Windows Email Clients for Beginners

These applications are the easiest to learn

If you're a Windows user just starting to learn about email, choosing the right application can be confusing. Many programs offer so much functionality that they can be overwhelming for beginners. That's why your best choice is a basic email client that's easy to use and that offers a good help system and strong security. You should also look for good export functionality so you can easily make the switch when you're ready for a more powerful program. Here are a few Windows email clients that match these criteria.

Tried and True: AOL

Classic AOL Logo

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

What We Like

  • Free and easy.

  • Offers all the basics without introducing complex features.

What We Don't Like

  • Future of AOL is uncertain.

  • Most seasoned emailers recoil from the AOL.com domain.

The granddaddy of the bunch, AOL email (also known as AIM mail) has been evolving since the company offered online access in 1993 and issued the first iconic "You've got mail!" notification. AOL email remains popular among those who appreciate its ease of use, good spam filters, and virus protection. Plus, you can choose a free AOL email address and store 25MB in photo and video attachments.

Windows' Default Email Client: Windows Mail

Windows Mail

Windows Mail

What We Like

  • Stock program in Windows 10, no need to download.

  • Continuously improving.

What We Don't Like

  • Too bare-bones for complex mail management.

  • Some features controlled at account level, instead of the application level.

If you have Windows, you have Windows Mail, which includes everything you need to begin your email life. Graphically, its interface looks more serious and businesslike than IncrediMail's but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. If you're used to the Windows ecosystem, Mail builds on what you already know to deliver a smooth experience. If you've ever used Outlook Express, you'll find Mail very easy, as it has replaced Outlook Express as Windows' default email client.

Attractive Messages: IncrediMail

Incredimail
Incredimail

What We Like

  • Whimsical approach to messaging.

  • Free images to spruce up emails.

What We Don't Like

  • Wickedly unprofessional.

  • Emphasis on imagery opens the door to viruses and malware.

In a word, IncrediMail is fun. With a colorful, clever interface and graphic elements to add to your emails, IncrediMail makes creating attractive messages easy. Simple configuration helps your introduction to email be a pleasant experience. As a bonus, its fast email search tool is painless and intuitive.

Familiar Interface: Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird logo

Mozilla

What We Like

  • Free, stand-alone email program, not a web interface.

  • Long track record of maintenance and feature development.

What We Don't Like

  • May be too complicated for some new to email.

  • Not the prettiest program on the planet.

Like AOL, Mozilla Thunderbird offers a free email address and easy setup. Its full feature set is packaged well enough to still be intuitive for beginners. Adding a new contact is as quick as clicking a star in an email you've received, and you're automatically reminded if your email references an attachment you've forgotten to include. If you're familiar with the tabbed interface of most browsers, Thunderbird's tabs will pose no learning curve at all.