I got 63 frigging spam emails.

          Everyone just goes gmail!!!!! I go – no thanks.

        3. Actually, a “Spring Cleaning” has already been decided and in the works for YEARS now. It’s currently in progress, only they are doing it systematically and using methods that aren’t so obvious and easily written off as “conspiracy theory.” Most of us are being poisoned to death an don’t even know it. Those of us who do know, simply don’t have the means of avoiding it.

      2. I would like to interject here! Hillary’s emails on private servers were going all over the world and there were hundreds of US security issues in them! We desperately need security on emails not going all over the world. Obama has his own private servers but hes a protected president which Hillary was counting on|!! This is not a dinosaur comment at all!! We need security as companies use so called secure email software and as it’s stated its going all over the world!!!

    3. If you need Thunderbird with modern UI, three pane, two line message list > postbox
      * Compromising on addons. Postbox dont support Thunderbird addons out of the box.

      1. Postbox creates new versions frequently and this last one is causing me to leave them as its insanely expensive!

        1. And Postbox is dropping support for lighting calendar with version 5.0 🙁 There old 1.0 version of the plugin does work, but they’ve completely pulled it from their website.

          Guess it’s back to Thunderbird. I’ll miss the UI upgrades

    4. You stated all email is routed through three major providers one being yahoo. Any mail is automatically going to yahoo as their provider which means all ATT mail is going all over the world being analyzed for content and documented!

      1. i’ve tried most email clients on Windows, and been very frustrated, in one way or another, with all of them. (see my comment at

        I just tried Intellect, and WOW. I think this might be the answer i’ve been looking for. Seems to have none of the negatives of the other programs!

        Will keep looking for it’s flaws…

        Thx for the tip, jeff coseo!

        1. Sadly, Intellect has some critical bugs, and tech support with a bad attitude.

          Sent messages are not saved in the remote Sent folder, copy/paste intermittently stop working, and errors out if you switch between folders without waiting for full sync. Also, frequent freeze-ups in compose mode. Too bad! It has the smallest footprint RAM i’ve seen for a rich-text, multi-account IMAP client, and lots of cool features.

          As one of the most expensive IMAP clients out there (more than eM client), it should not have the above issues. The bad attitude i got from tech support says “we’re not going to fix anything.”

    1. I tried Nylas a while back (I was part of the beta).

      First of all it’s built on Electron, meaning that it’s slow and heavy. It will get faster over time, but it will take years.

      Also, if you want to own your data you have to install the Nylas Sync Engine on your server, which I find definitely overkill.

      1. N1 is the older version. I tried Nylas new version, and it’s a strong email client. Problem is, it’s RAM footprint is too big for my needs.

        1. Nylas mails is a web app wrapped into a native shell (based on Electron). It will get better in the future but it’s still a very resource hungry technology.

  3. I got used to Forte Agent, from my days when I was doing a lot of newsgroups and e-mail to the same people about the same topics. It’s not oriented toward creating formatted e-mails, and it doesn’t do IMAP. I recently upgraded to version 8.0, and it still has a very similar GUI, harkening back to the look and feel of the 1990s, but I do find it easy to use. I keep all my old e-mails and not infrequently need to search through them based on both header and body content, and Agent is the only mail client I’ve found that does a decent job of that. The search and filtering capability is really unmatched.

    Manual filing of e-mails is pretty good. Not as slick as the Simply File add-in to Outlook, but still efficient and easy to use. The current version has nested folders (not present in my old version 2.0), which is also a BIG help to organizing and seeing what I have. I do wish there were an option to file outbound e-mails as part of the sending process.

    I’m kind of torn between Forte Agent and MS Outlook from the MS Home Use Program with my favorite add-ins (including Simply File), but since Simply File isn’t compatible with Windows XP, Agent it is, for me. Thunderbird is OK, and very easy to set up, but the inability to search effectively was a deal-breaker for me.

  4. “…There’s still no PGP plugin and no intention to implement it, renewing the feeling that MailPile priority is not security and privacy…”

    ^ Shouldn’t that be Mailbird instead of MailPile? Looks like a typo.

  5. I used to use Pocomail, it’s the best email client but it does not support unicode so I moved to Postbox, it’s an “improved” version of Thunderbird.

    1. Most ppl aren’t aware that you have to “re-purchase” PostBox when a new version comes out….

  6. I installed Opera Mail last year when I got sick of Thunderbird’s awful search interface, which required me to use X1 in addition. OM is not entirely abondonware (i.e. they do minor patches) and has served me well since then.

    I like OM’s fast realtime search with a search box right on top of the message list, but the search capabilities could use some enhancing (i.e. regex support and the ability to search specific fields).

    Opera Mail was last updated on 2/15/2016
    The current version is 1.0.1044

    1. As far as I know Opera Mail only receives security updates. v1.0.1044 is the first update in 3 years.

  7. After fighting the terrible Mail for some months (installing Windows 10 had deleted all programs and all emails), I have managed to install Windows Essentials 2012 (64 Bit), from the Microsoft Website, into Windows 10, which enabled me to re-install Windows Live Mail which I had used with great success in Windows 7.
    Not only has it easily set up my existing accounts, it has picked up my inbox items for the last 3 years, whereas Mail picked up nothing dated before its installation.
    With Mail, trying to open old emails I had put into document folders was only possible using a paid for app or as a txt view. Now I can open them by just allocating Windows Live Mail as the app to open them and now they look like normal emails.
    I had got the feeling Microsoft were implying that that Windows Live Mail could not be used with Windows 10. It can at the moment!

    1. I got an email from Outlook today that warned me about shutting down Windows live mail in June 2016. Any other alternatives? Any of these other clients can sync my outlook contacts?

    2. As of the end of June Windows Live Mail will no longer work according to Microsoft.

      1. I think that Live Mail will work, it just won’t work with hotmail/live/outlook email accounts as they are changing the delivery format for them. You should still be able to use other web based email accounts (Yahoo, Gmail) in Live Mail. At least if you use pop. Not sure about IMAP as I haven’t used it in a while and only used it to keep track of hotmail accounts.

        Be interesting to see if Evolution stops handling my old hotmail accounts. I was happily surprised when I found that it could do them..

    3. I’m still using Windows Live Mail on my Windows 7 desktop. I also use it on my Win10 system. I tried the Windows 10 mail client and don’t like it as much for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the aesthetics. I don’t care for the flat, primary color trend in GUIs.

      I check my email on various mobile devices, which is why IMAP is very important, and it’s great to have that option. However, when I’m ready to deal with serious email writing/responding/organizing chores, I like to sit down at my nice large screen desktop system.

      I have about 10 different email accounts, gmail, live, an an old yahoo account, feeding into WinLiveMail configured as IMAP, using the following settings:

      Manually configure server settings and choose IMAP
      Incoming server:
      Port: 993.
      Requires a secure connection (SSL).
      Authenticate using Clear text
      Port: 587.
      Requires a secure connection (SSL) and Requires authentication.
      There’s a more detailed guide here:
      I haven’t read it entirely, but it looks good and does use the settings I’ve been using successfully to keep using WinLiveMail.

      Unfortunately, lately it’s been slow to update after deleting or moving items (on of the things I like is the ability to move mail from one account to inbox or storage folders in another by simply dragging and dropping.)

      Also, in the last few weeks (late March 2017) I have been getting frequent error messages: server disconnected, time out error, can’t download or send for one account or another. Checking the accounts online, I see that I eventually do get all the mail, but it’s getting frustrating.

      I suspect Microsoft is trying to force everyone into their Win 10 client because it’s more integrated with the OS and easier in various ways to mine our data and sell us stuff.

  8. After reading your first blog and trying all I had settled with Postbox.
    Quite fast IMAP. No crashes. And fairly deals with most cons you bring up. Most functional basic client with modern interface.
    I had been playing with N1. Loved the UI. And now they had gone pro for Nylas sync services.
    But the pricing looks pretty steep for single users. Or are the prices justified for they provide.
    I would like to here your opinion about nylas pricing.

    I had (or might have) jumped the gun and triggered a dialogue in twitter thinking that the client would cost 84$/year (Should it?)

    1. N1 is not meant to be used as a local mail client even though you could if you really really wanted…

        1. well, if you think of it as a cloud service $7/month is not outrageous… it is if you use it as mail client of course.

          1. So all our mail is stored in nylas cloud unless we host sync engine locally or on a remote server / vps.? Either way how secure is it? They would claim them secure of course. I would love to hear your take.

  9. After losing important POP3 mail (which in my job I was required to preserve for years) in Windows Live Mail and Thunderbird I looked for another email client. I read that Outlook also loses message from time to time. The problem appears to be in the large message databases that these applications rely on and their associated index systems: prone to corruption.
    I have now found an email client (EverDesk) which keeps all messages as “.eml” files in ordinary Windows folders. Their attachments are also kept in the folders separately (but linked in some way to the message). This means that all messages and storage and archived folders are all visible from Windows Explorer as well as within the email client. This means they can be easily organised and they can be backed up using an ordinary backup application.
    You have to pay for EverDesk but there is a 30 day trial and currently I am in the trial period. It seems to work fine so far. Setting up new email accounts was easy, you can alter the way it looks and where the windows go. You can make it look similar to your usual email client. If you have several email accounts you can look at them combined or separate.
    It can import emails from the Thunderbird database (and also from many others). I found however, that this has to be done very carefully to avoid duplications of files and folders (I was amazed how many copies of everything Thunderbird kept in various places). You also have to be careful to stop an anti virus application interrupting the import process. I had to switch mine off during the process. So during the import setup you can choose which databases to import and I would suggest doing them one by one instead of all at once otherwise the process can be interrupted and you can lose track easily.
    So far I am happy with EverDesk – I am hoping it is the answer to all the trouble I have had in the past with database email client systems.

    1. I have been using Everdesk through several versions for six or seven years now and am very happy with it – I love the individual files which you can search with Windows search and it never loses files except when you get a hard drive crash! I have about two and a half million email messages archived in Everdesk and it handles them all very well. Only a couple of small annoyances -if you copy the directory containing the emails to another computer, as I frequently do, you may lose the connection between the message and any attachment. This is not a big problem as the message and attachment will still be adjacent in any file list sorted by date but it does seem odd. The other annoyance is that there is no registration code. Instead the software calls home from time to time – apparently about once every three months – and checks that it is a licensed copy. If it cannot reach home, for example you are away from an internet connection or on an airplane in airplane mode, it will not let you open the software until you get an internet connection. You can still get to your saved messages by Windows explorer but it is a small annoyance if you are in a hurry

  10. Hi all. I have been successfully using MS Live Mail for many years. Since receiving the notice from Microsoft concerning the need to switch to Outlook or “Mail” in Windows 10 I decided to give them a try. Keeping this short; “Mail” is BASIC, seems unfinished, not much to change / customize. Outlook on the other hand is way over the top for general emails, calendars and the like. After setting Outlook up and doing some basic customizing it has been working OK for the last 2 weeks. The only thing that bothers me is on the left pain, with your email accounts, they automatically add So Many folders and sub-folders it’s crazy. I did a search(s) to find a way to remove them, as did thousands of other people apparently and found no way to delete the unwanted folders. So I did a search for a better, paid for, software and found this review / blog. Actually I found the earlier on which was linked to this one. About a year ago I tried many of the mentioned and some not mentioned email software available and for one reason or another did not like any of them. On this blog “Jeremy Gordon” mentioned “EverDesk” and supplied positive feedback on the program. I did a search and found other positive comments to I downloaded it and so far I to like this program although I will take the 30 days to evaluate it. Than I got to thinking, unless I have operational issues with Outlook 2013, and the only thing that bugs me at this point is all the folders / sub-folders do I really need to spend $45 for EverDesk. I would encourage you to take a look at the program as is seems like a very decent option. Me, I keep thinking about it, but if Outlook falters, I know for sure I will purchase EverDesk.

  11. I love Thunderbird – but the inability to dis-able automatic opening of attachments is a major (security) issue for me. Yes – you can download headers only which is essential – but automatic attachment opening is a no-no. So eMclient for me all the way!

    1. This is not the default behavior… you probably activated something in the preferences

    2. Under the View menu in Thunderbird, uncheck the Display Attachments inline option.

  12. Much as I hate to say it I actually miss Outlook Express as a lightweight e-mail client included in the OS, six was the last version, included in XP.

    The ‘replacements’ Windows Mail and Live Mail have only driven users to 3rd party apps in droves. I converted a few friends to Thunderbird but can’t say I like it.

    I have been in the fortunate position of having full Outlook in MS Office cheap since I qualify for the MS HUP program, not sure what I will do when I retire.

      1. Bullpucky – post your method! In a sandbox? Those NT features won’t work. OE was part of the XP OS and are the dll’s and running gear are NOT included in Win10. If you can do this, it’s a miracle that all who hanker after the simplicity of OEx would love to know about.

        1. just google for it. I have managed to find original (RunAsXP version is not original and paid) Outlook Express 6 with all the dll’s, and it runs as portable version even in windows 10.

  13. Matteo, could you check foxmail client ?
    It’s a chineese piece of software, but has quite nice features:
    – modern, simple interface
    – great attachment manager
    – simple but relatively adequate search possibilities
    – rss feed
    – calendar
    And so on

    Installer is in chineese, and running foxmail for the first time brings up an annoying email creator. App has english translation, but I haven’t found an option to swap langs different than renaming files inside /foxmail/languages in v7 (v.6 had a change language menu option)

    Would be great if you verify that this soft does not send any data to china 😉

    1. I forgot to mention that there’s also zimbra desktop.
      Quite heavy installer, but not such fatass like nylas 😉

    2. Go into the Foxmail folder and delete the chinese language file. It will now run in English (99.9%)

  14. Matteo,
    This is a great guide. I have been using Eudora 7.1 for years now and been happy with it. Simple and easy to use. I kept routine backups of the folder and if anything crashed, i would just reload from the backup and restart.
    I feature i particularly liked was the ability to run multiple instances of Eudora servicing different accounts.
    Lately though, SSL connections sometimes fail, and the servers need to be retrusted.

    Which of the clients you listed support multiple instances?
    thank you

    1. I haven’t checked but I believe none of them support multiple instances.

  15. I tried Mailbird, and was horrified to find they do not support marking individual outgoing emails as ‘high priority’.

  16. For crying out loud, will there be any windows developer who knows about aesthetics and design out there?
    We, the dinosaurs, still use mail clients, you know? And for those, like me, who only use Windows as a game platform & media consuming a decent mail App is a necessity!
    Same as usual: good designer, bad at coding. Good coder, bad at design. We need more coders-designers marriages!!!!
    Thanks for the insights!
    Sent from my Mac (just kindig…)

    1. Check addon themes for listed email clients 😉
      Unfortunately, I bet all of them were made by worse coders, not designers.
      But what can a designer do, when coder doesn’t give a f__k about implementing a simple way to change whole template (?).

  17. Hi Matteo, Just wanted to say thank you for your fascinating research (and to your other contributors.) I was so close to wasting time on mailbird or eMclient, even prepared to pay actual money for a good client, but now realise that it would be ‘out of the frying pan into the fire.’ I’ve been a devout Outlook user for more years than I can remember but it has totally collapsed in the last one or two. Microsoft’s ‘clever clogs’ Background Intelligent Transfer Service causes daily freezes as it fails to synchronise with normal POP3 downloads from my ISP’s mail server, yet copes fine with web-based mail through Outlook Connector. Duh! It’s as if us desktop users are a forgotten species and software developers are only interested in producing soppy apps for toy computers, aka mobiles and tablets. Many of the current offerings are barely any better than the freeware or shareware programs that used to come free with PC magazines 25 years ago. I’ll keep watching this space, lest some miracle occurs.

  18. I downloaded Mailbird (despite the rather suspicious grouping of glowing reviews from about the same time two years ago, which felt like a marketing push) and was looking for other reviews since when I found yours.

    Quick question: is it possible to block the telemetry IPs of Mailbird at the router level (i.e. just block all traffic to I ask because, while I’m definitely not a security hawk, I’d rather not have programs which touch my email send data out to [another] 3rd party for their own use.

    1. you’d need a router with a sophisticated firmware such as ddwrt. you can easily do the same by blacklisting the IP on your hosts file (google it, it’s pretty easy)

  19. Only one email client in the world can
    1. display attachments (pdf, word, excel, pics) INSIDE the mail window with only ONE click
    2. is able to create templates….
    (and 2 lines mail panel, and minimize folder panels…. etc

    So for me no other choice it is Foxmail 7.0.93

    I tried to find a better email client in vain

  20. Some precision
    I bought or tried almost all email client because for me the email client is the center of my business information.

    1. Foxmail 7.0.93 (and only this version which is natively in english, the last versions are regressive)
    2. ex aequo :
    Postbox (good version of thunderbird with some usefull addon)
    The Bat (great work) not very easy to manage and old interface but they work on it

    Everdesk is alson interesting
    EM is a bad copy of Foxmail 7.0.93

    1. Foxmail doesn’t allow to use additional aliases within one physical maillbox; sadly a minus.
      As it goes for english lang support, it’s a pity that installer doesn’t allow to choose the language. But it’s possible to change it in options, w/o switching language files.

      Although I blocked foxmail in windows firewall (allow to connect only certain mail servers) I’m not sure if it still doesn’t send any data to chinese servers.

      ps. I was pissed off at thebat, as the only working antyspam plugin based on bayes filters is paid <_<

  21. I was happy with Windows Live Mail 2012. Mail is a very poor substitute. Back to Outlook again which is running 6 email accounts. Outlook does seem to mess up my contacts with strange sorting, far too many folders, and it doesn’t sync with my iPhone.

    1. Em Client worked well for me on version 6 but I tried V7 and it seems very buggy, still very much beta software,

  22. I am VERY glad to see that this discussion is continuing. I had to abandon OE when moving to a new computer with Windows 7. I had years of emails that are critical to my work, so the ability to copy the emails flawlessly was a top priority. I also needed search capability, including searching the message text. I downloaded Thunderbird, but when it stopped during the setup, I panicked. Fortunately, I don’t think the emails were corrupted. I tried OE Classic paid version and it has been satisfactory. It did bring in all the emails, but some folder names were scrambled a little. It lacks some OE features. Sometimes it hangs when I’m trying to open an email or highlight an email to delete it. It doesn’t have spell check and clicking a mailto link only opens the program, without creating a new email. IMAP must not be an issue for me; I’m not even sure what it is, but I know I do not want any cloud-based programs because confidentiality and accessibility is important for me. OE Classic seems progressive from the user’s perspective, rather than fundamentally driven by corporate market dominance/profitability considerations; you have direct email contact with the developer and he is addressing issues and adding features based upon user feedback. I just looked at a blurb for eM Client; I am not really interested in complicating my email by “integrating” with social media, calendar, etc., so I won’t be trying that.

  23. It seems that you have underestimated eM Client and overestimated Thunderbird. Thunderbird lacks Gmail calendar functionality which is the backbone of em Client (with the advent of Android smartphones, almost everyone has Gmail account, and hence Gmail calendar integration becomes very important)). The eM client is more polished and useful than Thunderbird. I have been using a free version of eM client for years and have no complaints so far. I also used Thunderbird, it is so hodge-podge!

    1. Have you ever tried restoring the backups in eM Client? (I posted a comment on this above.) This was the reason I gave up on The Bat! after many years, because it failed to restore backups (OK, very historic backups). When I asked the developers for help, they said that the particular range of backups I was trying to restore were from when I had been using the free version of The Bat! and, now I was using the paid version, I could only restore from past paid-version backups. This turned out to be true, but was a disaster for me.

      I’m now going to try Everdesk because of the discussion on here – and the first thing I will try is the restore feature…

  24. Hi

    I dont know what your requirements are but I absolutely love the Win 10 Mail Client. In fact, it is the No 1 reason why I havent shifted over to a Mac.

    Its simple and basic (yes) but that is all I want from a mail client. Read Mail, Send Mail, Archive Mail. And the Win 10 Mail Client does exactly that. Plus a great integration with Calendar. And best of all, NO ADS!

    Outlook is terribly complicated and the rest are all soo ugly! Id use Inbox (love their Snooze feature) but its Gmail only as far as I know.


    1. I’ve tried to give the Win 10 Mail client a good try, but I’m sadly going to abandon it. It simply doesn’t feel like a native Windows app, but rather more like one of their Frankenstein-esque half mobile, half desktop metro creations. Basic functionality like Control-C copying doesn’t work with selections, you have to right click and select COPY from a non-standard interface box.

      It really annoys me, this attempt they’ve made to bring tablet apps into the windows desktop experience. They really need to divide those into two different UI styles.

      1. thank you for saying this!

        attempt at bringing “tablet apps into the windows desktop experience”

        I luckily found the tablet mode off switch quickly – 2 hours of OMG I HATE this before using my phone to find a “classic view” option ..haha
        Win10 user by force, hating mail client, came here and the thread has me reading and thinking.
        Microsoft Exchange Active Sync isnt working for Mail10 contacts integration into mail side and im done with the crayons …
        my issue is also deleting emails in here doesnt transfer to my androids app for hotmail and visa versa

        working two devices deleting same emails isnt fun

  25. eM Client is finally RTM 7.0, not beta.

    Could You test it and compare?

  26. Re. OE Classic: as Bob mentioned, there’s version of Outlook Express adopted for Windows 7 and 10. It does support IMAP. It also comes with an extension of OE called Fidolook, which adds some interesting features, the best of which is very customizable templates with smart quoting. It’s available at for a small fee.

  27. My WLM still works. I just wonder which program would be able to run multi-accounts smoothly, and is reasonably safe. I never understood why Windows kills one of its best mail programs, and then dare to give us back a pile of dog mature …..

  28. Nobody on here is mentioning FossaMail. Why not?
    I am trialing it alongside WLM 2012 and it seems very good and quite similar.
    I love WLM but have got fed up with it going pear-shaped in various ways over the last few months.
    It’s obvious MS have given up on it, they want you on Mail (and Win 10 !!!! – no thanks).

    1. I have been using Fossamail with GApps on W8 for several months, and found that it regularly hangs, giving me the blue circle of waiting. That’s a no-no for me, as I want an email client to be fast and snappy….

  29. Here’s one more that is constantly looking for THE right email client. I’ve tried them all and none fits the bill but I recently went back to EMclient 7 and it does its job pretty good.
    Improved interface, strickt rules interpretation(important for me, dealbreaker with Mailbird).
    There are some hiccups now and then, but I like the support they give, even for the free users.

  30. I used Outlook Express since the beginning then moved to Live Mail to this day (Windows 10 x64 Pro) and I have no reason to complain!
    It works very well, simple, easy to configure and easy to use.
    I really recommend Windows Live Mail 2012 (seems old but works 100% in Windows 10)
    Just my humble opinion based on my little experience.

  31. Matteo…
    Your pithy, technically spot-on reviews are exceptional. And seems, for the most part, you’ve gathered a pretty bright bunch of compatriots. Consequently, I have suggested that my friends drop by your site when in need, and…read, with mind and eyes open.
    Told ’em they’d learn something…so, thank you.
    Bob Miles

    1. thanks for the kind word, Robert. Really appreciate you taking the time to write.

  32. Mailbird is a truly beautiful and absolutely wonderful program. Years ahead of other, outdated programs. However, it contains one problem that makes it useless. If you write emails offline, you must manually–that’s right, I said manually–send them once you get online again. If there are 247 billion emails written daily, and if even one tenth of them were written offline, that’s MILLIONS of emails that must be sent manually, if you use Mailbird. This is the year 2016. We don’t look for ways to increase our time and workload. Outlook of course allows you to write as many emails as you want offline and then simply sends them as soon as you log on–automatically! Mailbird is unusable for anyone who travels.

  33. Mattel, love your work, thanks. Like many others I use Live Mail, the Junk block sender is a good function – not sure it is still working? Pre XP I had Mailwasher with bounce which I could do with at present. A gambling site has my address can you advise on how to dump for good other than changing mail address?

    1. I don’t think you can do any filtering with Live Mail, possibly anti-virus software have some anti-spam fuctionality nowadays

  34. What a great discussion, however email is one thing (and the most important when evaluating Mail Clients – I guess) but my issue is related to Contacts within the mail client. I currently use emClient and have done for a few years. I tried Mailbird and thought it was good but it didn’t do what I wanted either.

    Where I run into issues is twofold. I manage the email distribution for a sporting club and frequently have to compare and update member details against the contact details in the mail client. emClient doesn’t allow the distribution lists or contact lists to be exported in anything other than VCF although you can print the contact list as cards. All this makes it very hard to do anything other than a manual comparision for changes etc., when it would be better to do it in a spreadsheet. Why this needs to be done, is that the membership database, and pulicity/newsletter issue are done by different people (volunteers).

    The second annoying problem I encounter is that when sending to a distribution list the application sometimes picks up the wrong email address for someone. By this I mean that if there are two entries in the contacts for the same person (say a personal entry and a business entry) then emClient doesn’t use the email address in the distribution list but rather, it appears to pick up the email address from the contact card.

    I’ve raised the exporting question with emClient today so it’s too early to comment on a response.

  35. Thanks for the review.

    One thing though, please specify the exact version of tested software.

  36. Thunderbird search makes me as killed as Firefly TV series. Will be easier to develop photographic memory to magically recall all I need to find than trying to obtain it with Thunderbird search. Oh well…

    1. Lmao! Your comment made me laugh out loud. I am currently using Opera Mail specifically for it’s great search functionality. But I’m finding the IMAP sync to be slow so am now looking for a snappier program…but the search capabilities might have me back to Opera Mail sooner than later.

      Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  37. I’m still using Pegasus, since maybe 1992? The latest version was crashy in Win 7 and I just did the free upgrade to Windows 10, so need to see. The Mailto: links from browsers quit working when I upgraded and no one seems to know how to fix them. Tried everything, but nothing worked so far.

    As far as Thunderbird, it’s not as spiffy and colorful as Pegasus and I’m not confident of it being around. Pegasus has been, for ALL these years, though David is disappointed in the lack of financial support. BUT he’s an altruist and socialist, apparently, who thinks it should be “free” to all, so… Embrace capitalism, David, and you could make some nice money with this!

    My main problem is switching from Pegasus to Thunderbird. I have tens of thousands of home based business emails in Pegasus! Ack.

    As far as your comments that all email programs may go away some day – why?

    1. everything will be done on the browser and mobile apps. The “classic” old school email client will probably perish. Also consider that people communicate via social networks and chat apps nowadays.

      1. What few web-based clients offer is multi-account support. For me, that’s a must-have.

        Gmail has a kind of fake way to support IMAP accounts, but it’s not true IMAP– sent mails do not get copied to the Sent folder of the IMAP account.

        I’m currently running rainloop on my web-server, but it’s very slow, and has bugs.

        I’d love to use OE or WLM, but cannot find either to run on my Windows 8.1 machine.

        Now trying Nylas, it looks great, supports gmail OOTB, feels modern. But it’s a RAM and CPU hog– slows down my RAM-limited computer.

        Thunderbird looks and feels like a dinosaur to me, also a resource hog, and too-complicated preferences– i don’t need all that complexity!

        eM has modern look, feel, and features (like Nylas), but very slow syncing, and stores email locally (eating up disk space– i use IMAP instead of POP so i don’t NEED to store mails locally!), and does not have server-based search (only searches mails that have already been downloaded).


      2. There are many forms of communication. Social networks and chat apps are fine for casual written conversations. It is not suitable for business communication. Many people wisely avoid social networks which are basically ad delivery systems.

  38. My wife is a very enthousiastic user of IncrediMail. I tried it on her PC and it looks very nice to me. It has a large number of facilities: an inbox with all accounts combined, good address book, excellent search functions, nice interface, etc. etc.
    But when I look on the internet I learn that IncrediMail is garbage and their support is pretty bad.
    I spent a good part of the day to read all the reviews and all the reactions, but never saw a reference to IncrediMail. What does that mean? Good, bad or unknown? Who can enlighten me? Thank you.

      1. Thank you Matteo. Unfortunately I must say this is a somewhat unsatisfactory answer. At least you should give some arguments for this explicit negative verdict. I have over the years tried various email clients, and none of them really satisfied me, where this one looks so nice and works so well. And that is the free version, where I’m willing to pay for it to get rid of the ads. One flaw ( and a very important one in my opinion) I discovered is the fact that you can’t export your emails easely into another client. May I ask again to enlighten me? At least so I can persuade my wife to abandon this “to bad to mention product”. Thank you very much.

        1. sorry for the quick reply. I’ll take another look at it and possibly post an in-depth review with the next email clients review. All I can say for now is that they clearly specialized in making things pretty completely ignoring the technical aspects that really matters.

  39. I am at my wit’s end looking for an email program. I just want one that will enable 4 email accounts and for the making of folders. I hate the email that comes with Windows 10. I have tried several, Thunderbird (kept crashing), emClient (would not accept my Time Warner Cable emails) and Mailbird. I do not want all the bells and whistles, just a simple email. I don’t need to be connected to Facebook, chat etc. I can’t find anything. I am willing to pay unless it’s pricey.

    1. You probably don’t want to hear this – but if Thunderbird keeps crashing it’s likely something about your computer. Possibly a conflict with another program. You may also want to completely delete any Thunderbird profile or data and re-install.

  40. OE Classic has excellent support for the free version, BUT when the “no ad in your email message” full version is purchased, support is silent. There is an icon for Spell Checking in the composition window, but it is not functional (I’m using Win7 64) on either the free or paid versions. Even this reply window graces the writer with that function! I found a bug with the arrangement of folder list, mail list and read panes. I downloaded the client because I’m nostalgic for the WinXP GUI days I guess. I have not asked for a refund under the paid agreement terms yet, but my guess is I don’t get a reply. User/Buyer beware!

    1. OE Classic finally responded and informed me the spell check dictionary is functional only by association to a program or OS. The spell check does not function independently with Win7, only with Win8 forward. A refund was issued.

  41. Not the most elegant solution…but…

    The best IMAP client I’ve ever worked with is AquaMail on Android. The developer has no intentions of expanding this to other platforms (he’s been asked!) so normally you’ll only see this on your phone/tablet. But…using an Android emulator like Bluestacks, you can now use it on the PC!

    I switch back and forth between that and Thunderbird. Tried EM Client for a while…then came back to Thunderbird. EM has a LOT of nice features – but the lack of server-side search and a missing “forward as original” function is just too frustrating for me as a business user.

    1. EM Client as 3 options for forwarding, Forward, Forward as attachment and Forward as original. This is for version 7. I can’t remember if it was in 6.

    2. I would agree that AquaMail is great on Android. Huge functionality and settings available.

      Increasingly I find the problem is getting a solution that works across all devices and your suggestion to use Bluestacks is an interesting way round that problem. I will definitely try it out. Thanks!

  42. Great review. I tested a lot of email clients myself, searching for ergonomy. I used french Gaston (abandoned) , Thunderbird (heavy, searching is so hard – a corrupted profile killed all my wife’s mail and even with backup, I could not retrieve them), Pocomail (near perfection, handy to use and complete in ergonomy – but abandoned), Thunderbird again + Thunderbird Conversation (better in ergonomy but still hard searching and sometimes Conversation does not help in managing the threads) and now EM Client 7.
    I’m a “basic” user (no particular professional needs) and in my opinion EM Client is the more ergonomic for the moment. The new discussion feature is great: you have regular listing of mails and direct access to discussion without complex presentation. The Contact Detail sidebar simplify greatly searches – you’ve got an history of all mails relative to the contact. And searching is simpler than Thunderbird. And I like the listing of contacts.
    For my usage, it lacks quick answer, easy quotes selection, complete templates (but speed text insertion is interesting). And compatibility with Mailstore
    You should test Mailstore as I considered it’s the best companion for any mailer program.

  43. Originally, I had all my email accounts in Google Gmail and used that. I also use Google calendar. I was looking for standalone options and found Mailbird. Good reviews (ahem). I purchased it ($6 on sale for a “limited time”). Then I saw what features it was missing and read the concerns about privacy. I installed Thunderbird. Something about it just didn’t fit my needs but it was worth a try. I finally uninstalled Mailbird.

    After reading the comments here about eM Client I downloaded it. So far, I like it. I don’t know if I can justify the $49 license fee for an email client after using Gmail free for a couple years but it’s a good contender.

  44. Improvement Suggestion:

    Mandatory: Please god, make all bloggers to TIMESTAMP their posts/articles…
    Mandatory: Please god, bring webdesign 1.0 back (scrolling webpage up and down nowadays is was not my today’s main plan…)
    Consider: Comment section takes way to much space when loading popular article, make it auto-collapse

  45. I’ve tried many clients when I got my new Laptop last month.

    Thunderbird was out quickly, because the search is abysmal. With a few accounts worth a few gigabyte of mails you WILL NOT FIND ANYTHING.

    Outlook: No. Just no.

    Postbox: Nice program, but absolutely useless on 4K-Displays.

    Mailbird: Nice interface, but it was driving me mad with some design quirks as not showing the folder structure all the time and not being able to move mails between folders on different accounts.

    So after a while I started using emClient and I really love it. Search is absolutely cool and ultra fast, it supports Exchange and IMAP in one interface, shows my calendar. Some quirks are there too: Especially when creating events not everything works as planned and the Sync-Errors are always prominently displayed…

    My choice: emClient. I bought it and I don’t regret it.

  46. Matteo, your comments are invaluable, thank you so much.
    Thunderbird works perfectly for my many email addresses and I like its uncluttered appearance. Then a computer magazine stupidly recommended mailbird and I paid Mailbird a lifetime subscription which I now regret. Mailbird is awful, some of its windows freeze and stop me using my computer, it does not do many of the simple things Thunderbird can do e.g. move emails to another address, create new folder etc etc).
    I am using Thunderbird now, which I find is the best of the bunch and which is perfect for my purposes.
    I’ll keep reading your comments.

    1. I’ve used Thunderbird for several years; I had tried Pegasus many years ago but gave up because it stalled too often.

      Now, with Windows 10, I find that Thunderbird has taken to intermittently freezing for up to 10 minutes at a time. My Tbird installation is new (although I used MozBackup to restore mail, settings, etc.) so I assume the problem arises from extension conflicts.

      I was about to try Mailbird until I read the review and your comment, both of which are greatly appreciated.

  47. I just recently installed the free version of eM Client v.7.0.26687 on a crappy old XP laptop, so I could check my Hotmail account without having to use a slow browser connection, and to get a local copy of my historical emails. So far I’m pretty happy with it: no crashes yet, reasonably fast on a slow machine, can export to .eml files, built-in backup, etc.

  48. Well !!! my turn I guess…spent all day reading this…congrad on this Matteo !!!!
    Very instructive, absolutely loved all the comments ….with no idiots !!!
    So, my problem WLM 2011 on win7….Were in august 2016 and was still able to sync with my hotmail, live, outlook or whatever they want to call it now…but i think they found me and now 2 of my emails won’t sync….So ended up here to find the right “mail client” as u call it. Started to write down on a piece of paper (Yep ! that still exists) all the client and crossing them and adding some, one by one…so the ones left are The Bat, Claws from Matteo review and postbox and everdesk…am still a bit confused…I would love to try Claws but u said it was hard to configure…and I don’t want to pay for Bat..and not sure about thunderbird…
    My need : -multiple mail address – security – desktop user – want imap and pop (whatever that means) no need to explain i’ll google it..-
    since we are all doomed and I don’t want to change mail client in the future, any suggestions that will not undermined security ? and be able to read all my email from different accounts simultaneously ? and not being tracked while doing it ?
    As u notice i’m the idiot one..since i’m still confused about the whole learning experience but I learned a lot from all the posts and want to thank you all for this.

  49. I am using Opera Mail for quite a some time and find this quite satisfying all the expectations of a good email client. It saves the emails in date wise folders and emails can bee seen file wise in these folders. I have two not-so-minor issues with OM:
    1. When replying an email, the signature part appears at the bottom most part of all the trailing mails, whereas it should be placed at the top of the mails where I start typing the reply. Consequently, every time replying or forwarding emails, I have to cut the signature lines and paste the same at the top at appropriate place.
    2. I don’t see any settings or preferences to change (or place) the database at some other drive.

  50. I wanted to follow-up regarding the review of Mailbird, specifically this portion:

    “I installed the latest version and fired a packet sniffer. If you don’t disable the usage sharing, Mailbird indeed sends analytics to mixpanel and to one of their server hosted on unoeuro (a cheap 1-euro hosting service).

    If you opt-out they don’t send data to mixpanel, but there’s still encrypted communication with Funnily enough that same IP resolves to which was the domain that Mailbird previously used to leak data. I can’t say what they are sharing, but surely the opt-out is not completely opting you out.”

    I have contacted Mailbird support, and their response said the following:

    “that ‘3rd party server’ mentioned in the article is our licensing system. We use it to check your license validity every time you load Mailbird. That’s it!”

    What are your (or other users’) thoughts on that? Do you feel the claim is credible and have you found any new information regarding this Mailbird issue since your review?


    1. it seems a reasonable explanation. I don’t think the software is a security risk anymore, it is simply not a good email client.

  51. I was an user of EM Client V6, the classical interface was pleasant and clear.

    As they lauched EMClient V7, I was particularly interested in conversation gestion.

    But after two month, I downgraded to EM V6, because the interface of V7 is not nice.

    I asked the dev team if i should be possible to restore the former interface, they said “no”….

    1. > But after two month, I downgraded to EM V6, because the interface of V7 is not nice.
      Was my decision too: conversations are really nice, but interface… They got sucked with touch-interace guidlines so much, they abandoned everything else.

  52. Hey,
    I’ve listen to you and stuck with Thunderbird. It worked (OK) till the last update (big mistake).
    Ever-since, I have a message about a password on one of the accounts. I used to have the same message in the past, but I was simply ignoring it (closing the message, because the password was the good one, but IT didn’t think so).
    Nowadays, the hole thing is unresponsive. I have two options: to close the hole thing (Thunderbird), or to look powerlessly at the stupid message.
    Any advice?
    Thank you!

    1. what email account is it (hotmail? gmail? …?). What error do you get?

  53. Thanks for the reviews. Ive been a netscape/thunderbird user since day dot, but lately thunderbird has been hanging so badly and so often I decided to look elsewhere. After reading through the reviews and all the comments, I got to the bat and em client. Downloaded both, opened em first and was off to the races in no time….So far so good. The bat, while it seems to be ‘better’ and more ‘robust’ in search etc is soooooooo complicated, for me anyway, to set up that I’ve kind of given up. The menus just go on and on and on and you cant tell what you’re doing until its done….no good?, wrong box checked?, start all over again. All this to say that for now I’m sticking with Em and I downloaded thunderbird beta which I’ll keep in the background just in case Em ‘fails’

    thanks again for the very informative site you run

  54. I find it hard to believe that Thunderbird is still being lifted up as a good email client. Do the reviewers get a different version than the standard download? The one I installed just yesterday is horrible. The Filtering does not work. There are hundreds of posts looking for solutions to the useless Filter system. Filtering is a key factor. As much as I wish to replace Outlook, it has the best system going.

  55. Thanks for this review, Matteo.

    I’m about to change email servers AND email clients, and I knew it was a daunting task, but your post confirms it.

    I was hoping that eM client or Mailbird would be useful alternatives to Outlook, but your article + the reviews have indicated that this path will not likely be one of success.

    I’m still going to poke around a bit and test a few of them out. I used the Bat! back in the day, and also Thunderbird long, long ago. I was expecting to go with Thunderbird, and from the looks of things, that is where I might have to end up for now.

    I have several Exchange accounts, plus Gmail and that I plan to integrate here…


  56. I spent the last 2 days downloading, installing and testing over 20 e-mail clients and I decided I would give my 2 cents to anyone that was happy using Windows Live Mail 2007 for business but can no longer do so.

    I didn’t upgrade to 2010 or 2012 because I need to have both the ‘To’ and ‘From’ buttons on the top of the columns. This way, I can see all the e-mails that I have been exchanging with the person on one window. The upgraded version only allowed for the ‘From’ button on the column so I would have to switch back and forth from my inbox to my sent folders.

    There were only 2 e-mail clients that had this option. The Bat and Incredimail. Incredimail was OK but not the best to use for business.

    The Bat is excellent! Functionally, it is a 5/5! The search function is amazing! Windows Live only allowed one window open so you had to close your history of e-mails with one person to then go open a history of e-mails with another person. The Bat allows you to keep multiple windows open with all histories so you can see all e-mails exchanged from multiple people without closing them! And these are separate windows from your inbox so you don’t have to reorganize your mail order again and again.

    The only thing I can see as a future improvement is an upgrade with better and cleaner graphics and colors.

    To any business person that relies on e-mails as their main source of contact with customers, I strongly recommend The Bat! $59 is well worth it!

    Thank you ‘The Bat’ people!

    1. Don’t forget to pay additional 10$ for antispam plugin <_<
      What a ripoff !


    I am an Office 365 Small Business subscriber. I not only decry the flat ribbon interface of the Office 2016 apps but also Micro$oft’s push for cross-platform integration of OneDrive, Skype, Lync, Sharepoint, etc. Their back-end Office 365 Admin interface is a navigation nightmare. I like Micro$oft’s Exchange service but I cannot figure out how to isolate install only Outlook 2016 after attempting many times to configure their C2R Deployment util based on their support kb. It seems all or nothing with them now. So, I uninstalled all of Office2016 and installed LibreOffice instead. Thank you Jesus… and now reading this review of email clients to replace Outlook for less than the $110 price tag at the Micro$oft store.

    To embellish my reply a bit, how much is it worth for software companies to alienate their loyal user base just for the sake of change? This is the elephant in the room most experienced users I know are mentioning off topic but only time will tell how ugly it really gets. Example, I use GIMP instead of Photoshop and it’s wonderful. The software industry is eating itself.

    I’m 45 years old. First gaming console: Atari 2600. First personal computer: Apple II.

  58. A very nice discussion here after a very good blog post by Matteo! I am self-employed as computer tech from 2005 till present. Since the announcements last April of changes at Microsoft for their new server access to better fit their fancy new webmail at, I have had to look for and test client software other than Windows Live Mail to fit the bill – or thought I did. I have tested several but always came up wanting – as would my clients I presume. I arrived here today looking for 2016 reviews of the Mail program from MS for Win10 – hoping to find something positive since last year – ha!

    So for the lovers of WLM I am chiming in. I have been supporting and using Windows Live Mail since the demise of Outlook Express. I use the 2012 version everyday for two MS accounts (now on Win 7 to 10 upgrade). The roll-out of the server changes to users continues and last week I was turned off for one of my accounts. Am also quite busy helping others with this problem. I discovered a solution that works to keep using WLM – with only one or two small quirks. One is that two junk folders now appear and I don’t yet know if I need to keep the one named Junk – will wait and see. The one named Junk E-mail is the official folder because it has the X for emptying. I’ve seen with some clients that both might receive content. Also the initial populating of inbox may put many non-junk emails there but later all is fine. The other issue is that the column headings for sent and inbox mimic each other now so adding To to the columns in Sent also adds To to the columns in Inbox. Also, sizing the columns is mimicked. Oh well, you can open up/stretch the To field in Sent if needed and then close it down to narrow after.

    Caveats aside, you will add a new email account to make use of the new settings. After you will need to delete the previous account setup. It may be better to delete the non-working account first but am not wanting to lose contacts if only one account configured (seen that happen and don’t want to export/import if I don’t have to). I am only addressing IMAP configurations here as I feel that has been the best way to start any email client setup for many years now. When setting up the new email account choose IMAP; then fill in your credentials. Look for and choose Manually configure server settings (and maybe check to make account default). Here are the server settings: – – use SSL for both and use Authentication for SMTP. The port numbers are 993 incoming and 587 outgoing.


  59. Great review, and good, sensible, informative comments!

    Now, my issue is:…

    Like a number of people who have made comments, I prefer to keep my e-mails in-house and not in the cloud.

    I’m currently using Thunderbird 45.2.0 downloading two accounts from POP3 servers, after previously using at various times and in various places, OE, Outlook & WLM.

    I have been using computers (and once upon a time, programming) since the early 1970’s (punched tape & cards!) and consequently, like others, I am disappointed with the dumbing down of Windows interfaces and the apparently over-complication of OS directory structures, and being forced to (not) use Microsoft’s useless on-line help.

    At home I try to keep things simple with my now, three computers: a 7 year old upper-market laptop running Win XP (downgraded from Vista) that still works fine and is used extensively, a 12 year old home-upgraded powerful desk-top running Win 7 and a fairly new “not-cheap” 2-in-1 tablet/laptop running Win 10; and a network hard-drive.

    The reason I moved to Thunderbird was to have compatibility across the three machines (and operating systems) and be able to have e-mail archives stored in Local Folders (“Special Account … with no associated identities”) where the Local Directory has been set up to the mapped network drive. E-mails are therefore immediately accessible from any computer on the network running Thunderbird where its “Local Folders” has its Local Directory set up the same way.

    As Matteo has mentioned, it is now possible in new versions of Thunderbird, to set NEW accounts (in the Options menu) to the Maildir format, but, apparently, only for the e-mail account files, not the Local Folders, which only shows up a greyed Mbox option in account set-up.

    Have I missed something?

    Alternatively, is there another e-mail client out there that offers Maildir format and ‘external’ archive storage also in Maildir format from within the package?

    It seems a bit odd that Thunderbird’s local folders (where one would naturally put one’s “archives” and where implementation of one-file-per-email would seem the most appropriate) does not have this option, but then that’s Thunderbird for you!

    I find Thunderbird OK, but it loads -on all machines -terribly slowly and does occasionally hang on opening, and as ‘RG’ notes, seems to get itself into some kind of a loop for a couple of minutes every now and then, though it has not corrupted any data to-date!

    Like ‘Ken N’, I found WLM (and its Maildir and eml files) to be quite acceptable, and even devised a quick method of being able to transfer/copy/import e-mails that were downloaded to OE on my ‘old’ computer as required through the network, but in my case Thunderbird (under the different operating systems) has become the much better option with networked archives.

    I am currently avoiding Outlook (as part of MS-Office, of which I am still using an old version on all machines) as I’m not sure where it will go in the future (and I rather like eml files!).

    I have briefy played with eM Client, Claws, Opera and a couple of others as well as reading many of the various e-mail client web pages but so far nothing suits.

    Any ideas?

    For me, Maildir is the way forward as e-mails become simple eml files that can be read in a Windows Explorer Preview pane if necessary.


    1. I haven’t tried myself, but you have to first set the maildir as default storage, then create a new profile. At that point the Local folder should be set as maildir automatically.

      1. Ah!
        Forgot about profiles (a bit of blinkered thought there!).

        Certainly, adding another account to an existing profile can adopt a maildir format but this only adds it to the existing accounts where the local folders remain the same and cannot be changed to maildir even if a new location is specified.

        However a quick look at the Thunderbird help web pages refer to a Profile Manager which is normally hidden and needs to be brought up with a switch at start up, so I’ll give it a go and see what happens. Watch this space (as I’m on the other side of the world (Australia) its already late evening so don’t hold your breath)!

        Many thanks, Matteo

      2. Thanks Matteo, that worked!

        However, when the new Thunderbird profile starts prompting you for an account name etc, you have to exit the dialog and ignore everything it tries to get you to do and go straight into Options>Options>Advanced and reset the “Message Store Type for New Accounts” to Maildir before ANY account is created on the profile, otherwise Local Folders becomes an Mbox by default and cannot later be changed.

        Now I have to just ‘import’ the files from one profile to the other in the new format.

        Also now playing with a 30 day Everdesk trial which has some good points (network & external drive support for archives etc) but not happy with the way it names its files at this stage (on e-mail title and each original attachment file name only) and how it may rebuild the links in its databases between the original e-mails and the separately stored attachment files if the database goes missing or becomes corrupted.

        Removing a database file from a directory seems to either prevent Everdisk starting up or it goes into a very time-consuming rebuild which it hasn’t yet come out of! We’ll have to see.

        Anybody have any comments on Everdesk?


        1. glad you sorted it out!

          Everdesk seemed a little bloated the last time I tried it, but it was few years ago.

          1. Hi Matteo, yes, as an e-mail client, EverDesk is bloated.

            At least it hasn’t hung again; it seems it was a one-off and probably caused by something else; it has quickly rebuilt databases on subsequent tries.

            Today I was having a go with a trial version of The Bat! that hung and needed Task manager to get out of. Also tried Mailstore to manage archives, but it doesn’t handle network drives!

            Actually EverDesk’s concept is something I have been looking for, for years: a document management system integrating e-mails (stored as individual files), snail-mail documents and attachments, and working documents, with all files in their original format and in a folder/directory hierarchy that can also be managed with Win Explorer (and one hopes, makes it relatively future-proof against platform changes and software becoming obsolete!

            Unfortunately, with what I have messed around with so far, EverDesk fails to deliver and it is very light on being able to customise!

            The biggest issues I have (among quite a few) are:

            1: It automatically extracts and saves all attachments as individual files in their original name as well as retaining the fully intact e-mail (still containing the attachments) as a file with an eml extension. This is -therefore -pretty inefficient storage-wise, as it can almost double your disk storage usage if you have a lot of attachments (it would be better if it was an option to apply to specific files you may be working on)

            2: Though it stores e-mails as eml files (good!), the filename is taken (only) from the e-mail title, including any ‘RE’ or ‘FW’ or equivalent in the title.

            3: It does not recognise attachments within eml files already in your document folders created or exported by other software (hence no paper clip in the file/message list to let you know). It reads the eml text fine and it opens it in a separate window on double click but it doesn’t notice any attachment. Given that other (even freeware) eml file readers can display text and attachments in individual eml files in a single window (and even WLM does this if it is still associated with the eml extension) this is a disappointment.

            4: It will recognise the attachments within an e-mail if you drag/drop an externally created eml file into your mailbox (and drag/drop it back out again), but then it renames the file and extracts all the attachments as separate files as in (1) above!

            Although EverDesk (within itself) manages it all (quite nicely IMHO) with a text-based database file in each directory and it assigns hierarchical “MsgID”s (based on date, time and serial numbers) which links the associated files, it unfortunately makes their ‘integrated e-mail and file management’ (EverDesk’s words) directory contents an absolute mess outside of the software itself, because of the way it names/renames the files on disk.

            It would have been far better to prefix each message title and attachment name with the (date-based) MsgID it assigns in its databases when saving to file, to keep things in a more logical order.

            On a similar matter, I think Thunderbird has a quite nifty Import/Export tool add-on that allows the export of e-mails to stand-alone eml files (along with other options). This allows the customisation of saved file names consisting of up to three of the following in any order: Subject, Date (& Time), Index, Name (of sender or receiver or either) and a user prefix.

            It’s a pity however that Thunderbird cannot then read those files if you put them into one of its own Maildir directories (it seems Thunderbird stores its internal Maildir (eml) files without a file extension and it won’t read files that do have an eml extension (unlike Win Mail versions). It’s not a problem to strip the file extension using a batch rename utility, but then that increases messiness and means that an external eml file reader cannot then recognise the files from Win Explorer!).

            Oh well, as you say, there are so many things wrong with ALL e-mail clients, including using filenames consisting of random number serial numbers rather than sent/received date/time and subject based serial numbers.

            Reading your comments and those of contributors on the deficiencies of the various e-mail clients has been very informative though for me, at the moment I am more concerned with getting rid of my multiple huge mbox files and being able to identify and read e-mail documents as eml files outside of any specific e-mail client on a home network. EverDesk came close but seems not close enough to purchase.

            Apologies this has been a bit of a ramble, but some readers might get some info out of the above, though I will of course -in due course -be sending EverDesk my 2-cents worth; as -possibly -Jeremy Gordon has done following his comments (2016-05-08), which is what got me started on EverDesk in the first place!

            Many thanks for an excellent, concise forum on current e-mail clients.

  60. Hey Matteo,
    Thank you for this nice run-down of the different E-Mail clients and your thoughts.

    I had one query that I’ve spent hours trying to answer and I don’t seem to be able to find one, so perhaps your experience with these clients can answer this question.

    I use Categories in to filter mail with, do any of the clients you tested keep the Categories when dowloading the E-Mails?

    Thanks again,

    1. I haven’t tried myself but I suspect “categories” are handled as folders in IMAP, so yeah theoretically it should work pretty much anywhere. The most likely to work is EMClient being the closest to MS canons.

    2. Categories in don’t actually filter messages, they just add labels to messages for a quick overview. I don’t think there is any email program to handle those categories and I would still rather create separate folders and automatically filter messages into the dedicated folders like I always did across my multiple accounts in The Bat! email client. This brings order and peace of mind as I don’t have to worry whether the email service added the correct label to certain messages.

  61. Dreammail was a very promissing client. Blocking junk…blacklist..blocking domain….. but it had vulnerability in previous version 4.9. Dont know, if it has been fixed already in latest version? Can any expert verify this?????

  62. Some very interesting and informed posts.
    As a long time user of the Thunderbird family, you’ve confinced me to stick with it as it does everything I need without all these screen hogging graphics.
    I like to see as much of the information in one screen and not to have to keep scrolling.
    Also has a backup which is getting long in the tooth namely ‘MosBackup’.

    1. Ron sums up Thunderbird so concisely. No fancy graphics, just the information from all the email addresses visible on one screen.

  63. Have been using Thunderbird for years. Came here a couple of years ago, tried mailbird but not suitable for my needs. Went back to Thunderbird, now having problems with Thunderbird not acquiring emails for hours when they are there on the web based interface. Did Mozbackup, deleted Thunderbird and appData/roaming reinstalled Tbird latest version and still the same problems. I’ve been blaming Charter (the isp) but if it’s there on their web based interface it should be in my inbox a few minutes later and they don’t come in for hours. My wife does well with Thunderbird, but I archive about 1250/1500 messages a year for the last three years and something in Thunderbird is choking/burping and I will lose an incoming every six months to a year.

    Am doing The Bat trial, it seems to be working pretty well. I don’t give a rip what the interface looks like, all I want it to do is work. Would pay more than The Bat costs to resolve my issues.

    Started to install Claws, install seemed Clunky so I figured I would give The Bat a try.

    1. The Bat! has decent support, just contact those guys and they will give you a hand.

  64. Hi Matteo, have been having problems as well thunderBird..,It is not working as well the past few weeks Been using it for 2Yrs on win 10..can’t put my finger on it.Has slowed down has not downloaded mail although downloads some.all bloody Adverts though..and minor bits of mail..I don’t no.I have deleted Tbird reinstalled..Still the same.Sorry lot of rambling, just happened find your blog while searching for for alternitives.Very informed and great answers from you..will be taking a lot of your knowledge..With me as I ponder whether I throw this LapTop into the garbage..And take the old way..bloody letter writing..HaHa.Cheers mate, from a 74 Yr old who cut his teeth on Commodor 64…Tedd

  65. Wonderful blog entry, congrats to the author Matteo for a job well done. Like the author, most reviews are clickbait sales tools so I was pleased to find this conversation.

    I am currently using Windows 10 (Anniversary Edition) and running a parallel test of my WLM (2012) with OE Classic Pro Paid (Beta 2.52). I need to keep legacy mail for legal purposes. The conversion between WLM and OEC went well, but took a few hours due to the quantity of mail processed. Other than some strange folder name issues, everything was ok. OEC does not appear to support MAPI, Enhanced Security, Plug-in Capability, and my most problematical issue — OEC will not properly register with Windows 10 so I can select it for a default mail handler or support the mailto function used to send links and pages from my browsers.

    Support appears to be fairly quick, but the answers are essentially wait until we fix it. There is a list of fixes that you can vote on, but that appears to be a crapshoot. When the advertising claims it is the perfect replacement for OE, it is somewhat puffery if you are expecting much for than a simple POP3 mail client.

  66. Hi and thank you for the review. I have been using Thunderbird since changing from Pocomail about 2 years ago. I have 10 email accounts (IMAP and POP3) collected over the years and my email folder totals about 5GB. Thunderbird handles this all very well and using Windows 7 x64 with an SSD and a fibre broadband collection it all seems very snappy and no slowdowns whatever. Brilliant!
    Interestingly the latest UK Computer shopper mag had a short review of 4 email clients and gives Mailbird top billing. I have written to their letters page and asked them to have a look at your review and to comment on the lax security. Waiting to see if they do.
    Thanks again.

    1. I have also written to UK Computer shopper telling them that Maibird cannot do the most basic tasks, like sorting emails by date, sender or recipient. Nor can it copy or move mail between email addresses.

  67. Very helpful post, but not encouraging for me. I’m a fossil still using Eudora on Win XP, and despite all the good reasons to upgrade, I cling to Eudora because it works the way I want it to. I’m not hugely concerned with security (have had to disable most of the SSL because it can’t handle newer certificates) but do have to juggle about 20 aliases with multiple mailboxes, and nothing I’ve tried handles that as smoothly as Eudora. (WordPerfect Mail came close– why did you not review that?) So I keep Eudora for the accounts where it will work (mostly from my own server) , and reluctantly use Thunderbird for the others (muttering all the while). But before long I will be forced to move to Win 10 and I may have to move into the world of cluttered interface and 100 configurations/features, none of which are the ones I want.

    1. grazie Matteo, two very useful reviews
      To Eudora users.
      I used it since 1991. Now I have problems related to a bigger in-box (700 Mb, 70k msg) (I have to archive block of messages in other boxes why indexing fails and when I move the right cursor to the last mail the first mails are displayed instead) and to spam.
      I search the web for an alternative. Tried thunderB but the import procedure is difficult and, in any case, it stores attachments inside the body of the mails. I searched for a client that automatically save attached file individually in a separate folder. ThunderB does that using plugins but they all have problems.
      Finally, I find the bat!. It is quite horrible and that icons remember me the DOS era, not xp. But it was able to import all my mails (200k) flawlessly. And it has the option to store attachments in a separate folder, just like Eudora does.
      If someone knows about another client with this feature, please, let us know.
      thank you again, Matteo

    2. Aloha Brian!
      Happy to see another XP user (I do multi-boot W2k, 2k3 Server, W7 & Linux) but will keep using XP until I can’t. You can simply update your root certs to fix problems with the SSL. Worked for me a charm. 😉 You’ll have to look around for the latest file. If I can find it I’ll send it if you want.
      But a healthy look around the web should get you what you need.

  68. A friend sent me an email which took an age to download in my T’bird 45.3.0 in W7. I then was away for a week. When I got back my desktop was almost impossibly slow – 17 minutes to boot up. I eventually switched T’bird to Safe Mode and am up to speed again.
    I will have to replace T’bird but one feature I would find it difficult to live without is its Add-On ‘Show InOut’: all my incoming emails (via Spamarrest) and my outgoings appear threaded in my Inbox, the incoming ones differentiated in italics.
    Maybe another client has this feature; let me know…

  69. Hi just one question how old is the info in this post? Cause here I read (in the comments atleast) only bad things about the eM client, but when I do a google search on “best mail client windows”, right after this post I see other bloggers and corporations pleading for eM client.

    So yeah count me as confused.

    Hope to get a respond soon need a good mail client for diffrent things.

    Furthermore great post, it seems you take it serious and kudos for checking if clients correctly make use of encryptions (which is in this modern day of age, I dare to say MOST important).

    1. most of the blog posts I’ve read online are click baits. None of them have actually tried the email clients for more than 3 minutes.

  70. Tried them all, they are all still lacking compared to Outlook desktop. Mailbird looks the best and has the best app integration but poor contacts, till it can sync with google contacts and have some features it is just for email only. Em Client if you have to have another email client besides outlook. All the others look like from the nineties or missing key calender or contact functions or both

  71. The Bat! is about getting things done. It takes time to learn all its power features, but then it saves precious time dealing with everyday email. I’ve been using it for a decade and all in all it’s the best email client by far.

  72. hi
    I read about a client calle Pandora made by Brana, the author of various Eudora plugins.
    Any news about this?

  73. I’ve personally used Thunderbird for 10+ years and I’ve had to deal with a bunch of clients who use Outlook over roughly the same amount of time. That being said, I was typically cleaning up the messes they created on their desktops, installing software, configuring email accounts on outlook etc. I absolutely prefer Thunderbird over Outlook. To me, it just has a good flow, and performs flawlessly for me while having 10GB+ of emails spread across 8-10 accounts. I use many different PCs, and Thunderbird syncs with perfection across each account, on each and every PC I own.

    I came here to look for an alternative, because like many of you (I assume) I enjoy new software with new, and USEFUL, features. It looks like I’ll be sticking with Thunderbird, and after realizing this, I’ll be sending them over a small donation to keep things going.

    As for the rest of the email clients here, to be honest, I haven’t tried them. If anyone has some solid arguments as to why a different client would be more beneficial to me as opposed to Thunderbird, I am very open to hearing any suggestions.

  74. I am a corporate user who has come from Lotus Notes mail client. For 18 years I have been hating it – until now – that I have to use Ms Outlook. Suddenly Notes doesn’t seem that bad any more.
    I find it incredible that something as easy as email client is so full of time wasting software.
    I’ll give Thunderbird a go.

  75. Great post! good comments/reviews to consider. I used Lotus Notes in my first job; I can’t say I remember much about it but I do recall that search feature was great, specially when looking for people when the e-mail included a lot of people. Outlook on the other hand was horrible at it, if sorting you had to know the exact order of all the people in the e-mail to find it!

    I’m looking for an e-mail client and are discouraged to find the perfect one per this post and comments 🙁 I’d like one that can support many e-mail accounts (hotmail, gmail, etc) and to be able to also read them in one inbox. I currently use outlook but I have to check the inbox for each e-mail account. Takes a lot of time. Is there a way to see them altogether? Kind of the e-mail app from iPhone. I’m looking for something like that. To be able to have the folders for each in case I just want to see a specific one, but also to be able to see All Inboxes at once.

    Things I’m looking for: (1) have many accounts and be able to see them at once instead of going through each inbox (2) security (3) Design (4) good search functionality (5) not crashing nor hanging (6) free. I know, too much to ask for 🙂

    Per the post and comments it seems the best is Thunderbird though I’m afraid about it crashing or hanging a lot. I think I’ll try it anyway, as well as Postbox. Would I be able to have several e-mail clients at once and be able to retrieve them? I mean, I don’t want them to download in one place and no be able to see it in the other and loosing them if switching to another one.

  76. “Nowadays 90% of the emails are consumed through the web on Gmail, Yahoo or”

    Depends on the country. Here the above mentioned services play only a minor role with a market share of about 8% – all of them combined.

  77. Hello Matteo

    Great article! and fantastic inputs from my like minded users who still need a stand alone email client on the desktop!
    I have a simple requirement; I have tons of decade old mails on my gmail, Hotmail and yahoo accounts. I need a client that will allow me to download the mails beginning from a certain specific date onwards (this is different from the ‘synchronise the mails for last so and so days’ feature). Do you have any suggestions? I would be happy if you can suggest ways to do this in Thunderbird or Opera as I have used them in the past.

  78. BTW in the above requirement I do not want to move around the mails from inbox to any other folder or label them differently from whatever it is now.
    Thanks in advance.

  79. Not an email client, but for backup purposes of mailing accounts, MailStore Home is great (and free for personal use). And it has a great and quick search feature of single messages or attachments stored in the archives it creates.

  80. I am on eM Client 6 since the first version of this blog post and really like it. Will give ClawsMail a try for my 2nd machine, as eMClient is still a bit expensive when you have more than two accounts.

    (as for the click bait posts and authors who don’t even use their test products for more than three minutes: yes! Which is why this and your previous e-mail client tests are so important. Thx!)

  81. Hi
    I’m looking to an email client able to preview attachment (word, excel, pdf, and pics) INTO mail window with only ONE click
    NOT opening word, excel, pdf reader… etc (really fastidious)
    Do you know one?

    1. We recognise and share the frustration with current email clients and have created our own new email client to address many of the issues.

      Hexamail Flow is currently under intense active development and we welcome any feedback from our initial release:

      The main aims we had:
      – allow linking of calendar events, tasks and contacts to the email related to them. it seems crazy that this is not available in (any?) current email clients as its crucial to managing email and associated events etc
      – make email more visual as the brain is very good at visual information processing:
      Colour email lists according to the type of sender, how often they send and whether you have replied
      – automate as much as possible including rule-creation and folder-filing
      – allow the UI to be customized and remember everything about the customization
      – “don’t be dumb” e.g. if you choose to save attachments from a particular sender in a specific folder, automatically select that one next time etc!
      – allow subject lines to be re-typed in the client to be more descriptive
      – allow association of meta-data (notes, web links and maps) with email
      – support all major email providers (and protocols) to allow GMAIL, IMAP and Exchange to co-exist.
      – support OPEN and STANDARD protocols whenever available. Caldav, Carddav, IMAP, etc.

      We currently do store email in a database system to prevent the issues associated with too many files on Windows (it becomes very slow to manage) and allow efficient compression and encryption of the disk storage, but may make this optional if there is a lot of demand for 1 file-per-email!

      1. thanks for the heads-up, Pete. I will be checking your client in the coming days.

  82. I use email for my business, so I thought that I would add my two cents.

    I used to use Thunderbird and initially I was happy with it, but over time the drawbacks of the software forced me to look at other software.

    My main problems with Thunderbird was very poor support for remote calendars – I needed to be able to edit the calendar in Thunderbird. This never worked reliably so I used to have to login to my calendar website.

    The second and big issue for me was the poor flagging and categories functionality – if you have five email accounts, many subfolders within the inbox you will understand what I mean!

    Lastly, Thunderbird was getting slower and slower and some issues (bugs or lack of features) had been outstanding for years.

    So I trialled Em Client when they were launching version 7.

    EM Client has addressed my problems in their calendar works brilliantly and I really love their flagging, category functionality in that all my flagged emails show up nicely on the RHS pane along with my calendar appointments etc. I think the layout and functionality of Em Client is far superior to Thunderbird. In addition the setup is much better than Thunderbird’s clunky interface. Although I have not got around to setting it up, they also have the Quicktext feature so beloved in Thunderbird!

    However, I do think that EM Client seems to be one step beyond beta version as its not been without problems. After one update, I found that Em Client crashed a lot when writing long emails. They fixed this with another update quite quickly, so that was not a problem. But their html editor is so full of bugs that I am having to use Thunderbird for my HTML Marketing Emails as I gave up with EM Client HTML editor. Also I occasionally get an issue where I open an email that has just been received and it says that it has not been downloaded, so I have to refresh to force a download and then it opens fine.

    All in all I am actually very happy with EM Client and I get good support (probably because I paid for the product) as I needed six email accounts and for me the best feature is display of the flagged emails with categories along with my appointments, reminders etc. In addition being able to edit my remote calendar within Em Client has been wonderful. And it no longer crashes since they fixed whatever the problem was in one of the updates, but I am disappointed that I have to use Thunderbird to get my HTML Emails for my marketing campaign to work correctly as EM Client WYIWYG editor is not ready for prime use.

    I have reported the issue to the support and they are looking into the matter, but my marketing campaign is time sensitive, so I will have to fallback to Thunderbird which is not a major problem as I am familiar with Thunderbird having used it for years. But its a shame, because I much prefer using Em Client these days. Thunderbird just feels so clunky in comparison now.

  83. I have 5 email addresses and downloaded Mailbird 2 days ago. Mailbird lets me have a Unified view of my Inbox, Sent and other folders which is great. It does not let me sort the Inbox for Unread messages and the Spell check simply does not work.
    I have emailed Mailbird twice and their support seems non-existent.
    I am also trying Postbox and it offers unified folders and also lets me sort and unsort unread mail easily. And the Spell check works perfectly!! I receive 2 copies of all Sent emails which is annoying but bearable. And they do not reply to my emails.
    So far Postbox seems a much better product than Mailbird. But none are as good as the old Outlook Express. Why did Microsoft have to change it!!

  84. Began using Thunderbird a year ago. It hangs frequently while processing junk mail incoming. Can’t seem to find the setting that’s causing this. You don’t address junk mail filtering, and that’s a main concern for me. I imagine it is for everyone. TB’s junk filtering is very good, but, as I say, the client hangs (often while composing an email) when it’s processing incoming mail.

  85. Thank you Mr. Spinelli for your article… you know, I was so close to purchasing a Lifetime Membership with Mailbird…but for some reason, my gut didn’t feel right about it. So I kept looking for alternatives even though they seemed like the best.

    Now that I find out from your article that their service is not as secure as most of us would have assumed it to have been. I thought I’d found a great service… well, Thunderbird will be my client of choice for now.

    As it concerns Mailbird, it would be better for them to charge more and support extra security than to charge at all for an insecure service.

  86. Thanks for this good overview. I changed to em Client 6 months ago now, coming from 15 years using Outlook. The reason was that MS is damn not able to integrate CardDav and CalDav in Outlook, and the addons like CFOS do not work very reliable. I have to use IMAP, Exchangeserver and CalDav Accounts, so I gave em Client a try.

    First I was excited because em Client seemed to manage all these account types without any problems. That is still true, the client is integrating 2 Mail accounts (1 IMAP, 1 XChangeServer), 1 CardDav and 2 CalDav calendars (in a NextCloud) for me. But the trouble is between the lines: I had to disable my Norton AntiVirus for the em Client directory in order to avoid a starting time of >1 minute (!) of em Client. The em support said I should try this, and yes, now em Client starts faster. Then I had to disable the AntiSpam/AntiPhishing of my Antivirus for the whole emClient, in order to avoid error messages coming from em Client every 20 minutes because the client was unstatisfied with the response time of the servers (which actually came from Norton checking the traffic). The support recommended that, and yes – now I have error messages with timeouts only 1-2 a day.

    But hey – I am not feeling very well with an email client which is completely out of beeing watched by antivirus. And after starting em Client, the first new mail is showing up not before 90 seconds (!) after the UI is visible. The sync of the IMAP folders (ok, I have ~150) seem to need endless time although NOTHING changed. There are lacks in the UI which are awful, like the fact that there is no “recently used”-functionality for folders (I ask myself if the makers of em Client use their own software?). Rule-based mail sorting is useless in emClient because it works only if you access your mail with one PC client only (and never ever with a smartphone or tablet in between). But still I use em Client because I need the CalDav connection and the mix of IMAP and Exchange Server access. It’s like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place with Outlook or em Client :-/…

    Thunderbird and Co are great but not for CalDav. The Bat is the same problem. Seems to be that a PIM for people like me has to be designed from scratch? Am I an alien?

  87. A question to you wizz kids, I have to send a lot of email to different clients, all containing the same 13mb attachment. I use Thunderbird. It saves every send message with the attachment, so my free disk space is decreasing fast. I can detach the attachment, but that takes time on every send mail. Is there maybe here somebody who has a trick for me.

    1. Put the file in Dropbox or Google Drive, get the public link for it (right click on the file in Dropbox, there’s a menu choice, not sure in Gmail). Then send the link to the file to your clients.

  88. Why no mention of Pegasus email client? It’s been around forever and has been very reliable. However, upgrading from an older version to current one is a scary proposition…

    1. And BTW, which if any of the email clients can PREVIEW EMAILS ON SERVER, which is a very important, needed function?

      P.S. You need a better verification process than google’s Captcha nonsense; have never seen sushi in my life, so how can I check the right pictures??

      1. P.S. You need a better verification process than google’s Captcha nonsense; have never seen sushi in my life, so how can I check the right pictures??

        fair point 🙂

  89. I liked Thunderbird until it broke. And neither the Thunderbird forum nor the service provider (Time Warner) appear to be able to fix it.

  90. Any idea how the top three (Claws, The Bat, Thunderbird beta) deal with a few hundred thousand emails, both in terms of speed and space used? My old Thunderbird with its Mailbox format is using more than 10 GB and of course isn’t the snappiest. Is it useful to change to single file per email for performance reasons, or will it have the opposite effect? My HDD uses a 4kb cluster size, so I suppose the overhead wouldn’t be worrisome.

    1. this would very interesting to test. I would say a one file per email should be definitely easier to handle, but it’s mere speculation.

  91. The reason I use an email client is to be able to view all my email accounts (4 gmail 1 yahoo 1 hotmail) in one place. It is torturous to add multiple accounts in Thunderbird. Especially gmail, “However, when you have multiple Gmail accounts, by default Gmail will use your default account as the “From” and “Reply To” addresses. You must manually configure an alternate email address to be used as the “From” and “Reply To” values in messages.”

    Talk about a waste of time. Back to Windows 10 which I don’t like but at least performs this basic function automatically.

  92. Mailbird is a hoax. They’ve been promising reply templates for three years, not delivering. On top of the privacy issues – AVOID

  93. I am trying out Mailbird. The worst thing is that you can’t turn off the preview pane. There are plenty of people complaining about this on their support forum and they don’t seem very interested.

    I was a bit perturbed by the welcome email that arrives as soon as you open it and now I know why, but I accidentally entered the wrong email address at the start and so they have an incorrect email address on their servers.

    It makes me laugh that people use Gmail and Yahoo! and then worry about the privacy of Mailbird. Do they not realise that, at the very least, Gmail and Yahoo! are scanning their emails to provide advertising content? At the worst, there are reports that Google and Yahoo! are actively spying. In the United Kingdom this year there was controversy because Google acquired a company called DeepMind that has access to medical records. That and the Yahoo! breaches has led me to dump both companies now and use Gmail only for a “recovery address” (emergency).

    So I think Mailbird having my name, email address and usage statistics is a pretty small thing in the bigger picture.

  94. Howdy
    Bersoft Private Mail (BPM) – Anyone used or herd of?
    I ran across this here site of Matteo’s article while looking for an email client. This is all new to me, but from reading a bunch I have an ideal of what I want and/or looking for.

    Mr. Matteo Spinelli, when you have the time to try out some more EMAIL CLIENTS that I’ve seen you’ve said that you might – would give your opinion about (BPM).
    What about this –

    Then what’s your take on this professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, since 1987. His name is Francisco Ruiz and one of his interests is cryptography. He’s made some programs of which PassLok is one. PassLok is an app that runs equally well on your computer and your smartphone. PassLok Privacy, its standalone version, performs public-key cryptography functions from a simple graphical interface.
    PassLok for Email is even simpler: you click an icon on your email program, write your message, then click a button to encrypt or decrypt.
    His personal page at, which also include many other projects on cryptography.
    URSA encryption – Simple, secure, free symmetric encryption for email and texting. It costs us nothing to make URSA available to users, so why not make it free? URSA is a tool for freedom, my friend. And this is not our only free tool. There is also PassLok, mentioned above, and SeeOnce, which makes self-destruct emails and doesn’t involve any servers, so your data remains private.

    Matteo Sir some kind of a chart or grid view like this would help maybe when your list of reviews grows bigger, and yes I do realize this list shown is webmail based. It’s just a good example of how a lot of information can be displayed and crossed reference easily. Maybe something to consider.

    Thanks for your devotion to the subject and the time with research you’ve given. I do hope I’ve offered something new on t he table.

      Oops, I guess it would help to see an “link” – that I forgot to add above to the part of – Matteo Sir some kind of a chart or grid view like this would help maybe when your list of reviews grows bigger, and yes I do realize this list shown is webmail based. It’s just a good example of how a lot of information can be displayed and crossed reference easily.

  95. I don’t know what the hell happened to Thunderbird, but it doesn’t work as intended anymore…a GMail account I had already in use within Thunderbird suddenly stopped working.

    It basically redirects me to GMail, and once logged in it shows me a cookie settings page…while not being logged in at all, even though a moment prior it just asked for my credentials.

    So what’s the alternative? Any Mail Client that can be trusted?

    1. Google changed IMAP etc to require XOAUTH2 – which requires a browser authentication step. I suspect Thunderbird does not support this

  96. Thanks for this review. I like to test email clients and my last one is Postbox 5.

    Thunderbird: search result is not convenient at all. No “one column” email listing (since Pocomail, it’s an important feature for me as it’s the most convenient way to show a list of mails). Discussions needs a plugin and I met some boring bugs with it. Weak design and ergonomy. Each time I use it, I find it heavy.

    EMail Client 7: very good surprise for this versions. The dark template is very comfortable. Nice direct filtering features. Great discussion management. Good contacts management – direct filtering of contact’s mails.
    But no quick reply. Not every convenient to backup with Mailstore.

    Postbox 5: good surprise. Compatible with some TB plugins. Good ergonomy. Good discussion feature. Very handy direct filtering. Better search result look than TB.
    I don’t agree when you say “Postbox is TB with some extensions”. I’m a long time TB user and
    I can write that there is no extension to make TB as clean and easy to use as Postbox. For the moment’ it’s my default email client in conjunction with Poppeeper.

  97. I used Thunderbird until recently, but the damn program refuses to allow me to add new accounts…not only that, it also stopped working with a Gmail account I already had in it.

    Thunderbird was pretty good…now it’s a piece of shit.

    1. In The Bat! there is no limit on the number of accounts, folders, messages, etc.

    2. Google changed IMAP etc to require XOAUTH2 – which requires a browser authentication step. I suspect Thunderbird does not support this. Hexamail Flow works with current Gmail authentication requirements

  98. Hey folks, as far as my vote I am still searching. Mailbird is utterly pathetic unless you have “eagle-eyes”. The inbox type-size and folder type-size is not changeable at all and for us older folks, it is totally unacceptable. I attempted to subit a support request and I was presented with a sbout a one-inch square to type my requent into. Honestly, i had to compose a legible request in MS Word, then copy and paste (and hope) into that one-inch box!! If you choose mailbird, good luck my friend!!

    1. Same here, Larry, and my vision is fine, especially on a huge monitor. When I first installed mailbird (and this was before I discovered the security issues and I didn’t want to use it anyway), I thought SURELY I could increase the font size of the ui. Nope. How ridiculous. I also put in a feature request, but to no avail. I’m just glad I didn’t pay for more than the half price annual sub. This might seem to some like a minor issue, but what’s the use if you can’t SEE the front page of your email client?

  99. OK.. I have been looking for a secure email client and gone through the forum but can not conclude what the basic secure email client would want, and what would make it the email client of choice. Can I ask what if we all had to work together to produce an email client what could we agree on being the basic frame work ( or skeleton ) for the email client.. in short what would make yall happy 🙂

    1. What security features do you expect from a secure email client? Encryption of its mail data files, support for SSL, TLS, ability to send/receive encrypted emails? The Bat! can do it all.

  100. Thank you very much indeed, Matteo, for your extremely clear and helpful article. Since acquiring a new PC I’ve been temporarily using the default mail client, and web-based gmail, both of which seem to me so primitive that they have been driving me insane! I’m desperate to install a new email client, which will enable me to filter my emails into multiple folders immediately – as Thunderbird does. I’ve used that very happily for years, but reading that Mozilla had stopped supporting it worried me and I thought I’d have to find some other client. But although I use the computer a lot, I’m no geek and I didn’t really know how to assess them. I am really grateful for this article and for all the interesting follow-up comments posted by the computer experts here. I am in awe of everyone’s expertise and the amount of intrinsically interesting and helpful advice! My thanks to you all.

  101. Hi! Although I like your criticism on all mentioned email clients, you’ve missed the best replacement for MS Outlook on the Internet, and that’s Hiri (, another email client that beats the competition. In case you haven’t seen the article on TechCrunch (, Hiri’s what companies really need to take full advantage of their time – the most important factor in life.

    Hope you’re up for writing another update of this article, which is still pretty good! 🙂

      1. I watched the video for Hiri, and could tell just from that it wasn’t for me. I can see it being attractive for some work environments….rating people’s email skills, lol…but it doesn’t appeal to me, and the functionality demonstrated in the video didn’t seem fitting for most work environments, even self-employed. If I receive an email that is cleared as not spam…chances are I need to read it. I don’t need a program telling me what it thinks is not important. 😀

      2. It requires OpenGL 2.0… which is a ridiculous requirement for an email client. I’m running Windows 10 on an old Core 2 Quad processor and Intel integrated graphics. I cannot use Hiri because my integrated graphics don’t support OpenGL 2.0. Sorry, but that’s completely unacceptable. Also, no support for regular POP3 or IMAP is a huge deal breaker. It could have been something, but it’s turning out to be nothing.

  102. I use Thunderbird for personal mail. I am a lifelong mail client user. (One Gmail, one Yahoo, two POP3 accounts). My problem is with Contacts and syncing. I want to use Google Contacts as my master contact file. TB doesn’t support sync with Google…correct? I also like the Windows 10 People app for quick lookup of contact info…it syncs with Google. And finally, Google sync keeps my android phone contacts in sync. Contact app is good for contact editing.
    I use Bluemail as my android mail client…like it a lot.
    So my Contacts work well except for TB on the PC.
    Am I missing something?
    Thanks for your labors!

    Also Bluemail says it is coming out with a PC mail client.

  103. Wow, this a great web site for us ancient email client users! I have used Eudora since it’s (U of I) inception and am now stuck. I’m using version 5.1 on my old win XP desktop, and on a laptop – Win 7 Pro in a virtual XP setup. I have to upgrade because XP is dead, tried Eudora 7 but it’s too buggy and also an orphaned. So I guess it will have to be Thunderbird or Outlook.

    I tried Thunderbird several times over the years and am just disgusted with the interface, after the using beautiful, clean Eudora interface for 30 years. Also there’s the problem of migrating Eudora database to Thunderbird. I have not tried Outlook. I don’t mind paying the $110 if it’s at all comparable to Eudora. Is it better? Should I try it?

    And advice/suggestions? Thanks.

    1. Try The Bat!, it can import all your Eudora archive and it offers many other great features.

    2. I can see no good reason for abandoning Eudora Certainly there are things it can’t cope with when it comes to utf8 or whatever it’s called, but I’ve been using it with no major problems (and the Eudora users group at Listmoms has the estimable Katrina Knight who probably knows more about Eudora than anyone else on the planet) under Windows 10.

  104. In speaking of email clients for Windows, I prefer using Outlook for my Gmail account over others since I have been getting used to usages in it. The only thing that disappoints me is the lack of support on Gmail push notification, CardDAV, and CalDAV in Outlook. Before 8/1/2014, I used Google Calendar Sync to take care of synchronization of my Google Calendar and Gmail contact. After Google Calendar Sync was discontinued, I found an alternative of it, called EVO Collaborator for Outlook. It works not only for Google Calendar but also lots of other CalDAV and CardDAV services such as iCloud, Yahoo and AOL. Yet, a cool side-feature is the support of Gmail Push Notification.

    1. Dan, thanks for the recommended Outlook add-in! I love it. Recently, when I visited website of EVO software production, I saw that has released another Outlook add-in called Power Toys for Outlook. It has a feature called GGNotify. Whenever there is a new e-mail in your Gmail inbox, GGNotify will make a alert sound of your choice. It is an alternative way of getting push-notification other than EVO Collaborator for Outlook.

    2. Using Outlook for G-Suite (unfortunately not regular GMail or even the free Google Apps Mail) becomes much better if you use G-Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GSSMO), a free add-on from Google. It basically makes Outlook behave with G-Suite almost as if G-Suite were MS Exchange, as if Outlook were a client built from the ground up for G-Suite.

      With GSSMO installed, you don’t need to enable “Less Secure Applications” in G-Suite’s Gmail account settings, nor use Application Passwords. In fact, you don’t even need to enable POP/IMAP support! GSSMO uses native Google APIs to do its thing, and is considered a fully secure trusted application.

      In addition to mail and contacts, GSSMO also syncs Google Calendar into Outlook’s Calendar, plus Tasks, Journal, and more. And it’s much faster than using IMAP with native Outlook.

      (In case commenting here doesn’t support HTML:

  105. All I want it is a client that can download mail from the POP3 at my domain host and send mail to an SMTP (properly encrypted and all). And it should retain my email (half GB worth) in a robust, searchable, file structure. Basically what Eudora did 30 years ago. My Gmail, Yahoo, etc accounts just all forward to my domain server email addresses. I don’t want my stuff in the cloud, calendar integration, etc.

      1. Matteo already said The Bat is superior or acceptable on everything except… If they would take action on the last paragraph of his review Matteo could rate it #1. A few dollars is wonderful for a program that performs, but why would I buy it if it will have me cussing just to set up preferences?

  106. Matteo, thanks for taking the time to write this article, and following up with further comments months later. That’s very valuable for articles, and shows dedication to your work, rather than just doing it for traffic.

    I completely agree with your assessment of the situation, as sad as it is. For me, having a desktop application is actually a requirement. The reason is with the way I deliver orders. In Outlook, I have a button setup that when clicked saves the selected email to a temp location, and then that email is processed with an external application I have written. Unfortunately for me, this is not something very many people at all would need to do. Therefore, it is not possible with most email clients. I used PocoMail for years, which also had this functionality. But, (I don’t remember how many years ago now), I switched to Outlook because of aggravations with it that never went away. Actually, I switched between PocoMail and Outlook one other time before that too, but anyway…. I have tried a lot of the clients mentioned in here: The Bat, ThunderBird, eMClient, IncrediMail (ha, I don’t know why I even mentioned that one), etc., but it has been a couple years since I did my last round of testing. So, I fired off a search to see if there was anything new/better, which brought me here. Seems it’s just more of the same, and like you said, I don’t think the scenery is likely to improve for the same reasons you mentioned. I did see mention in a comment here, though, from a developer who’s working on a client. Maybe I will give it a try. With it being actively developed now, maybe I can get them to add in the feature I need (if it’s good otherwise).

    I don’t suppose you’d happen to know offhand if any of these clients’ latest versions support the ability to save an email to file and execute an external EXE from a toolbar button? I know Outlook does, PocoMail did, and I have done it in the past with Thunderbird (because of its extension support), but somehow, I doubt any of the others would have that.

    Again, great work, and thanks. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Chris. I don’t believe any of the above clients can do what you need with the exception of thunderbird, even if an extension for that doesn’t exist you can always develop one.

    2. If all you need is save an email on the disk via a click, then you can give The Bat! a try. You would need to set up a Sorting Office filter, then add the necessary actions, mark that filter for manual filtering only and set a key combination (Ctrl+Alt+F12 or anything you want). Then select messages and press that key combination to execute that manual filter. Sorting Office:

  107. I’d use Thunderbird, but it has issues with GMail authentication, it stopped working a couple of months ago, and there’s no fix for it, so I’m forced to find another solution.

    1. Hi David! Any update on the Thunderbird failure with Gmail? Glad I read this, as I was just about to dive in, to use Thunderbird with Gmail. (I have used Thunderbird as client for TWC email for years, and am finally about to boot TWC out of our house!)
      Hoping this Gmail problem is a thing of the past, OR they are working on it! Any news?

    2. To use Thunderbird with GMail, tell it to use “OAuth 2.0” for password authentication. Then, the first time it tries to log in, it’ll pop-up a one-time authentication dialog asking for your password and for you to authorize granting Thunderbird the access privileges it requests. Once that’s done, it works reasonably well. You can then even turn off “Allow Less-Secure Applications” in GMail’s Account Settings (unless you still have some other less-secure application[s] that still need[s] access — say, on mobile).

  108. First of all, Alex you are annoying and a spammer…
    I’m using mail clients since 1996, of course I used outlook express, outlook, windows live mail, seamonkey, thunderbird (my default all this years), etc… but I have 7 mail accounts all of it with its image signature and many Gb of mails (I delete mails so is not so big as some others here), I need to sync with Gmail Contacts, Exchange support, Office365, iMAP, etc.
    I like Thunderbird but is kind of old fashioned. I like software to be easy to use, full featured, pretty and free. I know is not an easy combination but…
    after reading this post and all the comments (including boring Alex spam in almost every comment) I decided to perform my own test. My conclusions are…
    I’m so bored with Alex that I don’t even want to see TheBat! website anymore.
    Zimbra desktop, ugly, slow, it doesn’t sync gmail contacts.
    Foxmail, like it but no gmail contacts sync and no tech support
    Postbox, no gmail contacts sync and no sure if Thunderbird extensions will work on it
    Hiri, office365 only
    Windows 10 Mail app, no image signature
    Hexamail, imposible to test, they request a lot of personal information just to download the trial installer and that download failed many times. BTW, I received the license file at the second time, so test was not possible.
    Mailbird, no gmail contacts sync
    Thunderbird, slow and old fashioned
    Inky, slow
    Opera Mail, never manage to retrieve mail from any account (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Office365)
    MetroMail, not available for my computer
    MailTray, pop3 by default and not able to change it to iMAP so I stopped it and deleted it inmediatelly.
    EM client, Just perfect in all my needs except that contact sync takes too long
    So for now I’m going to use both my old Thunderbird and EM client

    Thank you very much for your post. It was very helpful for me.

    1. So has anyone here besides Alex used “the BAT!” ? I’ve tried it and it seems like it has the features to be a possible alternative – but: nothing seems to work for me. Examples:
      Flash screen covers a dialog box (eventually managed to find a way to stop flash screen)
      Help screens are very extensive, but don’t correspond to the current version!
      Can’t find a way to list my accounts.
      No “keep mail on server” option?
      Frequent lockups – have to kill using task manager, and start over!
      Nowhere near as intuitive as Eudora.

      1. 1. General part:

        I’m using TB (yes, the abbreviation belongs to The Bat! not Thunderbird :-)) since quite a while now.
        Back in the days NetscapeCommander 4.78 (?) was my browser and email client combo. Then it became outdated and I switched to Opera (v4, I guess). But I never liked Opera Mail, so I always kept installing the email client part of NetscapeCommander.

        But evenetually, after some searching and testing, I switched over to TB, and I have been using TB ever since.

        I only renew my license for every other major version because it’s not really cheap (compared to free) and the changes between major versions are not that big.

        At the moment I’m still using v6.

        That means, I can’t really talk about v7, though I have checked it out a few times for a few minutes and found no big enough changes (in the changelogs) to buy an upgrade license.

        I wouldn’t want to use any other email client. But that’s also due to the fact that I don’t want to switch. I’m content with TB, it’s sufficiently current, so there’s no need, no pressure.

        There are some things I’m still waiting for since at least v4, like being able to “cross out” text. It seems quite silly to me that such a simple format option still isn’t available.

        I contacted the TB support only a few times in all those years but always got an answer that helped.

        So, I’m a content user. I also was very annoyed by that “Alex” guy that kept praising TB when I browsed the comment. At first I thought it might be just a fanboy but the more of the same comment he wrote I came to the conclusion it really is a Ritlab guy.

        But to be honest, I would think that most of the features should be found in Thunderbird. And for the common user (with common requirements) I’d propably recommend Thunderbird. Especially it’s free and if one is not satisfied there’s no money lost.

        Yes, some features or setting are hard to find and some default settings are not my cup of tea but one can get by or used to these little quirks. But I guess I might not accept some quirks like that in Thunderbird, meaning if you initially have an antipathy to some software you will always find something you don’t like and build a case around even the littlest things. Like e.g. the outdated design, some love it (like me) some (many) hate it.

        I’d say: Check if a respective software has (all) the features you need and then choose by your guts (first impression / likings), wallet and also additional features a software my have over competing ones.

        2. Specific part:

        I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

        A) Flash screen – at program start I guess. I start the program (automatically at windows boot/login) with the following suffix

        /min /nologo

        That means minimized (= only tray icon) and, well, without the “flash screen”. I guess there’s (still) no option in the program settings to accomplish those options from within the program.

        B) “List my accounts”. Well, I’m not sure if I understand what you mean by that.
        If the column on the left hand side of top picture ( is what you’re looking for: That’s to be found at “Workspace -> Window Split Mode -> …”

        C) Of course there’s an “keep mail on server” option:
        Right mouse click (or: Account -> Properties) on the respective account in the account list (see B)) -> Properties -> Mail Management. There are all the “keep” or “delete” options you might be looking for, I guess.

        D) Lockups. Sorry, no such problems here. But I have to admit that I’m still on v6.8.8.

        E) Other stuff: One thing I learned the hard way:
        One time my W7 had one of it’s “normal” “I don’t want to let go of your usb drive – even if no application is accessing it though I claim some is, without telling you which one. And as you unplugged it anyway I will go into ever more freeze over the next few hours” behaviours.
        So, I wanted to reboot and – as is normal – TB compressed the mail containers on exit. I was impatient when W7 told me that some program (in this case TB) was delaying the logoff / shutdown process and I clicked “yes” when asked if I wanted W7 to force the exit of TB. Big mistake!
        If TB is essentially killed during compressing the mail folders / files all files that need compression (i.e. all folders of any account that had any changes to it (new/deleted mail etc.) since the last compression) get screwed up and are unusable and unrecoverable – just large and empty files!

    2. Sorry we have corrected the download page now – it only requires your email address in order to send the license to you.

  109. Is Outlook so bad? I’ve a discount for the Home and Student Office 2016 Suite so i’m wondering if it’s better to buy the entire suite and pay more, or just EmClient (the 7.027 seems pretty stable and fast) for half the price…

    I need to check 3 Gmail address, 1 icloud, 1 outlook

  110. Great website!!! After reading most (if not all) comments, etc. on this topic at, I decided to give Mailbird a try for my intended use. I do have a Mailbird license but after jawing with their support now for about a month, I still have NO SOLUTION to my Mailbird problem. (I have no problem with my 2012 WLM Earthlink inbox.) Using Mailbird, I simply cannot receive any of my IMAP emails. Sending email is no problem. Zero in my inbox for a month now so it is time for me to move on. Just thought I would share my problem with y’all. Thank you.

  111. Is any of these capable of reopening opened emails after windows crash or unattended restart?

  112. I must confess: I’m paranoid.
    After dealing with computers since the early days of Commodore, Altair 8800, TRS80 and H-89, patiently I have seen how the giants of the industry along with the US corporate-government are grabbing us from our necks and every now and then they turn we upside down from our legs to empty our pockets while simultaneously brainwashing us with impunity. The truth is that there is nothing we can do to avoid our fate until two designated officers receive the order to turn the keys to launch a missile. Then a chain reaction will begin nuking the whole world.. At that very moment we will start all over again as the world was in 1900. We will then see the old postman walking up the street to deliver stamped envelopes. Mail client what? What’s that?
    Yes, yes. I already said: I’m paranoid.

  113. Do you know if any of these can actually automatically filter specific e-mails into folders, using something like Outlook’s “rules?”

    I tried Mailbird and then got rid of it. I might as well just use Yahoo. I have Outlook but, one by one, my e-mails get corrupt or something and won’t send and/or receive. I’m giving up on it.

    1. EM Client does have rules, but they’re not quite as robust as Outlook’s. For instance, you could move emails using specific words in the sender’s email address… which you can’t do with EM Client right now. Maybe they will add support for it in newer versions; or at least I hope they will. Wildcards would help, as then you could simply add a sender’s domain so that all email from that company moves to a specific folder… but sadly can’t do that with EM Client either.

    2. Thunderbird has customisable filters. You can colour-code, delete, send or copy to folders, etc based on any combination of attributes – read status, date, word in sender, recipient or subject…. I only use it in pop3 with a local web host, I know nothing about imap.

  114. I download e-mails from some 15 accounts daily. Currently I’m using Windows Live Mail and never had any issue until we were forced to install Windows 10. Soon most of those accounts will be screwed. I have searched and read lots of web pages claiming the convenience of such and such clients, but so far neither one satisfies my requirements including price. So, I’m still asking the same question: What shall we do?

    1. I also have a large number of email accounts which I prefer to manage through a desktop email program. See my other post in this thread for details, but I’m still using LiveMail on Win 7 and Win10 systems. Lately it’s been acting up a little (slower and some error messages), but still overall is my preferred client.

  115. Win10 “Mail” is the first E-Mail client from Microsoft, that I like and use. No functions I don´t need and a nice design.

    If you “dinosaurs” really, really, really, really like to experiment and see something total new and “out-of-the-box”, then try

    E-mail as visual objects, not just a list. I love it, but its too buggy 🙁

    1. I tried WIN10 MAIL and did get it to download one message and to send one message, but nothing else. As I added a second account the first got screwed up. It would not let me go back and set the necessary security and port settings. I found it totally lacking in essential features and impossible to work with.

  116. If you can survive the “Not Responding” message on every click in Thunderbird AND if you have a half hour in between clicks on Thunderbird, then yes, Thunderbird, NOT!

    There are no email clients that are effective, efficient, professionally crafted.


    Kind regards,

  117. Weird that folks have problems with Thunderbird as it works for me. Latest version which auto updates. My setup is Windows 7 64 bit, SSD, fibre broadband connection. Nine email accounts. I have a base POP3 account and the rest are IMAP, that way with filters set mail from all my accounts can go straight to a global inbox. Easy to send mail from any of the accounts. Filters work well. Good community forum if you find you need advice. What can I say but that to date I have not come across anything better.

    1. I’ve just read this whole thing, and hope someone is still listening. THANKS for all your work, Matteo!
      I’m guessing, Captain Scarlet, you don’t have Gmail acct., since you have no problems? I have Gmail & had hoped to use Thunderbird as desktop client to download & save email, but am worried now since David has discussed that T-bird stopped working with Gmail — Jan. and said again in Feb. Sigh …
      Any news on this, David?

  118. Marvie – I have two GMail accounts, two yahoo accounts, two Yandex an Outlook and an ISP account that I do not really use. Oh and I also have one with I have had the GMail accounts for years and I notice no problems with GMail and Thunderbird at all. Yahoo can be a little slow from time to time, but I think that is just Yahoo. All I can reiterate is that for me, in the UK, it all just works and I have no intention (or need) to change from Thunderbird. HTH

    1. Sorry if this is too far OT, but what is a “Yandex” account? I have my own domain and got spam and nothing else form Yandex, so I automatically discard anything from Yandex. Could it be a legitimate mail provider? Oh dear!

      1. Yandex suggests a very good web-mail alternative to GMail (including free e-mail for domains), so there are a lot of Russian customers on this domain.

  119. “The remaining 1% is us nerdy dinosaurs.”

    And I still use the the last working version of Eudora, by Qualcomm, pop3 client version7 from 2006.
    I’m not changing this for no gun pointed at my head – even if it lacks support for the new email formatting styles. Who cares… two separate installations for more than 20 different mailboxes and personalities, signatures, styles, no problem ever. Flawless.

    1. Marcello –
      Yes, I’ve used Eudora (paid version 5) for almost 30 years, forced to add v.7 with Win-7 and now using it in Win-10 also. Three separate users – about 20 personalities. Nothing seems to come close for convenience, flexibility and sensible design.

  120. Hi there – first a BIG thanks to Matteo the OP and all who contributed to the discussion. I’m putting here my notes repeating some of the above for ease of reading (and my own documentation) and sharing what I have found on that subject.

    I’ve been a big fan of all the “best” software and services, Eudora way back and the (unfortunate but unavoidable) Oultook for business accounts, with various email services besides the corporate Exchange servers (not to pooh pooh, I had a MS mailserver run for some 9 years basically unchanged except for simple patches in the 90’s and early 2000’s, running off a powerful Dell workstation SCSI and ecc RAM – saved my client oodles of money when these services were expensive).

    Now stuck in a mish mash of clients and web services, fortunately all the select ones ending up in my one centralized webmail account. But now need to archive/ cleanup and centralize (at least) locally my data.

    Not willing to trust my contacts to a web service (Plaxo, Memotoo, Fullcontact) although that would be the quick and easy solution, depending for now on Google contacts (yikes!) which is soooo easy to use with my smartphone (automatic w/Android, don’t know about iPhones) and landline (calling using Voice, which dials my contact and wherever I tell to connect, usually my office number, but anywhere in continental US works too). However a little (lot) queasy about privacy issues here. That is a WIP (work in progres – any tips pls feel free to contact me directly at xclnnyc at gmail!)

    So what have I found?

    With the advent of very good webmail services from Google and Microsoft, for independent professionals my solution of choice has been Fastmail – dedicated to email service only, it has the right attention to privacy, security, support, very reasonable pricing and reliability*, even relocating its HQ to Germany, which has some of the strongest privacy laws. Just emailing between Fastmail users guarantees a high level of privacy since it all happens between servers controlled by Fastmail.
    For Outlook the best choice I know is Intermedia if you do not want to be stuck in the MS universe

    The big question is . .which local email client? As many have noted, one big consideration is the long term viability and support of that software.

    Too bad re Opera, but at least they continue to support its last version, this is a professionally decent way to treat its customers, giving them time to migrate. Too bad re Mailbird, I really don’t need weird privacy leaks. ..

    My current choices are:

    – MS Outlook 2010 – just because I need to keep up with the industry standards, and this last version doesn’t call home regularly for registration verifications. I use it on a corporate Thinkpad, and the good thing is I can clone that Thinkpad to some others without issues. The T410 is my preferred one, btw. Built like tanks and now bargain priced even for top quality used ones. Outlook is also useful for translating some data since it is so prevalent.

    – Thunderbird – possibly will pay for the Softmaker version and its extensions. That would also provide me good tech support for not much. I have a now unused old version of Softmaker I purchased way back to support free versions of MS Office, so that gives me a nice 50% discount.
    A good sign for Thunderbird is that Softmaker has dedicated one employee full time to help for Thunderbird development. Somehow I had expected Softmaker to die a slow death, but I suspect the various Eu governments are keeping them busy and alive, good for us.
    Note that Softmaker switched from EM client, which is sort of a backhanded vot for EM client – Softmaker provides an easy migration tool for EM Client too, nice to know

    – Zimbra desktop. The new kid on the block. I have done a quick evaluation, it does work flawlessly with Gmail (and I suspect with most good mail services), has a very polished and quick interface. The reason it has my vote (and probably will be my email client of choice) is that it has a strong commercial counterpart (used by AT&T services, a big boost in commercial credibility) so it will be in for the long run. The Zimbra website doesn’t make it easy to download the open source version of it – they would prefer you to try their paid networked full collaboration shebang. To save you some search, here is the link for the open source downloads:
    Regarding the earlier comment that it doesn’t sync with Gmail contacts, this is not an issue for me, you *can* create an export vcf file from Gmail and import it in Zimbra.

    – Outlook Express Classic (OE classic – for archiving and old timers who are happy to stay with classic OE. I also keep the last Eudora version for old archived mailboxes, some day to convert all into Zimbra or X.

    My WIP (work in progress) is figuring out how to centralize/ organize the calendars, contacts (and maybe todo list) from Fastmail, Outlook and Gmail. I definitely want to keep Fastmail as my primary top dog repository, but have to yield to efficiency re Gmail and its phone features. Currently using Lastpass to keep track of passwords and login to multiple webmail accounts, but migrating to Keepass since Lastpass was bought by Logmein, not too reassuring re big brother etc.

    Thanks also to Andrea re MailStore Home for simple archiving, and Daniel Martinez re EVO Collaborator for Outlook, will take a look.

    (*) Private comm, you can email me directly at xclnnyc at gmail, and if you ever want to sign up for Fastmail do use this referral, you and I get a small rebate that gets lost otherwise

  121. Zimbra privacy terms tells it all … :-((

    “11.4 Data Privacy. You agree that Zimbra may process technical and related information about Your use of the Software which may include internet protocol address, hardware identification, operating system, application software, peripheral hardware, and non-personally identifiable Software usage statistics to facilitate the provisioning of updates, support, invoicing, or online services and may transfer such information to other companies in the Zimbra worldwide group of companies from time to time. To the extent that this information constitutes personal data, Zimbra will be the controller of such personal data. … 11.5 Irreparable Injury . You acknowledge that damages for improper disclosure of Confidential Information would be irreparable; …”

  122. Great original work by Matteo with some very helpful follow up contributions. My email client needs are pretty simple and straightforward and for many years Windows Live Mail (free as part of Windows Essentials 2012) has served me very well indeed. Unfortunately, my WLM database became corrupted recently and when l tried to download a fresh copy Microsoft seems to have put a stop to this : a repeated waiting for catalogue error. I went nuclear by restoring my saving OS partition. It worked thanks to Macrium Reflect.

    Sad that Microsoft has withdrawn a very decent client. I think from the comments on here that Thunderbird will do the job for me with backup from Mailstore Home – thanks to those who mentioned it.

    This has been the most useful email client thread l’ve read and so glad l stumbled upon it. Just a word about Mailbird. I tried it and it seems to work but l don’t it will give me the functionality WLM provides. Only added a couple of accounts with small number of emails but my is it a memory hogger.

    Thanks again Matteo. Great work.

  123. Hi,
    I appreciated Matteo’s work.
    I am not in the position to confirm or question his source of information, but he’s clear with the logic of his argumentation, and I would come to the same conclusions starting from the same information.
    Having said that, I’d like to describe my needs and pose a question:
    I have been using outlook for long time (the official and latest version), and recently migrated to thunderbird.
    Reason is that I have both live, gmail and custom IMAP accounts, and for custom IMAP it happened that sent mails were not delivered to a customer of mine.
    Since microsoft support decided to ignore my inquiry as soon as they realized I am not using 100% products of theirs (I had the impression they sis not like that I use outlook as IMAP client), I adopted thunderbird.
    The only thing I miss from outlook is the integration with X1 (the desktop and mail search product).
    So my questions:
    1. Has anybody tried to use X1 as mail client? In theory you can configure IMAP as external data sources, so you would have both a client and a search engine. I did not adopt it because it does not connect to google calendar, so it’s not what I need, and I have errors with a specific gmail account (X1 support seems to be focused in mking things work with Microsoft integrations, so I could not get help yet).

    2. Is anybody aware of a good email indexing product that works with Thunderbird? (given that Thunderbird search function is quite naive).

    3. Would be the 1-file-per-email function of Thunderbir, combined with X1 file indexing, a good workaround to have Thunderbird historic mails indexed?

    Thanks for your attention,

  124. Following up my earlier post, l was tempted by a cheap upgrade route to install Outlook 2007 on my PC. I was running Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 – old but it still serves my purposes.
    My thinking was that with the sad demise of Windows Live Mail – a great freebie – Outlook, engineered by the world’s biggest software company, wld provide a stable, reliable alternative and would allow an easy transition to a newer Microsoft product in due time. What a disappointment. It does the job but l found myself having to change far too many settings to make Outlook work in the way l wanted, and crucially there seemed to be no simple means of creating a single inbox for multiple IMAP accounts which wld work in the way intended with my iPad and phone. I don’t think this has been fixed in Outlook 2010 or 2013. Outlook seemed to me to be far too much trouble when WLM did all these things and more without a great deal of user tinkering.

    All in all Outlook was a far from satisfactory experience. The upgrade didn’t cost much but l shall be migrating back to Thunderbird soonest.

  125. I miss one function from the original Outlook Express, the auto-save of the senders email adress when replying.

    Reading both blogs, I am now curious on Hexamail. Anyone having any experience from Hexamail to share?


  126. I started working with as a scientist with computers for some 30 years and I have one basic requirement to all kinds of software I use:

    NO PROPRIETARY FILE FORMATS. Look in Wikipedia, “Comparison of e-mail clients”, and you see that this rules out half of the Windows clients.

    Recently (some ten years) I also have the requirement of an index-based full text search; the only option I know is the built-in Windows search Index, and it is especially convenient as it combines searches in e-mails and my own (47,000) documents.

    Finally, I think from a technical point of view mbox is a horror, which is prone to desastrous data loss by design. Additionally, Windows Search Indeax does not seem to crawl it.

    This leaves me essentially with Windows Live Mail. It runs very unstable for me, but is still the best option. I was enlighted when I read on your blog that Thunderbird no supports maildir, but a comment above mentions that it stores the files without .eml extension, so the are not crawled by Windows Search Index. This small mistake makes it completely useless for me.

    1. Peter – l agree Windows Live Mail was a very good client and it is a real pity that Microsoft has removed the download from its website. The problem for me was that when my WLM database became corrupted l had to fall back on restoring the OS partition which can be problematic. Shame Microsoft didn’t leave WLM up for download with the usual caveats and warnings.

  127. A second, more general comment, hope somebody reads it and implements ist somewhere:

    The most suitable file format for e-mails would be a native file system folder, with a message.txt or message.html inside, and the attachments as separte files. If wished, this whole thing could be bundled into a single file by taring and maybe zipping it; however, disk space is no concern nowadays (and in reality never was for e-mails).

    In fact, you would barely need any GUI of the “client” at all, just something which puts the mails on your disk (and does filtering etc.). A “database” should be avoided as it would interfere with direct access of the files by the user. The message would be linked to the attachments in a natural way, and search indexes, backup, and archiving would work with the means provided by the OS and familiar to the user.

    I lost all my e-mails from before 1990 when I tried to migrate them out of a VAX/VMS server (using mbox); I have still all my regular files starting from ca. 1980, and the non-proprietary formats I can still read.

  128. Greetings..,

    I was planning to use Thunderbird for POP/SMTP basic email.., but after it installed and I was proceeding with configuration.., I got to the encryption settings.., and while referring to the ‘guide’ supplied from my service provider.., (being Shaw Cable).., they instructed to set both the Incoming and Outgoing SSL encryption entries.., to None. In the next steps.., it said., “You may be presented with an encryption warning. Check next to, I understand the risks, and then click Done”.

    Does this not seem bizarre.., to not have encryption settings selected.., and to then have to accept that “I understand the risks”..??

    I tried to find info on the Shaw Cable website.., and I found the following statement in a forum.., “we’ve had several issues with Thunderbird and our security certificates in the past.., an option is to go to Thunderbird settings and add Shaw as a security exception.”

    That’s about it for ‘support’ for Thunderbird from my provider.

    If I add Shaw as a security exception.., can I then enable the SSL and/or TSL encryption settings..??

    Or.., should I just use a different ‘free’ email program.., and if that is the recommendation.., which program would be next in line.., that has encryption for Incoming and Outgoing messages..?

    I would very much appreciate the advice.



  129. My office uses Hiri, have you heard of it? (here’s some info just in case, and we all absolutely love it! It’s effective and offers numerous helpful features. So I feel like it deserves to be added to this list 🙂 By the way, I completely agree with the author – Windows 10 Mail deserves a 1-star rating. We used to use it in the office, such a disappointment.

    1. Nylas doesn’t seem to be the type of program this converstation is about, it for developers. And with pricing ranging from $99 a month to $1300 a month for business use, I highly doubt anyone here would be interested in it.

      1. As far as I understand Nylas Mail is free to use to anyone. The cloud based Nylas is a paid service.

        I’ll have a look at it later today.

        1. quote “As we previously wrote, Nylas Mail 2.0 syncs your data locally, bypassing the Nylas Cloud sync engine. ”

          I think now nylas basic qualifies as a an email client.

          The pro version is for corporate use.
          quote ” Upgrade to Nylas Pro, the most powerful email client ever built
          Do you work in sales, marketing, customer support, recruiting, BD, legal, HR, or finance? If so, it’s likely you live in your inbox every day and email is a big part of how you get things done.

          We built Nylas Pro for power users who are looking for more features and functionality to optimize their workflows. Pro includes unlimited use of reminders, snoozing, mail merge, tracking, and dozens of premium features including our Salesforce CRM integration.”


          quote “In terms of the technology, what is new with Nylas Basic?

          Previous versions of Nylas Mail (formerly Nylas N1) exclusively used the Nylas Cloud to sync mail, calendar, and contacts. This strategy allowed us to innovate quickly on our core sync technology while building on a modern API.

          In the past several months, we redesigned the sync engine in Nylas Basic from the ground-up. It’s now powered by a hybrid sync engine that connects directly to your mail provider (Gmail, Office365, Fastmail, etc.). Some features — such as open/link tracking, snoozing, and reminders — still require cloud operations, but the large majority of sync operations no longer require backend services.”

  130. Message for Alex: All you’ve done with your comment spam is make me cross The Bat off my list of programs to try. Spammers suck.

    And onto why I’m here…The last couple times I’ve upgraded Thunderbird it’s caused problems. This time, it will download from some accounts but not send. With other accounts just the opposite is happening. Support at one host told me it was trying to log in with several user names, and those were the user names from other accounts.

    Done with it. The fixes get harder and harder. Time to move on.

  131. Almost forgot…thanks, Matteo, for allowing this post to stay active. It’s been very helpful in ruling out some programs, and bringing others to my attention I hadn’t heard of. Cheers!

  132. Your point about Mailbird developers was interesting to me. I recently purchased the application (knowing nothing about the issues you raised) and was frustrated by a minor detail: inability to attach a jpg to a signature. You can link to images in a sig, but not attach them to the email. Some see this as a good thing (attaching files increases bandwidth, makes mailboxes bigger over time, etc.) but I think it’s a personal choice. I wrote to the developers and they said it represents a security flaw. They said a trojan might be able to attach itself to a signature and spread that way. I responded saying that surely, in that case, they should remove the ability to attach a file to an email altogether! (With irony.)

    I do think that showed they opted for a false sense of security, which isn’t security at all.

    It’s a shame as Mailbird is a beautiful email program. Contrary to your review, I found it very quick – no lag at all searching through 7 large mailboxes at a time.

    Finally, I disagree with your comment about Windows Mail. Admittedly it’s not really powerful, on the other hand it’s reasonably fast, bug free, and what it lacks in configurability it makes up for in “out of the box” good design. Just my opinion…

  133. Thanks for the writeup – with the ongoing conversation, it stays pretty relevant!

    I really wish that there was an email client for Windows that was as simply functional as the Blackberry email client on their OS10.

    For a second tablet, what I need is:
    * Ability to compose and render HTML emails
    * IMAP support / support for Office 365
    * To store email locally for the past 1 month
    * Ability to file/ move email using the keyboard to any folder (so it searches against folders on the server when I try to file email)
    * Ability to open any folder on the server and search on the server for email in it

    There are times I go to my Blackberry phone rather than looking at email on the second tablet because it’s so much easier there.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

  134. as many partners here… i agree with the coment where they say em client does not work property with gmail.
    a simple expamle is creating and config two account and then config on em client (one of hotmail and other gmail)
    when you try to send a email from hotmail to gmail.. crap.. gmail never get the email. i donknow if the problem is hotmail (i dont think so) or the gmail (most probably).. so… em client is very nice.. much better then other.. but.. it must correct most common errors-.-

  135. sorry for rewrite… and sorri for my english (is not my natural lenguage)
    but.. i try about 18 email clients trying to analize the best for midle age people… yes, people that dont born with this technologies…
    i hve to say… today we need a email client too much simple.. i mean.. “simple”
    send and recibe, rules, contacts.. but today we have other things to focus on… for example.. contact list must sinchronize with movil or table, or the laptop at work. this is the real problem… POP3 is the best protocol but, can not sichronize folders, or contacts..
    today we need a protocol that engaging emails, sms, contacts, calendars in all devices. IMAP is not the best. pop3 is not the best. maybe if someone mix the best of both protocols, will be better.
    just a thougth.

  136. After completely dropping MS Office, I wanted a new email client, and poured over reviews and feature lists.
    I settled in eMClient 7.x
    Only issue I have with it that collapsed folders do not stay collapsed, which I (and apparently many others, going by their forum) find extremely annoying.
    Beyond that, I have had no issues or problems with it.
    The only reason I came here was to see if there a program comparable to eMClient, and, kept it’s folders collapsed.

    Personally, I think the length of this article/replies has long reached it’s natural end.
    I skipped over the last half, and they limited to simple “I use [name”, “I love [name]”, over and over.

  137. Using Outlook 2013 at work. Thunderbird at home on my CentOS machine with Gmail.
    I also use Thunderbird at work for my private mail, since I prefer to keep things separate and because the Gmail web-GUI is just hideous.
    Now, this morning Thunderbird outright bombed on me. All IMAP-folders were gone. With shaky fingers I checked over the web-GUI and it was all still there. It was just Thunderbird that seemingly had hiccupped. No problem, I just removed the local mail database and re-added. Everything worked.

    That is to say for a few hours… Thinking it might be a hd-problem, I did a chkdsk. No problem. Again I removed the Thunderbird account and db, and again a few hours later i crapped out on me.

    At that point I gave up, since T-bird has had a slowly spiral downwards when used in a Windows environment. Enter eM Client. We’ll see how this Outlook look-a-like looks after a while!

  138. Thanks Matteo for your concise and constructive reviews of all the email clients. I am a heavy email user and have tried a few not all of the email clients mentioned I run 8 Gmail accounts, 2 office 265 accounts and 10 email accounts directly from domain hosts.

    I also have 5 different calendars and 5 contact lists. I also use 2 Windows laptops, 4 Windows PCs all running Windows 10 and 1 iMac and 1 Mac Powerbook. The only email client I have found that can handle all these accounts and show all emails in 1 inbox or separate inboxes is Outlook I run Outlook 2013 on all the windows units and Outlook 2011 for Mac on the Mac units.

    All my calendars sync no problem as do my contacts I can see all my calendars at once or select which one I want to see I also use wunderlist to quickly add a task or appointment and it syncs to all my PCs, laptops and mobile and shows up in my calendar.
    For me, Outlook is a godsend I haven’t had any problems it just works.

    I work in the IT industry and have done for over 30 years over that time I have heard a lot of people knock Outlook. sometimes I think because it is a Microsoft product. As I said I have tried more than a few of the email clients available and was about to try mailbird, ( think the bright lights, bells and whistles attracted me like a moth to a flame) Then I read your reviews and I thank you for that keep up the great work.
    I will probably get shot down in flames by some people for supporting outlook but, until they can show me something that will handle my situation and do more than what Outlook does I’ll stick with it.

  139. Great article with real-world benchmarks. So many reviewers simply talk about the functionality of email platforms and completely ignore security!

    Have you any preferences/recommendations for email platform recommendations on Mac OS X in 2017

  140. Are there any email programs with a Eudora feature that I haven’t seen since Eudora 7, which is when we click on Mailbox [File, Edit, Mailbox, Message, Transfer etc] there is a full screen of all the Mailboxes in parallel vertical columns so that we can see ALL Mailboxes at once? Eudora 8 doesn’t seem to have this, nor does Thunderbird or Outlook….perhaps I’m not asking the right questions of the computers, but I don’t want to have to scroll down the long list of Mailboxes in the column on the left side of the screen, I want to be able to view ALL the mailboxes at once….HELP?!

  141. OE, i.e. Outlook Express, is still the best, and it works on win7 (runasxp dot com), as long as you keep max 20k messages in each folder, or each folder under 200mb size, and compress them in ‘local folders’ view in the main pane with Alt+F, F, C and you will be able to search 500k emails in under 10s on an SSD 😉

  142. is it asking too much for an updated guide now that were running towards 2018 ??? Thank you !!

    1. I will be hopefully posting an updated list in the coming weeks. For now I’m closing the comments on this one.

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