10 Best Free Email Accounts for 2021

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 some free services stand way above the rest. This article guides you through the best free email accounts and the features that make them great.

Never reveal personal information in your email address, such as your home address or phone number. It's common for email addresses 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.

01
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Gmail

Unread Gmail messages
What We Like
  • Includes private messaging features.

  • Excellent spam protection.

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

  • Integrates closely with other Google services.

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

It's probably not a surprise that Gmail tops this list of the best free email accounts. Google's free email service has a modern feel, is tightly integrated with the company's other services, and does a good job of blocking spam.

It has some other nifty features, too, such as the option to snooze emails for later, send and request money via Google Pay, schedule emails to be sent later, and read mail offline. You can also send emails that expire and require a unique code to open, store messages in a 15 GB vault, share files from your Drive account, undo sending messages, and set up vacation responses.

Now that Google Workspace is available to everyone, Gmail is more tightly integrated with Google's other products. Workspace lets you collaborate with people on projects or hold virtual meetings. It works with Meet's picture-in-picture feature, so you can see and hear people you're working with while composing a message or reading an email.

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

All addresses end in @gmail.com.

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02
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Outlook.com

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

  • Works closely with other Microsoft services.

  • Organizes mail automatically.

  • Multiple account aliases hide your actual email address.

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

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

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

Outlook supports mail rules, which means you can set new messages to move to a specified folder automatically, be categorized, flagged, or forwarded if certain conditions are met. You can also connect directly to Skype through your email and use add-ons such as PayPal and DocuSign.

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

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03
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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.

Yahoo Mail is notable because each new user gets 1 TB of free storage for email.

The compose window is similar to Gmail, but one helpful difference; it's easy to switch between inline image attachments and regular file attachments.

Yahoo Mail is probably the best email service when it comes to alternate identities or aliases. You can create up to 500 disposable addresses linked to your inbox without revealing your actual address. This feature is helpful when you sign up for accounts and don't want your regular inbox spammed or filled with useless email; delete the disposable address if the spam becomes too overwhelming.

You can also insert GIFs from a built-in GIF collection, use themes that change the background and color scheme of the website, and import contacts from a file on your computer and other accounts like Facebook or Outlook. You can also use a built-in notepad, attach files from Google Drive or Dropbox, access the online calendar app, and connect external accounts so you can use one interface to manage email.

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

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04
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AOL Mail

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

  • Selection 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.

  • Lots of ads.

  • Some features require a paid AOL Desktop Gold subscription.

AOL Mail is another free email account option. The main page includes top stories from AOL.com, which can be viewed as a pleasant addition or seem cluttered depending on your preferences.

Like most email providers, you can filter your messages to only show unread or read emails or flagged or unflagged messages. With AOL Mail, you can block mail senders and set up filters.

Your AOL.com account comes with a calendar and to-do list that are accessible from the inbox. However, some features, such as a chat room, require a paid AOL Desktop Gold subscription.

The IMAP and POP server settings no longer appear in the AOL settings, but if you need them to use your email with other clients, you can get them here:

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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05
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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.

  • Reminds you if the recipient doesn't respond after a specified number of days.

  • Includes a built-in translator.

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

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

  • All email accounts end in the same domain.

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

The interface is friendly. It's easy to read and provides a simple layout while still keeping all the necessary tools intact. Like most 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 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 is received and 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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06
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ProtonMail

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

  • Send encrypted emails to anyone, even if they don't use ProtonMail.

  • New accounts can end in one of two domains.

  • Choose when an email will expire.

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

  • Free account limited to 150 messages per day.

  • No vacation replies.

  • Supports only three folders.

The main difference between ProtonMail and the other email services is that this one is centered around email 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 an email to non-ProtonMail users, select that button first. If you encrypt a message, you can 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, like 1 to 6 days or 1 to 23 hours. If you message a non-ProtonMail user and don't define an expiration time, the message expires 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 need a ProtonMail account.

Another privacy-minded feature is Link Confirmation, which guards against phishing attacks by displaying a pop-up 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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07
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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.

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

  • It's primarily centered around business use.

Although Zoho Mail has a free email service, Zoho is an online suite of several apps centered around business use.

When composing a message, the first thing you might notice is the minimal design, 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.

The Streams feature 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 and 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 an allow or block list.

All addresses end as @zohomail.com.

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08
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Tutanota

A Tutanota email inbox
What We Like
  • Encrypts email automatically.

  • Send encrypted emails to non-users.

  • Several domain options for new accounts.

  • Requires a strong email password.

What We Don't Like
  • Includes 1 GB of storage space.

  • Some features require a paid account.

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

One thing that stands out is that you can't create your account until you make a secure password. Some places urge you to make your password stronger but still accept it: Tutanota requires it.

The web interface is straightforward and provides menu transitions that bring together the mail folders and email settings. When sending messages to non-users, you can make them password protected or keep them unencrypted. If a password is designated, the recipient gets a custom link to open the message; they must enter the password to read and reply.

The best feature is that when the user responds to an email not using Tutanota, the messages are still contained within the temporary account. You can have back and forth communication with any other email service, and the recipient can keep the link open the entire time.

Even though it isn't as well known as Gmail or Yahoo, Tutanota lets you have an email signature, use up to 1 GB of storage, and automatically add emailed recipients as new contacts. 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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09
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iCloud Mail

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

  • Unsubscribing from email lists is easy.

  • Includes 5 GB of free online storage.

  • Works from a computer or mobile device.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as advanced as some other providers.

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

iCloud Mail is free to anyone who signs up for an Apple ID but it isn't limited only to Apple products. Anyone can get a free iCloud ID and access iCloud Mail on their computer—even Windows 10 computers.

Once you make an account, you can log in from any 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 effortless to set up, and you don't have to go through a tedious process of adding your name and choosing a password. All of this works well with your existing Apple ID or a new free iCloud account.

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.

New iCloud accounts end with @icloud.com.

10
of 10

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.

  • Dissolves 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 one of the best email services if you need an email address right now, temporarily, and without going through the typical user registration steps.

As the name suggests, it's not a full-fledged email provider since it gives you an account for only 10 minutes. However, it is included here because it's perfect for whenever you need a temporary email account.

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

10 Minute Mail is perfect when you're testing a service and don't want to get emails in your regular inbox. It's also helpful when sharing your email address with someone you don't trust. It's a valid email account from which you can get verification emails and replies, but it disappears soon after.

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.

Tips for Choosing a Free Email Service

When choosing a free email account, 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, how you customize it, and what types of advanced features are included, such as messaging, filters, and the ability to import other data.

It's also probably important to you what your actual email address is. If your first choice doesn't give you the address you're looking for, move on to the next one on the list. Try different combinations and variations to find one that's not already taken. If you need help, 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 figure out your email address to avoid making a new account.

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