The Top Free POP and IMAP Email Services

Get web-based email using your favorite program

Many free webmail services offer POP or IMAP access, which lets you quickly and securely download your email to an email client, such as Outlook, Mail, or Thunderbird. We compared email services that support POP and IMAP, and then selected our favorites based on ease of use, compatibility, and features. Here are our picks for the six best free POP and IMAP email services.

IMAP and POP are email protocols that help you access your email. Email clients use a number of protocols to send and receive emails.

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Best Overall: Gmail

Gmail logo
S3studio / Getty Images
What We Like
  • Excellent malware and virus checks.

  • Very fast delivery time.

  • 15 GB of free online storage space.

  • iOS and Android apps.

What We Don't Like
  • Uses labels instead of folders.

  • No undelete option.

  • Hasn't increased free storage capacity since 2013.

Gmail is Google's approach to email and chat. Generous free online storage lets you collect your messages, and Gmail's simple-but-smart interface helps you find messages and see them in context without effort. Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read.

Gmail offers powerful access to its IMAP and POP mail servers, making it easy for you to access Gmail with an email client.

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Best for Business Users: Zoho Workplace

Zoho logo
Zoho Corp.
What We Like
  • View attachments without downloading them.

  • Chat capability with other Workplace users.

  • No advertisements.

  • 5 GB free on a personal account.

What We Don't Like
  • Mail rules are limited.

  • Free plan is limited to five users and web access only.

  • You'll need to pay for additional storage.

Zoho Workplace (formerly Zoho Mail) is a solid email service with ample storage and access using either POP or IMAP. There's also some helpful integration with instant messaging and online office suites.

Aimed at business users, Zoho Workplace is a helpful tool for organizing mail, identifying key messages and contacts, and sending often-used replies.

Enjoy a free account, or upgrade to a Standard ($3 per month) or Professional ($6 per month) account and gain additional storage and other features.

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Best for a Sleek Interface: home screen
What We Like
  • Clean user interface.

  • 15 GB of free email storage.

  • Add emojis and GIFs to messages.

  • Streamlined search functions.

What We Don't Like
  • Daily email sending limits.

  • Attachment file size limit of 34 MB.

  • Small compose window. is Microsoft's free webmail service. It's not as full-featured as Microsoft's paid services, such as Outlook for Microsoft 365 or Outlook 2019. Still, is a sleek, easy-to-use, and secure webmail service. offers both POP and IMAP access, so it's easy to add your account to a desktop email client.

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Best for Organization and Efficiency: Yahoo Mail

Yahoo! mail logo
What We Like
  • 1 TB online storage.

  • Attach or share files saved to any cloud storage service.

  • Block messages from specific senders.

  • Read, send, and organize email from all your email addresses.

  • Easily unsubscribe from junk email senders.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll need to purchase a Yahoo Mail Plus subscription for an ad-free experience.

Yahoo Mail is a streamlined, free email application that offers 1 TB of free storage. It's stable, responsive, and organized, with a variety of customization options and tools that aim to provide a clutter-free inbox.

Yahoo Mail supports both POP and IMAP, so it's easy to connect your email client to your Yahoo Mail account.

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Best for Customization: AOL Mail

AOL Mail

What We Like
  • Unlimited inbox storage.

  • Fast upload speed for large attachments up to 25 MB.

  • Auto-reply feature.

  • Easy to use and personalize.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to create alias accounts.

  • Saving drafts isn't automatic.

  • Can't import social media contacts.

AOL Mail is AOL's free web-based email service, which is noted for its unlimited online storage, solid spam protection, and sleek, easy-to-use interface. AOL Mail's multiple personalization options include keyboard shortcuts, panel removal, customizing views, folder organization, and much more. It's easy to use POP or IMAP to sync AOL Mail with your email client.

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Best for the Apple Universe: iCloud Mail

Selecting Mail at
What We Like
  • Accessible from Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.

  • No advertisements.

  • Free email address.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't access other email accounts.

  • Lengthy account setup process.

  • Not accessible via POP.

iCloud Mail is a free email service from Apple with ample storage, IMAP access, and an elegantly functional web application.

iCloud Mail's interface doesn't offer labels or other advanced tools for productivity and organizing mail, doesn't support accessing other email accounts, and isn't accessible via POP. Still, if you're in the Apple universe, a free iCloud Mail account is a handy tool to use with IMAP access.

When you create an iCloud Mail email address, access your iCloud Mail email via the Mail app on your iOS device, or via Outlook on a Windows 10 computer.

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