Outlook Express 6 - Free Email Program

Outlook Express
Outlook Express. Microsoft, Inc.

The Bottom Line

Outlook Express is a simple, easy to use and friendly email program that gets the job done while protecting your privacy and security. It lacks tools and features for heavy email users, though.

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  • Outlook Express is easy and fun to use
  • Flexible HTML editing and creative stationery lets you add pizzazz to your messages
  • Outlook Express has solid privacy and security features, supports digital IDs and S/MIME encryption


    • Outlook Express does not include a useful spam filter
    • Weak filters and no messages templates make Outlook Express less suited for handling lots of mail
    • Outlook Express's plain text editing capabilities, though present, are limited


    • Outlook Express manages multiple POP, IMAP, MSN and Hotmail accounts.
    • Lets you compose and receive rich HTML emails, create fancy and fun emails with stationery.
    • Outlook Express supports S/MIME-encrypted emails and TLS/SSL encryption for server connections.
    • Configured to block remote image downloads, Outlook Express protects your privacy.
    • A special mode makes Outlook Express show all mail in secure plain text only.
    • Potentially dangerous attachments are blocked by Outlook Express automatically.
    • Views allow the customization of mailbox displays to ease the handling of larger amounts of mail.
    • Outlook Express lets you create simple message rules for automatic incoming mail filing.
    • Outlook Express supports Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/3/XP.

    Guide Review - Outlook Express 6 - Free Email Program

    Outlook Express has come a long way from a security nightmare to a sane email client that protects your privacy and security, even by default. If you want to go for maximum security, you can switch to a text-only mode that disables all potentially harmful content thoroughly.

    Still, you can balance this security with Outlook Express' fun features.

    Support for HTML email is superb (you can even edit the HTML source directly) and the ability to use stationery can certainly be a reason to use Outlook Express. If your preferred format for email replies is to quote the text using indentation and reply immediately after a referenced passage, Outlook Express is sure to make you fail, however. Fortunately, that's not the only way to compose replies.

    The filtering system in Outlook Express is difficult to use but weak, and message templates are missing completely (unless you succeed at using stationery for that purpose). Outlook Express also lacks a built-in spam filter, but there are many third party tools and plug-ins that make up for that.

    While the lack of advanced features makes Outlook Express less apt for heavy users of email, it is a clean, fast, simple and pretty secure email client for everybody else.

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