Claws Mail: Features, Drawbacks, and Alternatives (2020)

Posted by Alexis Dollé on July 20, 2020

Claws Mail review and alternativesClaws Mail review and alternatives
Alexis Dollé

Alexis Dollé
Head of Growth

Published on July 20, 2020

Thinking about downloading Claws Mail?

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed Claws Mail review to help you decide if it’s the right solution for you.

We’ll also give you two great Claws Mail alternatives to ensure you find one that suits your needs perfectly!

Here’s what to expect in this Claws review.

What Is Claws Mail? Review

What is Claws mail review

Claws Mail is a free and open-source desktop email client that was first released back in 2001 — over 18 years ago! Despite its longevity, the email client undergoes regular updates and keeps up with modern needs.

As it’s one of the few open-source email clients out there, it gives users a lot of flexibility when it comes to adding custom integrations and tweaking the software.

In addition to supporting Windows, Claws Mail can also run on Unix-like systems such as Linux distros and Solaris.

What Does Claws Mail Do?

Claws Mail gives you a unified space to access all your emails from all your accounts.


With it, you’ll be able to send and receive emails from multiple accounts without having to log onto each one separately!

Additionally, as it’s desktop-based, you can access all these emails without having to log onto a web browser!

The Key Features of Claws Mail

Claws Mail has tons of useful features that make it one of the best email clients on the market today.

Let’s go over some of them:

1. Open-Source-Based

Before going into detail as to why this is a great feature, let’s clarify what open-source means.

An open-source software application is one that allows its source code — what it’s essentially built on — to be readily accessible to anyone who wants it. As a result, anyone with the source code can modify the software to fit their own needs and preferences!

With the Claws Mail Windows email client, you can add as many custom integrations and settings as you want. These can range from incorporating Linux package codes like command sudo and starttls or even running it on any Linux distros you like!

This way, you’ll be able to create your own compatibility and functionality for your app.

2. Filtering Capabilities

When you receive tons of emails on a daily basis, it’s important to be able to organize them effectively.

With Claws Mail, you’ll be able to do that easily.

You can add as many custom filters to your inbox as you like, such as sorting emails according to sender or even content. This way, you’re not limited to the traditional Spam, Draft, and Trash folders.

Also, as you’re able to organize your emails effectively, you won’t have to worry about emails getting jumbled up and dealing with a messy inbox!

3. Reliability & Updates

Another important benefit of Claws Mail is reliability.

As the software is constantly updated, any lingering issues are usually dealt with swiftly, and you’ll be back to business in no time.

Additionally, due to these constant service updates, Claws Mail is a very fast app when it comes to loading and handling emails.

4. Plugins

In addition to allowing you to add any custom package you like, Claws Mail has a standard set of useful plugins such as:

  • RSS news reader plugin to deal with RSS feeds in the email client
  • MBox handler plugin to manage message files stored in that format
  • SpamAssassin plugin to ensure you can tackle any spam mail


With these, you’ll be able to add a ton of functionality to Claws Mail from the moment you download it.

5. Completely Free

Another Claws Mail calling card is that it’s completely free.

There’s no paid variant of the software that will give you any additional functionality — you get everything it can offer you for free.

Drawbacks of Claws Mail

While Claws Mail is a good email package with abundant features, it isn’t perfect. Here are a few drawbacks you’ll have to face if you’re shifting to Claws Mail.

1. Difficult to Use

While being open-source is one of the best things about Claws Mail, it can also be a bit of a problem.

That’s because open-sourced software tends to be difficult to set up and use – especially if you’re not an experienced user when it comes to programming.

As a result, getting to grips with the settings and features in Claws Mail can be a difficult process for new users.

2. Complicated Setup

Another issue with Claws Mail is that, unlike some other email clients, it doesn’t offer you automatic POP or IMAP server detection.

As a result, it can’t detect the incoming/outgoing SMTP server of your preferred email account. You’ll have to manually input the details of your email accounts to connect them with Claws Mail.

Additionally, importing data from your Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook accounts into Claws Mail can be difficult as a result of the manual setup.

3. Dated UI

Another drawback of Claws Mail is its user interface.

It’s not user-friendly and resembles an old-school Windows XP web interface – not something you’d expect from an email client in 2019.

Unfortunately, Claws Mail doesn’t give you too much flexibility when it comes to tweaking the UI’s customization either. As a result, you’re pretty much stuck with how it looks.

Two Great Claws Mail Alternatives

See something you don’t like about Claws Mail? Here are two great alternatives that try to overcome some of Claws Mail’s drawbacks.

Mailbird

Claws mail alternatives - Mailbird

Mailbird is one of the best alternatives to Claws Mail on the market right now.

Why?

It’s been the recipient of numerous awards in the past, and it’s a top pick of Windows Report.

It’s a tool that’s constantly looking to go above and beyond what’s expected of an email client.

Let’s take a look at some of the features that make Mailbird a great email client:

1. Unified Inbox

The unified inbox is one of Mailbird’s core features.

With it, you can say goodbye to having to log onto multiple accounts to access emails sent there.

You can connect all your accounts with Mailbird, and it’ll allow you to access all these emails from one unified space!

You won’t have to remember tons of passwords ever again!

Additionally, you’ll be able to do all this from your desktop — so you won’t have to juggle multiple web browser tabs either!

Color Codes

With Mailbird, you won’t have to worry about losing track of which emails came from where in your unified inbox.

Mailbird multiple email account management

You can assign colors to each email account, which makes identifying where an email came from a piece of cake!

2. Tagging Feature

Ever wish that adding recipients to your emails was as easy as tagging someone on Instagram?

With Mailbird’s tagging feature, it is!

All you have to do is type in “@” followed by the name of the recipient in your message, and Mailbird will pull up the contact from your address book and add them to the recipients list.

Mailbird email client tagging feature

You then have the choice of either keeping them as a primary recipient or just adding them as a CC.

And that’s it! You’ve now added a person to your email in the time it would’ve taken you to tag them on an Instagram post.

3. Snooze Emails

One of Mailbird’s coolest features is its Snooze email feature.

With this, you’ll be able to snooze unimportant emails to ensure your inbox only contains priority emails for the time being.

Mailbird tucks these unimportant snoozed emails away for a time period specified by you — which could range from a day to even weeks!

Mailbird email client Snooze feature

In the meantime, as these unimportant emails are temporarily gone from your inbox, you’ll be able to address emails that are important to you with ease!

Don’t worry about losing these snoozed emails forever though — they’re not discarded as trash mail! They’ll pop back into your inbox once the time period you specified is up.

The Snooze Folder

Want to access some of these unimportant emails before the snooze period is up?

Just go to the Snooze folder in Mailbird where they’re all stored. You can now access them even before the snooze period is up!

4. In-Line Replies

Mailbird’s in-line reply feature allows you to respond to questions in an email right below them instead of in a follow-up email.

Mailbird email client in-line reply feature

As you’re responding to questions immediately underneath them, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to reply to a specific question!

It’s also far easier for the recipient to read your replies, as they’re not all bundled together in a follow-up email!

Additionally, with Mailbird, you can color code and add your name to your responses to add another layer of personalization.

5. Attachment Reminders

Mailbird’s attachment reminder feature makes sure you never send an email without an attachment again.

How does it work?

Mailbird can determine whether an email requires an attachment-based on what you’ve written in the email.

Say you mentioned the word “attach” in your mail and sent it out without adding an attachment to it. Mailbird will immediately notify you with a pop-up.

Mailbird Attachment Reminders feature

You can now add the attachment that needed to be sent and save yourself the embarrassment of having to send a follow-up email with the attachment!

Why Mailbird Is Better than Claws Mail

Want to know why Mailbird is an improvement on Claws Mail? There are a few reasons at least:

1. Easy Setup

One of Mailbird’s best features is that it has one of the easiest setups you can find today. With it, you’ll be up and running in no time!

Why?

Mailbird supports most POP and IMAP accounts, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook. As a result, SMTP server compatibility won’t be an issue here.

Additionally, it can automatically detect your mail server to spare you the trouble of manually entering it as you would in Claws Mail.

This makes it super easy to import your contacts and data into Mailbird, and you can start using the software almost immediately!

For more information on Mailbird’s setup, click here.

2. Customization Options

One of Claws Mail’s issues is its limited customizability with regard to how it looks. With Mailbird, though, you won’t have any such problems.

You can select a light or dark theme for Mailbird or even choose a custom theme as a background image!

Additionally, Mailbird supports 17 different languages to make sure you’re comfortable using it in the language you prefer!

You also have the option of choosing the layout in Mailbird — you can choose between a small screen, a preview, and a three-column layout to suit your preferences!

Pros +

  • Can support most POP and IMAP accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, Mail and Outlook
  • Automatic POP and IMAP server detection for easy configuration
  • Tons of helpful integrations such as Google Calendar, Slack, and Whatsapp for additional functionality
  • Easy mailing list management with the ability to import contacts in the .pst file format
  • Can create custom folders for emails so you’re not limited to traditional ones like Spam, Trash, and Drafts
  • Tons of helpful features like In-Line Replies, Speed Reader, and Attachment Reminders.
  • Regular feature and service updates
  • Tons of customization options

Cons –

  • The current version is only running on Windows OS — cannot operate on Linux or Mac operating systems

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4/5 (52 reviews)

Capterra – 4.5/5 (262 reviews)

Looking for an Alternative to Claws Mail? Try Out the Best One!

Try Mailbird for Free

eM Client

eM email client

If you’re looking at Claws Mail alternatives, then eM Client is definitely one you should check out.

Here’s why.

1. Simple Contact Management

A great thing about eM Client is its contact management. You have loads of customizability when it comes to arranging them, as well as deciding how they look in your mailing list.

When it comes to organizing your contacts, you can categorize them into a variety of different fields, such as family members or even hobbies.

But that isn’t all — you get to customize the look of your mailing list too!

You can either stick with the generic business card format or opt for a custom view that will allow you to customize what you see and how your contacts are arranged in your address book.

2. Easy Setup

As it supports most IMAP and POP accounts, you won’t have an issue with compatibility when it comes to adding your email accounts here.

Additionally, it supports automatic mail server detection to spare you the trouble of manually inputting these details.

3. Spell Checker

eM Client has a default editor with a spell checker.

With it, you won’t be making any spelling mistakes when drafting your emails again! (You don’t have the option of switching this default editor off though.)

4. Integrations

eM Client has some good integrations to add some additional functionality to the email client.

For example, it can integrate with Facebook and Jabber to give you the ability to utilize social media and instant messaging within the eM Client app itself!

The Drawbacks of eM Client

There are a few niggling issues that hold the eM Client package back from being a truly great email client.

Let’s look at a few of them.

1) Limited Customizability

This is an issue that both eM Client and Claws Mail share — there isn’t too much room for customizing the UI to suit your needs.

While eM Client is more up-to-date that Claws Mail, it still doesn’t offer much when it comes to tweaking it.

While you now have the ability to add a dark theme, it isn’t nearly as customizable as a tool like Mailbird.

2) Syncing Issues

Unfortunately, eM Client does tend to suffer from some syncing issues occasionally. A common issue is emails being deleted from backups for no apparent reason.

While eM Client does release service updates to fix most of these bugs regularly, some of these seem to be recurring issues that could cause some problems for you in the long run.

Pros +

  • Automatic POP and IMAP server detection for easy configuration
  • Good address book management capabilities
  • Easy to import calendars and contacts from multiple accounts in the vcalendar and .pst format respectively
  • Current version is running on Windows and Mac platforms

Cons –

  • Limited customization options when it comes to the user interface
  • Tends to suffer from some recurring bugs
  • Not lightweight — software can be RAM-heavy and taxing on your device’s memory
  • Current version cannot support Linux

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4.4/5 (7 reviews)

Capterra – 4/5 (33 reviews)

Conclusion

Claws Mail is definitely one of the better email clients out there — especially when compared to other Linux-based tools like Sylpheed.

However, it isn’t perfect.

Mailbird and eM Client are all alternatives to Claws Mail — each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

It’s now up to you to decide which one suits you best!

In the meantime, why not sign up for a free trial of Mailbird and experience it yourself?

Mailbird Is a Better Alternative to Claws Mail. Give It a Free Try Now.

Try Mailbird for Free


Alexis Dollé

Alexis Dollé
Head of Growth

Published on July 20, 2020

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