Choosing the right email client for yourself or your business is a balancing act – balancing cost against functionality, ease of use against capability…the choice is never quite straightforward. Here then is our handy guide, which you may find useful, especially if you’re running a small business, perhaps on a tight budget. Last year for the Starjammer Bulletin, I listed some of the best or most convenient email clients out there right now (see Starjammer Bulletin’s Guide to Choosing an Email Client for more on this).
Now that you might have a more clear idea of which one you want to choose, we’re going to run through all three of these email clients from start to finish, talking about setting them all up and getting yourself started so you can get on with the important stuff!
Downloading, installing and running your client of choice
First things first. Downloading the client application itself. If you’re a Windows 10 user, then the Windows Mail app is already pre-installed, but the other two won’t be, so here’s how you get them:
Head over to http://www.emclient.com/ and you’ll be greeted front and centre with the download button you need to get started, so click that button!
Once that’s finished downloading, run the installer which greets you with this screen:
Once you’ve agreed to the terms you’ll just have to click install and away it goes. Once that’s done it will give you the completion screen including a few options:
You’re probably going to want to leave these all ticked if you’re intending to use this as your main email client. It will do some basic things to make sure the operating system knows this is what you want to use for emails by default in the future as well as running the program on startup so it can be checking for new emails in the background for you while you do other things.
Navigate to https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/thunderbird/ and you’ll see a not too dissimilar screen to that of the other website, hit that download button and let’s get started!
With the download done, run the installer and you’ll reach this screen:
Click the next button a couple of times and then install button, once that’s done you’ll get a completion screen like this:
Then you can click finish and you’re done!
As we said earlier, this should already be installed on Windows 10. If its not, however, you can go to the Microsoft store and download it for free here.
Reaching the page or clicking the “Get the app” button then asks you if you want to open it in the Windows Store. Do that, and then click the Install button.
If it’s already install, which it most likely is, or if you just installed it now, you should now be able to find it by pressing the Start button and simply typing “Mail”:
Or, if that somehow fails to work, you can go and find it in the apps list in the start menu and scroll down to M to find it:
Setting Up Your Mailbox
Now that we have one them installed and ready to go, let’s open them up and set up your client to work with your current email address. Now, while each client has a slightly different approach to its setup, all of them will require some basic information that you can get from wherever you have your email address hosted, be it with Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.
The info you’re going to need is the following:
- 1. Your username and email address.
2. Your password.
3. The address of your Incoming mail server.
4. The address of your Outgoing mail server.
These details should be fairly easy to find – if not, you may need to contact your provider’s help desk for the email host you’re with in order to help you out here.
Now that you’ve got that info and are ready to go, let’s dive in!
You’ll notice that once you’ve installed and run eM Client for the first time, it’s going to assume that you want to set up your account and give you a window straight a way in order to do that as easily as possible:
All you need to do here is type in your email address, eM Client will most likely do most of the rest of the heavy lifting for you with some sensible default settings and then you’ll be looking at a screen like this:
Most of the popular email providers such as Gmail and Outlook will turn out looking something like this. All you need to do is click the next and then the finish buttons and you’re almost done!
Once you click finish on one of these, it will open a browser window requesting access to the account you’ve just typed it, at which point you can link your account directly with eM Client for a smooth and simple setup experience.
Gmail for example asks you to choose the account you’re logging in to the client with and then asks you to allow the permissions for it to access the data it needs to continue:
Once you’ve allowed this you’ll be greeted with a final page that shows it’s all done setting up, and there you have your basic email all working in the client, hurrah!
Once Thunderbird is installed and you run it, you’ll get a Welcome screen like this:
If you don’t already have an email address, then the main part of this screen is a handy way to get started if you’re so inclined. In our case though, we’re going to assume that you already have an email address and are just looking to set up the client to use with it, so click the button near the bottom of the window that says “Skip this and use my existing email”.
Next you’ll be taken to the basic account setup screen:
Type in your details here for your name, email address, and password, then click continue and Thunderbird will check to see if it can easily get your email server’s settings to save you any more hassle, with Gmail for example you’ll get something like this show up:
At this point you have a choice between IMAP or POP3, the main difference being that POP3 stores a copy of your emails locally which can be handy for the backing up or reference of emails in the future, or when you are without an internet connection. IMAP works almost entirely on the server and you’re just using the client to view the emails and perform actions on them remotely.
This is going to be a personal preference for you, but in most cases IMAP will be the easier option and will be selected by default also. Also, keep in mind that not all email hosts have both options, so it’s best to check first as to which is the best or only option for you. If in doubt, POP3 is usually the safe option if you don’t think your host supports IMAP.
You will then also have a window pop up that will ask you to login to your email account if it’s an IMAP setup:
Once you’re done logging in it will ask to confirm you want to allow the app the permissions it needs to access your emails:
Click allow and you should now be all set.
When you open up the Windows Mail client, you’re going to want to add a new email account, so on the left side click the “Accounts” section:
And then on the right side that shows up after that click “+ Add account”:
This will then bring up a window that asks you to choose an account from a list of easy preset popular email hosts. We’re going to pick Google in this case to run through setting up a Gmail account:
This will now take you through logging into your Gmail account in order to get it all linked up to the app:
Once you’re signed in it will then ask you to confirm allowing access to the data it needs to manage your emails. Click allow to continue, and you should be ready to go.
Your account will now appear under the Accounts section on the left sidebar, and you can click to go to your inbox and all the other folders will be listed underneath.
Once you’re up and running send a couple of test emails to a friend and yourself. All of these email clients have a decent help menu and are well written. Setting up folders and signatures in all of these clients is almost intuitive. If you can use Windows 10 effectively, then these clients will be just as easy to use and should give you very little trouble indeed. Also, how you maintain your mailbox is equally as important.
Clients such as Thunderbird can be trained to recognise Spam email via its own filter, and is very effective at dealing with the problem if you train it with example spam emails. eM Client on the other hand doesn’t have a spam filter, but if you move dodgy emails to the junk folder, these can be handled server side so they are equally well managed. Windows Mail also doesn’t have a spam filter, but this can be set up in Outlook if you have it. An alternative is to use an external spam filter. Spamfighter.com is particularly effective and can be used by any of the clients mentioned here.