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Is Mailbird the Best Windows Live Mail App Alternative?

Posted by Alexis Dolle on November 14, 2020

Best Windows Mail alternative

Alexis Dolle
Head of Growth

Analyzes data, eats data, drinks data, lives for data and helps the Mailbird team to build a more awesome experience.

Published on November 14, 2020

In 2013, users began to report several issues using Windows Live Mail, especially the 2012 version of the app. Blogs, online forums, and even Microsoft forums became a wailing ground for most users of Windows Live Mail. Deleted messages, for instance, still found their way back into your email. Some users complained of the inability to see the recipient of a sent email in the sent folder. Instead, they saw the name of the sender. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft failed to provide support services that addressed these issues, until eventually, the company had to discontinue the service in 2014. So officially, Windows Live Mail 2012 was the last version of Live Mail released by Microsoft.

As of January 10, 2017, after announcing the decision to kill off Live Mail, Microsoft officially pulled the plug on Windows Live Mail services, including other Windows Essential Programs. 

This meant that old and existing users of Windows Live Mail were on their own or had to look for better alternatives. So, if you liked Live Mail before it started failing, what email app can you use as a Windows Live Mail alternative? 

This article addresses your concerns with precision and further details where necessary. If you use Windows 10 or any other version, you’ll learn how to get better email client services. In this article, we will cover:

What Was Windows Live Mail?

Windows Live Mail was an email service software from Microsoft, which was the free email client available to Microsoft users. It is the successor to Windows Mail in Windows Vista, which was preceded by Outlook Express in Windows XP and Windows 98. Due to unresolved issues surrounding user experience, lack of updates, and malfunctions, Microsoft had to discontinue support for the app in 2017. 

Before that time, Windows Live Mail users could manage all their emails from various email clients in one place. Subsequently, users were encouraged to sign up for Microsoft Outlook. However, some people can still use this app, especially on Windows 7, 8, and 10. 

The official statement

Back in 2016, Microsoft released a statement saying that the Windows Live Mail app would no longer manage accounts. It said that, being an older client, Live Mail could not handle the synchronization protocol used by the Outlook incoming mail server.

This is one of the reasons Windows Essentials Suite died out, too — it was too outdated for current user needs, and Windows Live Mail was no longer suitable for most of its users. 

Trying to use Windows Essentials now would be like trying to access YouTube through a flip-phone. It’s just not practical. As a result, many of the 3.5 million users are currently looking for alternatives to Windows Live Mail to solve their problems.

Can you still download Windows Live Mail?

Yes, but only from As mentioned earlier, Windows Essentials 2012 is no longer supported by Microsoft, and that includes Windows Live Mail 2012. Most of the software embedded in Windows Essentials 2012 still functions. However, it’s no longer available for download from Microsoft. 

How do I access my Live email account?

You can still download the older version of Windows Live Mail as mentioned in the previous answer, but you might run into issues when it comes to using it. Of course, you shouldn’t expect any more as the service is no longer supported. However, you can sign in to your Live Mail account using Outlook, Windows Mail, or any other suitable email client.

How do I restore my Windows Live Mail?

Here’s how to restore deleted emails from Windows Live Mail:

  1. Launch the Windows Live Mail app.
  2. Click on the File menu and select Import Messages.
  3. You’ll see a screen asking you to choose your preferred format for importing your messages. Select Microsoft Windows Live Mail and press Next.
  4. Next, you will have to select a location where you want the messages stored on your computer. 
  5. Now, select the relevant folders you want to restore, or click on All Folders, depending on what you need. Click the Next button.
  6. The Import process begins. It may take a while, depending on the volume of messages you’re importing.
  7. Click Finish once it’s done. Your Windows Live Mail messages are restored.

Until 2012, Microsoft had a robust support service, including updates and bug fixes for Windows Live Mail. However, since the app is no longer available for optimum email service, there is a need for an email client that is both reliable and fun to use. This is where Mailbird, an advanced yet easy-to-use email client, comes in. 

Mailbird – The Best Windows Live Mail App Alternative

Users needn’t look far for a Windows Live Mail app replacement, as Mailbird is the ideal software for them to switch to.

  • It works with your current version of Windows.
  • It’s compatible with all your email accounts. So, you can get all the options you were getting with Windows Live Mail.
  • It’s super easy to configure server settings and setup.

In this article, we’ll go into detail about why switching to Mailbird is a great option for you. 

But What About Outlook?

Outlook may seem like the most obvious choice to switch to if you’re a Windows Live user since you already have a Microsoft account.

But it isn’t the best choice.

There are a host of reasons Mailbird is a better tool for you than Outlook (and any other email program, such as eM Client or Claws Mail).

Here are just a few of them:

  • Outlook is error-prone when it comes to its outgoing server settings and incoming server settings.
  • It’s not very customizable; even with Windows 10 there’s no customization option.
  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t have a lot of additional features.

You can find a more detailed comparison here.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s go into why so many Windows Live Mail users switch to Mailbird — and why you should too.

But first — what is Mailbird?

Windows Live Mail Alternative Screencast

Some easy inbox management tips may help you not only sort out your emails more efficiently but also boost your overall productivity at work.

Get Mailbird, the best Windows Live Mail alternative to use on Windows 10 or any other version of Windows.

Get Mailbird, the best alternative to Windows Live Mail

Try Mailbird for Free

What Is Mailbird?

Mailbird is a desktop email client. It allows you to access all your email accounts from the comfort of your desktop, in the same interface. It is much better than the outdated Windows Live Mail app. 

This way, you won’t have the trouble of logging onto a web browser every time you check your emails and switch between. Additionally, you can add multiple email accounts to Mailbird to get all your emails in a unified space.

As a result, managing emails from all your email accounts is now a piece of cake!

That’s why it’s no surprise that a lot of Live Mail users are switching to Mailbird now. Let’s take a look at why. 

Why Do So Many Users Switch to Mailbird?

Unified Inbox for Multiple Email Accounts

Mailbird works with any email address. Moreover, you can view emails from multiple email accounts in a unified inbox.

In fact, you can even import your account info from other clients so installation and setup only take a few clicks. It’ll automatically detect the server settings and SMTP of your email address to add it to your Mailbird program.

Here are some of the popular email accounts Mailbird supports. Emails from all these multiple accounts are visible in a single unified inbox.

No matter the account, Mailbird allows you to send and receive email messages on your desktop instead of logging into a web browser.

Windows Live Mail Alternative Works with any account

Layout and User Experience

Windows Live Mail users have been flocking to Mailbird for years, and with good reason. Its clean and advanced interface feels right at home on your Windows 10 desktop.

Moreover, Mailbird has more customization options than the Windows Live app, including:

  • Color
  • Layout
  • Sidebar Images/Patterns
  • Font/Size

Mailbird’s interface is also easier to use thanks to its ability to be customized to suit you.

Do you like to preview your messages? Do you prefer not to? Do you usually reply, or reply all?

Everything is customizable, and better still – Mailbird’s interface makes it easy to understand everything.

Windows Live Mail Alternative Screen

Mailbird Works with Your Version of Windows (It doesn’t matter if you don’t have Windows 10)

When looking for an alternative email client, you want a tool that will work even if you’re using previous versions of Windows.

Luckily, Mailbird does just that.

Don’t worry about compatibility issues if you’re using the versions of Windows listed here:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10

This way, you can rest assured that Mailbird will easily work with any versions of Windows you have. And many people consider it the best alternative to the Windows Live Mail app for Windows 10, in particular.

However, we are constantly updating Mailbird to ensure you can send and receive email messages from whichever version of Windows you use. So, it is not important to have Windows 10 only.

Mailbird is the best email client

Finally an email client worth downloading

Try Mailbird for Free

Mailbird Has Loads of Powerful Features

A lot of users look for a program that has the same features as what they were using before. The problem with that approach is that you’ll be facing the same problems you did with your old email client.

To help you with that, Mailbird has integrated the standard features users expect from Windows Live Mail alternatives, along with features unique to Mailbird. A lot of these features aren’t even available on some of the other leading email clients, such as eM Client and Claws Mail.

Our features are intended to help boost your productivity when dealing with emails and make the process as smooth as possible. You can use it with Windows 10 or any other version you might have. 

Attachment reminders, a speed reader, in-line replies, and snooze are just a few of the many unique features Mailbird offers you.

Let’s have a look at the most popular features on Mailbird you wouldn’t find on Windows Live:

A. Native Calendar

Mailbird has its own calendar app that unifies all your calendar accounts and events in the same interface. Its simple and intuitive design makes it easy to find any feature or setting you need.

A clear design creates an uncluttered environment that doesn’t distract you from the contents of your calendar. Every feature was designed to make your work with the calendar easy and save you time, whether it’s when you view your schedule, create or edit an event, or send out invitations.

Mailbird email native calendar

B. In-Line Reply

Forgetting to respond to a question in an email is easy when you receive over 100 of them in a day. Going through so many emails can take a toll on both your eyes and your mind.

As a result, you may mistakenly overlook a question asked in an email or forget to answer it in your response. To help limit the chances of that happening, Mailbird offers you an in-line reply feature.

With it, you can respond to questions immediately, right below them.

Using Mailbird email in-line reply

As you’re responding to each question separately, the likelihood of you forgetting to respond to something is minimal. Additionally, it’s easier for the recipient to understand your answers!

C. Snooze Inbox

Sometimes, managing all your emails can be just too much to handle. You have a lot of important emails to address, but there are too many unimportant ones in the way!

So what do you do?

With Mailbird, you can snooze these unimportant emails for the time being! You can specify how long they’re snoozed for – it could be a week, a day, or even an hour!

Mailbird will tuck these unimportant emails away from your inbox so you can respond to your priority emails with ease!

Mailbird “Snooze Email”

Don’t worry about those snoozed emails disappearing forever though! Once the time period you specified is up, all these snoozed emails will reappear in your inbox.

But what if you want to access one of those snoozed emails before the time period is up? No problem!

Go to the Snooze folder in your inbox, and you’ll find all of them there! This way, you’re taking a mini email detox from these unimportant emails to help you breeze through your inbox in no time!

D. Speed Reader

Since we’re speaking about breezing through emails, we have to mention our speed reader feature. With it, you’ll be able to go through your emails at thrice the speed you usually would!

Here’s how it works –

Mailbird shows you one word of clear text at a time to make it easier and quicker for your brain to process. You’ll have a choice of 100 WPM (words per minute) to 1000 WPM to suit your own capabilities.

This is what it looks like in action –

Mailbird email “Speed Reader”

Neat, right?

If you want to know more about this feature, you can check it out in this TechCrunch article.

E. Attachment Reminders

There’s a lot that can go wrong with emails.

You could send something to the wrong person, add an outdated email address, or CC someone by mistake. But there’s one mistake that often leads to more embarrassment and frustration than all these – forgetting to add attachments mentioned in the email.

It’s incredibly embarrassing and makes you look really foolish.

With Mailbird, though, you won’t have to worry about that. Mailbird will detect whether an email was supposed to have attachments with it and will remind you of the same in case you forgot.

For example, if you mentioned the word “attach” in your mail and clicked “send” before attaching anything, here’s what you’ll see –

Mailbird attachment reminders

This way, you can send and receive email messages without worrying about forgetting to add attachments!

F. Contact Management

Mailbird knows the importance of contacts when it comes to emails.

That’s why Mailbird operates as an address book of sorts. It’s super easy to import your contact list from Gmail or Outlook into Mailbird:

  • You can let the software do it automatically for you.
  • You can also manually drag and drop selected contacts into your address book.

If you opt for the first, your entire contact list can be all ready for you within minutes!

Additionally, in case two contacts in your address book aren’t 100% similar, Mailbird will allow you to choose which one remains as the default.

Sync Mailbird and Windows Live Mail contacts

This way, you’re not going through people twice in your list!

G. Tagging Feature

Need a quick way to add recipients to your email?

With Mailbird’s tagging feature you won’t have to worry about forgetting to add someone to the recipients list in an email or wasting time manually searching for email IDs.

When writing an email, just add “@” followed by the name of the person, and Mailbird will automatically pull up their email address from your contacts list.

You also get to choose whether this email address is added in the “to” recipient box or as a CC.

Mailbird email account tagging feature

This feature saves tons of time when you’re talking about something important in your mail and need to keep a lot of people in the loop!

H. Integration with Third-Party Apps

One of the plus points about Windows Live Mail was that it was associated with the Windows Live Essentials package, a suite of different apps to make your whole life easier – not just your emails.

Mailbird tries to do the same – it doesn’t want to be just another email client for you.

That’s why it’s able to integrate with a variety of popular apps to make it an all-in-one communication hub for your team!

Mailbird has tried to combine email, messaging apps, task management apps, a calendar app, and a video meeting app to create the most comprehensive solution for you and your team. This was not possible with the Windows Live Mail App. 

Imagine working through your email while also being able to jump on a call without having to manually switch to another software or web browser. 

It’s not just convenient but also way more efficient.

With Mailbird, you’ll have all your communication and productivity tools in one place to help you perform better.

This way, you get most of the features you’d get from the entire Windows Live Essentials package – all in one place!

Featured apps include:

Messaging Apps

Mailbird can integrate with messaging and social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp to ensure you and your team have a steady line of communication at all times.

Mailbird email client integrates with other apps

Task Management Apps

Mailbird can integrate with tools like Todoist,, Evernote, and Asana to keep you and your team on top of all aspects of Project Management.

Mailbird task management apps

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Video Meeting Apps

There’s nothing like interacting with your team face to face, right?

Mailbird live inbox video call

That’s why Mailbird can integrate with video calling apps like Whereby and Veeting Rooms to ensure you and your team can communicate face to face!

Mailbird email video meeting
File Storage Apps

One of the benefits of Windows Live Mail was its ability to store data as a .pst file, which is a personal file (such as a copy of a message) that can be stored on your computer. The problem with a .pst file is that it’s quite large in size and can only be opened through Outlook.

Storing calendar data and Windows Mail conversations is now far easier – you don’t need a specialized file format for your data anymore. Mailbird can integrate with Dropbox so you can store and add your files easily without having to worry about compatibility.

Don’t see an integration or feature you want in this list? No worries. Mailbird’s all-star developer team continues to add and improve on these features requested by you. We have a Mailbird Feature Request forum where you can submit your ideas, and we’ll get down to working on it immediately!


The process to set up and configure server settings Mailbird is super easy, unlike most other email clients.

With Mailbird, you’ll be up and running in about ten minutes!

Here’s how easy the process is –

Step 1: Download Mailbird

You’ll have to download Mailbird from our site, as it’s not available on any other app store at the moment. You cannot download or install it like a Windows Mail app. This has to come directly from the official website. 

Step 2: Add Your Details

Once you open up the tool for the first time, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up on the screen asking you to input your server address details.

Click the Add Account button and add your name, email server address, and password.

Mailbird email “Add account”

The app will then automatically detect the type of incoming mail server you’re using.

Mailbird email settings

This way, you won’t have to waste time manually inputting a type of incoming mail server, such as IMAP or POP. Mailbird does it for you!

Step 3: Add Multiple Email Accounts

In case you want to add multiple email accounts, go to the Menu tab on your screen.

When there, you’ll see a bunch of tabs, such as the General tab and the Composing tab.

If you look further down your screen, you’ll see an Accounts tab.

Click that button and you’ll see an Add button to the right of your screen.

Mailbird email accounts

Once you click the Add button, follow the steps mentioned earlier and input your server address, and you’re all set!

You’ve managed to configure server settings and add all your email accounts in Mailbird in just a few minutes!

Also, don’t worry about changing your mind about these additional email accounts. They can be deleted from your Mailbird app in no time too. Now you have seen that it is amazing and offers better services than your Windows Mail app. 

Step 4: Customization

You can now customize your Mailbird experience by choosing your own theme, profile picture, and layout.

All these customizations can be reversed easily and deleted in case you ever get bored with them.


Microsoft Outlook can run you upwards of $110.

Mailbird, however, has a few options for you to choose from that can enable you to manage all your email accounts for a fraction of the cost.

  1. Mailbird Personal: $3/month (includes all future updates)
  2. Mailbird Personal Lifetime: $79 once (includes all future updates)
  3. Mailbird Business: $4/month (includes all future updates)

Take It for a Free Test Drive

Have you been using outdated Windows Mail apps for many years? Not sure about Mailbird yet?

It’s a great Windows Live Mail alternative. Give Mailbird a try to see if you like it and check out its amazing features. Download your free trial here.

Get Mailbird, the best alternative to Windows Live Mail

Try Mailbird for Free

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


Is the Windows Live Mail app still available?

Windows Live Mail did not stop working after it was terminated in 2012. You can still use Windows Mail for downloading emails from any standard email service. However, all Microsoft email services have been moved to
If you’re looking for a good email client, try Mailbird. It’s a great WML alternative in a number of aspects, including its ability to handle multiple email accounts, compatibility with Windows 10, 8, 7, and XP, and an all-round enhanced user experience.

What is the best alternative to the Windows Live Mail app?

Even though Windows Live Mail services from Windows 10 can be accessed, doing this is not recommended because there has been no update since 2012. On the other hand, the Windows versions have been updating regularly, and today we have the famous Windows 10. However, you can always try using some popular alternatives such as:
– Mailbird
– Microsoft Office Outlook
– Thunderbird
– eM Client
– Microsoft Mail and Calendar app

Does Windows 10 have a Windows Live Mail app?

No, it doesn’t. Windows Live Mail was terminated with Windows 7, and it is not a part of the Windows 10 apps. If you’re looking for a good Windows 10 email client, try Mailbird. It is an easy and powerful software for managing all your email in one place with a unified inbox, various customization options, and advanced features.

Can I import the Windows Live Mail app into Windows 10 Mail?

Yes, doing this is possible. First, launch the Windows Live Mail app on your Windows 10, then:
1. Find File, click on it, and choose “Import messages.”
2. Choose Windows Live Mail from the list, click Next, then Browse.
3. Make sure to select the folder on your hard drive or USB that contains all your exported emails.

Alexis Dolle
Head of Growth

Analyzes data, eats data, drinks data, lives for data and helps the Mailbird team to build a more awesome experience.

Published on November 14, 2020


17 thoughts on "Is Mailbird the Best Windows Live Mail App Alternative?"

  • Henry Joyce says:

    My PC is paired with my Mac, for Windows Live Mail. Can I have the same with Mailbird?

    • Andrew @ Mailbird says:

      Hello Henry,
      Not sure about such setup, can you please contact our support, they should be able to assist you with this. Thanks!

  • How can I import existing messages stored in different folders from Windows Live Mail into Mailbird (and maintain the folder structure)?

    • Bagik Setiawan says:

      Hi Geoff, maintaining the folder structure I’m afraid it’s not possible right now since the structure between WLM and Mailbird is different. If the folder available in your account webmail, when you add the account, the folders supposed to be sync also.

      If it’s in your local, at this moment you can import your storage files only if you use a POP3 account in Mailbird. Unfortunately, it’s not possible on IMAP.
      To import your storage folders on POP3 account please go to Settings -> Accounts -> double click your POP3 account

      Click “import messages”, then select “from external source” -> “folders with eml files” and locate these folders on your PC (possible location: your old email client directory).

  • I have 2 homes and need to synchronise the mail folders etc between the two locations. Is your email client able to do this? Maybe using a flash drive or similar..

    • Andrew @ Mailbird says:

      Hello Peter,

      That is possible if you’ll use your email account with IMAP protocol in Mailbird – it will sync your emails across any devices and locations where you use that particular email account. Thanks!

  • I agree Mailbird is one of the best email client tools I have ever used. Setting up multiple emails to manage can be done in just a few seconds.

  • Thank you for the help..

  • Caroline Monroe says:

    1. The idea of having emails from multiple accounts into one inbox is incredibly stupid. Can this programme work in a more logical manner and use separate inboxes for each email account?
    2. As i have several email accounts I would need the paid version, in which case I would need to be able to install it on every device I have without paying for each device.
    3. There looks like a lot of garbage included with this client, can the features that are irrelevant be turned off?
    4. What’s this drivel about ‘productivity’ why are people obsessed with it? I need a client for home use not work

  • Bruce Jacobs says:

    Can I move my Email Addresses from Windows Live Mail over to Mailbird. I’m not truly computer savy.
    Need help here, thank you. Bruce

  • I use multiple accounts, each with multiple folders, and each folder contains tons of messages.

    NONE of your screehshots demonstrates how it can replace the way WLM handles multi-account, multi-folder drag-and-drop EASILY.

    I can Move or Copy a message (or messages) in one folder of my Gmail account to another folder in my Outlook account… could Mailbird do that just using the UI?

    • Hello Walter!
      I am really afraid Mailbird does not support moving the emails between accounts at the moment.

  • Marco D'Anna says:

    Sounded like a good replacement for the free Windows Live Mail but only ONE email account will not work for me.

  • Free for your first email account? Go jump RIGHT in the lake!

  • Hello!
    I use 2 PCs. If I subscribe to Pro Lifetime, can I install it at 2 PCs?

  • Behn Kerslake says:

    Downloaded it – came in Norweigen/another Euro language that I couldn’t get back to English. You say you can only have 1 email account free, so this app is pitiful even compared to the awful windows Mail app. Uninstalling now.

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