Best Microsoft Outlook Alternative for Email on PC

Best Email client programs alternative to Microsoft Outlook and free to read mail from your PC

When it comes to email clients to be installed on the desktop, there seems to be a real Microsoft monopoly because the first and only name that comes to mind is, without a doubt, Microsoft Outlook . This monopoly is entirely deserved because Outlook is, without a doubt, among the best programs but developed by Microsoft and the best client with which to organize e-mail. The only problem is that Outlook is part of the Office suite and therefore is not available for free .

Until a few years ago there was Outlook Express, a very basic but free mail client, which however is no longer developed and distributed by Microsoft (even Windows Live Mail that had replaced it since 2016 is no longer supported).

The function that makes Microsoft Outlook unique and important is that of the calendar and the management of the tasks to be assigned to people (Task and Event Management) also it is used in 90% of companies because it integrates with the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server (if you working in the company you will notice that internal contacts are shared by everyone). In addition there are several extensions and plugins for Microsoft Outlook that expand the possibilities of use.

All these qualities are very difficult to replicate on another program, but fortunately there are no free alternatives: in this guide we will show you the best alternative mail clients to Outlook that we can use for free and without limits, in one case without even installing nothing on the computer (in case we had the Windows 10 operating system).

Best alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

Below we can analyze and evaluate the free alternatives to be used instead of Microsoft Outlook . We are talking about alternative clients to download, install on the PC and use for free to manage e-mail and e-mails , without necessarily having to purchase the Microsoft Office suite to have office programs and to obtain Outlook (which remains the best program to use).

Windows 10 Mail app

As mentioned in the introduction, if we own a PC with Windows 10 we don't have to install any additional mail programs, since it is possible to use the integrated Mail app .

Mail app

If we don't find its icon in the system tray, just open the Start menu and search for Mail , so you can start the app of the same name. Once inside, you will be automatically logged in to the Microsoft account used on the operating system, so you can comfortably read Outlook mail from the interface of the app, modern and simple to use. Once opened, the app remains in memory and will show the arrival of new messages such as system notifications, so as not to miss any incoming e-mail messages.

To add other email accounts (such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) we will only have to open the app, expand the left side menu by pressing the icon with the three horizontal lines at the top left, click on the Account item and finally press on the Add account item , present in the right sidebar.

New account

To learn more about how to use the Windows Mail app to manage, send and receive emails, we recommend you read our guide Using Mail in Windows 10 as an Email app .


If we are looking for an alternative free program to install on our computer, the best currently is without a doubt Thunderbird .


Thunderbird is an e-mail client to be installed on the PC, developed by MZLA Technologies Corporation, a subsidiary company entirely controlled by the Mozilla Foundation, which also manages the famous Mozilla Firefox browser, among other things.

It is therefore a very flexible and customizable open source software , since it is possible to install extensions and additional components .

How Outlook Thunderbird supports POP, IMAP and SMTP, using a wizard to create mail accounts for all popular Web Mail services, including Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.

Other features worth mentioning include: support for RSS feeds of news sites and blogs, management of newsgroups and integration with online calendars for Gmail, Outlook and other business synchronization services. The main advantage of Thunderbird is that it is possible to download the version for Windows, for Mac OS X and GNU / Linux . The numerous extensions for Thunderbird make this email client extremely customizable and full of features

Thunderbird becomes perfect in the home where it is absolutely up to Microsoft Outlook and certainly superior to the Windows 10 Mail app (in some respects too simple and not very configurable).

The problem, however, is in the corporate or corporate environment because, in offices, using Thunderbird requires a configuration that is not easy and where system administrator intervention is often required to be able to configure it correctly.

If you want to deepen the discussion on this email client, we invite you to read our guide Thunderbird, the most used and free email program on PC .

eM Client

eM Client is a little known program but it is absolutely capable of competing with Outlook and Thunderbird in the management of email accounts and in the management of synchronized calendars.

eM Client

This software has an interface very similar to Outlook, so it will certainly be opened by all users who are looking for a valid alternative to Microsoft's paid program without renouncing its conveniences and the simple and clean interface typical of the latest Office products.

Among the main features there is the possibility to customize the client's graphic theme and the support for POP and IMAP protocols, so that we can add all our mail accounts without too many problems, also seeing the automatic recovery of the configuration parameters for the vast majority of online mail services.

Among the other more interesting functions we find synchronization with Google Calendar, integration with some of the most famous social networks and the ability to import email messages from Thunderbird or from another email client on your computer.

Although less known, we advise you to give it a chance, given that on computers we will hardly find such curated, simple to use and powerful programs.

Other free email clients

The ones we have listed so far are the best alternative email clients to Microsoft Outlook to read mail from your PC: let's try them all until we find the one that suits our needs. In the unfortunate event that we did not like any of the programs already mentioned, we can try one of the free clients listed below:

  • MailBird is an excellent e-mail client described in detail in another article, very modern, light and clean, which works with all major mail providers and supports IMAP.
  • ClawMail is another valid email client that allows you to import messages and contacts from Outlook and any online mail service, also available in a portable version.
  • Pegasus Mail , celebrated and historic mail client for PC that supports multiple accounts and notifies you of new messages on the desktop.
  • Sylpheed is a small open source email client with support for IMAP and POP, with the ability to manage multiple accounts in a single interface simultaneously.

If we only use Gmail

If we only use Gmail accounts, instead of installing or configuring a thousand programs we can simply use the Gmail website .


Even if it is not a client to be installed on the PC but only a web application accessible via an internet browser, Gmail is so full of features that it competes easily with any client. Gmail supports POP and IMAP and is fully integrated with the Google Apps suite.

What makes it better than Outlook is the clear advantage of an e-mail web client or its worldwide availability : wherever you go, whatever computer you use, you can receive and write emails from your Gmail mail account.

Perhaps many are unaware that there are many settings and functions on Gmail among which, one of the main ones is the ability to group conversations (hits and replies) and multiple replies to emails.


    Ultimately, if you do not have Office at home and do not have Microsoft Outlook and if you want a nice complete program to manage emails from accounts such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Libero, Virgilio, Alice, Tiscalinet or other, we can install one of the programs seen in the guide, sure of the final result (you will hardly regret Outlook, especially in the home). In the business environment, however, these alternatives are probably not good or can be used only under certain conditions.


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