10 Best Free Email Accounts

Looking for a new email account? These are the best email providers out there

Free email accounts may seem like a dime a dozen, but there are some free services that stand way above the rest. This article will help guide you through the best free email accounts and which features make them the best.

When choosing one, you want to look for a few characteristics to help you determine which is best for you. They differ in how much storage you get, what the interface looks like and how it can be customized, and what types of advanced features are included, like messaging, filters, and the ability to import other data.

It also is probably important to you what your actual email address is. If your first pick doesn't give you the address you're looking for, just move on to the next one on the list. Remember to try different combinations and variations to get an address that's not taken. If you have to, try a username generator.

If you're signing up for a new email account because you don't know your current one, it might be easier to just find out what your email address is so that you can avoid making a brand new account.

Never reveal personal information in your email address, like your home address or phone number. It's common for them to be a name with a couple of numbers, or a word or phrase that means something.

See these secure email services if you're concerned about privacy, but remember that even an encrypted email service isn't enough to hide your identity; it's good practice to also use a VPN and other security methods.

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Screenshot of unread Gmail messages
What We Like
  • Includes private messaging features.

  • Wonderful spam protection.

  • Gives 15 GB of space for emails and other files.

  • Integrates closely with other Google services like Google Drive and Google Pay.

What We Don't Like
  • Dealing with folders/labels can be confusing.

It's probably not a surprise that Gmail makes the top of this list for one of the best free email accounts. It's Google's free email service that has a nice and modern feel to it, is tightly integrated with the company's other services, and does pretty well at blocking spam.

It has some other awesome features, too, like the option to snooze emails for later, send and request money via Google Pay, schedule emails to be sent later, read mail offline, send emails that expire and can only be opened with a special code, store messages in a 15 GB vault, shares files from your Drive account, undo sending, and set up vacation responses.

There are also different themes you can apply to Gmail's interface to customize how it appears, tons of advanced settings, and the ability to create filters and labels, import email in from other email accounts, use a chat client, and, among other features, install gadgets (add-ons) to extend Gmail's functionality.

All addresses end in @gmail.com.

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Screenshot of emails in the Outlook.com inbox folder
What We Like
  • Clean interface that's easy to use.

  • Works closely with other Microsoft services like Skype and Outlook Calendar.

  • Organizes mail automatically.

  • Supports lots of email rules.

  • Lets you use multiple account aliases to hide your real email address.

What We Don't Like
  • Sometimes takes a while to load.

Outlook.com is Microsoft's free email service that, like Gmail, has a solid interface that's easy to work with. It's easily second to Google's service or even tied as the best free email provider.

The website is really intuitive—it's as easy as right-clicking an email to find further options like moving/deleting messages and searching for every email from that one sender.

Email rules are supported which means you can set new messages to automatically move to a specified folder, be categorized, flagged, or even forwarded if certain conditions are met. You can also connect directly to Skype through your email, use addons like PayPal and DocuSign.

Your email address can end in @outlook.com or @hotmail.com.

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Yahoo Mail

Yahoo Mail email inbox
What We Like
  • Tons of email storage space

  • Lets you make hundreds of free disposable email addresses

  • Includes a built-in GIF database

  • Using Yahoo Calendar from the email area is easy

What We Don't Like
  • Only one option for the email domain

  • Not as many filters/rules as other email providers

As would seem obvious, Yahoo Mail is the free email account offered by Yahoo. Each new user gets a whopping 1 TB of free storage for email!

The compose window when making new emails is a bit similar to Gmail, but one useful difference is that it's easy to switch between inline image attachments and normal file attachments. This means you can switch a file attachment to be embedded in the email and just as easily reverse it to make it a file attachment.

Yahoo Mail is probably the best email service when it comes to alternate identities, or aliases. You can also create up to 500 disposable addresses that are linked to your inbox but that don't reveal your true address. This is useful if you're often signing up for accounts and don't wish to have your regular inbox spammed or filled with useless email; just delete the disposable address if the spam becomes too overwhelming.

You can also insert GIFs directly from a built-in GIF collection, use themes that change the entire background and color scheme of the website, import contacts from a file on your computer as well as from other accounts like Facebook or Outlook, use a built-in news reader and notepad, attach files from Google Drive or Dropbox, easily access the company's online calendar app, and connect external accounts so that you can use one interface to manage mail from other services like Gmail.

Yahoo Mail email addresses are set up as example@yahoo.com.

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AOL Mail

AOL Mail inbox
What We Like
  • A calendar and to-do list is easily accessible from the email page.

  • Has the ability to customize lots of settings.

  • Lots of themes to choose from.

  • Can check spelling before sending every email.

What We Don't Like
  • It's easy to accidentally open the news section instead of your email.

  • Can't attach files from online storage sites (only your own local computer).

  • Lots of ads.

  • Missing filtering settings supported by other providers.

AOL Mail is another free email account option. The main page where you find your email also includes top stories from AOL.com, which can either be viewed as a nice addition or seem cluttered depending on what you like.

Like some email providers, you can quickly filter your messages to only show unread or read emails, or flagged or unflagged messages. Unique with AOL Mail are advanced settings like changing the spam filter's sensitivity, controlling who (if anyone) can you send you mail, enabling a reading pane, and blocking mail containing specific words.

You can also configure an alert to have AOL send you a text message when certain criteria are met (like if an email from a specific contact includes a certain word in the subject or body), enable sound alerts, access a to-do list, and use a calendar with the ability to make events right from emails. The background changer lets your emails have a nice background image.

In the settings, you can clearly read the IMAP and POP server settings, useful if you're using your email with offline clients. Some of the other best email services don't display this information, so that's a positive for sure.

AOL Mail isn't the same thing as the now-discontinued AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). The former is an email service and the latter was an instant messaging service.

An AOL email address gives you an email like example@aol.com, but you can also receive mail if someone messages example@aim.com.

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Yandex Mail

Yandex Mail inbox
What We Like
  • 10 GB of storage to share with email and other Yandex services.

  • Lets you sign up with an existing Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail account.

  • Auto-sorts emails into useful categories.

  • Can notify you when an email has been received by the recipient.

  • Can remind you if the recipient doesn't respond after so-many days.

  • Includes a built-in translator.

  • Shows detailed information on your account's access log.

  • Lets you customize a lot of the settings.

What We Don't Like
  • 2FA requires a special Yandex app (most providers use Google Authenticator).

  • Can't change the 24-hour time format.

  • Email accounts all end in the same domain.

Yandex is a Russian company that provides many tools in addition to free email accounts, such as 10 GB of cloud storage service, Yandex.Calendar, and a search engine. Similar to Google, your Yandex email account makes it possible to access all of these services using one login.

The interface is very nice to work with. It's easy to read and provides a simple layout while still keeping all the necessary tools intact. Like most of the other providers in this list, this one supports email filters, contact importing and exporting, tasks, and hotkeys.

However, it's also unique in many ways that make it one of the better ones out there. You can forward multiple messages with ease; they'll send as file attachments, there's an option to download emails as EML files, delayed messaging is supported, you can be notified when an email sends and be reminded later if you don't get a reply, and the part after @ can be your website domain name (for free). 

By default, all addresses end with @yandex.com.

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ProtonMail inbox
What We Like
  • Relies heavily on encrypting email data.

  • Lets you send encrypted emails to anyone, even if they don't use ProtonMail.

  • New accounts can end in one of two domains.

  • Lets you choose when an email will expire.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited to 500 MB of storage.

  • Lets you send just 150 messages per day.

  • Can't auto-remove the email signature.

  • No vacation replies.

  • Supports just three folders.

The main difference between ProtonMail and the other email services above is that this one is centered around encryption. The idea is that you can send mail without fear that the people at ProtonMail, or anyone else besides the recipient, can read the message.

Messages sent to other ProtonMail users are always encrypted. Otherwise, when you're ready to send the email, be sure to select that button first. If you encrypt a message, you can also set an expiration time so that it's destroyed and unreadable after the duration you specify.

The maximum expiration time is four weeks (28 days) but you can choose something sooner, too, like 1–6 days or 1–23 hours, or a combination of both. If you message a non-ProtonMail user and don't define an expiration time, the message will still expire in 28 days. 

Recipients who receive encrypted messages open the email through a link that asks for the password, where it's decrypted and displayed in the browser. They can reply through an encrypted channel via the same message they decrypted, and don't even need to have a ProtonMail account.

Another privacy-minded feature is Link Confirmation, which helps guard against phishing attacks by displaying a popup window when you select a link, letting you confirm where it goes before actually going there.

You can choose to have a @protonmail.com or @protonmail.ch email address.

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Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail
What We Like
  • Works well for teams.

  • Supports tabbed email windows.

  • Connecting to other Zoho apps is easy.

  • The design is clean and minimal.

  • Supports email filters.

What We Don't Like
  • All the other Zoho apps that are interconnected might be overwhelming.

  • It's primarily centered around business use.

Although Zoho Mail does have a free email service, Zoho as a whole is like an online suite of several apps that are centered around business use.

The first thing you might notice when composing a message is how minimal the design is, which can be a great thing. When you make a new message, you can quickly switch between it and the rest of your mail through the small tabs at the top of the page.

Streams is a feature that makes it easy to create groups where you and your team members can interact with shared messages and attachments. It works a bit like a private social media site.

All the standard compose tools are included but you can also add files from Zoho Docs, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and other services, as well as include tables in your messages. It also lets you create new notes and tasks, use keyboard shortcuts, enable filters for auto-management, set up vacation replies, and send custom domains to a master allow or block list.

All addresses end as @zohomail.com.

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Screenshot of a Tutanota email inbox
What We Like
  • Lets you encrypt email automatically

  • You can send encrypted emails to non-users

  • There are several domain options when making a new account

  • Requires a strong email password

What We Don't Like
  • Gives out just 1 GB of storage space

  • Some features can be used only with a paid account

Tutanota (Latin for "tuta nota", meaning "secure message") is similar to ProtonMail in that it automatically encrypts all your emails. However, you're welcome to disable end-to-end encryption if you'd like.

One of the first things that stand out is that you can't proceed with creating your account until you make a really secure password. Some places will urge you to make your password stronger but still accept it; Tutanota requires it.

The web interface is really easy to use and provides nice menu transitions that really bring together the mail folders and email settings. When sending messages to non-users, you can choose to make them password protected or to keep them unencrypted. If a password is chosen, the recipient will get a custom link to open the message, where they must enter the password to read and reply.

Probably the nicest feature about this is that when the user responds back to the one not using Tutanota, the messages are still contained within the temporary account. This means you can have back and forth communication with any other email service and they can keep the link open the whole time.

Even though it isn't as well known as Gmail, Yahoo, etc., Tutanota still lets you have an email signature, use up to 1 GB of storage, and automatically add emailed recipients as a new contact. Premium features can be had for a cost.

You can make an account with any of these domains: tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io, keemail.me.

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iCloud Mail

iCloud Mail
What We Like
  • Easy to set up for Apple users.

  • Makes unsubscribing from email lists really easy.

  • Includes 5 GB of free online storage.

  • Works from a computer or mobile device.

What We Don't Like
  • Works only for Apple users.

iCloud Mail is an interesting service because many people don't even realize that they're just a few steps away from having one. It's for this reason that it's one of the better providers: for most people, they can set it up in seconds.

However, iCloud Mail is only accessible to people with an Apple device, so while many people do have an iPad, iPhone, Mac, etc., not everybody does, so unlike the other services in this list, this one is very restrictive.

Once you've made an account, you can log in from a computer and access a suite of products in addition to your mail, like notes, reminders, photos, iCloud Drive content, contacts, calendar events, and anything else that's been synced to iCloud from your iOS device.

The email portion of iCloud isn't super advanced and probably won't serve you well if you want lots of options. However, it's very easy to set up for Apple device users without having to go through an often tedious process of adding your name, choosing a password, etc. All of this works well with your existing Apple ID.

You get 5 GB of free storage for emails and other iCloud files, IMAP support, forwarding options, large file attachment support (up to 5 GB via Mail Drop), and a two-click method to unsubscribe from unwanted emails.

All accounts end with @icloud.com.

See how to set up iCloud if you need help. Then, you can log in on a computer via your Apple ID and then open Mail to access iCloud Mail.

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10 Minute Mail

10 Minute Mail email service
What We Like
  • Gives you an address in seconds.

  • You can get an account without making a user account.

  • Dissolve automatically after 10 minutes.

What We Don't Like
  • There's a 10 minute limit for every account.

  • The addresses are too long to remember.

10 Minute Mail is by far one of the best email services if you need an email address right now, temporarily, and without having to go through all the typical user registration steps.

Just as the name suggests, it's not really a full-fledged email provider since it gives you an account for only 10 minutes. However, we've added it here because it's absolutely perfect for those times when you need a temporary email account.

Instead of providing the primary email that you use for everything else, plug in a disposable address from this site. You'll get emails just like you would with a regular account, but it's not tied to your identity at all, and when the time is up, you don't have to worry about closing the account, deleting the emails, or anything—just exit the page or let the time expire.

10 Minute Mail is perfect for those times you're just testing out a service and don't want to get emails in your regular Inbox. It's also useful if you're sharing your email address with someone you don't trust. It's a valid email account that you can get verification emails on and can reply from, but it disappears soon after.

Of course, you could use it for longer if you need to, but you'll have to use the button on the email page to reset the clock before the 10 minutes is up.

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