Windows Email Clients for Beginners

If you're a beginner with email, choosing a Windows email client can be confusing. Many apps offer so much functionality that learning it all becomes overwhelming. In this case, less is more: Your best choice is a basic email client that's easy to use and offers a good help system. You should also look for strong security so you can make mistakes (and you should!), and good export functionality so you can switch easily when you need a more powerful program. Here are a few Windows email clients for beginners that fill the bill.



What We Like

  • Whimsical approach to messaging.

  • Plenty of free images to spruce up emails.

What We Don't Like

  • Wickedly unprofessional — an email program for Granny.

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

In a word, IncrediMail is fun. With an emphasis on a colorful, clever interface and graphic elements to add to your emails, IncrediMail makes creating attractive emails easy. Simple configuration helps your intro to email a pleasant experience. Bonus: A fast email search tool is painless and intuitive.

Windows Mail

Windows Mail

What We Like

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

  • Continuously improving.

What We Don't Like

  • Can be too bare-bones for complex mail management.

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

If you have Windows, you have Windows Mail—everything you need to begin your email life. Graphically, its interface looks a bit 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. In fact, if you've ever used Outlook Express, you'll find Mail very easy to use; it has replaced Outlook Express as Windows' default email client.


Classic AOL Logo
Classic AOL Logo. Wikimedia Commons

What We Like

  • Free and easy.

  • Offers all the basics without introducing unnecessarily complex features.

What We Don't Like

  • Future of AOL is uncertain.

  • Most seasoned emailers recoil from the domain.

The granddaddy of the bunch, AOL's email service has been evolving since AOL first offered online access in 1993 and issued the very first iconic "You've got mail!" notification. AOL email remains popular among those who appreciate the ease of use, good spam filters, and protection against viruses. Plus, you can choose a free AOL email address and store 25MB in photo and video attachments. It's often called AIM mail.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird Logo
Image copyright Mozilla Thunderbird

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

  • Can be too complicated for people new to email.

  • Not the prettiest program on the planet.

As with AOL, Mozilla Thunderbird offers you 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 interfaces of most browsers, Thunderbird's tabs will pose no learning curve at all.