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Top 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

As amazing as Microsoft Outlook can be, there are good reasons to consider an alternative. Maybe it offers too many features that you will never use. Maybe you can't afford the $110 price tag. Or you just don't want to enjoy the confusing mess of Microsoft email products.

What are your best options?

There are some who say that everyone Desktop email clients are bad and should be replaced by web applications. Others, myself included, believe that web applications can't match the power and versatility of desktop email clients that you should ditch webmail for a desktop email client if... You should ditch webmail for a client desktop email all the rave Wondering if it's time to go back to a desktop email client? Look no further. We show you the merits of a local mail service. Read more . Therefore, in this article, we will focus on the latter.

1. EssentialPIM

Like Microsoft Outlook, EssentialPIM is more than just an email client:it's a personal information manager (hence the name). Its goal is to be a one-stop shop for managing everyone of your communications and tasks in one central location. This makes your workflow faster and easier.

Top 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

EssentialPIM's email component is exactly what you'd expect:sleek, modern, and functional, with a design reminiscent of just about any other desktop email client you've used before. The free version has all the basic features:

  • Unlimited number of email accounts.
  • Folders and filters for flexible email organization..
  • Import and export formats:XML, CSV, iCal, vCard and more.
  • Synchronization with Android and iOS.

Upgrading to the Pro version can unlock much more:

  • Sync package:Google, Outlook, iCloud and more.
  • 256-bit AES encryption for advanced security and privacy.
  • Advanced backups so you never lose data.
  • Threads that group related emails into conversations.
  • Professional and customizable email templates..

For more information, check out the full comparison of Free vs. Pro. And in addition to email, EssentialPIM has Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Contacts and Password management features.

For $2 per month or $20 per year, you can get an EssentialPIM Cloud plan that stores and syncs all of the above non-email features. It is securely encrypted, acts as a backup, and allows you to access your data from anywhere with just a web browser.

One final note:EssentialPIM comes in a portable version, which you can load onto a USB flash drive or external hard drive and use on any computer. Ideal for students and those who travel often..

Download: EssentialPIM for Windows (Free, Pro version for $40) | Android (Free) | iOS (free)

2. Thunderbird

Thunderbird is completely free and open source. It suffers a bit in the interface and aesthetics department, but it excels in terms of features and functionality. If you want an information management solution without restrictions or costs, this is the solution for you.

Top 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

Thunderbird has a number of features that make it a suitable choice as a replacement for Microsoft Outlook:

  • Emails with tabs to manage multiple conversations.
  • An address book that is extremely easy to use and manage.
  • Smart folders and filters for productive organization..
  • Advanced search features to find the exact emails you need.
  • PGP encryption to keep your emails safe and private..
  • Built-in Lightning extension that provides calendar functionality.

Although Thunderbird development was officially deprioritized in 2012, it still receives updates as of this writing. You can also add additional features through third-party plugins.

Download: Thunderbird (Free)

If you want something like Thunderbird but not the same, consider SeaMonkey. It shares a history with Thunderbird in that they are both derived from the Mozilla Application Suite. However, it differs in that SeaMonkey is developed by the community rather than Mozilla.

Download: SeaMonkey (Free)

3. Gmail

Wait a minute. Gmail is not a desktop email client!

While that's technically true, you might be surprised to learn that Gmail can be used in “desktop mode” With a few easy tweaks. In fact, when used this way, Gmail ends up being better than most other desktop solutions (except in complex business environments).

Top 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

The truth is that Gmail can be configured to replicate many desktop client features and functions. For example:

  • Create a desktop shortcut and run in its own window.
  • Automatically associate and open email links.
  • Switch between multiple email accounts.
  • Access and read emails even when you're offline.
  • Organize emails using tags and filters.
  • Navigate using keyboard shortcuts.

If you want to give it a try, check out our guide to setting up Gmail as a desktop email client How to use Gmail as a desktop email client in 7 easy steps How to use Gmail as a desktop email client in 7 steps simple Get rid of your default desktop email client, if Gmail has more desktop features? Let us show you how you can configure Gmail to behave more like a desktop email client. Read more. It is very easy and only takes a few minutes. There's a chance it's not “desktop enough” for you, but chances are you'll like it and even prefer it to traditional clients. And by the way, you can forward your Outlook emails to Gmail. How to forward your email from Outlook to Gmail. How to forward your email from Outlook to Gmail. Do you need to forward emails from Outlook to Gmail? We'll show you how to import Outlook to Gmail and take everything with you. Read more.

And as a Google user, Gmail makes it easy to integrate with other Google productivity web apps, including the ever-useful Google Calendar 9 Google Calendar Features You Should Be Using 9 Google Calendar Features You Should Be Using Google Calendar has more tricks for his Manga than you may realize. Our tips will help you organize events and reduce the time you spend managing your calendar. Learn more, the lightweight Google Keep for tasks 10 Creative Ways to Use Google Keep Every Day 10 Creative Ways to Use Google Keep Every Day Google Keep is a simple note-taking app. But its simplicity hides its usefulness. Here are ten tips and ideas for using Google Keep for the little things in everyday life. Read More 10 Google Docs tips that take seconds and save time. 10 Google Docs tips that take seconds to save you time. Help you create professional-looking documents. Our speed tips will help you do it much faster. Read more.

Website: Gmail (Free)

Other notable mentions

Windows 10 Mail : Although not advanced enough or complex enough to replace a powerhouse like Microsoft Outlook, the Mail app that is built into Windows 10 may be more than enough for casual users. You might be surprised by all the clever features of the Mail app. 7 Superior Features of Windows 10 Mail You Probably Didn't Know About 7 Superior Features of Windows 10 Mail You Probably Didn't Know About The Windows 10 Mail app has become an email competitive desktop client. We show you seven smart features you should know if you want to be a power user. Read more.

eM Client : A sleek and beautiful email client with built-in calendar, task, and chat features. But the free version for personal use is limited to 2 email accounts, which will be too restrictive for most users. The Pro version is $50, which is a bit steep.

Zimbra Desktop : One of the few desktop email clients that is truly free and open source. Unfortunately, it does feel as an open source application with its outdated interface and slow performance. However, it's packed with great features like sync and a calendar, so don't underestimate it.

Important email tips to keep in mind

Regardless of which email client you choose, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to make your life easier.

First, Email Security Is Crucial 7 Important Email Security Tips You Should Know 7 Important Email Security Tips You Should Know Internet security is a topic that we all know is important, but it often sits in the back of our minds, Tricking us into believing "it's not going to happen to me." Yes… read more. This isn't just a privacy issue:a hacked email account can lead to other accounts being hacked, including bank and e-commerce accounts. Second, learn to be efficient with email. 7 Email Efficiency Tips to Get More Emails. Faster. 7 Tips for Email Efficiency. For more emails. Email is a communication tool to make your life easier. Instead of having to write a letter or try to catch someone... Read More Third, don't let email stress you out. 6 Simple Tricks to Reduce Email Stress 6 Simple Tricks to Reduce Email Stress The best part of the day is dealing with email. No one ever said. Need all the tips you can get to manage your email inbox? We can help you! Read more.

What don't you like about Microsoft Outlook? What other email client are you using instead? Are there any good ones that we missed? Share with us in the comments below!

Originally written by Tina Sieber on November 3, 2009..