5 Great Desktop Mail Apps for Reading and Responding to Emails


As antiquated as this mode of correspondence may seem, there is still a place for email these days, presumably cemented by formal workflow. I mean, we really don’t want to talk to our bosses on WhatsApp and Telegram on official business, do we?

Like many people, accessing your email using the web browser seems like the most common way of doing things. It’s simple to use, customizable with themes, etc. But this is not the only way to proceed.

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Email clients have been around for a long time and if you need them, chances are your operating system already has one of them. For macOS users, Apple Mail must be pre-installed or easily installable. Since Windows 10, Microsoft has brought together a Mail app with that. Most Linux distros come with Thunderbird installed and while they serve their purpose, there are more.

Best Messaging Desktop Apps for Your Desktop

There are tons of desktop email client apps out there and these are some of the best we recommend. It should be noted that many of these applications are available on the most popular platforms, but some are exclusive to certain systems and we will note this in the selections below.

Microsoft Outlook

Being part of the Microsoft Office suite, many Windows users who rely on the suite of applications also have this application installed. Microsoft Outlook maintains the same look and feel as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and gives users easy access to their mailbox.

Microsoft Outlook also has the advantage of having calendar functionality and support for address books. So if you register your contacts with Microsoft, all of them will be accessible through the app. You can also manage your calendar using the same app, much like a jack-of-all-trades.

One downside might be that it comes bundled with Microsoft Office, which isn’t free, but if your school or organization offers you Microsoft Office or an agreement, it’s a viable customer.

As it comes with Microsoft Office, it is available on supported platforms which currently include Microsoft Windows and macOS.

If you prefer free and open source software, Thunderbird is your best option. Built by the same folks behind Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird gives users access to the most popular email services including Gmil, Yahoo, Outlook, and more.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of Thunderbird is the support for add-ons, just like Mozilla Firefox. These add-ons could help you perform more tasks such as linking files from cloud storage solutions, spam management, signature management, etc.

As this software is open-source, it is free to download and install. However, there have been talks of plans to monetize Thunderbird but in the meantime it remains free to use.

Thunderbird is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux and is probably the most widely used email client application today.

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Hiri prides itself on being a real alternative to Microsoft Outlook. It is available for Mac, PC and Linux. It boasts of features like support for Office 365 and Exchange Calendar. Therefore, if your workplace is invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, you should be fine.

Hiri is more suitable for the power user who has to deal with tons of emails as it brings useful sorting tools. These include a dashboard feature, aimed at limiting the time you take to check emails, a to-do list which converts your emails into tasks, Action, which categorizes your emails accordingly as soon as they arrive, and Zero Inbox strives to keep your inbox zero, all the time to stay on top.


Hiri is not free. Users have to part with $119 for a lifetime license. However, you can also opt for a $39 annual plan. You get a 7-day trial period if you want to test out the service before you decide to go for it.



What more could you need from your email client application? Try integrating with other popular services that you probably also use for work. This is exactly what Mailbird does.

This app gives you all the features you’ll need on your email, plus add-ons to enable services like Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Twitter. These are just some of the apps with native integrations.

Apps you add appear as icons in the sidebar for one-click access. As expected, Mailbird is not free to download and use. A personal account costs $29 for one year or you can pay a one-time lifetime price of $79.

There’s also a business plan that costs $59 per year and adds Exchange support and unlimited email tracking.

Another popular option is eM Client. This service supports all major email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and Outlook.com. There’s also support for PGP encryption, live backup, basic image editing capabilities, and auto replies for Gmail.

eM Client is available through Email Desktop Apps for Windows and macOS and although this is also a paid service, you may be able to get away with a free version. The free version is for non-commercial use only, you might want to keep that in mind.

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As you’ve probably figured out, many of these email clients are paid services. Unless you really need to have one, you might want to stick with the usual way of logging into your mailbox using your browser, i.e. if you are a normal user.

That said, we know there are people who do this for a living and would therefore benefit greatly from services like these. For these people, it makes sense to invest in it. Or better yet, talk to your employer and ask them to take advantage of the often cheaper Business licenses.


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