Time to say goodbye: Windows Live Mail

A few years ago, I couldn’t have imagined giving up on Windows Live Mail. But in January 2017 Microsoft ended support for this much-loved program, leaving it susceptible to security vulnerabilities, so I decided to hunt for a replacement. If you make the same choice, this may help.


​The easy option is the Windows 10 Mail app. This offers a very modern look and a simple interface, which makes it easy to learn. Being an inherent part of Windows 10, it integrates well with Microsoft’s other apps such as Calendar and People. But its simple interface brings simple functionality: you can read and write emails, sort them by date or name, print or flag them or organise them into folders, but that’s about it.


​With an interface that’s familiar to Live Mail users, but with enough extra features to keep the most mail-addicted business user happy, this may be the obvious choice. That is, until you see the price. Outlook is only available as part of Microsoft Office, either in the Home and Business version, with a one-off price of £229.99 (RRP), or as part of the Office 365 subscription package with an RRP of £59.99/£79.99 (one/five users) a year. If you already use Office or if you want the extra functionality it’s probably worth it but otherwise you may want to consider alternatives.


​Often recommended in reviews of email clients is Thunderbird. Developed by Mozilla, who make the Firefox browser, its pedigree shows in its unique design using tabs to show your messages. Also like a browser, you can use Add-ons to extend its functionality or change its appearance. If you love tinkering with apps to get them just how you want them, it’s a good choice. But be warned, it has a much steeper learning curve than the others.


​If you only have one or two email addresses to manage, take a look at the free version of eM Client. Easy to set up, with the option to import your information directly from Live Mail. It’s similar enough to Live Mail, both visually and functionally, that it’s easy to find your way around, although it uses a classic toolbar rather than Microsoft’s ribbon. Nice touches are an automatic backup, the variety of colour themes, the “deduplicator” and the nifty conversation history sidebar.

​If Windows 10 Mail is too simple, Outlook too expensive and Thunderbird too different you may find that eM Client becomes your new favourite.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *