Windows Mail 6.0: Free Email Program

Email button image.
Checking your email regularly is an important part of winning. Image (c) barisonal / E+ / Getty Images

If it comes with Windows, it's stripped down or horrifyingly insecure. Or probably both!

Not with Windows Mail. Sure, Windows Mail is not a highly sophisticated email program with countless tools, options, tweaks, and gimmicks, but for the most part, it knows what counts and knows to do that well. POP, IMAP, and Windows Live Hotmail accounts are supported seamlessly.

Simple filters can apply some order to the incoming stream (it's a pity Windows Mail does not know how to apply free-form tags to messages, though), and decent protection against spam and phishing keeps the bad mail out of the Inbox. In addition, Windows Mail can display all mail in usually very secure plain text only. Should you ever want to go back to a message, Windows Mail helps you with a surprisingly fast and versatile search. Maybe it could offer links to related messages and people, too?

Finally, what counts when composing and sending mail? It's the creative expression, of course. With an editor that is not only comfortable but also lets you edit the HTML source and massive amounts of ready-made stationery available, Windows Mail is a winner in that respect. Just make sure the recipients appreciate emails full of colors and images.


  • Windows Mail lets you access POP, IMAP, and Windows Live Hotmail accounts.
  • Spam and phishing filters re-route and disable annoying or dangerous content in Windows Mail.
  • Windows Mail further protects your privacy by blocking remote content, and you can read mail using plain text only.
  • You can flag messages for later and search your folders fast using Windows's own index search.
  • Simple rules can automate some tasks in Windows Mail, like moving certain mail to particular folders.
  • Windows Mail lets you compose rich messages. You can even edit the HTML source directly.
  • Ready-made Windows Mail stationery can be used as a background for emails or starting point for your own creations.
  • You can read and post to Usenet newsgroups with Windows Mail, too.
  • Windows Mail supports Windows Vista.
What We Like
  • Windows Mail filters spam and phishing emails reliably (if not perfectly)

  • Rich editing and ready-made stationery make composing mail a fun activity in Windows Mail

  • Windows Mail helps you find emails fast

What We Don't Like
  • Windows Mail does not offer smart folders

  • Free-form labels to organize mail are missing, as are message templates

  • Windows Mail does not integrate RSS news feeds

The Bottom Line

Windows Mail is a fun and functional email program that keeps you relatively safe with spam and phishing filters while offering fast search and enough room for creativity, maybe based on ready-made stationery. Advanced filters or sophisticated tools that help you manage and reply to lots of mail missing from Windows Mail.