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The 12 Best Outlook Alternatives for Windows, Mac, and Mobile

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on June 23, 2022

Alternatives to the Outlook email client

Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Senior Content Manager

Anastasia is a content marketer and manager with a strong IT background, passionate about storytelling and SEO. She likes creating high-quality content and helping others develop their skills. Besides work, she loves traveling, extreme sports, and reading fantasy books.
Published on June 23, 2022
Last Updated on November 25, 2022

The Microsoft Outlook email client has offered its services to businesses for so long that you may have gotten used to its clunky interface, hidden features, and technical issues. But you are now probably thinking about how this love-hate relationship should come to an end.

There is good news — the market of email clients and providers has grown significantly, and solid Outlook alternatives such as Mailbird have appeared.

In this article, we will compare the best alternatives to the Outlook email client with their features and user reviews.

Top 12 Alternatives to Outlook

We have compared 12 Outlook alternatives based on several criteria, such as key features, integrations, security, pricing, and user reviews. From this criteria, we have defined the following email clients:

  • Mailbird for easy management of accounts from a unified interface
  • Thunderbird for multiple open-source customizations
  • Spark for private team emails
  • Spike for a new team collaboration experience
  • eM Client for handy notes and to-dos
  • Google Workspace for a comprehensive productivity toolkit
  • Proton Mail for enhanced security
  • Mailspring for contact history
  • Zoho Mail for social-media-style conversations
  • Polymail for email outreach and sales
  • Shift for a collaboration tools workspace
  • Front for a chat-like email experience

For each email client, you can find a fact-based overview of its pros and cons, along with the verdict of our findings.

1. Mailbird

Mailbird is a popular alternative to Outlook that helps you manage all of your email accounts, calendars, and even some productivity tools from one unified interface, so you can reduce your work distractions to a minimum.

Mailbird's sleek interface

Mailbird supports all possible email accounts, including Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, and many others that you can integrate via POP or IMAP protocols. Currently, Mailbird is only available for Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11 users, but it will soon become available for Mac as well.

Key Features

Unified inbox

You can connect all your email accounts (even the least popular email providers) because Mailbird supports the IMAP and POP3 protocols that make this integration possible with just a few clicks. After adding all your accounts, you can either access all their messages in one unified account or view each account separately. That’s a function currently lacking in Microsoft Outlook.

Unified calendar

With a unified native calendar app, you can have a helicopter view of all the events scattered around your different calendars — both business and private ones. You are not limited to only one email provider and can add unlimited calendars from Gmail, Outlook.com, Hotmail, and other accounts — a flexibility Microsoft doesn’t currently offer.

Advanced contact management

By using Mailbird, you’ll have a lot of options for managing your contacts. You can easily import contacts from different email providers, merge duplicate contacts, and copy existing ones — all with just a few clicks.

Undo send

Some email providers, including Microsoft Outlook, let you unsend an email after you’ve clicked the Send button. However, it’s not convenient to access this feature in Outlook’s dashboard, and there is always little time to react. With Mailbird, you can undo a send within 30 seconds, and the Unsend button is right at your fingertips.

Email tracking

By setting up email tracking in Mailbird, you can learn whether your recipients have received and opened the emails you sent. You can also preview who among a group message has opened it and at what time of the day.

Speed reader

Mailbird’s speed reader helps you spend less time processing emails. Instead of focusing on single words, you can quickly grasp the meaning of expressions and full sentences in no time. Speed reading is not available in Microsoft Outlook.

Integrations

Mailbird offers dozens of useful integrations with the third-party tools and apps you rely on every day. You can use them in the same dashboard where you manage your email and calendar. This way, you avoid switching between tabs and subjecting yourself to distractions.

Asana, Todoist, Evernote, Grammarly, and Slack are just a few of the apps Mailbird can be integrated with — the full list is much longer.

Security

In Mailbird, your data is fully encrypted and available only to you. It is not shared with other people or entities.

Pricing

You can use Mailbird as an individual or business. Monthly plans start at $2.28 per user. The lifetime subscription costs $49.50.

For Business plan it costs $4.03 per user/monthly & $99.75 for lifetime subscription.

User reviews 

  • Trustpilot – 4.6/5 
  • G2 – 4/5 

Pros

  • Manage multiple accounts from one dashboard
  • Easy onboarding
  • Great user experience and very nice interface
  • Works fast without lags
  • Unified inbox
  • Unified calendar
  • Wide customization options
  • Responsive support agents

Cons

  • Currently not supported on macOS or mobile (soon to come)

Verdict

Mailbird helps you connect unlimited accounts — your choice is not limited only to Outlook accounts. You can manage all your emails from one folder and add unlimited calendars that you can view in the same dashboard. 

Connecting multiple productivity apps and using them from one window is another Mailbird advantage. Thanks to this, you can significantly reduce distractions — going far beyond Outlook’s capabilities.

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Mailbird vs. Outlook

Mailbird Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $2.28/month per user $6/month per user

2. Thunderbird

Thunderbird darkmode interface

If you are looking for a free email client that lets you add an unlimited number of accounts, you are in the right place with Thunderbird. With this tool, you can add any email account, including Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail, and manage their inboxes from one place without paying a dime. 

Initially, Thunderbird’s development was commercially supported by Mozilla. However, the corporation has since discontinued support, making the tool fully open-source. Its community of developers introduces product updates, fixes issues, and provides answers to user tickets.

Key features

Multiple account management

Thunderbird offers a lot of options when it comes to connecting and managing accounts from different email providers. Google, Outlook, Yahoo, and others can be integrated using POP, IMAP, and SMTP protocols. 

Once you have connected all your accounts, you can easily move from one inbox to another without leaving an app or logging in multiple times. You can view and filter your accounts from one dashboard, but you won’t be able to apply bulk actions to all your accounts.

Unified calendar

Do you often manage appointments while simultaneously responding to emails? With Thunderbird, scheduling online meetings is easier thanks to its integrated calendars.

You can transform your email into an online event and add it to the right calendar of your chosen email provider. It works similar to Outlook, but Thunderbird lets you add calendars from different email providers; Outlook does not.

Spam filtering and virus protection

Spam filtering and virus protection are two of the key features that appeal to those who choose Thunderbird. The email client helps you protect your inboxes from unwanted messages — it can do it for you or let you define the criteria for spam filtering.

Whenever you receive an email with a dangerous link, Thunderbird warns you against clicking it. It can also “learn” and become even more proficient at spotting malicious emails in the future if you regularly mark such emails as spam.

Contact management

Thunderbird lets you add contacts to an address book with just one click. This way, you can keep all your records organized and refer to a contact’s details at any time. Once added, you can easily modify contact information by editing the name, photo, or birthday.

Tabbed email

If you often juggle multiple emails from different accounts at the same time, Thunderbird helps you avoid switching between tabs. This feature makes referring to multiple emails easier and gives you a 360-degree view of your key conversations.

Integrations

Some email clients offer integrations with third-party tools, so you can avoid switching between tabs and do all your work from one place. Unfortunately, you can’t access the most popular productivity apps — Asana, Slack, or Evernote — with Thunderbird. 

However, community developers are working out unique solutions in the form of built-in add-ons that can make your work with Thunderbird easier

The Add-ons Manager is Thunderbird’s space for integrations. You’ll find a number of useful apps that you can download right from the Manager dashboard, such as Smart Templates or the Emoji Library.

Security

Thunderbird offers robust security, protecting your email accounts from spam, malware, and dangerous attachments. It has its own algorithms that help identify spam or junk messages and separate them from the messages that matter. 

Over time, the algorithms’ actions are adjusted based on how you mark junk emails. The team of community developers often releases lightweight security updates. 

Pricing

Free

User reviews

G2 – 4.3/5 (286 reviews – May 2022)

User review of Thunderbird
Negative review of Thunderbird
Outlook alternative review

Major Pros

  • Free
  • Unlimited accounts
  • Unlimited customization due to open-source nature (if you are a developer and have time for it)
  • Strong antispam and antivirus protection

Major Cons

  • No formal product roadmap or development team
  • No formal support team, only community forum
  • Outdated interface
  • Frequent bugs and lags 
  • No mobile version (coming soon)

Verdict

Thunderbird can be a valid alternative to Outlook because you can easily add email accounts from different providers and use them from one dashboard.

Thunderbird is free to use with an unlimited number of email accounts, but there is a hidden price — you can still experience lags and bugs for which you will have to request fixes through a community forum that works pro bono.

Outlook vs. Thunderbird — Comparison

Thunderbird Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing free $6/month per user

3. Spark

Spark assign to feature

Spark is an email client that helps you connect multiple accounts, including Outlook, Google, iCloud, and more. The service offers a lot of interesting built-in features to benefit teams — you can create private emails that only your team can view or compose an email in real time with some of your colleagues. 

Currently, Spark is available only for macOS and iOS users.

Key features

Smart inbox

With Spark, you can add an unlimited number of email accounts from different email providers and view them from one unified inbox. You can add inboxes that various team members have access to, assign tasks, set up deadlines, and track progress.

Search tool

Spark is powered by natural language processing (NLP) technology, helping you locate your emails even if you don’t know the exact search term. Once you type your search query, Spark will show you emails that are somewhat close in the meaning of the term, saving precious time on digging through your mailbox.

Built-in calendar

You can easily manage multiple calendars from one dashboard, set up events, and invite participants. You can connect Google, iCloud, and Exchange calendars. When creating an event, you can enable notifications. With Spark, you can initiate up to five event notifications.

Email templates

Tired of copying and pasting the same email over and over again? With Spark’s email templates, you can create your email once, name your template, and use it later for different emails and clients. You can also share created templates with your team.

Private team emails

Do you often have to discuss sensitive contract and project conditions with other team members? Spark caters to this need by adding private email comments. For each email, you can use a comment that only people from your organization can view. You can also add attachments that only your team members can view or comment on.

Integrations

Spark offers a number of integrations with third-party tools, including Evernote, Trello, Todoist, and Zoom.

Security

In the past, Spark has been put on blast for collecting data. We found that they are transparent with their policies and use a server considered to be very secure (Google Cloud). However, take the precautions you would with any app.

Pricing

Spark offers a free version that doesn’t include shared inboxes. Paid subscriptions start at $6.39 per user monthly. Only annual billing is available.

User reviews

App Store – 4.8/5 (33,838 reviews – May 2022)

Review of the Spark email client
Negative user review of Spark

Major Pros

  • Powerful cross-platform synchronization
  • Great UI & UX
  • A number of useful integrations

Major Cons

  • Doesn’t support POP
  • Poor search functionality
  • Not available for Windows

Verdict

Spark helps you connect and manage different email accounts from one dashboard. It’s a great alternative to outlook because it’s much more user-friendly and intuitive. Unfortunately, Spark is only available for macOS and iOS users.

A lot of users complain about Spark’s search options and lags in performance. Spark utilizes cutting-edge technology, but it doesn’t work properly for everyone — sometimes, even the most precise terms won’t help find the right email.

While Spark has a lot of advantages over Outlook, it might not appeal to those who expect more bug-proof technology.

Outlook vs. Spark – Comparison

Spark Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $6.39/month per user $6/month per user

4. Spike

Spike communication app interface

Spike is an interesting alternative to outlook as it is an email client that looks similar to a chat. This app works great on mobile and is a good choice for users who manage their email accounts on the go.

As a competitor to Outlook, Spike has a more modern feel and is easy to start using. Spike is also available cross-platform — Android and iPhone users can definitely give it a try.

Key features

Unified inbox as chat

You can add multiple email accounts and view them all from a unified inbox. You can also switch between separate accounts.

Calendars

You can have an overview of all your events in selected calendars and easily create new appointments and invite participants. Unfortunately, you can’t integrate Spike with video conferencing tools, such as Google Meet or Zoom, to create events automatically.

Contact info and history

By clicking a contact, you can quickly review its communication history and details. Your previous communication with the contact is presented in a chat view, making it much easier to review separate messages without opening long email threads. Imagine reading your emails like a Facebook chat.

Groups

With Spike, you can create groups, which is a great feature for team collaboration purposes. You can segment groups by topic — study, sports, family, projects, and more. After choosing participants, you can have an email conversation the way you would in an ordinary web chat.

Email snoozing

You can postpone an email’s appearance in your inbox for a few default durations  — later today, next week, or tomorrow — or pick your preferred date.

Video conferencing and calls

Spike has a built-in option for video and audio communication that you can use in place of other tools like Google Meet or Zoom. If you are a big fan of these third-party tools or your contacts prefer using them, you won’t be able to integrate them with your Spike account.

Integrations

Wondering if you can integrate Spike with other third-party tools or at least access tailored in-app integrations the way Microsoft Outlook does it with their add-on library? We have gone through Spike’s resources and couldn’t find any.

Security

Spike uses AES-256 encryption, which is one of the most secure encryption types. They store the minimum amount of data necessary for you to use the functionalities. Spike also offers a bug bounty program to encourage users to find and report bugs.

Pricing

Free — up to two accounts

Paid subscriptions start at $8/month.

User reviews

G2 – 4.6/5 (150 reviews – May 2022)

Review of the Spike email client
Spike mail user review

Pros

  • Connecting email accounts from different providers
  • Chat-like communication
  • Easy to collaborate with a team
  • Good audio and video communication options

Cons

  • Weak calendar options
  • No integrations with productivity apps
  • No way of adding different signatures to different aliases

Verdict

Spike is a unique email client and communication tool. It stands out with its chat-like modern design. This is a big contrast to the more conservative look of Outlook’s interface. However, if you have used Microsoft Outlook for a long time, you will experience a big contrast when switching to Spike.

While Spike is a good option for mobile users who manage emails on the go, it lacks a useful amount of in-built features that other email clients compared here offer for their web users. 

Still, a great Outlook alternative if you compare certain features.

Outlook vs. Spike — Comparison

Spike Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $8/month per user $6/month per user

5. EM Client

eM Client alternative to Outlook

eM Client is an email management tool available for both Apple and Windows users. It looks modern, and it’s easy to start using. When picking this alternative to outlook, you can benefit from a range of in-built features that will increase your productivity and help remove distractions.

Key features

Email management

Digging through contact details is not a problem with eM Client, as you get a full overview of your previous communication with every contact, including attachments.

Unified calendars

Apart from email accounts, you can also integrate all the calendars belonging to each email provider and get a full overview of all planned meetings in each calendar.

Email snoozing

With eM Client, you can snooze emails for later if you don’t want to be distracted at certain days or hours. All messages delivered during your snooze time are later displayed when your email is active again.

Notes and to-dos

eM Client lets you create quick notes the way it is done in Microsoft Outlook. Also, both services have the same issue with to-do lists — you can’t migrate your to-dos and notes into a project management tool or productivity app, as these services focus on promoting their in-built to-do lists.

All accounts in one place

You can connect a wide range of email providers and use many email accounts at once with eM Client – integrating your Gmail, Hotmail, or Microsoft 365 accounts doesn’t take long. 

Additionally, you can use POP3 or SMTP protocols to connect with other email providers as well. 

eM Client does not do the best job of processing a large number of emails. As a result, you can experience some decrease in loading speeds and performance.

Integrations

eM Client offers various integrations with popular third-party apps. On their list, you can find apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Dropbox; most are communication and file storage tools. Unfortunately, this email client doesn’t offer a lot in terms of productivity or project management tools.

Security

eM Client secures user accounts with PGP encryption that doesn’t fully encrypt the data — it doesn’t transfer readable text into an unreadable format.

Pricing

Free version — for two email accounts maximum

Paid plan — starts at $49.95/user as a one-time purchase (with product updates for one year)

User reviews 

G2 – 4/5 (49 reviews – May 2022)

eM Client user review
Review of the eM email client

Major Pros

  • Supports POP3, SMTP, Exchange, and Microsoft 365 
  • Modern interface
  • Simple contact management
  • Multiple calendars in one place

Major Cons

  • Slow loading speed
  • No end-to-end encryption or full security from data breaches
  • Limited integrations

Verdict

eM Client can help improve email management by letting you connect multiple email accounts and manage them from a unified inbox. Unfortunately, due to handling so much data, it can be slow at times. 

Another downside of this email client is the type of encryption it offers. If the security of your communication is key, you should look for an email client that uses end-to-end encryption to help transfer text into unreadable content.

Still, it’s worth considering as an alternative to outlook.

Outlook vs. eM Client — Comparison

eM Client Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $49.95/year per user $6/month per user

6. Google Workspace

Google Workspace email interface

Google Workspace is a free email service introduced in October 2020 that also offers some paid features. It’s a business version of Google’s suite of tools that lets you add, manage, and delete users belonging to your organization. 

Workspace is more than just email with a custom domain — it’s a comprehensive productivity toolkit for teams. Google Calendar, Gmail, Drive, and Docs are just a few tools you can use on top of your Gmail business email.

Key features

Google calendar

You can connect all your Gmail accounts to have a full overview of the events happening in a specific timeframe. If other collaborators share access to their calendars, you can also preview theirs together with yours. Creating events and inviting participants via Google Calendar seems to be a much more intuitive and user-friendly option compared to Outlook’s calendar.

Video conferencing

With Google Workspace, you can schedule online meetings right from your calendar, invite participants, and conduct video conferences from any device.

Filters and categories

To receive fewer unwanted messages in your inbox, you can create custom filters and categories — define receivers, subject keywords, and email size.

Spam filtering

Gmail automatically identifies spam and junk messages and moves them into a separate folder if you have spam filtering enabled on your account. 

On top of custom spam filtering, you can also enable an option to bypass classification for approved contact lists or contacts using the same email domain.

Integrations

Google offers hundreds of useful integrations. Due to its popularity, a lot of businesses prioritize integrations with Gmail Workspace. You can find both regular integrations with third-party tools (such as Slack and Grammarly) and smart add-ons for Google Drive, Calendar, Docs, Slides, and other Gmail products.

Security

Google prioritizes the security of its users. It applies 100% encryption and harnesses AI technology to identify any suspicious logins. Enterprise users can activate more security-enhancing options from an Admin panel — two-step verification, password strength detection, phishing detection, and more. 

Pricing

Google Workspace is available starting at $6/monthly per user.

User reviews

G2 –  4.6/5 (39,844 reviews – May 2022)

Google Workspace user review
Review of the Google Workspace

Pros

  • Most functions seem more user-friendly than what Outlook offers
  • A great option for companies that already use Drive, Docs, Sheets, and other Gmail products
  • A lot of integrations with productivity apps
  • Advanced email search options
  • Spam filtering that you can adjust to your preferences
  • Available on all platforms — Windows, Mac, and mobile

Cons

  • A unified inbox is difficult to set up — it’s possible only with a workaround.
  • A unified calendar is limited to only Gmail accounts.

Verdict

Gmail Workspace is easier to use than some of the Outlook functions. As an Outlook alternative, Gmail offers robust security for business accounts. It has released various products to boost collaboration and productivity. 

However, when it comes to managing multiple accounts from various email providers, it has the same problem as Outlook. Connecting non-Gmail accounts can be a difficult task for many, and there are limits on the number of accounts you can connect. 

Outlook vs. Google Workspace — Comparison

Google Workspace Outlook
Unified accounts
Unified calendar
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $6/month per user $6/month per user

7. Proton

Protonmail three-pane inbox view

Proton is not an email client but rather a regular email provider. You can’t connect multiple accounts belonging to different email providers, but it offers a lot of useful in-built functions that Outlook doesn’t have. Proton Mail’s main advantage is its security, encryption, and some dedicated features, such as a VPN.

This app complies with rigorous Swiss privacy laws and fully encrypts all data stored on a user’s account. End-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge encryption are the two most secure encryption types, and they’re used by Proton Mail. Proton even calls themselves a privacy company.

Currently, apart from the web version, an Android app is available. An iOS app is still on Proton’s product roadmap.

Key features

Encrypted email

Thanks to zero-knowledge and end-to-end encryption, no one can access a user’s mailbox. Encrypted emails are available to all users, but you can also support Proton by moving to a paid subscription.

Calendar

Proton allows you to add events based on your received emails and manage them on various devices. With the calendar, you can create repeating events, change calendar views, adjust availability, provide access to your calendar to other users, set reminders, and personalize the calendar’s look.

File storage

You can store and share files on your Proton Drive — similar to the OneDrive Cloud that Outlook offers. In Proton you get 1 GB of storage space for free and 100 GB if you are on the paid plan. It’s much more than what Outlook offers.

VPN

On top of the regular features most email clients offer, Proton also provides access to an in-built VPN. With its VPN, you can access any website, even if it’s censored in your location, and keep your browsing history private. The VPN is available for free, and it doesn’t contain any advertisements or sell your browsing history the way some free VPN services do.

Integrations

Proton doesn’t offer integrations with third-party tools, but you can use other services such as Zapier to connect Proton to your chosen app.

Security

Proton Mail protects user accounts’ security using end-to-end encryption. On top of it, zero-knowledge encryption is applied, so no one can decrypt your emails. 

This service is well-known for its self-destructing messages — you can send and schedule the date when the email will disappear from a receiver’s inbox.

Pricing

Proton Mail’s paid plans start at $4.99/month. There is also a free version available.

User reviews

G2 – 4.4/5 (114 reviews – May 2022)

Protonmail user review
Review of the Proton email service

Pros

  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Strong security features
  • User-friendly and intuitive
  • Huge storage space available
  • Free to use

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer unified accounts and calendars
  • Can’t add email accounts other than Proton Mail
  • No desktop version for Windows or Mac (coming soon)

Verdict

Proton offers strong encryption and privacy features, making it a good alternative for those whose main concern is data security. 

When it comes to its email functionalities, Proton Mail doesn’t offer much in terms of productivity features, such as a speed reader or snoozing emails. It does offer some interesting features, such as an in-built VPN, but it won’t be of core interest to most users.

If you have a lot of mailboxes to integrate and want to manage them from one place, you won’t be able to do it with Proton, and that’s the same problem you would face with Outlook.

Outlook vs. Proton — Comparison

Proton Outlook
Unified accounts
Unified calendar
Customization options ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $4.99/month per user $6/month per user

8. Mailspring

Mailspring email client interface

Mailspring is an email client that works with Mac, Windows, and Linux. It doesn’t have a mobile app though.

You can access all your accounts — be it Gmail, Outlook, or Hotmail — from one dashboard. By using Mailspring, you can avoid switching between tabs and remove distractions when using multiple email providers on the web. 

This email client offers a lot of in-built features that can help you do your work much faster. However, most of them are available only to paying users.

Key features

Multiple accounts

With Mailspring, you can add an unlimited number of accounts from different providers, except for Microsoft Exchange and POP protocol integrations.

After adding all your accounts, you can switch between them with ease or use a unified inbox to combine them.

Contact history

Whenever you want to refer to a previous message from a selected contact, you can easily track it back through the communication timeline. By clicking a contact in Mailspring from your email window, you get instant access to all the contact’s details and communication history.

Message scheduling

You can choose when to send an email with Mailspring’s message scheduling feature. It is especially useful if you frequently work during the weekends or your team is based in different time zones.

Email snoozing

If you are using a paid subscription, you can snooze specific emails. You have a choice of default options, or you can set up your own preferred snooze time and duration.

Email translations

When writing an email, you can translate its content into 12 languages. You can do the same for the emails you receive — if the email content is in a supported language, you can translate it with a click of a button.

Integrations

On Mailspring’s website, you won’t find a list of supported integrations. If you are a fan of productivity apps and would like to use them right from the email client’s dashboard to remove distractions, you won’t be able to do it with Mailspring.

Security

Mailspring doesn’t mention any security protocols they are using. You can only find information about the service’s GDPR compliance. 

Pricing

Free — limited options

Pro — $8/month

User reviews

G2 – 4.1/5 (14 reviews – May 2022)

Mailspring user review
Review of the Mailspring email client
Negative review of Mailspring

Major Pros

  • Integrates with popular email providers
  • Easy to start using
  • Clean and user-friendly
  • Simple contact management
  • Multilingual tool

Major Cons

  • Doesn’t support POP or integrate with Microsoft Exchange
  • Lacks integrations with popular tools
  • Can be slow
  • No mobile app

Verdict

Mailspring is a fair alternative to Outllook because it is an easy-to-use tool with a modern look and a number of useful built-in features that boost productivity. It’s definitely more intuitive than Outlook.

With Mailspring, you can add different email providers, not only Outlook. However, you can’t add accounts from all possible email providers, because Mailspring lacks the POP protocol and integration with Microsoft Exchange.

Lags in performance and sync issues can be annoying for some users managing a large amount of email data.

Outlook vs. Mailspring — Comparison

Mailspring Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $8/month per user $6/month per user

9. Zoho Mail

Zoho mail inbox layout

Zoho Mail is an email hosting service that helps you create and manage business emails. It’s available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. With Zoho Mail, you can easily manage calendars, notes, bookmarks, and tasks. 

This service also provides some built-in tools for collaboration among employees that go beyond traditional email communication.

Key features

Calendar

Zoho helps you create calendar events faster by typing the name, date, and time. For example, you can input details like “Client lunch at 2 p.m.” all in one line, and Zoho Mail will set up an event automatically. 

Unfortunately, with Zoho Mail, you can only integrate calendars that are hosted on Zoho — you can’t add free email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Outlook.

Tasks

With the notes feature, you can create notes on the go, adding pictures, attachments, or even email text snippets.

Control panel

Through a control panel, you can manage employee access — set up user aliases and email forwarding, reset passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and more. Zoho Mail’s control panel works similarly to Outlook’s.

Conversation streaming

Zoho turns email threads into social-media-style conversations. When starting a conversation with a colleague, all you have to do is tag team members you want to involve in a discussion.

Email scheduling

You can draft and schedule emails for sending with Zoho Mail. This feature is useful if some of your team members work in different time zones or at untypical working hours.

Integrations

Zoho Mail integrates with both internal and external apps (e.g., Asana, Box, HubSpot). 

Security

Zoho Mail encrypts all your data, and only you can have full access to your emails. Zoho Mail uses several levels of additional protection — 2FA, EAR, S/MIME, and TLS.

Pricing

Free plan — up to five users with email hosting for a single domain

Paid plans start at $1 monthly per user (annual billing).

User reviews

G2 – 4.4/5 (464 reviews – May 2022)

User review of Zoho Mail
Negative review of Zoho Mail

Pros

  • Strong security features 
  • Great for team collaboration
  • Convenient migration from Outlook, Gmail, or Microsoft Exchange

Cons

  • No unified inbox or calendar for different email providers
  • Can’t keep Gmail, Hotmail, and other free providers under one roof (Zoho works similar to Google Workspace.) 

Verdict

Zoho Mail offers similar security options to Outlook and has built some great features for team collaboration. This makes it a good Outlook alternative. However, Zoho Mail is not an email client but only one of many email providers. This means you won’t be able to manage all your email accounts, calendars, and apps from one dashboard.

Outlook vs. Zoho Mail — Comparison

Zoho Mail Outlook
Unified accounts
Unified calendar
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $1/month per user $6/month per user

10. Polymail

Polymail inbox interface

Polymail is an email management solution that gives you a full view of your conversations while helping you track email opens, send reminders, and create custom email templates. It offers strong collaboration features, including commenting and mentions. The app is available for Mac, iOS, and Windows users, but not Android.

Key features

Email reminders

You can set up follow-up reminders in Polymail for the emails for which you haven’t received any response. Some email providers such as Gmail already offer this option by default. In Outlook, you have to dig through the settings to find it.

Email tracking

Wondering whether your client has even read your message? With email tracking, you can check if and when a recipient has opened your email.

Message templates

In Polymail, you can create multiple email templates and add placeholders populated with contact details whenever you create a new email. This feature helps you save time on repetitive emails or sales pitches.

Contact management

By clicking a contact in your inbox, you can see a preview of all previous emails and attachments. If you need to adjust a contact’s details, you can perform basic editing.

Undo send

Polymail allows you to unsend a message within 30 seconds of clicking Send. After testing this feature, we noticed that the “unsend” option disappeared after a few seconds, not 30 seconds as promised.

Unified accounts

With this email client, you have an option to work with all your emails from one inbox. All you have to do is connect the accounts. Microsoft Outlook doesn’t offer this feature.

Integrations

Polymail integrates with various third-party apps, such as Slack, Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoom, and Asana. You can also find most of these integrations among Microsoft Outlook’s add-ins.

Security

Polymail states that no one is collecting information on your passwords and user data is stored as a one-way hash, making it impossible for hackers to fetch your password. The service uses AES encryption.

Pricing

Polymail is a paid email client and doesn’t offer a freemium plan. Paid accounts start at $13/month for one user. The cheapest plan lets you connect only two email accounts.

User reviews

G2 – 4.5/5 (110 reviews – May 2022)

Polymail user review
Negative review of Polymail

Major Pros

  • Offers unified inbox 
  • Useful built-in features such as email tracking
  • Improves team collaboration
  • A great tool for email outreach and sales

Major Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • No Android app
  • Sync challenges

Verdict

Polymail is a very user-friendly and intuitive email client which makes it a great Microsoft email alternative. All key features are easy to find on its interface, so you don’t have to dig through the settings.

However, some users complain about the synchronization issues they experience with Polymail. If you are not afraid of performance issues, you can definitely give Polymail a try.

Outlook vs. Polymail — Comparison

Polymail Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $13/month per user $6/month per user

11. Shift

Shift email interface

Shift is an email client that brings many email accounts and applications together under one roof. It offers a lot of integrations with other apps, creating a unified workspace.

However, it’s only available for a handful of email providers — Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, as well as Yahoo and iCloud as app integrations. It also only has Mac and Windows desktop versions; there’s no mobile app.

Key features

Multiple accounts management

You can add email accounts for Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. However, you can’t integrate email accounts through POP or IMAP.

You can search through all the messages from all the accounts you add through a search bar, locating message threads, calendar events, and attachments.

With an Internet search bar, you can access the Internet right through the app’s interface, without opening your Chrome or Safari browser.

Workspace

You can create separate workspaces and share them with others. To each workspace, you can add tools, tabs, and bookmarks.

Integrations

Shift lets you integrate with hundreds of third-party tools such as Asana, Evernote, or Slack. You can then locate and manage those apps from Shift’s dashboard, which helps you avoid switching between tabs.

Security

Shift uses the OAuth authorization protocol. However, it’s not compliant with HIPAA, SOC2, or ISO 270001.

Pricing

There is a free version where you can add up to two email accounts. 

Paid plans start at $99/year for one user.

User reviews

G2 – 3.8/5 (55 reviews – May 2022)

Shift workspace user review
Negative review of Shift

Pros

  • Offers rich features for collaboration
  • Brings multiple accounts under one roof
  • Unified search
  • Various integrations with productivity apps

Cons

  • Too expensive
  • Bugs and weak performance

Verdict

Shift is a good alternative because it brings accounts together and helps you remove distractions by offering many useful integrations with productivity apps. The email providers you can integrate, however, are very limited. IMAP and POP protocols are not supported, meaning you can’t add any email accounts that are less mainstream. 

Users often complain about regular system bugs and low performance. It’s also one of the most expensive email clients.

Outlook vs. Shift — Comparison

Shift Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $99/year per user $6/month per user

12. Front

Front is an email app and customer communication platform that helps teams turn conversations into tickets. With Front, you can connect multiple email accounts and manage them from one place with ease. 

This email tool offers some interesting features that enhance team collaboration, such as email assignments. The app is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users.

Key features

One-click meeting scheduling

With Front, you can add calendars belonging to different email providers and create, manage, and preview online events. Creating an event in Front is easy. However, the functionalities of the calendar view don’t go beyond what most email clients offer.

Consolidated workspace

You can connect multiple email accounts and manage them from one dashboard. Apart from viewing all your messages from one inbox, you can also access emails assigned to you from a separate folder.

Message templates

You can create message templates right from the “new email” view, while most email clients that offer this feature only allow you to do so through the settings. The template editor lets you add dynamic fields with placeholders, such as names, surnames, or company names — a useful feature for those who don’t want to dig through contact’s personal details every time they use an email template.

Snoozing messages

You can snooze certain emails by adjusting your snooze preferences — choose between the presets or set up your own time. In the settings, you can also modify custom snooze options to apply as defaults. Note: you can apply the snooze option in bulk when you want to snooze multiple emails or senders.

Contact management

Similar to most other email clients, in Front, you can preview your communication history with a certain client, including previous messages and notes. You can also easily edit a contact’s profile with social media account links or descriptions. However, you can’t easily locate attachments when viewing contacts.

Integrations

Front integrates with a lot of third-party tools you might be using, such as Zapier, Aircall, Salesforce, Slack, Shopify, and Dropbox. However, unlike with Outlook where you get all the add-ins and integrations with every subscription, Front limits access to certain integrations, making them available only in more expensive plans.

Security

All information handled on a user’s Front account is protected with TLS 1.2 encryption and AES 256-bit encryption. Front is compliant with GDPR and CCPA. Multi-factor authentication is applied to all accounts. You can also restrict access to data for certain accounts based on their IP addresses, but note that this is available only for more expensive subscriptions.

Pricing

Front costs $19/month per user with only annual billing plans available. There are also requirements for a minimum number of users in certain subscriptions. For example, to start using the Prime package, you need to pay for a minimum of five users.

User reviews

G2 – 4.7/5 (1,356 reviews – May 2022)

Negative review of Front
User review of the Front email app

Pros

  • Manage all company emails from one place
  • Intuitive designs
  • A lot of useful integrations

Cons

  • Interfaces look a bit cluttered
  • Support is not always responsive
  • No free version

Verdict

Front can be a good Outlook alternative for bigger teams that manage customer relationships. If you are an individual user or have just a couple of employees, Front might be the wrong choice for you. 

When in need of certain high-tier features, you should pay for additional accounts even if you are not using them because of the minimum user count requirements for paid plans. For many users, Front can be expensive, especially if you have a high-growth team.

Front does offer some useful features and lets you connect various email providers (which Outlook doesn’t do), but other email clients also offer this feature at a considerably lower price.

Outlook vs. Front — Comparison

Front Outlook
Unified accounts ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Unified calendar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customization options ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Ease of onboarding ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
UX & UI ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Performance ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing $19/month per user $6/month per user

Overview of Microsoft Outlook

Outlook webmail interface

Microsoft Outlook is an email client that has already hit 200 million users, making it one of the top email choices for both companies and individuals.

Key features of Microsoft Outlook

Over the last two decades, Outlook has built out its features and now offers a lot of useful collaboration tools for teams. Here are the most important ones.

Email account management

You can add and manage many Outlook accounts from one place. Currently, you can’t access all your messages from different accounts in one unified inbox.

Tasks

You can create, manage, and assign tasks in Microsoft Outlook using to-do lists. This is a built-in feature Microsoft offers, but many businesses already use more functional third-party apps for project management (think of Asana or Monday).

Smart alerts

To get a quick notification on top of all your tabs, you can enable smart alerts — a feature some users find too distracting that cultivates a fear of missing out. When introduced, Microsoft treated the feature as a major product update.

Calendars

Juggling multiple calendars in Outlook is not an issue, as long as they’re native Outlook calendars. You can see an overview of all your events in dozens of calendars, but you can’t add calendars that belong to Gmail or other email providers.

History and Market Share of Microsoft Outlook

After a quick look at the features, you can realize there is just nothing special about this email client, but it still doesn’t change the fact that millions of companies have chosen its services. To understand why, we need a glimpse into how Microsoft Outlook has evolved as a company.

The evolution of Outlook's email client

This event coincided with a major acquisition Microsoft carried out in the same year — the cash purchase of Hotmail, a popular free email provider. Microsoft transformed Hotmail into Outlook.com over the following years.

Now, let’s do some quick math — it’s been 25 years since Microsoft Outlook’s inception. Outlook was one of the first email clients, and Microsoft has had plenty of time to maximize its potential. 

No wonder so many companies are stuck with Outlook — they jumped on a bandwagon years ago, and now it’s hard to quit when millions of employees have grown accustomed to Outlook. But here is the thing — over the years, Outlook’s market share has shrunk. Now, it has only 8% of the market dominated by Apple and Gmail.

Market share of different email clients

This means that the once-popular Outlook is slowly losing its position. Let’s see why.

Why Would You Search for an Outlook Alternative? 

Since 1997, people have been managing multiple email accounts for both professional and business use. Some even create separate mailboxes to manage their newsletters, transactional receipts, or top-priority emails. 

We are also receiving more emails than we used to due to the growing popularity of email marketing and outreach as a sales tool.

The bottom line — as people started to use more email accounts, it became increasingly difficult to manage them. You have to switch through the tabs, then you get easily distracted and annoyed with unproductive email management. That’s why the need to manage all emails, calendars, tasks, and apps from one unified place  — something Outlook has not noticed, picked up, or considered seriously — has grown so prevalent.  

All in one email dashboard

In Outlook, you can’t access a unified inbox and calendar. You still have to switch through all your open tabs, and you can’t really add any email provider other than Outlook to your account.

And there is one more thing — Outlook looks outdated and difficult to grasp. There are many more user-friendly and intuitive email clients these days, while Microsoft Outlook is often described as clunky and messy. 

Outlook is feature-rich, of course — it’s been growing for over two decades, but accessing those features has also made it too cumbersome. Microsoft obviously has not produced the best email client, so if you have the flexibility to switch to something better, it’s probably a good idea. Let’s sum up what alternatives to Outlook you can choose from in a comparison table.

What’s the Best Alternative to Outlook?

Microsoft has been building its core email product, Outlook, for over two decades. It has managed to introduce a lot of productivity features, but as the product grew, users started to feel overwhelmed with too many features, its clunky interface, and persistent bugs. 

If you are looking for an Outlook alternative, your top choice should cover Outlook’s product and performance gaps and offer features similar to Outlook.

To make the task of shortlisting the winner easier for you, we have done all the heavy lifting of evaluating core features, security, pricing, and online reviews of key alternatives to Outlook.

By evaluating this short version of our comparisons and findings, you can quickly realize that Mailbird seems to tick all the boxes. To test Mailbird, sign up for a free trial.

Comparison of Outlook email client alternatives

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What can replace Outlook?

A lot of email clients can be good alternatives to Outlook. For example, with Mailbird, you can connect multiple email accounts belonging to different providers and manage all your emails, calendars, and apps from one unified dashboard.

Are there any free alternatives to Outlook?

There are a few free alternatives to Outlook, such as Thunderbird, an open-source email client. However, with most free email alternatives to Outlook, you can experience bugs and lags in performance.

That’s why it’s worth considering paid email providers that let you add unlimited accounts, prioritize uptime, and access a full suite of productivity features.

What is an alternative to Outlook for Android?

You will soon be able to use Mailbird’s Android app.

What are specific alternatives to Outlook for Windows?

You can use Mailbird for all versions of Windows, up to 11, as an alternative to outlook. You can easily connect unlimited accounts from different email providers, access a native in-built calendar app for a unified calendar view, and integrate dozens of third-party productivity apps. 

You can manage all your work from one unified dashboard to avoid online distractions and boost your productivity.