5 Great Outlook Alternatives for All Platforms

Microsoft Outlook remains a giant of desktop email clients. It’s brimming with useful features revolving around mail organization, such as letting you create all manner of Inbox rules to help keep you on top of things, accessing and sending emails through shared inboxes, as well as those under-appreciated follow-up flags. But if you’ve recently given up on your Office365 subscription or have otherwise left the Microsoft Office ecosystem, then you’ll need to look for an alternative.

Luckily, there are plenty of good options out there for users ranging from casuals to professionals, and we’ve gathered our favorites for you here.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux


The first port of call for most people looking for a swift alternative to Outlook, Thunderbird has been around for a long time and continues to impress. With support for an unlimited number of email accounts, tons of plugins and lightning-quick functionality, its place on the email client throne is well deserved.

Thunderbird syncs up easily with the major providers like Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo, but you can manually set it up to play nice with most IMAP and POP3 email services. While there was talk of Thunderbird flying solo from Mozilla at one point, it looks like it’s staying put with Mozilla for now, which means we should continue to expect big updates; the latest ones have integrated social media features like Twitter Direct Messaging, showing that these guys know how to keep up with the times.

Platforms: Windows


If you want to keep things super-simple while having a very pretty interface complete with background picture, then you may as well try the native Mail client in Windows 10. No, it doesn’t have fancy features like Office integration, inbox rule creation or the option to unsubscribe from mass emails, but if you haven’t been taking advantage of these features anyway, you should give it a try.

On the plus side, it’s extremely fast to use, syncs up instantly with calendars from other services (with reminders and calendar notifications popping up natively in the Windows notification area), and gives you glimpses of your emails in the live tiles in the Start menu. You can even pin specific inboxes to the Start menu, which rounds off an app that Microsoft has done a great job of seamlessly integrating into Windows 10.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux


A slightly less glamorous open-source representative than Mozilla Thunderbird, Zimbra desktop is nonetheless a veteran email client that’s continuing to receive regular updates many years after its inception. Zimbra has a decidedly more retro feel than other clients, but fundamentally uses the same three-pane structure and has a handy row of tabs running along the top that give you quick access to your address book, calendar and so on.

These features synchronize smoothly with their counterparts in big email services like Gmail and Outlook, and it also has full two-way sync with all the big mobile platforms, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble acclimatizing to it.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux


There’s a lot to like about what many consider to be “that other” provider of all things web-related, and this email client is one of them. It seems to have a great way of organizing your various email categories and directories automatically so that you’re never more than a click away from anything, and it provides a convenient wizard to import all your mail over from other clients.

Opera Mail has a touch of Apple Mail about it too, with its cool grey UI, three-pane design and minimal symbols making for an elegant user experience. Unquestionably one of its best features is a low-bandwidth mode that doesn’t show attachments or images in emails – handy when you’re on the go and tethering.

Platforms: Windows


If you’re one of those Windows users who secretly envies those glossy interfaces and general slickness of Apple products, then don’t say anything. Just quietly download this email client which is inspired by Apple Mail. The “Lite” version of Mailbird is free, though the downside is it handles just three email address. But hey, who needs that many anyway, right?

While lacking the more advanced features of Outlook, it has some neat tricks of its own, such as letting you connect your Facebook account to sync up profile pictures and contacts, as well as integration with popular work platform slack and popular everything platform WhatsApp. Mailbird is an apt desktop email client for the social media generation.

With this assortment of email clients we’ve gathered for you, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that suits your needs perfectly. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that the online-only services suffice, and you won’t need any of these altogether. If, however, some form of local backup to your email is important to you, then look no further. What’s your email client of choice? Let us know in the comments.


  1. I have been using Thunderbird for about 5 years now, and I find it ok but it need a LOT more work to have it user friendly in some areas. One is setting up the box that you are wanting to get to, and another is making the address book where you can have ALL addresss as the default place where your address’s comes up. And there are just a few things that need to be addressed. Will they I doubt it. I even tried Incredimail and I was ok but would not work with a number of cell phone systems email programs. And they want to charge you for improvements they make even when you have a premium account.

  2. I have tried eM client, and I must say its a pretty neat client alternative,
    supports the calendaring and task functions quite nicely.

  3. I too have used Thunderbird almost since its inception, and at first? it was a long ugly, bumpy, journey. But in its current iteration I find Thunderbird to be even more user-friendly, and easy to use (after initial setup of course!) than even Outlook! I have about 7 different email accounts that all find a home in Thunderbird, and which I can access from any of my three laptops…iMac or Linux desktop computer. As far as I’m concerned? I’l be sticking with Thunderbird until the very end!…and I think its because of its longevity, ease of use, and ultimate customizability….

  4. Personally my Email needs in recent years have actually driven me to use Web-based Email client software.

    I’ve been using Yahoo Mail since 1997, just prior to the time when I went from working in the same office every day to a contract based working environment.

    I added in Google Gmail once it started gaining acceptance, and I use both of them today, sending specific tasks and correspondence to one or the other.

    Both of them allow you to use an Email client. I used to use POP3 to communicate with Yahoo Mail. I believe that it also has IMAP4 support. I know that Gmail has both POP3 and IMAP4 support if you prefer using a single Email client.

    I’ve found that being able to use Web-based Email has the advantages of access to my Email without concerns about which clients are available and whether a particular message has been previously read and removed from the server or not.

    Network access is usually good, so this approach makes sense for me.

  5. I’m using hotmail or is it outlook,i had yahoo but took them out.Now i’m having problems with google and g mail because i do not have a phone(don’t want one).I want to try something new and possibly BETTER than those 3 a holes.

  6. Opera should be removed. They stopped support completely quite some time ago…

    “Opera Mail is at the end-of-life stage of its product life cycle. This means neither technical support nor product and security updates will be provided. The product is still available to download, but you will use it at your own risk.” – from Opera.

    An application such as this that isn’t received any support, especially security updates, should not be suggested to anyone.

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