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Choose Your Outlook Alternative: Best Picks to Replace It

Posted by Christin on October 2, 2020

Choose Your Outlook Alternative: Six Best Picks

Marketing Manager

PR & Media Relations Supporting the team by communicating Mailbird and its great features to existing and potential users and media.

Published on October 2, 2020

Microsoft Outlook has earned its reputation as a comprehensive email client loaded with features that make it a powerful application. However, unless you’re a tech geek who can invest a significant amount of time and patience into mastering the app and all of its add-ons, it may not be the best client for you. So, are you looking for a great Microsoft Outlook substitute?

In this article, we will cover:

Limitations of Outlook

Before we compare Mailbird, Outlook, and other open-source alternatives, let’s look at why you need to shift from Outlook in the first place.


Outlook’s open-source option is limited to webmail, iOS, and Android. On the other hand, the Microsoft Exchange desktop app is part of Microsoft Office Suite, which is priced at $100+ per year. You can also get it as a standalone app for $69.99.

While you do get a lot of additional software and functionality for that price point in Microsoft Office, a lot of the add-ons aren’t really useful for regular users.

It doesn’t make sense to go in for add-ons that you won’t use, right?

Plus, if you want Microsoft Exchange — the pro version of Outlook — you’ll have to pay extra to access the Microsoft Exchange server.

Limited Integrations

Integrations are a super-important criterion for choosing open-source software.

However, Outlook can’t integrate with most other non-Microsoft software, which can pose several limitations.

For example, you don’t have the ability to integrate your WhatsApp account with Outlook without external integration tools — something that most email clients should be able to do.

Difficulty with Onboarding

The problem with Microsoft Exchange’s open-source features is that they can be quite overwhelming.

Features aren’t presented to you in a way that’s easy to understand. As a result, trying to get used to Outlook can be difficult.

Whether it’s setting up the mail server or even using their open-source features, grasping the functionality of Microsoft Exchange can take some time.

Reliability Issues

One of the downsides Outlook has been known for in recent years is its bugginess.

From its syncing problems with the Microsoft Exchange server to the application just randomly freezing, Outlook is not the premier mail service provider it used to be when Windows Live Mail and Windows Essentials were around.

While Microsoft Exchange does release regular updates and add-ons for Outlook, it’s still not enough to iron out most of their bugs.

If you’re looking for a simpler interface with better reliability, we’ve included a list of email apps to consider below.

Top Alternatives to Outlook

Alternative #1: Mailbird

If the complicated layout and user interface is your biggest qualm with Outlook, then Mailbird is definitely a top Microsoft Exchange alternative.

Mailbird is designed around the user — a clean user interface, intuitive user experience, and simple design that allows for quick navigation to read receipts through the app. It’s because of this that most people can master the application within five minutes, whereas Microsoft Exchange can take days to get used to.

A common concern of those not familiar with Mailbird is that it doesn’t have as many features as Microsoft Exchange.

This is not true.

In fact, in many ways, Mailbird’s features are more sophisticated than those of Microsoft Exchange, and they are delivered in a way that doesn’t clutter or complicate your experience of using the app. Some of the most popular features are listed below.

Outlook Alternative #1: Mailbird

Key Mailbird features:

  • Integrate with third-party apps, including messaging apps (e.g., Slack, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp), task management (e.g., Todoist, Evernote, Asana), Google Calendar, and more.
  • Integrate multiple accounts into one user interface using the Unified Inbox with color indicators.
  • Reply to emails in-line with automatically color-coded formatting and name.
  • Personalize your inbox with layout and color theme customization options.
  • Search for attachments using keywords and preview attachments before downloading.
  • Snooze emails or correspondence from a particular person until you’re ready to respond.
  • Connect your email to LinkedIn to look up your contacts on the networking platform.
  • Both the Personal and Business versions are affordable, and a free trial is available.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into some of these features and how they can help you.

1. Unified Inbox

One of Mailbird’s core features is the unified inbox.

With it, you can view all your emails — from multiple accounts — in one combined space!

This way, you’re not shifting through accounts to check your emails – they’re all waiting for you in your Mailbird inbox.

Color Codes

One of the problems of a unified inbox in a mail client is losing track of which emails came from which account.

If they’re all coming to one inbox, it’s hard to distinguish between these emails, right? With Mailbird, though, you won’t have that issue.

You can assign colors to each email account so you can easily identify where your emails came from.

Three-pane layout in Mailbird

2. In-Line Replies

When you go through hundreds of emails in a day, it’s easy to overlook questions and tasks. You may have missed a question in an email or simply forgot to reply to it.

To make replying to emails easier, Mailbird gives you an In-line Reply feature.

In-line replies place answers directly underneath each question or statement.

In-line reply in Mailbird

Notice how Mailbird’s In-line Reply feature color codes your responses and adds your name too? This makes it far easier for the recipient to read your answers individually – not together in one paragraph.

It also makes a great impression!

3. Easy Attachment Search

Suppose you need to locate a file you’ve sent or received as an attachment but can’t seem to find it. We’ve all been there. 

It’s time-consuming and frustrating to manually dig through all your emails and files. 

With Mailbird’s Attachment Search feature, you won’t have to worry about that again.

Whenever you need to find any sent files, just type part of the file name in the search box, and the software will pull it up for you.

Mailbird handy attachment search

4. Snooze Emails

Not every email needs your immediate attention. 

You can always reply to some emails later. Others you have already replied to still need additional actions on your part.

If you let these emails clutter your inbox, you may overlook the important emails that do need your attention right away.

That’s why Mailbird has a Snooze feature that allows you to hide an email for a few hours or days. You can specify exactly how long.

Snooze your emails in Mailbird

For example, if you set the snooze until tomorrow, the email will disappear from your inbox and return the following day. In the meantime, your inbox will remain uncluttered, and you can respond to priority emails without distractions.

But what if you need to see the email sooner?

Mailbird will tuck all these emails away in a Snooze folder. Just go to that folder and open your mail! You can send out responses with ease.

If you want to overcome email overwhelm or even take an email detox, Snooze is perfect for you!

5. Easy Contact Management

Well-organized contacts help you send emails faster.

That’s why it’s super easy to add contacts from your address book to Mailbird through the Contact Manager.

Importing Contacts

You can select and import contacts from your Gmail and Microsoft Exchange accounts within seconds!

You also have the option to drag and drop selected contacts into your Mailbird contacts list if you wish.

Merging Contacts

Also, in case there are some duplicate contacts, the Contact Manager will merge them automatically for you.

Linking option in Mailbird Contacts Manager

If two contacts in your address book aren’t 100% similar, you can choose which one remains the default contact. This way, you’re not looking at someone twice in your list!

Linking Contacts

Another unique feature of Mailbird is the ability to link contacts.

Say you have three contacts for a particular person – his personal details, his work details, and another set of details.

With Mailbird, you can link all three of these contacts into one unified space so you have all the information you need in one place.

6. Tagging Feature

Want a super-quick way to add recipients to your emails?

Mailbird now offers you a unique tagging feature where it’ll automatically pull up the email address of any contact mentioned in an email.

Whenever you type “@” in the composer window followed by a name in your contact list, the app will automatically add the person to the recipient list – be it in the “to” tab or in the “cc” tab.

Here’s how it works:

Tag Mailbird users in emails

It’s a useful feature that can save you the trouble of manually adding email addresses or even safeguard you against forgetting to add someone to the email!

7. Speed Reader

It’s a known fact that we spend a lot of time reading emails. Unfortunately, a lot of those emails aren’t really relevant, and we waste a lot of time on them.

But what if there was a way to breeze through your emails and cut the time you spend on them?

Mailbird’s Speed Reader feature helps you with that.

It shows you each word in an email one at a time so your brain can process it faster.

Mailbird speed reader feature

You have a choice of viewing 100 WPM (words per minute) to 1000 WPM.

You may be wondering about how much this actually helps. Interestingly, it’s been shown to triple the speed of your reading process! You can find out more about it in this Techcrunch article.

8. Loads of Customizability

An email client can have all the features you need, but if you’re not comfortable using them, what’s the point?

That’s why Mailbird gives you tons of customization options to suit your needs and preferences. You have complete control over the themes and layout in Mailbird.

You can use a dark or light theme for your entire app if you wish. You also have the option of adding a custom theme/background to give your Mailbird a more personal feel.

Mailbird inbox customizability

There are also three-column, small screen, and preview layouts available for you to choose from.

Don’t believe the Mailbird vs. Microsoft Exchange assessment here?

Look at what some of Mailbird’s customers have said about it:

“I’ve purchased Mailbird for my old mother as well, as it’s easy to use. She’s not in any way computer savvy, but last weekend I actually got an email from her – the first-ever, imagine my (very pleasant) surprise! For me, Mailbird is a keeper – easy to use and most importantly easy to configure!! My 80-year old mom is a testament to that.” Lars (May 12).

When it comes to Mailbird vs. Microsoft Exchange, Mailbird outperforms Outlook in most departments.

Mailbird Is a Lightweight Alternative to Outlook. Give It a Free Try Now!

Try Mailbird for Free

Alternative #2: Gmail

As far as brand names go, Gmail and Microsoft Exchange are equally well-recognized.

Gmail is one of the most popular clients around, but it has a distinct difference from Outlook and the other alternatives on this list – it’s primarily a web-based email client.

There are some obvious advantages to webmail: you can access it from anywhere and on any computer, and you won’t need to install a separate app to read receipts

However, some disadvantages include not being able to access your email address offline and fewer features and functionalities than a Microsoft Exchange desktop app.

Outlook Alternative #2: Gmail

Key Gmail Features:

  • Integrated with popular add-ons such as Google apps, including Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Photo
  • Customizable themes and layouts to organize your email your way
  • Inbox sorting based on message type, such as inbox, promotional, and social
  • Labels and filters to sort and organize your email communication
  • Advanced inbox searching features
  • Fully functional apps for your mobile device – be it an iOS or Android device
  • There is no paid version of Gmail – you get all the features for free.

Why Use Mailbird and Gmail Together?

You can use Gmail and Mailbird together. Here are the top benefits:

A. Desktop Access

While Gmail is one of the best webmail clients out there, it’s still web browser-based. So you’ll have to log on to a web browser to check your Gmail account.

With Mailbird, there’s no need to open a web browser. You can manage, send, and receive Gmail emails from the comfort of your own desktop!

B. Unified Inbox

Mailbird offers you a unified inbox where you can connect an unlimited number of email accounts in one place.

These could be a Gmail account, a Microsoft Exchange/Yahoo one, or any other POP or IMAP account — it doesn’t matter.

Mailbird can support them all.

This way, you won’t have to separately log into multiple accounts to check your mail anymore.

Alternative #3: eM Client

eM Client is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Microsoft Exchange as far as user interface and experience goes.

It offers a simple interface that is not complicated by too many bells and whistles. The layout is also customizable to read receipts, which makes the experience even easier. 

It has built-in add-ons such as calendar and instant messaging app, and it supports all the main mail server providers (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc.).

Outlook Alternative #3: eM Client

Key eM Client Features:

  • Built-in calendar that integrates tasks and to-do lists
  • Contact manager that includes communication history and a merge feature for syncing contacts from various addresses
  • Real-time chat function with the ability to send attachments instantly
  • Contact and attachment search function
  • Free option available, with Pro upgrade

Why Is Mailbird Better Than eM Client?

A. Added Functionality

While eM Client is still a good option when it comes to desktop email clients, Mailbird can offer you so much more. You’ll get tons of helpful add-ons on Mailbird, which you wouldn’t on eM Client, such as email Snooze, speed reader, account tagging, and more.

B. Integrations

Mailbird offers you a huge list of integrations and add-ons for Windows, such as Slack and WhatsApp, to make it more than just a mail client. With these integrations, you can make Mailbird a unified communications dashboard for your team.

Alternative #4: Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is very commonly cited as one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Exchange because of its advanced customization options.

While it has many of the standard features, there are also tons of add-ons you can install to expand its capabilities.

Outlook Alternative #4: Thunderbird

Key Thunderbird Features:

  • Highly customizable with robust add-ons library
  • Advanced security features and email encryption
  • Instant messaging function add-ons included
  • Import/export features.
  • Integrated RSS management
  • Free to use

Mailbird vs. Thunderbird

A. Always Innovating

While Thunderbird is a solid offering when it comes to open-source email clients, one drawback is a lack of regular updates. Mailbird, on the other hand, frequently releases innovative add-ons that make managing emails easier and faster.

B. User-Friendly Interface

While Thunderbird is long due for a rehaul, Mailbird can adapt to your preferences, such as custom themes. This way, you can make Mailbird uniquely yours within a step or two!

Alternative #5: Windows Mail

The Windows Mail app is a contender for a Microsoft Exchange alternative due to its simple setup and use.

While it won’t have as many features as the other open-source email apps on this list, it comes built into the Windows 10 operating system and therefore requires much less effort to start using.

Windows Mail is best for people with simple needs, focusing primarily on basic email communication.

(Note: If you are not a Windows user, the nearly identical alternative on Mac OS would be Apple Mail.)

Outlook Alternative #5: Windows Mail

Key Features of Windows Mail:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Sleek, simple user interface with minimal interference from complex features
  • Support for iCloud, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, POP, and IMAP
  • Free to use with the Windows operating system

Why Is Mailbird Better Than Windows Mail?

A. Loads of Functionality

If Microsoft Exchange was too feature-loaded, Windows Mail is too limited in terms of features. Just like Apple Mail, Windows Mail is geared towards users who want the bare minimum when it comes to their email.

While this is fine, why settle for the bare minimum when you get loads of functionality on the latest version of Mailbird?

B. No Server Issues

As Windows Mail is a free version — just like Apple Mail — there are a few issues with the server settings of this open-source email app.

It does what it’s supposed to do well, but why run the risk of server issues when you can get top-of-the-line specifications at Mailbird?

Alternative #6: Zimbra Desktop

Zimbra Desktop is a client that has been around for quite a while. But unlike Thunderbird, Zimbra still receives regular updates. While the latest version may appear very retro on the surface, it’s still a powerful email app suited for modern needs.

Zimbra follows the same three-pane layout your average Microsoft Exchange alternative on the market uses. This allows you to access your calendar in seconds. It also syncs easily with major email services like Gmail and Outlook to make onboarding easy.

Outlook Alternative #6: Zimbra

Key Features of Zimbra Desktop

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Can support multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or Mac 
  • Frequently updated
  • Feature-filled version. 

Why Is Mailbird Better Than Zimbra Desktop?

A. Customizability and Languages

Zimbra limits you in terms of themes and layout. It’s not very user-friendly when it comes to languages.

As the default interface is in English, using it in any other language might possibly result in errors and mix-ups in your mail account.

With Mailbird, you won’t have this issue. You can natively configure Mailbird in 17 different languages, rather than it just being translated, so you won’t have to deal with any linguistic snafus. 

B. Tons of Integrations

Mailbird gives you an unlimited list of integrations and apps for Windows to make sure your mail client can be as productive as you want it to be.

Whether it’s a calendar application, a messaging application, a social media application, or a video call application — Mailbird can do it all!

Maybe Mailbird can’t quite solve the New York Times Crossword for you — but we’re working on that too!

C. Difficult to Import Contacts

One of the issues with Zimbra Desktop is that it’s very hard to import contacts from Outlook.

You’ll need to adopt a complicated workaround that involves using an open-source version and a virtual machine to copy contacts in. It’s a lot of effort for a task that should be relatively simple. as an Email Provider: Are You Better off with Gmail?

Google’s Gmail service is the older and most popular of the two. Because it’s been around longer and has a bigger audience, Gmail is generally considered the industry leader in open-source email services. Microsoft Exchange, on the other hand, launched for free in 2012 and has been refining the service ever since.

On the surface, Gmail and’s open-source services seem pretty similar. It’s only when you look at the details that you discover just how much the two differ. It’s in these details that you’ll find the features that matter most to you to help you choose the right option for your personal or small business. So, let’s uncover some of those differences in the following sections.

1. Gmail vs. Microsoft Exchange — Storage

Storage is a big difference between the two services. Gmail allows up to 15 GB, but this includes storage for ALL Google services, such as Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. When you take into account syncing across all devices, that 15 GB can fill up fast. However, to expand your storage capacity, you are able to purchase more space.

Microsoft Exchange, on the other hand, allows 5 GB of storage at the start but will increase this amount to accommodate your needs. It’s unclear how this works exactly, but it could be a sticking point for someone who needs to archive a lot of files, attachments, or emails.

The bottom line? Gmail’s storage capacity is much larger than, though this only matters if you plan to store a lot of information.

2. Gmail vs. Microsoft Exchange — Ads

Another big difference between the two services is how they treat advertisements in your mailbox. Gmail ads look like emails at the top of your “Promotions” inbox. Though they are labeled with a yellow box that says “Ad,” this can be deceiving. You can easily avoid ads by disabling the “Promotions” tab or disabling the tabbed inbox altogether.

Gmail’s promotion tab ads are displayed to the right of the page and take up a significant amount of real estate in your browser window—almost one-fourth of the page. This can be a nuisance for people who want a streamlined user experience. The only way to remove Microsoft Exchange ads is by paying $20/year for an ad-free experience, although Microsoft states that by purchasing this version, your emails won’t be scanned for ad targeting.

The bottom line? Gmail’s ads take up less space but aim to trick you into clicking. Outlook’s ads are obvious but detract from the overall user experience.

3. Microsoft Exchange vs. Gmail —  Security

Gmail and are well matched on security features. Both include a two-step verification process (where you’re required to verify your identity on a new device) and automatic spam detection. Gmail pushes spam emails to a junk folder, while Microsoft Exchange puts a red or yellow safety bar at the top of suspected spam emails. will also move possible junk email to a junk folder.

The bottom line? Gmail and are equally secure.

4. Contact Management

Contact management is hugely important to us at Mailbird. We know it’s crucial to managing your personal and business conversations, so of course we looked at how well Gmail and help you manage your contacts.

When it comes to building your contact list, Gmail allows you to input contacts from Yahoo,, AOL, Google+, and more, as well as import via a CSV or vCard file. also lets you import contacts from Gmail, older versions of Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, or Windows Live Mail.

The bottom line? With added file import capabilities, Gmail is slightly more user-friendly than when it comes to contact management.

5. Extras/Add-Ons

If you’re looking for ways to power up your inbox with add-ons, Microsoft Exchange is a clear winner in this category. In addition to calendar syncing, tasks, and custom themes, has over 100 add-ins in Microsoft Office available to really advance your email capabilities.

Some examples include the Boomerang add-ons, which allows you to add a reminder to come back to your email in a few hours or days. There’s also the Evernote add-ons, which allows you to save an email to a notebook. You can even link your email address to Uber, Skype for video calls, and more. add-in menu

Gmail isn’t quite as equipped as Microsoft Exchange in the extras category. You do have the basics — linking to Google Calendar, Google Drive,  tasks, and custom themes — but the Gmail plug-in library is limited in comparison. The one shining difference for Gmail is the automatic filing system and tabbed inbox.

This feature pushes certain emails to different email addresses: Priority for the most important emails based on what you open and send, Promotions for newsletters and offers, Social for emails from social media sites, and Updates for bills and other confirmations. You can turn this feature on and off as you like.

The bottom line? is the best email service for add-ons, which definitely outshine Gmail, but Gmail’s segmented inboxes are an awesome added feature that puts it on par with the Microsoft Exchange service.

6. Other Tools

Finally, there are a few other tools worth noting for each email address service that could sway your decision on which to use. First, a Gmail account is also a Google account, which gives you access to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos, Forms, Drawings, and Calendar, which all sync across devices. You’ll have access to a full suite of new tools to empower more than just your email communications.

Microsoft Exchange has a similar set of tools through OneDrive, which includes an online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You also get access to Sway and Because Microsoft office programs tend to be the industry standard and you can edit documents right in the web-based versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, this is a hugely beneficial feature of the Microsoft Exchange service.

The bottom line? Both email services have powerful suites of tools that go beyond email.


While Microsoft Outlook is a professional-grade mail client — mostly used for businesses or super email users — it’s not for everyone. But you may not be aware of all the other alternatives out there or why you should choose something else. Hopefully, this list provides you with some new options of the best free email clients.  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Get Mailbird for your Business

    What is the best alternative to Outlook?

    Mailbird is the best alternative to Outlook for a number of reasons. For example, it integrates much better with non-Microsoft programs. Mailbird also has a less-cluttered interface and more straightforward features, such as the Unified Inbox and advanced search.

    What is the best free alternative to Outlook?

    Gmail is the best free alternative to Outlook if you’re looking for a completely cost-free experience. There are also a lot of great alternatives that come with limited features on the free package and affordable clients that have a free trial period, such as Mailbird.

    Is there a free version of Microsoft Outlook?

    Yes, there is Microsoft Outlook for free for web and mobile use. However, if you want a desktop version for your Windows or Mac, you’ll need to upgrade your Outlook account to Premium, which costs close to $100.

    Is Thunderbird better than Outlook?

    Thunderbird isn’t better or worse. It is a good alternative to Microsoft Outlook that certainly has some strong points that make it an equally good client.


    Marketing Manager

    PR & Media Relations Supporting the team by communicating Mailbird and its great features to existing and potential users and media.

    Published on October 2, 2020


    132 thoughts on "Choose Your Outlook Alternative: Best Picks to Replace It"

    • Without Exchange support you can’t expect enterprise users to switch.

      • Avatar
        tropicaltech says:

        Hi Matteo, thanks for the message! You can use Exchange with IMAP 🙂

        • Avatar
          Maarten Kossen says:

          The whole reason why people use Outlook is because it support Exchange/Office365 ActiveSync which syncs not only e-mail, but also contacts and calendars. While I agree that MailBird is a much nicer product that Outlook, it’s by no means a replacement yet for enterprise users.

          For now, eM Client is the way to go for people that want a viable Outlook replacement.

          • Avatar
            Ben Smith says:

            Agreed! Also “Exchange with IMAP” only works if the IT department enables (or doesn’t disable) this. Unfortunately, mine does not allow this, disallowing many mail clients. Even DavMail wasn’t able to get everything. I would happily pay for Exchange support.

            • Avatar
              tropicaltech says:

              Yes that is true, and if they permit it…its literally the switch of a button. Really easy for the IT dept to do to turn on IMAP support for the Exchange server. Not to worry, we will be looking at development of exchange support later down the road 🙂

            • Avatar
              Maarten Kossen says:

              I’d happily pay [more] for Exchange support. Meanwhile, I’ll have an attempt at convincing my IT dept to switch to Google Apps. I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon, though.

            • Avatar
              Frederik Moreau says:

              Has this problem already been addressed in the further development of the product ? I’m also very keen of the functionality and design. I was using thunderbird, but because of a new job, I have gotten an exhange server e-mail.

            • Avatar
              Russell Wiley says:

              How much later down the road? It’s been 2 years since you made this comment. Even though I got it to sync with IMAP, I still can’t send any mail because it wants to use SMTP. At least that is what it looks like. Can you exchange or not? Personal opinion. These days, no 3rd party mail client should even launch their product without at least partial Exchange Support to send and receive mail out of box. It’s too prevalent. Who even uses POP anymore?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey Russell, thanks for your feedback. Exchange support is the next big thing on our roadmap. Once we have the exact release date we will make sure to announce it:-)

            • Yeah I would like Enterprise Exchange Support as well. With no ETA I’ll end up moving on and probably not come back. Too bad, the client looked good. I would have paid more to use it.

            • Avatar
              Gary Simpson says:

              I purchased Mailbird quite a while back, used it for about a month before I got a new job where they use Exchange and do not support IMAP. I stopped using Mailbird and started using EMClient. Once Exchange support is implemented I will switch back to Mailbird. I’d hoped it might be supported by now, but alas , it isn’t. I’d like to use it now, but don’t want to have use two email applications. 🙁

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Thanks for reaching out Gary. We have good news for you. Exchange will be supported by the end of September:-) So not too long anymore. What license did you purchase for Mailbird?

            • Avatar
              Gary Simpson says:

              Thanks for the update. I have a lifetime license.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              I see:-) We would have loved to extend your Pro licence but the lifetime licence wont expire 😉 Please reach out to us should you have any other questions:-) Have a great week:-)

            • I’ve had to stop using Mailbird despite having a pro license because I’ve been waiting for Outlook support as well. I would love an extension to my pro license.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey, thanks for reaching out. What Outlook support are you exactly referring to?

            • Apologies. What I am asking for is native support for Exchange accounts. My employer does not support Exchange with IMAP.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              No worries:-) Yes, we will support Exchange by the end of this quarter. So in about 2 weeks time from now:-)

            • Still waiting on the feature! Any updates?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              We are currently testing it and if it works as planned we should be able to release it within the next 2 weeks:-)

            • any changes yet?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey Jens, yes, we ran into a few bugs and therefore had to reschedule the launch to the end of December at the latest.

            • Christin, Are you still on target for the end of December?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey, thanks for reaching out. We are still testing and we had to move the launch date of exchange mail support to the end of January. Let us know if you would like to help us test.

            • I would be very happy to be a tester.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Thats great. Please send me an email to cb(at)getmailbird(dot)com and I will happily forward you to the point of contact. Have great day:-)

            • I bought my license some weeks ago to ran into the problem, that there is no EWS support yet. I would appreciate to help you beta testing. Is it allowed to get in touch with you over the provided e-mail address?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey Peri, Thanks for reaching out. Yes, please feel free to get in touch with me using the provided email. I will connect you with our developer for the testing. Thanks so much and have a great day.

            • Avatar
              Ajit Pardeshi says:

              end of December now, do you support Exchange?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey Ajit, we don’t yet. Our Alpha is being released within the next 10 days and depending on the feedback from the testers then we will know the exact public release date. It will ideally be by the end of the month.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              We ran into a few bugs and therefore had to reschedule the launch to the end of December at the latest.

            • I will gladly be a beta tester.

            • Avatar
              Daria Zolotko says:

              great! Then you’ll be soon able to use Mailbird with Exchange support 🙂

            • Nice! I will wait then.

            • Avatar
              Jason Pezzimenti says:

              It still hasn’t been implemented. Can you give an ETA?

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey Jason, we ran into a few bugs and therefore had to reschedule the launch for exchange mail server support to the end of December at the latest.

            • Avatar
              Jason Pezzimenti says:

              When? I have already purchased a Pro license, and there is still no Exchange support. I’m disappointed. I won’t be using Mailbird until there is Exchange support, nor can I recommend it to anybody.

          • yeah, I was hoping I stumbled onto an app that also featured Exchange Calendaring/Contacts..

          • Avatar
            Mike Williams says:


          • As soon as you launch support, I’m switching. Until then, I can’t…

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              We will be able to launch exchange mail support within the next few weeks. We will make sure to announce it on our social channels then:-) Have a great day:-)

            • Thank you Christin, I eagerly await this release.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Thanks and please let us know if you have any more questions that we can help with:-)

        • Avatar
          Brent Ratliff says:

          Actually no, my company disables IMAP on their Exchange server. Other clients like Airmail get around it by accessing it via Outlook Web Access like a browser.

      • Thanks for the heads up. I almost installed this. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Ian Howles says:

      Hi, Can I run mailbird and outlook simultaneously? I have to use outlook for corporate account with DRM and calendar etc. But would like to have a second completely separate client running that has a separate set of mailboxes that are monitoring a number of personal accounts (hotmail / gmail / apple mail / ISP mail etc.). Are there any compatibility issues?

      • Avatar
        Leonardo Ariadi Santoso says:

        Hi Ian, You can run both of them at the same time, there shouldn’t be any compatibility issue. Sometime uou might experience some delay in incoming message either in Outlook or in Mailbird. This is because IMAp server can get easily crowded if a lot of email client is trying to connect to it at the same time

    • Avatar
      Martijn Dekkers says:

      You list MAPI support, but I couldn’t find it after installation. No syncing for Calendar and Contacts? No native Exchange support? No support for multiple shared mailboxes on Exchange, no Public Folder support? Mailbird looks awesome and I would love to use it, but it *isn’t* an Outlook replacement, not for users on Exchange, at least.

      • Avatar
        Leonardo Ariadi Santoso says:

        Hi Martjin, once you have add your account Mailbird you will be given an option to continue with the server settings that Mailbird has found, or you can edit it manually. If you edit it manually you can change the settings whether you want to use IMAP or POP3.
        Contact sync is coming in future update, as for Calendar, we now support Google and Sunrise Calendar.
        As for an Outlook alternative, Outlook is an email client, Mailbird is also an email client, which is what make us an alternative to outlook.

        • Avatar
          Martijn Dekkers says:

          Yeah, like I said: you claim MAPI support, and answer about POP3 or IMAP, neither of which are MAPI. No Native Exchange support, no Calendars, No Contacts. Outlook is an *Exchange* client first and foremost, and as such, you do not provide an alternative for that. Because I know how to play Soccer, that doesn’t make me an alternative to Maradonna….

        • Avatar
          Riddlemethis says:

          that makes sense.

          that’s like saying an electric scooter is a vehicle and the scooter is an alternative to an RV, because a RV is also a vehicle.

          • Avatar
            Leonardo Ariadi Santoso says:

            Well you can of course look at it that scooter is a mean of transportation, RV is also a means of transportation, so yes they are an alternative to each other. On the other hand you could also say that scooter is a bike and RV is a car, so no they’re not an alternative to each other. I guess it’s how you look at things

      • MAPI is a Microsoft proprietary technology for which Microsoft must license for use in other products by other software vendors. For example, Microsoft used to license the MAPI technology to Apple for use in Mac Mail but subsequently terminated that licensing agreement. Mac Mail now uses EWS (Exchange Web Services) to connect to and Exchange Server, whether that is an on-premise Exchange Server or Exchange Online, but EWS doesn’t provide the same features as MAPI. Microsoft are pushing people into buying Outlook by limiting implementations of MAPI by other software vendors.
        To say Mailbird is an Outlook replacement is true if you only POP3 or IMAP. If you need a MAPI client then Mailbird is not, and will never be, a viable alternative. If you want a MAPI client then Outlook is your only option.

    • Avatar
      Naylin Appanna says:

      Can I import my emails from outlook to mailbird? I can’t see how this is done.

      • Avatar
        Riddlemethis says:

        if it’s not mentioned, you can’t. even if you can, it’s likely limited to the 32 bit version. most people now run 64 bit windows.

        • Avatar
          Dave Bristel says:

          Most people still run 32 bit Microsoft Office, even on 64 bit Windows. The default download for Office is the 32 bit client, unless you know to intentionally download the 64 bit client. Microsoft also does not support in-place upgrading of Office from 32 bit to 64 bit(not hard to auto-uninstall as a function of installing the new client, but Microsoft doesn’t do it).

          • Avatar
            Christin Baumgarten says:

            Hey Dave, thanks for reaching out. First of all, Office uses a different technology than Mailbird, that doesn’t support mixing 32 and 64 bit in the same assembly. So, the installation of either 32 or 64bit will be done automatically based on your system. Please feel free to share more details on what exactly you are referring t, if that was not the questions you initially had.
            Thanks so much and have a great day:-)

      • Avatar
        Leonardo Ariadi Santoso says:

        Hi Naylin

        We do not have import/export feature right now, but it;s already planned in our developer road map

    • Avatar
      Riddlemethis says:

      Sounds like an infomercial here. There is no mention of this app’s ability to import messages from specific email clients. such as windows live mail. this mailbird has a lot of bloatware that most people will never ever use.

      As already echoed by other users, MB is not a replacement to Outlook.If people forked over the cash for Microsoft Office, it is illogical for them to switch to this email client. Mailbird sounds like It’s just “another” lame email application out there with no to little support that is resorted to this kind of tabloid advertising to get it’s name out there, and disappoint people in the process. who knows what kind of personal information they will keep or use once you install this app.

      • Avatar
        Leonardo Ariadi Santoso says:

        We appreciate your feedback and comment. As we see it, all email clients is an alternate to Outlook, Outlook does not equal to native exchange. But of course you are entitled to your own opinion about this

        As for personal information that we keep, we already stated this in our privacy policy, not only that we even explained in our blog what the data that we keep and what they are use for. More over we also provide the options for users to opt out of this data collections. You can find all of this information in here

    • Can I import outlook accounts (emails / passwords) and contacts to Mailbird?

    • You say Outlook doesn’t have unified inbox… I have Outlook 2007 and around 22 different POP3 email accounts installed on that Outlook and all of those emails arrive in the same inbox (no configuration was needed for this unified inbox other than simply adding the 22 email accounts). Isn’t that exactly what unified inbox means? I checked with other versions of Outlook (for example 2013) and there you can also easily create an unified inbox (albeit differently than on outlook 2007). Mailbird seems like a great email software but comparison information should be correct; saying that Outlook doesn’t have an unified inbox is not true.

      • outlook does a unified box but only with POP accounts not exchange/office 365 or IMAP accounts, Outlook places them way down the folder list and you have to check them separately….grrrrr

    • I’ve always used Outlook, but became frustrated with it recently due to delays/issues with getting emails via IMAP. I decided to try MailBird and have been pleasantly surprised. I manage 6 email accounts via IMAP and previously had to click on each inbox individually in Outlook. Sometimes Outlook would not perform a send/receive properly until I actually clicked on the inbox (despite setting it to check for new mail every 2 minutes). The unified inbox in MailBird is fantastic and a time saver. Syncing mail in folders was also an issue with Outlook. It either took a long time or would be missing older emails (forcing me to log in to webmail to retrieve older messages). MailBird seems to handle this really well. The simplicity of the layout allows me to see so much more on my screen. The Google Calendar, Todoist, FaceBook, and Twitter integrated apps are also very convenient. For Google calendars, I previously used a third party program to sync calendars, but moving an appointment from one calendar to another was not possible (would have to delete and re-add). Since MailBird actually displays the Google calendar directly, it’s much easier to use with multiple calendars. I prefer the Google calendar for sharing reasons and synchronizing to other devices. I love that the contact manager app displays email history for a particular contact,…also a time saver. Conversation grouping is also nice. So, lots of pluses. Now for the negatives. There’s no setting to schedule how often to send/receive. It seems to pull in emails pretty quickly, so I’m not too worried about this yet. Secondly, there’s no way to sync contacts (with Google or with other devices),…hope to see that feature added soon. Lastly, when replying to an email in the unified inbox, it saves the sent message in a separate folder. It would be great to have that email saved in the sent folder within the particular email account thru which the message was sent. Overall, I do consider MailBird as a great replacement for Outlook. I’m not an enterprise user, so I can’t speak to that aspect of things. For how I previously used Outlook to manage multiple email accounts, calendars, and tasks, MailBird has overcome many of the frustrations/issues that I experienced with Outlook and is a great time saver.

    • I wish it can support Markdown !!!

      I wish it can support Markdown !!!

      I wish it can support Markdown !!!

    • Would Mailbird be usable with CRM or PIM software packages? I have several friends who are active in network marketing programs, and such compatibility might be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for them! Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.

    • Avatar
      Richard Bourque says:

      My company is looking for an Outlook replacement. I installed eM Client 7 and it worked perfectly first try. Even AirSync(Activesync) synced my calendars, contacts and tasks on the 2 accounts that I setup. I keep seeing ads for mailbird saying it’s better than eM Client and is an Outlook replacement. I have to argue with that. Without Contact, Calendar and Task synchronization for my user’s computers and cell phones it’s practically useless and isn’t a contender in my search for a true Outlook replacement at all.

      • Avatar
        tropicaltech says:

        Hi Richard, thanks for the feedback 🙂 We are working on Contacts Sync to give the existing contacts manager some extra boost. Currently we use Google Calendar and Sunrise Calendar integration. Have you tried it? What are you using for managing email on your mobile? Hope Mailbird is not a replica of Outlook, but rather an alternative email/communication/task management system. It does mean adjustment in the tools you use that are not fully hosted in the MS Office suite. Would love to hear what it is about Outlook that you are not satisfied with and why you are seeking a replacement for it? Look forward to hearing from you Richard! 🙂

    • I am using WLM and I need to switch to Mailbird, which is not better than WLM. You cannot export your contact list and this is a big issue…

    • I am using WLM but I need to switch to Mailbird which is not better than WLM. The big issue is that you cannot export your contact list or your personal calendar, two very important work tools!

    • Mailbird admin are unable to answer the question, “how to export messages from Mailbird to Outlook or any other e mail client”. They state in this discussion that this is on their ‘to do’ list well over a year ago now yet nothing has happened. They still collect dosh for their full e mail system but do not seem to honour their promises!!! I am not impressed and will be changing as soon as I am able to transfer my folders and messages elsewhere.

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey, thanks for your feedback. There is no export feature in Mailbird. For exporting we would suggest you used the Import feature of the email client you want to use instead, Its a pity to see you leave, but we wish you all the best.

        • Well that is fascinating Christin, you are able to answer a question that your team are not and do not respond to my replies on their helpline/online chat.
          Would you please let me have full details on how I may import my mesages and files from Mailbird to OE Classic and also to Windows Live Mail in case you say that it is not possible to complete the operation to OE Classic. Thank you.

          • Avatar
            Christin Baumgarten says:

            Hey, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately I am not familiar with their import features and therefore not able to tell you how to import your messages from Mailbird to WLM or OE Classic. In this case, you should contact their support team, as they will be the ones to know their products best:-)

            • Oh dear, that is a shame Christin. Would there be another within your organisation who could tell me how this is carried out. Alternatively are you now confirming that Mailbird does not have the option of messages being imported to any other e mail client. Surely you have a technical department or designated person to deal with any questions?????? This question has already been ignored by someone at Mailbird responding to e mail enquiries. I look forward to you answering my question. Would you also confirm your position within Mailbird please.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey, The only workaround is to save emails in .eml format and then export them into another client. In this case unfortunately you’ll have to save every email. This is done by selecting the message in Mailbird and open the additional options by clicking on the small downward pointing triangle in the message’s header on the right. Then click on ‘Message source’. Now save this as a file somewhere on your computer. Let us know if that helped you.

            • Thanks for a rapid response Christen. Have tried your suggestion but there is nothing on my dropdown menu that states ‘Message Source’ I have Reply; Forward; Print message; Print conversation; Speed read e mail; Find in message; Mark as unread; Mark as spam.
              Nothing else. Seems as if you may have another Mailbird that is not the same as mine!!!!

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey, are you using POP3 or IMAP? Also, what version are you using of Mailbird?

            • Thanks for your reply Christin.
              Using the paid version as for yourother question please advise how I find this information out and I will let you know the answers as soon as you tell me.

            • Avatar
              Christin Baumgarten says:

              Hey, I think the easiest is really to get in touch wth our support about that. As it will be private messages and they will be able to help you more detailed. Please send them a ticket and give me the ticket number here. I will be able to fill them on our previous conversation. Have a great day.

    • If you are there Christin, would there be any chance of a response from you. I am beginning to think that you are able to provide details of how to import messages and folders from Mailbird to any other e mail clients. Whilst writing, why is it not posible to have read receipts for messages sent and also why is it we are unable to see the properties of incoming mail????? Have I found some more failings in Mailbird????

    • Avatar
      Pinko of the Grange says:

      It is isn’t; there is no way to sort your in box other than by date. Glad I didn’t pay for pro.

    • Mailbird has some great features, but it needs Markdown support.

      If it had Markdown support it would be my email client of choice.

    • Mailbird would be my email client of choice, if only it had Markdown support.

    • Does Mailbird enable me to use my diigital certificates and sign outgoing emails?

    • It’s not the best at anything. There is no export, no drag and drop between mailboxes, and if you have trouble with your IMAP account, you can do nothing to fix it. Complete waste of time this is – choose anything but this!

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey David, its a pity you feel this way. Please help us understand, what would you like to export? Emails or contacts? The drag and drop works between folders and not email accounts, thats correct as they would need to be moved between email provider (IMAP). Therefore it is not being implemented by a lot clients as it is quite complicated. Regarding the issues you were facing, I would like to ask you to send more details to and we will help you fix it as fast as we can. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reaching out.

    • Avatar
      Los Pachucos says:

      Please, someone save me! I am a certified, licensed, and insured digital forensic s examiner who has been to court on cases from child custody to capital murder. I have worked with computers since the days of DOS 3.1 and PRODOS. I can take a bad guy’s/girl’s computer and suck enough evidence out of kit to send that person to prison. But I am here to tell you that Outlook 2016 is the end of the evolutionary chain because it is such a bloated, complicated, confusing, slow, non-intuitive, and constantly decomposing app that, before too long, will certainly implode and disappear from the face of this earth. I hope and pray it does anyway.

      In June of 2017 what would be the best replacement for a guy with 4 workstations, all in house, that only wants to use and sync email, calendars, and tasks for four email accounts all used an managed by one person?

      Thnak you God and thank you fellow human beings. I will rest easier now…

      Hasta manyana,


    • Does mailbird now support Exchange/Office365 ActiveSync?

    • Avatar
      Tim D'Antonio says:

      Hi, I’m a single user with Outlook sync problems (constant syncronization of folders) are the calendar and contact features an addtional cost?

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey Tim, thanks for reaching. The calendar and contact management feature are at no additional cost in Mailbird. Please let us know what specific features you are looking for so we can ensure we have what you need:-)

    • Avatar
      Sharon Duggan says:

      Can anybody tell me if I can configure Mailbird to NOT delete mails on my Gmail website when I delete them on mailbird?

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey Sharon, no that is not possible. If you would like to move your mails out of the inbox without deleting them, archiving is the best option for you. Let us know if that works for you:-)

      • Avatar
        Dave Bristel says:

        The nature of IMAP is that you sync your mail across multiple devices. You delete from one, you SHOULD mean to delete from all.

    • can i use exchange with mailbird pro[

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey Bob, you will be able to use Exchange mail server support by the end of this quarter…so very very soon:-)

    • Hi there, i have 3 questions:
      1. is the Exchangefeature finally released
      2. is it possible to run mailbird on an Terminalserver
      3. is it then licensed per named User ?
      thx in advance Werner

      • Avatar
        iwan alRahmaan says:

        Hi Werner,

        Thanks for using Mailbird. My name is Bagik, I’m one of the customer happiness agents in Mailbird. Let me answer your questions.

        1. Not yet, Our engineering team still developing it. I don’t have the ETA when it will be released to the public but they are doing their best to make it happen soon. 🙂
        2. I’m afraid this is not possible.
        3. Yes, you are right. We charged Mailbird license per person, not per device. You can activate one license on as many devices as you want as long as you do not share your license key with anyone else.

    • Is Exchange support available now? I have a lifetime licence that I have not been able to use in all my lifetime with Mailbird because of this! I think that is the meaning of “lifetime” license with Mailbird…. wait for ever with only a vague launch date for Exchange support!

      • Avatar
        iwan alRahmaan says:

        Hi Victor,

        I’m afraid not yet. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team still developing it. I don’t have the ETA when it will be released to the public but they are doing their best to make it happen soon. 🙂

      • Avatar
        Dave Bristel says:

        Current estimate is end of Januray, 2018 at this point.

    • I am looking for an email client that looks as similar as possible like Outlook but is faster and more lightweight and only handles IMAP and no other features. Can you give me an advice?

      • Avatar
        Dave Bristel says:

        Mailbird will do the job if your e-mail account supports IMAP. I wouldn’t say it is “similar”, because being lightweight also means it is cleaner in most ways. I really like Mailbird, and since you can use it for free with one account, and get pro for one month if you have more accounts, it is worth trying out. For those looking for a free e-mail program, I’ve been encouraging people to give it a try to see if it meets their needs. It also supports migration from Windows Live Mail, which is helpful when migrating people from Windows 7 and not wanting them to get stuck with a mail client that can’t even be downloaded from the official source(Microsoft took down the download for Windows Live Mail).

    • Avatar
      Jerrod Hoaas says:

      whens that exchange support coming? I see it was mentioned a few months ago that it would be a few weeks, but i just purchased today, and i still cannot add my exchange account, and accessing it through SMTP doesnt allow my contacts to work.

      • Hey Jerrod. As I saw in a post from christin, they are alpha testing the functionality. I’m waiting to for a release or beta invite. Bought my license early december and waiting for any news about the progress. I’ve get a dev contact from christin but I don’t wanna bother them. I think they should implement the solution first and this takes some time.

      • Avatar
        Christin Baumgarten says:

        Hey Jerrod, thanks for reaching out and @disqus_hxg2ozNrtH:disqus thanks for helping provide the fastest answer. We are still test the mail exchange support and will ideally release it within the next few weeks. It really won’t take too long anymore. We will keep you updated via in app notifications and/or social media. @Peri I think there are currently enough testers. But please feel free to reach out should you be interested to join our group of testers for our Android App. Have a great start to the week and all the best:-)

    • Just curious, since the last reply in this thread was January 2018 (Today being May 2019), I assume that Exchange Integration of allowing syncing of Email, Email Folders, Contacts and Calendar from an Exchange server was never released. Not finding anything on the website.

      Is MAPI (Exchange) basically a DEAD Project now?

    • Very informative blog post that I came through. I was very confused about which email client should I use since my website is a small blogging website. But now I have a clear idea after reading this piece of content. Thank you so much

    • am really happy to say it’s an interesting post to read . I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . Keep it up
      Thanks & Regards,
      From Call Center Software.

    • Very upsetting that the title on the article and the article content both imply and state that Mail Bird is free and yet the FAQ indicates there is no free version. It would be one thing if this was an independent review, but considering it’s essentially an advertisement, the lies are not acceptable.

      • Hi John

        Would you mind telling me where exactly does it imply that Mailbird is free? The title said “7 best alternative to Outlook in 2020” It doesn’t say anything about free. The content also said “Give it a free try now”, it doesn’t say that Mailbird is free. Yes you can try Mailbird for free, but you need to buy a subscribtion afterward.

    • I really have to disagree with the Mailbird suggestion. I have had a paid version for a while and use it on my home PC – I use Outlook in my office PC .
      I find many things very difficult to do in Mailbird and some things are counter-intuitive. For example, you cannot sort emails by subject in the inbox (it does have conversation sorting, but that too has its limitations.) Another thing is that it loads everything on the cloud which slows searching. And the updates have slowed down, but for while they seemed incessant. Really annoying. I could go on, but the reason I came to this page was to replace Mailbird….

      • Thank you for the feedback. Our search actually work both locally and on the server, depending whether you have downloaded the email or not.

    • Despite what this article says, (maybe it is just outdated) I think that eM Client offers a lot more functionality for free that Mailbird does. I like to look of Mailbird, but Snooze Emails are free with eM Client.

    • I used the Free Trial and, I gotta say, I’m really sad that there isn’t a free version with limited options for people like me who can’t afford to pay 40 Euros for a Mail client. I’m honestly tired of the bland look of Outlook and Microsoft Mail and will probably come back to this magnificent app when I can actually afford it. But until then, guess I have to keep up with the disgusting UI of Outlook…

      • Andrew @ Mailbird
        Andrew @ Mailbird says:

        Hello, thanks for sharing your thoughts! We do not have a free version available and we hope that you’ll join us in the future. If you need some discount, get in touch with our support, we’ll figure something out. Thanks!

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