5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Don’t Cost a Dime [Windows]

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Desktop Email Clients Intro   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]Specialization is the key to efficiency, especially in the realm of software. Programs that try to “do it all” end up becoming bloated, messy, and subpar in most of what they do. On the other hand, programs that have a specific focus tend to excel. Email clients are no different.

Having a specialized desktop email client that handles your email for you is a great way to stay organized and free up time. There’s nothing wrong with using the actual web interface provided by most email services like Gmail and Hotmail, but having a dedicated desktop client is great when you don’t want to keep your browser open 24/7 with a permanent email tab.

Personally, I use Postbox for my emailing needs, but it’ll set you back around $10. Fortunately, there are plenty of free email clients available – you just need to look in the right places.

Thunderbird

desktop email thunderbird   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]

When Mozilla Firefox came onto the scene in 2004 (known as Firebird back then), it gave Microsoft’s Internet Explorer a run for its money. In the same year, Mozilla released Thunderbird which became a big contender to Microsoft’s Outlook. Since then, Thunderbird has maintained its popularity even until now.

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Thunderbird is packed full of features without being slowed down by excess. It can handle multiple email accounts, POP and IMAP, message filtering, folder organization, email labels and priorities, themes, and RSS/Atom feeds. In addition, it has a plugin system that allows new features to be added at your discretion. The only thing about Thunderbird is that, despite its pervasive popularity, it will not be getting any new features from here on out.

Thunderbird is open source and cross platform. Use it on Windows, Linux, or even Mac if you so choose.

eM Client

desktop email em client1   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]

Though Thunderbird is the most popular free client on Windows, eM Client may have a better feature set. It synchronizes flawlessly with any Gmail account, including emails, calendar dates, contact lists, tasks, and even GTalk. If you’re switching over from Outlook, eM Client has an easy import tool. On top of that, it looks polished and clean.

eM Client is fully secure and encrypts everything it sends out. It even has a widgeting feature that allows you to create custom widgets. PC Magazine included eM Client in its list of best free software for 3 years running–2010, 2011, and 2012. Once you’ve used it, it’s not hard to see why.

eM Client is available in Free and Pro versions. The Pro version costs $50 and grants you a commercial license for commercial use as well as VIP support priority. The Pro version also lets you create an unlimited number of email accounts.

Windows Live Mail

desktop email windows live   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]

If you’re using a genuine version of Windows, you can install Windows Essentials and get a great free email client called Windows Live Mail. It handles all of your email accounts and is very easy to set up. If you use SkyDrive, even better! Windows Live Mail synchronizes with SkyDrive on the fly.

Windows Live Mail is available for Windows Vista, 7, and 8. If you use an earlier version, like XP, then you’re unfortunately out of luck here.

Zimbra Desktop

desktop email zimbra   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]

Zimbra Desktop was a top-notch email client for a while but it’s since fallen off the radar – and I’m not sure why. Its main distinguishing features are that it synchronizes locally so you can read all of your email while you’re offline and it aggregates all of your accounts in one place, whether those accounts are for email or social networks.

Basically, you can use Zimbra Desktop as a place to consolidate all of your communication needs. And contrary to what I said before, Zimbra Desktop doesn’t feel bloated. Even with so many features, it works fast and looks great. I can barely summarize all of its awesome features because there are so many.

Zimbra Desktop is free for all and available on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Claws Mail

desktop email claws mail   5 Of The Best Desktop Email Clients That Dont Cost a Dime [Windows]

Claws Mail is a desktop email client built on a GTK+ foundation. Because of this, it has a clean and minimalistic layout with quick response times. Everything is intuitive in design and the preferences are easily configured. With that said, the program is robust and extensible with all the features you’d need in an email client.

Upon using Claws Mail, you’ll be able to import your settings and emails from other clients like Outlook and Thunderbird. If you ever feel the need to switch away, everything can be exported just as easily. With plugins, you can install extra functionality – like reading RSS feeds, event calendars, and more.

Claws Mail is available for Windows and Linux.

Which desktop email client do you prefer?

Image Credit: Email Computer Via Shutterstock

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37 Comments - Write a Comment

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Anonymous

For me the portability of an email client is paramount. That way, I can always access my email wherever I want. But yes, unfortunately it seems there will be no new features from here on in. :(

muhammad idrees

I was talking about Thunderbird a appreciate your resposnse

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Anonymous

I was talking about Thunderbird as it’s my choice for email client.

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daz hannah

I have xp and I’m using windows live successfully

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emc

Excellent topic otherwise I would not have known these good email client. Thanks !!

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filepuma

We have listed Thunderbird, eM Client, Windows Live Mail, And we recommend Tunderbird. http://www.filepuma.com/download/mozilla_thunderbird_16.0.1-1630/

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Gerhard Tinned

I have been using Thunderbird for years. First on Windows then on my USB (portable apps version) then on my mac. I was always very very happy with it. I still have it on my mac and PC. I just came across Postbox again (thanks to makeuseof) and i started to like it more becasue of some features. But as it is not free it is of course not in the list. But still my free absolute winner is THUNDERBIRD!! Very stable, a lot of extensions, portable, available for Windows and MacOSX and Linux, Does everithing i ever needed from an email client and even more! :-)

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Adrian Rea

I prefer to use webmail as my daily use, but I use Thunderbird as a backup storage. This is transferable between Windows and Linux whichever I choose to be be my main desktop. This also means I can access my mail wherever I go but keep the bulk of my past mail off the web servers to reduce security risk.

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Unhappy

Did you really install emClient?
It is full of toolbars and the like. Looks extremely suspicious to me.
Besides that, it simply locked up on my computer and that was it.

muhammad idrees

i prefer to use webmail on daily weekly and montly bases

Joel Lee

Whenever you install something, it would be best if you didn’t zoom through by cilcking Next, Next, Next. On the third page during installation, you have the option of unchecking the “Install eM Client Toolbar,” which is how you can bypass toolbar installation.

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muhammad idrees

For me the portbility of an emails clients is

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Harish Jonnalagadda

I didn’t know Live Mail was still available! Was using Thunderbird as my email client..

Czarek

I stopped install Thunderbird for my clients despite of storage limitations /mbox = 4 GB only/. There is no such as limitations using WLM.
Otherwise there is a native calendar events exchange and contacts synchronisation solution builtin to WLM. It can be used to on-line synchronisation of contacts and calendar events beetwen dekstops and mobile devices /if it can handle exchange mailboxes/. So it’s really adventage over Thunderbird solutions.
WLM cons in lack of custom filters for IMAP based accounts.
CW

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vineed gangadharan

thunderbird is the best,,,i use it both on windows and ubuntu :)

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Michel

Windows Live Mail is an email client. Skydrive is cloud storage. What do you sync between the two?

Joel Lee

You can backup and sync your emails on SkyDrive. It’s useful if you use Windows Live Mail on multiple computers.

Czarek

WLM uses native activesync protocol for exchange mail, contacts and calendar events /for hotmail , outlook.com accounts/, so there is no needs to do it manually using Skydrive. Otherwise I hadn’t seen any skydrive related opsions on WLM interface.
CW

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Pwince Khan

windowslive is the best

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Anonymous

My choice is Thunderbird from many years. Sometimes, I use Evolution on Ubuntu, but now, it is Thunderbire again.

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Sam Kar

Never heard abt Claws Mail.

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RaMaN

“If you’re using a genuine version of Windows,” LOL I laughed at this. I never used genuine windows :)

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Alex Perkins

A web based email client like Gmail is great, but it doesn’t work at school where they are still using IE 6.

Aaron Couch

Ugh! Go to a different school! :P I’m assuming your textbooks are from the 1980s as well?

Alex Perkins

I can’t as I’m in the UK and it’s the closest one, the textbooks probably are as well although some of them are a bit more up to date. The Network Admin is a moron and didn’t even know how to reverse the screen flip I put on a computer, the one where it’s just alt gr + Up arrow. Most of the time if i’m in the class the person in need asks me rather then getting him to try and do it. I don’t have access to any of the permissions he has so I can’t fix most things because of that. We’re not even allowed shortcuts on our desktop

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Aaron Couch

Joel,

Great job on this piece! How have I not heard of some of these? Especially eM Client. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. I like Gmail, but I’ve just been curious about what else is out there.

Definitely giving this a try. Do you have a preference or opinion on which one is the “best”?

Joel Lee

Thanks Aaron!

I personally use Postbox ($20 so it’s not on this list), but if I had to choose, I’d probably use Zimbra. It looks the most aesthetically pleasing and it has a massive featureset. I hear Windows Live Mail is pretty good, but who knows how long Microsoft will support that with all the Windows changes coming up.

Sam Kar

I don’t know why are u praising Zimbra, as our office uses Zimbra- and I have seen ppl very angry having to use it.

Joel Lee

I’ve been frustrated by Thunderbird, yet it’s still praised as one of the best email clients out there. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

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Richard Steven Hack

If you’re not in a corporate environment (and I mean one where it’s mandated), using Outlook or Outlook Express is just stupid. They’re virus magnets, their storage format is unreliable (I’ve spend a lot of time recovering broken PST files for clients), and they’re overly complicated and bloated. I wouldn’t bother with Windows Live Mail either based on the history of the other Windows clients.

Thunderbird is far better. Although I use Gmail now exclusively, I still use Thunderbird as another form of backup of my Gmail account. Thunderbird works fine with Gmail, not as hinted in the article.

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Edwin Williams

Windows Live Mail is fun! I use it everyday! Thanks for the article!

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Jacob Mathew

I like thunderbird a lot better.

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Mac Witty

One would love to see the same for Mac. Postbox and Apple mail is nice but alternative is always good exp since Thunderbird has given in

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Anonymous

I prefer Thunderbird

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Myst Gunn

Today I learned another desktop email client. Thanks for sharing.

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Suneel Kansara

Ya i was just searching for best email client for windows i make it

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tika

I find this cool new windows desktop email client: Mailbird

Yeah its new.. Been using it for three months and I loovee it.. Maybe because its simplicity, sophisticated design.. I cant do with too much button to click or too much tab to look at :-/ ..

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