In Review: Email Clients

Those of you who know me are probably aware that I’ve got lot of things on my plate. As such, email is a fairly important part of my life. I’ve been a loyal Thunderbird user for years now, but recently it has started to show its age (I’ll go into details later on). Given my recent issues with Thunderbird, I’ve spent the last few weeks playing around with virtually every email client I could get my hands on and thought I should share my findings.

All About Email

When I initially began writing this article, I wrote it from the point of view of someone who is fairly intimately familiar with the basic principles of email and its underlying terminology. However, as I delved deeper into the issues surrounding my requirements and the details of each client, I came to the realization that I was using terminology that some may not be so familiar with. As such, I thought it wise to take a step back and outline some of the more crucial points to understanding the annoying complexities of modern email.

For those of my readers who are familiar with how email works (and I’m not talking about the basic ‘hit the send button and it gets my mail’ type of how), please feel free to skip ahead. Everyone else… consider this section a crash-course in the fundamentals of modern email. This list is far from inclusive, but it should cover everything I talk about in the remainder of this article (as well as a few things I don’t).


Probably the one term that everyone is familiar with, but also the single most important term in the list. Simply put, email is one of the most popular forms of communication available today. While most general emails are plaintext, it is possible to send images, HTML content, and various other forms of data.


Authentication is a generalized term which refers to standards such as SenderID, SPF, and DomainKeys/DKIM through which a server can verify that an email is actually sent from the user and domain that are listed as the sender. Authentication standards are used to fight SPAM and email spoofing.

Bayesian Filter

A Bayesian filter is a type of filter which attempts to determine the probability that an inbound email is SPAM. Bayesian filters have the benefit of being adaptable in the sense that they are able to identify new patterns by analyzing incoming email.


A blacklist is a list containing email or IP addresses from which one does not want to receive email. Such lists can be server-side or client-side.


A bounce is a term used to define an email which does not reach its intended destination. There are two forms of bounces: hard bounces, and soft bounces. A hard bounce is a permanent failure. It can be caused by an invalid address or server, or a permanent rejection (such as a blacklisted response) from a server. A soft bounce is a temporary failure. Soft bounces are generally caused by unintentional issues such as network problems or a server overload.


DNS is an acronym which is not specific to email and stands for Domain Name Server. A Domain Name Server is sort of like the post office of the Internet; it takes a given domain name and translates it into an IP address that a computer can understand.


Domain Keys Identified Mail, often simply referred to as DomainKeys or DKIM, is a cryptographic authentication solution which adds a signature to emails allowing the recipient server to authenticate the sender information and verify that the message was not altered during transit.

Email Client

An email client is simply the software which a user uses to retrieve and read their email. Clients can be desktop or web-based, but generally follow a standard format through which users can read, write and reply to messages.

Email Header

The header of an email is generally not seen by the user, though it is always accessible. It contains the basic information regarding the sender of the message, as well as specific routing information.


A Fully Qualified Domain Name is a name consisting of both a hostname and domain name. For example, in my domain, the FQDN is ‘’. In this instance, ‘www’ is the hostname, ‘ghost1227′ is the second-level domain, and ‘com’ is the top-level domain.


HTML is the traditional acronym for HyperText Markup Language, perhaps the most commonly-used language for the creation of web content and email messages.


The Internet Message Access Protocol is one of the two predominant protocols through which email messages are retrieved. When emails are retrieved through IMAP, the emails remain on the remote server, making it the more versatile protocol.

IP Address

An IP (or Internet Protocol) address is a unique identifier assigned to each computer connected to the Internet. A traditional (IPv4) address is comprised of four numbers separated by periods. Each number is in the range of 0-255 and IPv4 allows a total of roughly 4.3 billion addresses. Recently, a new revision of the IP format has come out called IPv6. IPv6 addresses are comprised of eight, four-character hexadecimal sequences separated by colons. The new format allows 7.9×10^28 times more addresses than its predecessor, which is becoming increasingly important as IPv4 runs out of available addresses.


Plaintext is relatively self-explanatory… simply put, it is any textual content which includes no formatting.


POP, or Post Office Protocol, is the second protocol which can be used to retrieve email from a remote server. Unlike IMAP, POP stores messages on the local machine, and removes them from the remote server. This makes it less versatile, limiting the user to accessing their email through only one client.


A protocol is a set of rules which define how to transmit, receive, or store data.

Sender ID

Sender ID is an authentication protocol through which a server can verify that the IP address used to send an email is authorized to send on behalf of the listed domain.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, more commonly known as SMTP, is a protocol used to send email. It defines a set of rules regarding the interaction between the program sending the email and the program receiving it.


SPAM is the term used to define any form of unsolicited junk email.


SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is an authentication protocol used to identify messages sent with a forged ‘MAIL FROM’ address.


Spoofing is the act of falsifying the sender information to make it appear as if an email came from someone other than the actual sender. This is highly illegal.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a protocol suite which defines the rules by which computers communicate. Virtually all modern Internet communication is handled through TCP/IP.

My Requirements

I wish I could say I wasn’t picky, but over the years there are a number of things I’ve come to expect from an email client. Some are functional, some are purely cosmetic, but all of the items in the following list are what I consider ‘essential’ to a good email client.

Gmail Support

The vast majority of the email accounts I rely on are actually Google Apps accounts. By and large, I use Google Apps for a variety of reasons, but simplicity and reliability are definitely at the top of that list. Silly as it sounds, not all email clients support Google. More specifically… not all email clients support the IMAP mail protocol that is the preferred way of connecting Gmail and Google Apps accounts with a desktop (or third-party webmail) client.

Multiple Account Support

This also falls into the ‘it should be obvious’ category, but research has proven that not all clients do it well. However, despite narrowing down my active email addresses to just the three main ones, I’m still stuck with more than one address, so good multiple account support is a must.

HTML Support

Sadly, in my line of work, HTML emails are a fact of life. A few years ago, I used a purely text-based email client and absolutely loved it. In many areas, I’m a minimalist at heart; most of my development work is done in either Vim or SublimeText, I prefer using the command-line SCP (Secure Copy) to graphical FTP clients like Filezilla, etc. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time working with clients who rely on HTML email, and even use it on my own sites for system emails, so HTML email support is fairly crucial.


Given the amount of time I spend working with email, having a client which doesn’t fail me is obviously important. Despite the generalization that non-beta software is stable, this doesn’t always ring true. This is particularly evident in situations where an application is developed for one operating system, but in use on another. Even the difference between use on Windows 7 and Windows 8 can be significant enough to cause stability issues.

Filtering Support

I get a lot of emails. I mean hundreds, if not thousands, of emails every day that aren’t junk mail. Trying to sort through that many emails on a daily basis can be a daunting task, though this can be greatly alleviated through proper utilization of filters. Using filters makes it really simple to tell at a glance what is important and should be addressed immediately, and what can be put on the proverbial back-burner and dealt with at a later date or time.

Moving On…

I’m sure there are other things that I consider important, but that pretty much covers the basics. So, without further ado, let’s delve in to the clients I’ve reviewed thus far, starting with the one I’m currently using…

Thunderbird (Free/Open Source)

ThunderbirdThunderbird is the premier email client produced by the Mozilla Foundation. Its initial release was on December 7, 2004, and it has grown exponentially in popularity ever since. Unfortunately, Mozilla announced in 2012 that it was dropping the priority of Thunderbird development. Ever since, Thunderbird has operated on what is considered an ‘Extended Support Release’ cycle. What this means is that effectively, Thunderbird receives only security and maintenance updates, and features are no longer considered a priority for the development effort.

Despite this shift in focus, Thunderbird remains popular as a result of its extensibility and preexisting feature set. In addition to the basic functionality of the client (which is quite expansive), Thunderbird includes support for add-ons through their add-on store.


  • Massive native feature set including support for email, newsgroups, and various chat platforms
  • Robust message management support, including support for multiple accounts, advanced filtering, and labels
  • Quick and full-text search support for both individual accounts, and globally
  • Smart, adaptive junk mail filtering
  • Support for all standard mail protocols
  • Available on Windows, Mac, and UNIX
  • Open source


  • Natively, Thunderbird drops Gmail/Google Apps accounts in a folder labeled ‘[Gmail]’ rather than placing the included folders directly in the account root. One of my biggest pet peeves regarding Thunderbird, though there is an extension which rectifies it
  • Recent builds have felt increasingly unstable, resulting in frequent lockups and crashes as well as delays in sending/receiving messages. This is particularly noticable on Windows 8 for some reason
  • Perhaps the most glaring issue is the lack of stable builds for 64-bit versions of Windows. 64-bit builds are available for Mac and Linux, but Windows users are stuck using the nightly builds
  • Despite its long-standing status in the community, Mozilla has yet to solve some of the well-known memory issues in Thunderbird. As a result, it can be a bit of a memory hog

Opera Mail (Free/Closed Source)

Opera MailEven hard-core Opera users might be surprised to find out that Opera actually provides its own email client. In fact, for a long time it was integrated directly into their browser, although this is no longer the case. Regardless, Opera Mail is surprisingly well designed, and has all of the basic functionality you’d expect from a full-scale email client, with a few extra surprises thrown in for good measure.


  • Well designed, clean interface
  • Automagic filtering (Opera is one of the best clients I’ve found in terms of how it handles filters)
  • Smart tagging and junk mail filtering which learn by example
  • Supports all modern operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux)


  • Sadly, Opera doesn’t support secure signing or encryption at all
  • Some fairly important features are ‘hidden’, making it awkward for those not used to the Opera way of doing things
  • This may be specific to my installation, but I found that Opera was slower than most clients in terms of synching emails
  • eM Client ($49.95/Free Trial)

    eM ClientWhile it isn’t free, eM Client is an excellent option in terms of overall functionality and, especially, speed. Of all the clients I tested, eM Client had the fastest synchronization downloading roughly 30 emails a second. It also had perhaps the best interface of any client I tested, allowing the user to select skins to tailor their experience. The included skins range from a traditional feel reminiscent of Thunderbird, through a more modern, metro-inspired skin that fits in well on Windows 8. Beyond the basics, eM Client features an extensive array of message management features which make it a pleasure to use, maybe even worth the expense for some users.


    • Clean, modern interface
    • Exceedingly easy to use, perhaps the easiest configuration of any client I tested
    • Remarkably fast
    • Tiny memory footprint
    • One of the only clients that actually features a Windows 8 build
    • Actually handles Gmail accounts well, creating folders in the main account folder rather than hiding them away like Thunderbird does


  • Only supports Windows
  • No 64-bit builds
  • Commercial model might make it a no-go for some users
  • Free trial limits the number of accounts a user can connect
  • Despite detecting and auto-configuring Gmail account, it tends to lock up while synching large numbers of emails (this makes it a no-go for me)
  • Mailbird ($9 Per Year/Free Lite Version)

    MailbirdMailbird just might be the most revolutionary client I’ve come across. Sadly, as is often the case, revolutionary doesn’t necessarily mean good. The Mailbird interface is a refreshing break from the ordinary in terms of overall appearance. It’s slick, compact, and relatively functional, but lacks some fairly basic functionality.

    Probably its most annoying issue is the lack of good multi-account support. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t support multiple accounts, just that the implementation feels like more of an afterthought than a feature. When you add a second account, the main inbox icon becomes a sort of graphical dropdown, allowing you to select which account you want to view. The main inbox count lists the combined total for all accounts, and an option is added to allow the dropdown to remain extended allowing you to quickly switch between accounts. Beyond that, there’s minimal multi-account functionality, which makes the client awkward for those of us trying to juggle more than one or two accounts.


    • Lightweight (perhaps the smallest filesize of any client I tested)
    • Unique, compact interface
    • Full support for all common mail protocols
    • Simple account setup (very similar to the eM Client setup)


    • Commercial model makes it a less-viable option for some users, particularly give that it is a yearly fee
    • Unique, compact interface (yes, that’s both a pro and con)
    • Lack of good multi-account support
    • Only supports Windows
    • No 64-bit support

    Postbox ($9.95/Free Trial)

    PostboxAt a glance, Postbox will feel very familiar to Thunderbird users… and with good reason; Postbox is actually built on the Thunderbird codebase. As such, it has a lot of similar qualities to its fore-bearer. Similar to Thunderbird, Postbox supports add-ons, although Thunderbird add-ons don’t work natively with it. It tends to be a bit faster than Thunderbird overall, but beyond that still suffers from many of the same shortcomings. Most notably is how it handles Gmail, creating the annoying ‘[Gmail]’ folder I mentioned earlier.


    • Clean interface (though not quite as flexible as some other clients)
    • Add-on support (for the record, there aren’t many add-ons available at the moment)
    • Fast
    • Support for all major email protocols
    • Probably the best search function of any client I tested
    • Intelligent grouping


    • Commercial model makes it a less-viable option for some users
    • Suffers from the same poor handling of Gmail that Thunderbird does
    • Only supports Windows and Mac OSX
    • No 64-bit support (noticing a pattern anyone?)

    The Verdict

    I know that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’ve actually tested several clients that aren’t included in this list, most notably Claws Mail, Inky, and Alto. Claws felt a bit outdated and clunky, Inky wouldn’t even install, and Alto, while an excellent web client, just did things in a way I couldn’t adjust to.

    The two obvious clients left out of this review were omitted intentionally. Outlook and Microsoft Mail fall into a category I simply can’t get behind. I can’t abide Microsoft in any way, shape or form. I use Windows on certain machines out of necessity, but refuse to use their mail clients. Even if I could be convinced to try them, previous experience has shown that they suffer from flaws which will never likely permit them to supersede the cheaper options I’m already using.

    Each of the clients I reviewed definitely had its benefits, but none of them felt ‘right’ to me. In the future, I can see eM Client and Postbox gaining a significant market share, if not taking over the spot currently held by Thunderbird. In fact, if a few minor issues were resolved, I’d be more than happy to spend the money on either of those two options.

    Of all the clients I tried, eM Client was by far my favorite, and if it didn’t tend to fail on synching Gmail accounts I’d switch in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, it does still suffer from this fatal flaw, so for the meantime I’m going to have to stick with Thunderbird.

    Think you know an email client I haven’t tried yet? Feel free to let me know! I’d love it if someone can find a game-changer for me, but at the moment I don’t see that happening.


    1. This is a wonderful writeup, thanks. I used Pine/Alpine for about 15 years, and was forced into Thunderbird when a job required gmail. Now I use Thunderbird all the time, but I’ve wondered what other options are out there.

      Do you use any kind of encryption? I’ve been a gpg guy forever, so that’s one of my requirements, and it’s hard to find clients these days that support it.

      • I do use gpg on occasion, but I’ll admit I don’t put as much emphasis on it as I should. That said, the only clients I reviewed that support gpg (or at least the only ones that advertise that they do) are Thunderbird and Postbox.
      • Oh, one thing I didn’t mention was the particular cli email client i used. I was a big fan of Mutt personally… and it does support gmail and gpg. So if that was your only reason for switching from cli, there’s a great way to get back to it!
    2. I could never get into mutt. :) I tried. I had used Pine for many years before that, and I just couldn’t get the hang of it.

      I switched away from Alpine because I had to have gmail support for work. Alpine does it, but it’s ugly.

    3. Heya, this looks pretty exciting:

      A lot of really nice features that can run on your own server someplace and take some requirements out of the client.

    4. Think of POP as copying files from a server to your computer and working with them on your hard drive. Think of IMAP as connecting to a remote server and working with the files saved there.
      • THANK YOU Avery V.Munoz for this simple, yet ever-so effective description. While I am struggling to choose an email client or both work and personal, a “unified inbox” so to speak, I’ve been trying to interpret the differences/benefits between both IMAP and POP3, and why certain email domains only offer one or the other, and some offer both.
        So glad I came across this article, and of course, your comment.

        Thanks again,

    5. Interesting read.
      I stopped using local clients for my emails and now just use the gmail web interface ( with a few plugins to remove the ads etc) and have all my other email accounts being imported into gmail. So i guess technically my “client” is gmail?
      • Technically, yes. in your case I’d say your client is Gmail. Unfortunately, I insist on keeping my two work emails and my personal email separate, so that model doesn’t work for me.
    6. I switched to em client recently, I’ve been loving it (especially since the latest version has exchange support). I went ahead and bought the full version with lifetime updates. I don’t use gmail with it though (I switched to fastmail a while back), it works perfectly with my fastmail and exchange accounts so far.

      I haven’t had the crashing/stability issues with thunderbird that you described, but I dislike thunderbid’s interface quite a bit (a lot of waste space IMO).

      I tried postbox, but found it to be pretty sluggish compared to other clients, even on my high end gaming machine. Its based on an ancient version of thunderbird and it shows. The interface is very nice though.

      I’ve never tried opera mail and mailbird though. Mailbird’s lack of proper multi account support would definitely be a no go for me, as would opera mail’s lack of encryption.

      • Brandon,

        Thanks for sharing this experience. I was Mac user and I use Apple Mail application and I was able to tame it to my will, with the use of plug-ins and customization. I was heavily an icloud user for my contacts and calendar plus my various business/company accounts. Recently, I bought a Surface Pro 3. This is the first time that I will be using Windows as part of my computing ecosystem and I was looking for something will allows me to port my data and make it accessible in Windows. I was using Postbox 3 for 2 weeks now. Although it works fine, I found the performance not to be on par with Apple mail (both on my iMac and MBP) and some of the mail doesn’t sync properly. Another problem is that I was using Zindus (plugin) which at the end of its development. I was reading this blog and based on the review above, and the various experience that user shared on this comment section, I think I was leaning to use emclient. I think it will be a big plus if I will be able to access my icloud contacts and calendar, and make it the hub for my PIM.

        The skype integratation is also a huge plus. I was a heavy skype user and the ability for a PIM client like emclient to works side by side with this is a huge plus. It looks like that this app is actively developed.


    7. I’d like to add postbox is the best client out there. It has best performance with huge inboxes with huge attachments. Also the conversation view it has is unmatched. But sadly the you can’t get any response from developers, and they release a maintenance release once in a while. Still no proper gmail calendar integration.

      EmClient on the other hand looks great, you can sync google calendar, tasks, and contacts from it, this is a huge plus, and I’ve been unable to find another client like this. But it doesn’t support conversation views yet, also has some quirks about connection and imap in general. But it is still usable.

      If postbox featured full google integration, it would be a clear winner for me.

      • I might actually agree with you. Postbox is slick! I can only hope that it improves with age!
      • CraigT
        You have mirrored my feelings about existing email clients exactly, Dan. Now can someone go and write a decent, up to date and flexible client. I use both eM Client (free version) and Postbox (paid version) and I desperately require features such as multiple copies of a template at once, delayed or timed sending, and universal backup and archiving. It would be great to find all of this in one client. Its funny how one of the oldest and most used applications is also possibly the most neglected!
      • CraigT, dealyed and times sending, e-mail tracking, email templates – all those feauters are coverd by gmail web interface with two or free plugins like f.e. boomerang and signals. Honestly I’ve tried to find a desktop client which is fully integrated with all gmail functionality but it does not exist. The only think I am really miss is offline access to my emails. There are two solutions for offline, one is gmail offline for chrome which stores emails from the last month only, the other one is to use some light weight email client for those seldom moments when you need to access your emails while offline. MS Outlook plus Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook works almost perfect with Google apps for business – emails, calendars, tasks are synced.
    8. Thank you for your reviews. I have found them to be very helpful. One suggested email client you might want to try is Intellect from Chaos Software.
    9. Andrew Bushnell Reply to Andrew
      I too use both em Client and Thunderbird. I have always liked Thunderbird, but one question I have is how do you deal with contact synchronization between your google contacts and your local THunderbird address book?
    10. Mutt, definitely my preferred choice when I can, as I’m able to just stay in a shell and work. Thunderbird is the only email client I use anymore, even though it is a memory hog, it just works. (also cross platform compatible doesn’t hurt, but I’m using Linux 99.9% of the time anyway). If you want a pretty good email client for just windows, take a look at Becky. When I was forced to use windows, this was actually a decent mail client.
    11. Lauren Weed Reply to Lauren
      Thanks for your reviews on these email clients, it is very helpful specially for those who are looking for outlook alternative. I would like to recommend another email client Banckle.Email that also provides good email service and also available in cloud so users can build their own email system with many features they offer. You should check out this email service i hope you will find it useful.
    12. Thanks for the useful reviews. I too dislike all web clients I’ve seen. I’ve been using Postbox for about three years. You omit a huge con: Postbox development has totally stopped. They are not even fixing horrible bugs, like crashes that take tens of minutes to recover from (no lost data though), major editing glitches, etc. It’s cheap at $10 unless you place any value on your time.

      When I started using PB (and was happy to pay the $30 price), it appeared that development was proceeding apace and that many of the gaps would eventually be filled. For example, with their targeting the Eudora interface, implementing Eudora’s alt-click grouping would have been a natural. However, within a few months it was obvious that the team had disbanded, and cut the price by 2/3 just to try to get something back on their investment. To add insult to injury, they even shut down the user forum on their site, doing so with no warning and no opportunity for anyone else to set up a PB user forum. (There’s a mailing list on Yahoo, but very few users learned about it due to the abrupt shutdown.)

      The PB crash reporter dutifully sends off information at every crash. I never hear from PB. I think the last release was a couple of years ago.

      I really am angry. I understand the difficulty of making a living selling software in a day and age when people expect software to be free or almost so and often get good software for no money (but don’t realize they are paying for it with their time, as with web-based email). But I feel PB-inc acted deceptively in shutting down development with no warning to the users. They just abandoned their users. They did not even do us the courtesy of telling us they were shutting down, or giving us the opportunity to start an independent PB community. And this from developers who touted their Mozilla credentials.

      I just today discovered eMclient, found your reviews as a result, and may very well be using it soon. That it appears to be under active development is important to me. I am in a position to change clients fairly easily when I find one with the right feature set, reliability, and support. When I got off Eudora about three years ago, I went to all IMAP using Sieve (on the Fastmail server) for my filtering. Even PB’s local folders are standard (interchangeable with Thunderbird). So at least I don’t expect the next change to be nearly as painful as getting off Eudora — which wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been with other clients.


    13. Em Client has a lot of positives. It auto-configures accounts at least as well as TB does, although while both programs seem to have all the best known email providers in their config databases they both ALSO have a few that the other doesn’t. It has the most old-school UI of any client I’ve seen, thank heaven. It has a nice calendar built in. Heck, it even supports chat programs including those on social network!. The major problems I’ve had with EM Client are:

      * Won’t sync with a Gmail calendar. You can tweak, struggle, beg and cry and you’ll never get it working (at least I never could).
      * UI doesn’t fully maintain your customizations. It will keep your sidebars and the features you’ve enabled on them visible but window sizes and positioning are gone as soon as you exit the program :(
      * Constant intermittent failing to connect with servers. Seriously, its as bad as Outlook in this regard.

      Other issues that have kept EM Client from entering the mainstream:

      * Much too expensive for typical consumes. $50 on average, and I think that *might* be a yearly license.
      * German developers are not easy to interact with. There little if any support so far as I can see and most of it is in German.
      * The free version supports only two email accounts which makes testing with multiple services unduly painful for those most likely to buy – i.e. heavy email users.
      * Extremely limited import/export capability for other email programs.
      * There is exactly one plugin available from the integrated repository. If there are more somewhere I’ve no idea how to find them…Google has proved fruitless. No doubt the limitations of the free version and steep price of going registered have killed any interest in third party development. This is a shame because EM Client has tremendous potential. They really need to slash the price to $10 for a year of upgrades and support – interest would explode.

    14. Sue Fourmet Reply to Sue
      Great reviews! I have just started playing with Opera Mail and don’t think that I’ve found those “fairly important features are ‘hidden’,” that you mentioned on the “Con” side for Opera Mail. Can you provide any clues to what those features are, or where one might find out more information about them?
      Thanks again for the reviews.
      • dgriffiths
        Hey Sue! I’d have to re-review Opera Mail again to remind myself! Out of site out of mind I guess. I’ll take another look at it shortly and see if I can remind myself what I was talking about.
      • Sue Fourmet
        Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I’m looking for things like “sending attachments inline” and allowing remote images. I used to be able to use “config” in other clients, but I can’t find any way to access that part of Opera Mail.
      • Dan Griffiths
        Not sure about the inline attachments issue, but remote images can be activated by following the instructions here.
      • Sue Fourmet
        Thanks, I’ll give it a try.
    15. John Domogalla Reply to John
      Thunderbird versions after 26.6 on Windows 8 suffer from blank screens for the inbox, fonts in tab titles unreadable, and can’t add an account because add-account menu item does nothing. 64 bit and 32bit builds act the same.
      An update manager loads up the latest versions with out asking which then don’t work. If the manager is not installed then impossible, regardless of option settings, to keep the Thunderbird from popping up an update box on startup which, if you make a mistake and say yes, updates to the latest non functional version.
      I’ve tried a lot of newer versions and read a lot of WEB links.
      I’m very appreciative of what Mozilla is trying to do, but pragmatically they seem to be wasting my time and theirs coming up with update after update without fixing the real problems.

      If you like computer maintenance at unexpected intervals caused by update mania, version 24.6 is a real nice program and dependable client. Would advise against installing it on your wife’s computer.

      Thank you for this site Ghost.

    16. Captain Scarlet Reply to Captain
      JD Windows 8 seems to have some compatibility problems as TB works fine for me on W7x64. Still if you are lumbered with 8 that is no consolation! We can but hope that W10 will be a better OS than 8 – I did try 8 and then went back to 7. It is probably too much to hope that a free email program will ever be perfect, I used to use Pocomail and my parents still do use that on W7 but there isn’t much else, and I am not a fan of Outlook or any of the other programs I have tried. I see Pegasus is still going, that is one I did battle with for a while.
    17. I am using TheBat with an IMAP fastmail account. I have around 10 years worth of emails (2 gb total) fully synced locally. I have found no software (I tried thunderbird, outlook, emclient, mailbird etc) that does everything I need, except for TheBat:

      – syncing my 50 folders, fast. Outlook is extremely slow, it takes about 5 minutes to sync all folders which is a joke. Outlook locks up with regularity while syncing. TheBat syncs them in about 45 seconds, every 15 minutes.
      – allowing me to use identities
      – allowing me to use a ruleset to automatically select an identify depending on TO/FROM/Subject etc of the email I currently have selected. TheBat offers a powerful scripting language here.
      – fast search. Thunderbirds search was horrific in speed, same for Postbox.
      – stable software, no crashes. Again, Thunderbird and also Outlook locked up on me regularly.
      – offers smart folders/filters (Mailbird doesn’t which is a major flaw)

      TheBat is not pretty looking, it has a very steep learning curve, its not easy to setup. It took me days to get it to do what I want but I would never go back to anything else. I still smile whenever I see it sync in not even a minute, knowing that there are thousands out there suffering with Outlook.

      Oh, my TheBat application occupies 42.2 mb of memory right now as I type this. Thunderbird used to hog 400 mb.

      I think I paid about $50 for the software. The developers are from Moldavia (an ex Soviet republic), but they offer an English speaking support forum. I have never contacted them for support so I have no idea how helpful they are. They offer a 30 day test version so test diligently before you purchase.

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