Apple Mail is a free, native email application that ships with every Mac, making it a solid default choice for most Mac users, especially those using iCloud only. Despite steady developments from the Apple stable, its email client hasn’t had a major design upgrade in years; it’s the same old-school design.
Email Client For Mac Free
Although it’s a good, full-featured and trouble-`
free app, it may lose out to third-party alternatives for Mac because it doesn’t do anything further to help you rethink email.
If you are looking to switch to a better email client, here are the best free and paid Apple Mail alternatives for Mac users.
Microsoft Hotmail was a very popular email service, but Microsoft discontinued it in favour of Outlook back in 2013, as a result it can be tricky to sync your Hotmail account with your Mac if you.
Related: 7 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Your Email Inbox
Spark is a free and impressive desktop email client for Mac that not only allows you to organize inboxes automatically, but also postpone emails and send one-click replies to your contacts.
Its Smart Inbox sorting feature uses buckets like Personal, Newsletters, and Notifications to bubble important messages at the top.
You can also schedule your emails like you would in Gmail at select times such as later today, in the evening, tomorrow, and more. Similarly, if you sent an email and didn’t receive a response for it, Spark nudges you with follow-up reminders just so you don’t forget.
The built-in Calendar tool comes in handy to help you organize your life.
For organizations, Spark for Teams is available as a collaborative email platform with unique features like collaborative composing and private commenting in small chat boxes. You can also invite teammates to collaborate and proofread your emails like in Google Sheets or Docs.
It also supports Yahoo, Google, iCloud, Outlook, Exchange, and IMAP accounts.
Why we like it
- Simple, clean, and modern interface
- Smart inbox is useful for organizing emails
- Supports multiple email accounts
What we don’t like
- Lacks support for many services
- Tech support may be slow
2. Mozilla Thunderbird
Thunderbird is a full-featured, open-source email client substitute for Apple Mail.
Besides letting you handle mail efficiently and filtering away spam or junk mail, Thunderbird is secure and functional, though it seems to be getting old. The application does get security updates, but other than that, it’s no longer in active development.
However, its email management service is secure, being a Mozilla project, but you may not get fancy features like those in other email client apps on this list. Either way, its still a simple, non-cluttered way of managing your email.
If all you want is a free email client to use with your Mac, Thunderbird is a good alternative. You may miss out on some cool features, but will still save on cost.
Thunderbird is highly extensible and has the feel of the classic Outlook with useful features like sending large attachments through cloud storage, tabbed email, and the ability to change its look and feel.
Why we like it
- Open source
- Easy configuration
- Flexible filtering
- Plenty of plugins available
What we don’t like
- No unified interface
- Not user friendly
- Rudimentary design
- Lacks modern email features
- Lacks in constant improvement and development
3. CloudMagic (Newton)
CloudMagic is a free app you can use with Mac, though it came on the platform after a successful go on Android and iOS platforms.
It’s simple, fast, and has a transparent, clutter-free interface, which is actually good if you have a consistent stream of emails from multiple accounts every day.
It supports Yahoo, Google Apps, iCloud, Gmail, Exchange and IMAP accounts, and you can get it from the Mac App Store.
Why we like it
- Supports multiple accounts
What we don’t like
- Lacks many modern email management features
Related: Eight Alternatives to Mailbox Email App on iOS
AirMail is a paid app that isn’t just pretty to look at but is also “lightning-fast” and doesn’t bog you down with lots of features.
Unlike Apple Mail, this app has Split Screen support for OS X El Capitan and the ability to compose in HTML or Markdown.
You can also organize your tasks into To-Do, which require action or follow-up, Memo, which are for a later date, or Done, which are marked as completed. Like Gmail, you can also Snooze your emails and view them later.
AirMail is available for about $10 in Mac App Store and supports iCloud, Yahoo, Google, Outlook, IMAP, AOL, POP, and Exchange. It also integrates with third-party apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Things, OmniFocus and more.
Why we like it
- Easy email management
- Intuitive interface
- Integrates with third-party apps
What we don’t like
- Lacks smart inbox feature
Postbox offers robust tools for more efficient email management and looks a lot better than Apple Mail.
Postbox lets you group your emails by topic, which is great with multiple email accounts. You can also divide your tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks for better organization.
Features like the pre-made responses make for easier and faster communication, though it lacks essential features like Send Later and Snooze.
The most unique feature is the Account Groups, which lets you combine your accounts into a unified box and separates or blends your work in an organized manner. There’s also a Focus Pane from which you can filter emails quickly to find what you want.
A nifty time tracker, which shows the length of time you took composing emails, and word count is included. And when you’re ready to hit send, domain fencing checks that you send emails to the appropriate recipients.
Postbox has a 30-day free trial and supports most popular email service providers and protocols like SMTP, POP3 and IMAP.
Why we like it
- Regular and consistent updates from developers
- Free trial available
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Integrated account management
- Simple interface
What we don’t like
- Pricey compared to other alternatives
- Interface may be cluttered
- Navigation is wanting
If you’re content and satisfied with Apple Mail, you can continue using it. However, if you want more from an email client, something more reliable, stable, and modern, then consider one of these five alternatives.
Do you use a third-party email client for Mac? Tell us about it in a comment below.
Times are changing for email on the Mac. As more people use universally available Web-based services as their primary email accounts, and as POP accounts from Internet providers gather dust, Mac email clients have begun to morph accordingly.
The new contenders focus less on powerful cataloging and search capabilities—most webmail accounts handle those tasks quite well already—and more on lightweight, go-anywhere access. The rise of the Mac App Store has made these clients more affordable and more similar to their iOS cousins.
Apple’s default Mail client remains firmly in the middle of the road. Its meat-and-potatoes feature set will work fine for most people, and it’s still my default email client—though mostly due to my own inertia.
If you’re hankering for something different, though, the latest crop of Mac mail clients has you covered. Better features? A sleeker interface? More raw power? Greater simplicity? Whatever you seek, you’ll find it on the App Store, and in this roundup.
Apple Mail 6
Mail 6 sports a small handful of new features, and much of what it does offer owes more to features introduced in Mountain Lion OS X than to anything specific to Mail itself.
Besides improving Safari’s ability to email webpages in various forms, and integrating Mountain Lion’s systemwide notification features, Mail 6 strengthens its predecessor’s already amped-up search powers. The Lion upgrade sharpened Mail’s ability to find messages across multiple mailboxes, but Mountain Lion enhances its ability to find words and phrases within individual messages.
The new VIP feature is more of a snooze. You can add people to or remove them from your roster of special senders only within individual messages, not from a message list itself. And the VIP feature can do little that Smart Mailboxes and mailbox rules couldn’t do already.
That said, Mail remains a dependable, pleasant workhorse of a client. And it’s among the few non-Microsoft mail programs that support Exchange email.
Full Review: Apple Mail 6 ()
If you like building things from scratch, Thunderbird may be your dream come true. This free, open-source client from Mozilla, makers of Firefox, lets you bolt various extensions onto the basic email client—or program your own extensions.
By default, Thunderbird is extremely bare-bones, with a last-decade interface and few of its rivals’ fancier features. Add-ons can help fill it out; but they are spotty and difficult to find, and they tend to favor obscure open-source services over more-popular options. I wasn’t impressed with Thunderbird’s security features, which sometimes didn’t flag dubious messages.
Thunderbird’s search, however, is outstanding, with clever filtering abilities and an appealing interface. I can’t believe that some wily rival hasn’t yet swiped the idea. Unfortunately, that excellent feature isn’t enough to persuade me to recommend Thunderbird as a whole.
Full Review: Mozilla Thunderbird ()
Freron MailMate 1.5
Gray, bland, and humorless, MailMate compensates for its lack of charm with astonishing efficiency and power. Like a trusted accountant, it may not be the life of the party, but it tackles complex jobs with grim relish.
MailMate’s decision to use text-based buttons instead of icons sacrifices visual flair in return for clarity and ease of use. It lacks the ornamentation of most other clients, but offers mind-boggling horsepower under the hood.
MailMate packs the most thorough search abilities I’ve seen in an email client. Sure, Gmail can find names or addresses, and it can add dates to your calendar. But can it sort messages by server domain, or by a prefix in their subject lines? Can it display statistics about your mail, based on these criteria? MailMate can.
I don’t know anyone who has been longing for these features, but I’m sure that such users exist. And for them, this proudly all-business app will be like manna from the email gods.
Full Review: MailMate 1.5 ()
Postbox starts with Apple Mail’s friendliness and ease of use, and then adds a host of why-didn’t-anyone-else-think-of-that features.
From its poise and polish, you’d never know that Postbox was built on Thunderbird’s framework. I liked its eye-pleasing interface, and especially its superb Inspector pane, which plucks links, dates, addresses, package tracking numbers, and more from the body of your message, and displays them for at-a-glance discovery.
Postbox’s designers have thoughtfully built in ways to tie the program to Gmail, Evernote, Dropbox, and even LinkedIn. And unique among the clients I’ve tested, Postbox lets you save precrafted email responses easily, and then deploy them with a few quick clicks. If you have to send out a lot of form email messages, this feature could spare your hands and wrists some serious repetitive stress.
Microsoft Office users, take note: Postbox does not support Exchange. But otherwise, anyone who has grown weary of Apple Mail's limitations will find Postbox, at just $10, an inexpensive and impressive step up.
Full Review: Postbox 3 ()
If you need access to your different email accounts in one place, or if you need a consistent interface in a many locations, try Inky. This beautifully designed, free client stores your account information—but not your message—securely in the cloud.
After you create an Inky account, the program will quickly set up your IMAP- or POP-based mailboxes. (IMAP messages may take a while to show up, but they’ll get there eventually.) Thenceforth, when you log in on that computer or anywhere else, Inky will have all your mail waiting for you.
The program also recognizes and categorizes different kinds of messages, from daily deals to social media notices, in custom views that you can switch on or off in its settings.
The only drawback of this otherwise sterling program is that Inky will periodically bug you to tell your friends about it. But considering how impressively it performs, you may want to spread the word anyway.
Full Review: Inky ()
Macsimize MailForge 3
Many fans of Eudora, the trusty email client, were crestfallen when Mac OS X Lion shut down support for PowerPC-based programs. Macsimize Software’s MailForge has resurrected Eudora in a new, Mountain Lion-friendly incarnation. Unfortunately, though it may be from the past, it’s anything but a blast.
From its chunky interface—the text formatting icons look disturbingly similar to the ones from the PC version of Microsoft Word—to its lack of modern conveniences (like automatic account setup, inline image display, and threaded messages), MailForge feels like a relic from a late and unlamented decade. It can import mail only from Eudora, and its ungainly search feature leaves much to be desired.
Eudora enthusiasts may see MailForge as the answer to their prayers. But if you lack any very strong nostalgia for the email clients of yore, you’ll find plenty of better and less expensive options out there.
Full Review: Macsimize MailForge 3 ()
Email Pro for Gmail, MailPop Pro for Gmail
These two lightweight Gmail-only clients—think of them as Web browsers that can navigate to only Gmail—offer basic functions at pocket-change prices. Both of them can display Gmail in a simplified mobile view or in a more complex desktop view. And both of them hang out in your menubar, as icons that summon pop-down windows.
To me, Email Pro seemed the better choice. It has a more colorful and intuitive interface, and it explicitly tells you when it is loading messages, instead of just showing a blank window. I also liked its ability to make Gmail my desktop background, persistently hanging out behind my other apps.
The relatively monochromatic MailPop Pro switches between its various views more easily than Email Pro does, and it offers more keyboard shortcuts. But it costs buck more, and has little else to distinguish it. Users who want convenient, no-frills access to Gmail without having to fire up a Web browser might as well stick with Email Pro instead.
Full Review: Email Pro for Gmail ()
Full Review: MailPop Pro for Gmail ()
Google liked this slender, appealing client so much that it bought the entire company. Even though its creators aren’t updating the client anymore, it’s still available on the Mac App Store (use at your own risk, since you won't be able to get much support). And its pleasantly clean and simple interface—strongly reminiscent of Inky, though Sparrow came first—has won the program more than a few fans.
All in all, Sparrow is an attractive choice for anyone who wants a convenient front-end app for Gmail. It won’t bog you down with features you don’t need, nor will it make you feel as if you were using some hastily engineered workaround.
Full Review: Sparrow 1.3.1 ()
Postcards from the future
If these clients don't seem quite right for you, keep your eyes peeled for two new Mac clients that are in development as of this writing.
Mailplane, a Gmail client that adds tighter integration with the Mac OS, is currently in beta for version 3.0. Among other new features, it will incorporate Gmail’s latest interface.
Best Hotmail Client For Mac
The mysterious Unibox promises “a whole new approach to email on the Mac.” The developer has been teasing prospective users by posting snippets of the client's crisp, swanky interface on its blog. At press time, Unibox’s creators still listed it as “coming in early 2013.”
Mac email users have a wider array of higher-quality, better-looking apps to choose from than ever before. Whatever you need email for, the odds are excellent that you’ll find a well-crafted option that delivers what you want.