The secret behind increased productivity is to use the available resources as efficiently as possible. The same goes for desktop based email apps. Having a dedicated email client not only helps you manage your inbox without having to fire up your web browser, it also lets you effectively handle multiple email accounts and as a result save a ton of your precious time. However, a lot of people simply get confused when it comes to picking the best email clients for Windows operating system. While the best, in this case, may vary for each one’s own perspective, here’s a list of 8 free email apps that are worth checking out.
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1. eM Client
eM Client is one of the best email clients for Windows which is also very popular. It supports very simple interface that makes it intuitive to use. The application can easily handle multiple email accounts, though the free version limits you to add up to two accounts only. This limitation aside, eM Client comes with many nifty features such as the ability to import your emails, tasks, events and contacts from other email apps, SSL / TLS communication for full security, Skype support, easy account setup, support for Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail and other popular email services, and more.
- A plethora of features for managing email, calendar, contacts, and IMs
- Easily handle multiple email accounts including Yahoo, Outlook, and Gmail
- Ability to import data from your current email app
- An RSS widget and full Skype integration
- Simple interface and user-friendly interface
- Three different skins; Modern, Classic and Arctic
- The free version only lets you add two email accounts
- Cold boot takes a lot of time
If you’re struggling to keep up with your emails then Zimbra is another handy option. What makes it standout from eM Client is its tab interface which makes it easier to jump to the required features it offers. Besides email accounts, Zimbra also allows you to keep a tab on your social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter. The interface may look outdated compared to today’s standards, but the application does a great job of managing your inbox and works great with services like Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft exchange out of the box.
- Works offline and online
- Allows you to read an email from POP or IMAP accounts including AOL and Outlook
- Supports up to 20 different languages
- Tabbed interface makes it easier to navigate
- Unlimited email accounts support
- Works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems
- Facebook and Twitter support
- The GUI looks a bit outdated compared to today’s standards
- The interface feels cluttered at times
- High memory usage
With Microsoft’s Windows Live Mail app, you can easily manage and organize your different email accounts. This app is also one of the fastest desktop email clients I’ve seen. It loads up really fast – faster than both clients listed above – and boasts a dead simple UI. Windows Live Mail supports all popular email providers including Yahoo mail, Outlook, and Gmail, as well as many other business email services. Besides email accounts, it lets you manage your calendars and contacts, even when you’re offline.
- Lightweight design makes it load up fast even on a cold boot
- Low memory footprint
- Clean and simple interface
- Support for all major email services; Gmail and Yahoo mail
- Lets you handle an unlimited number of email accounts as well as calendar and contacts
- Ability to manage RSS feeds
- Not as feature-laden as many other alternatives
4. Opera Mail
Opera Mail used to come built into the Opera web browser – a well-regarded application on desktop and mobile – but now Opera offers the email client as a full-fledged standalone program that is very powerful and has a good amount of options. If you’ve used Opera Next Mail, you’ll enjoy the same service, the only difference being not in the web browser anymore. It carries a plethora of options, supports all major IMAP and POP email services and its lightweight design makes it a good fit even for old machines.
- Extremely lightweight design akin to Windows Live Mail
- The tabbed interface is clean and simple
- Support for regular mail (POP) and IMAP email accounts
- Major services like Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo mail are all supported
- Still a work-in-progress as of this writing
- Not as many features as other email clients for Windows
- Very little customization
Inky aims to outpace the competition by offering an elegant interface. Getting started with it is dead simple and if your email provider is Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook etc, Inky will automatically recognize and setup necessary configuration settings for you. Besides, it also delivers practical innovations to make your emails more usable. For instance, by automatically creating smart views that handle organizing everything from personal emails to daily deals to newsletters and more. But that’s not all, Inky connects your account to a cloud location letting you sync the same settings to every desktop and the upcoming mobile Inky apps.
- Windows and Mac OS X support
- Beautiful yet simple interface
- Cloud account to automatically sync settings
- Extremely simple setup for Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo
- Light-weight design
- Advanced filtering and sorting features
- The interface feels quite confusing at times due to lack of navigation labels
- No offline support
This Chinese email client is very powerful and boasts a pleasant design accompanied by many useful features, including a remote mail viewer to manage mail on the server, as well as a small scroll ticker that displays message subjects as they arrive in your inbox. Foxmail supports both Windows and Mac OS X machines. In addition, it allows adding POP3 accounts, as well as big names like Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo mail, and Gmail. Other handy tidbits include HTML email, mailbox encryption, multiple accounts etc.
- A really nice looking interface
- Windows and Mac support
- Unlimited number of accounts handling including POP3
- Fast and lightweight
- The application is set to the Chinese language when installed that will confuse non-Chinese speakers
- Sans-tabbed design makes it a bit unintuitive
- Not very feature-rich
At first glance, you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that Mailbird looks quite similar to Inky or Sparrow for Mac. It sports the same navigation pane to the left and everything else also shares a strong resemblance. The email client is being touted for its supersonic speed as well as support for open source apps that further extend its functionality. For instance, you can add apps for cloud and social network management, read RSS feeds or handle your notes.
- Very fast at retrieving messages
- Elegant interface
- A unique Wingman feature that tracks your emailing speed and reports it back
- Plenty of open source apps
- Account support for major email providers
- Seamless offline access
- Lack of features may disappoint power users
- Wingman is only available in Pro version of the app
If you want an app that provides the best email experience, customization, aesthetics and powerful features, then Mozilla Thunderbird is the only choice. It has better security options and more power under the hood than any of the email client listed above. And what’s more interesting is its open source nature which makes it possible for others to tweak it the way they want. Starting from version 15, Mozilla also introduced the tabbed interface that further improved its navigation. In other words, Thunderbird is simply best in the business when it comes to desktop email clients.
- Loads of power and customization features
- Tabbed GUI makes navigation a breeze
- Built-in news reader and chat client
- Multi-account support for every email service out there
- Low memory footprint
- Cross-platform support
- Subsequent development of new features will soon be stopped by Mozilla
So this concludes our compilation of the best email clients for Windows. Any other desktop email client you’d like to recommend? Post a comment and share. If you have any confusions you can simply contact us or leave the comment below.