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I love emails. The pleasure of receiving them is matched by the pleasure of writing them. Of course, each email client has its own reason to boast and its own legion of fans. IncrediMail Xe can lay claim to some of them. If connecting with friends is meant to be fun, then IncrediMail follows this axiom to the byte. IncrediMail Xe v5.8 is a fun piece of email software.

Its reputation doesn’t suffer because it is able and free too…though an adware. The ads come in two modes – as a single line of animated self promoting ad in the outgoing mails and as a small banner ad in the status window. There is a paid version with extra features and without the ads.

The email application has existed for some time. But it stands out from others of its ilk because it offers a rich graphical experience as opposed to its plain Jane cousins. A single line intro would say that IncrediMail Xe is an ad supported email client for Windows allowing the use of emoticons, e-cards, email backgrounds, sounds, animations, 3D effects and handwritten signatures in emails.

IncrediMail Email Client- screen with Notifier

Here’s a walkthrough of the ‘merry’ features in the free version of this mail client –

  • 60 email backgrounds to add color to your mail.
  • Use the vast gallery of emoticons to add emotion to your words.
  • Cool animations to lighten your emails.
  • Notifiers – the animated characters announce the arrival of new mail. There’s a Jeeves-like caricature too!
  • Add the personal touch with the Handwritten signature creator.
  • See your emails bouncing and flying around with some cool 3D Effects.
  • Background wav files add sound elements to your email. An accompanying clickety click sound effect as you type gives a feel of a typewriter.
  • Peek into your mails with a multimedia attachment preview.

Thankfully, IncrediMail goes beyond being just a sugar coated email application. Under the hood are the qualities of a regular email client. The program supports the defacto POP3 and IMAP4 mail protocols. It is matched with leading email services like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. The interface mirrors that of Outlook Express and this probably will help the user ease into the software.


incredimail for vista

All the bells and whistles of a regular email client like handling messages; importing, exporting and managing the address book; and creating message rules are present. Automatic replies along with ‘request read receipts’ are always helpful.  Spam defense is through a rudimentary junk filter which works on the basis of a manual blocked senders list and message rules. An automatic image blocker disallows outside graphics. The user can block unwanted messages and if you want to show that you never received a message in the first place, there’s a ‘bounce’ feature accompanying that too. A more sophisticated junk filter is available in the paid version. A spellchecker and a Babylon based translator engine are the other close at hand aids. The mails might be graphic heavy, but I could send them in a jiffy.

You get the best bang for the buck when you send across your emails to another IncrediMail user because every email client has its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to handling graphics and sound. Outlook for example will display a static in place of the animated emoticon. Online Gmail, Yahoo and AOL do the latter but without the email background.

IncrediMail - Sent Mail

Yes, it is a good free email client. But a finicky user like me just has to find some of the rough spots. And there are some I must mention.

  • The address book is simple and lacks the ability to store multiple email addresses under a single name. For a ‘multimedia’ rich application, the lack of a contact picture in the address book is a put off.
  • The approved list based junk filter is pretty basic.
  • You have to use third party software to export your messages to a common format for import by other email clients. This is a problem if you want to uninstall and move to another email program.
  • Though IncrediMail does allow you to set your IMAP account, IMAP folder synchronization is absent. Copies of mail messages can be left on the server for access by other connected IMAP accounts.
  • Some objections have been cited over the heavy use bandwidth because of the HTML plus multimedia use in IncrediMail. (But hey! This is the age of Web 2.0!)
  • Being an ad supported software; their privacy policy mentions the use of ‘Non- Personally Identifiable Information’ for advertisement purposes.

IncrediMail may be what an emailer with a funny bone would look at. The kids or the kid in you could certainly give it a whirl. A serious emailer might look for more advanced mail management features and without the attached ads. I would recommend you use it for fun but just don’t send your next CV with it.

Today, email itself is unremarkable stuff. But IncrediMail does allow us to add a bit of playfulness in the midst of the mundane.

IncrediMail Xe is a 10.33MB sized Windows (98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista) only application. It is available in 11 languages.

Do you find IncrediMail incredible? Share your user experiences with us.

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  1. Jessica
    March 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I actually do like Incredimail. I think its most likely to be something for kids and not for adults. They have lots of childish things. I just upgraded the Incredimail live messenger. Its pretty cool but like I said before, its more of a child thing.

    • Saikat
      March 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      Yes, it's definitely not meant for professional emails.

  2. Saikat
    January 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I did write that Incredimail is a fun piece of software. Definitely not for the serious business user...but it offers a different way to send mails. It has a large user base and also its share of critics being an adware.

    • Sachin Naik
      January 27, 2009 at 4:46 am

      actually i even like incredimail but i am really scared to send mails to a buisness man/big companies as incredimail attaches an ad to it

      but do u think its ok to send such mails to a buisness man or a big company with that ad

      see here i have done some discussion related to that matter

  3. MC
    January 26, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I love incredimail. Once I find out a little something about my clients I send them an email with something they relate to, I send planes to the ex fighter pilot, horses to my fellow horse lovers, dogs to my dog lovers..... I get the best comments. I am in business... I use my letter head until i get to know them. the funny little guys.... they help know my true mood and tone when i make a statement. e0mails can be dangerous if someone reads your letter with the wrong tone.

    • Sachin Naik
      January 26, 2009 at 3:06 am

      but how can u say that incredimail is the best when its costly and the biggest advertiser

      whenever i send a mail to a big company an ad is automatically attached below the sent mail this is the only biggest disadvantage of it

  4. fokuss
    January 12, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I have to be honest, I prefer plain-text. The ads are also a big no-no for me. I really like what I see coming out of gmail with the labs and all the new features, where as this seems to be a big step backwards (no IMAP?).

  5. Sachin Naik
    December 15, 2008 at 10:02 am

    yes even i have incredimail but the main problem is since its a free version whenever i send a mail an ad is attached to the bottom of the sent email, and hence accounts like yahoo webmail delivers this mail as spam just becoz of that small ad

  6. BatLady
    November 17, 2008 at 3:58 am

    I've used IncrediMail for over 6 years - starting with Windows 98 (I think) - absolutely no problems with this program; however, I've always used the paid version with no ads, etc. I've read all the horror stories and can't figure why some seem to have issues with this application - maybe some conflict with certain other applications or hardwares, because not everyone experiences the horrors.

    Just hate to see the application bashed as complete garbage when I know for a fact that it is not for many users.

  7. Aibek
    November 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Thunderbird 2 is The One for me. :-)

  8. Ajay
    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I used IncrediMail several years back as an alternative to Outlook Express.

    However, my PC was terribly slow and the requirements were high.

    Now I just use Google Apps for my email so never felt the need of going back to any such program

  9. Track
    November 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

    as someone that has had to clean up systems of this program, I'm dissapointed you recommend this thing. Very annoying to remove. To each his/her own though.

  10. Matt Brian
    November 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

    My mother used this and it was nothing but trouble, I ended up having to switch her to Thunderbird in the end.

    I hate the emoticons more than anything.

  11. sean murray
    November 5, 2008 at 2:41 am

    I never saw you put your recommendation on something that was fundamentally tainted with adware before. I spend a lot of time on your stuff because you avoid that very kind of thing. Please continue to avoid that very kind of thing, I had a

    "oh no, please dont let makeuseof jump the shark"


  12. The Windows Fix
    November 5, 2008 at 1:27 am

    My mom downloaded this program to add some flare to her e-mails. I think I ended up using Malwarebytes to get it removed. It may have been something else, but I think this was a huge problem child.

  13. Shreela
    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I hung around decorated/scripted mail groups many years ago, and learned to code some DHTML mail -- it was fun for a while. I noticed Incredimail were somewhat similar to the decorated/scripted mails people in my groups were sending each other, and I looked at the email's source code to see if I could figure out how to replicate an effect.

    I couldn't believe how bloated the Incredimail's code was! It was like comparing a hand-coded HTML page to a page made in MS Front Page.

    I got out of decorated/scripted mails when viruses came along; it's so easy to get infected when allowing these kinds of mails because their effects are done with scripts, and at the time the recommended programs -- OE and Incredimail) -- were awful at preventing infections (and spam). Maybe over the years they've come up with better protection for decorated/scripted mails. But nothing in this article mentions pc safety one way or the other. I find this unusual for MUO.

  14. Saikat Basu
    November 5, 2008 at 12:14 am

    The point of Incredimail is that it offers something 'different'. It may not appeal to the mature user, but when you have 10-12 year old's using emails for fun, it offers something. Yes, no one disputes that Outlook and OE/Windows Mail are on top, but IncrediMail does bring something to the table.
    Here's a report from <<a href="" NY Times:
    As of December 31, 2007, the Company had more than 10 million active users, and more than 330 million IncrediMail e-mails are sent by its users each month. During the year ended December 31, 2007, the Company sold more than 1.3 million products and content licenses worldwide to its registered users.

    I guess it has its share of users.

  15. Joel
    November 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I tried Incredimail once and let me tell you I'm impressed with all the features it has, one thing I don't like are the ads that comes with the free version.

    The problem with incredimail is if the person receiving the email doesn't have enabled html the emoticons will not show, I tested it coupled of times and not all the peoples I sent email received the backgrounds, or the emoticons.

    I prefer always Microsoft Outlook, I use Outlook to get my Gmail emails.

    • Mackenzie Morgan
      November 5, 2008 at 2:18 am

      Uh, that's the point of not using HTML email. We're trying to *avoid* annoying email like this thing creates. Trust me, we're not sitting there going "oh jeez, I wish my eyes could be assaulted by the blink tag and marquees and really bad gif animations just like back in the good old days in 1997.."

  16. Anonymous Coward
    November 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I don't see much to be excited about (and that's me personally). The features seem to be fluff, basically. Emoticons and html? Background music? I have to be honest, I prefer plain-text. The ads are also a big no-no for me. I really like what I see coming out of gmail with the labs and all the new features, where as this seems to be a big step backwards (no IMAP?). As I said, not my thing, but if you absolutely shiny smilies and embedded music, more power to you.

  17. Mackenzie Morgan
    November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Does it only send HTML email, or does it send a plain text version as well? Avoiding those animated annoyances is why people use AdBlock. What makes this seem like a good idea for email? I switched to plain-text-only email a while back, and it's so much better.

  18. Jack
    November 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Crapware warning! Be sure to investigate this program before installing it on your computer. Not easy to get it off again. There's a nice back-and-forth about it at a forum in the link below. I have had to remove it and all that came with it from an employer's computer. It was not pretty.