Favorite Email Client?

I’ve been having some issues with Apple Mail app on my 2019 MacBook Pro that I believe are mostly related to gmail. Mail has been ripping through my battery, depleting it in about an hour! So to that end, I decided to switch clients, from Apple Mail to Airmail 4. Unfortunately, Airmail 4 is pretty damned buggy, though I do like the feature set.

So now I’m looking for recommendations for other email clients for my 4 iCloud, 1 Yahoo, 2 Google, 1 Microsoft Outlook, and 1 personal server email accounts. :flushed:

I’ve heard that people like Spark, but years ago when I tried it, it wasn’t for me. I’ve also heard about Mailmate, but don’t know much about it. It would be great if there was also an iOS client as well.

What’s your favorite Mac email client? What do you love & hate about it?


Mailmate. It’s not beautiful (which doesn’t bother me) but it is very powerful (which I love).

It comes with a 30-day trial.

(Remember trials? Those things that Apple doesn’t think people can comprehend.)

If I had to use one mail app, it would unquestionably be MailMate.


Also voting for MailMate. There is no iOS version, but there are two iOS apps which hold similar appeal, as I wrote a few months ago:

However, note that they might be overkill if your email needs aren’t all that extensive.

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Are you currently using it? Which of its many features do you use the most?

Most of the time, I just use web-mail from my various mail providers (Google, Yahoo, Mail.com and (rarely) my ISP).

When I want to use an app on my Mac, I use Mozilla Thunderbird. It is not very Mac-like, but it is cross-platform, in the sense that it pretty much looks and feels the same on macOS, Linux and Windows.

As someone who uses all three platforms on a regular basis, consistency across them all is more important to me than conforming to any particular platform’s UI paradigm.

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I am, and have been using it for several years.

Using Mailmate is somewhat like what it used to be to use a Mac back when everyone else was using Windows. There are some specifics that you can point to, but really it’s the experience as a whole that makes it better.

I use the Markdown-to-HTML all the time to send out nicely formatted Zoom invitations and other formatted emails. I much prefer Markdown to having to use toolbar buttons or even keyboard shortcuts.

I use the keyboard shortcuts to easily file mail messages. I find the search to be every bit as good and fast as Gmail. But mostly it’s so solid and reliable that I never think about it, which is my favorite feature, and I can’t think of something that I wish an email app could do that it does not do.


I used to use Thunderbird because it was the only mail application that worked like Eudora. However, a few years back Apple blocked T-bird from accessing my Dot Mac email so I’ve ended up having to use GMail in a web browser to get all of my different email accounts in one place. I tried using Mail.app when it first came out and periodically since then but hate it. Since my GMail account is supplied by my ISP, when I move I’ll lose it and then be forced to use Mail.app to get my Dot Mac email, and Thunderbird to get any other accounts (like my almost 32-year old AOL account).

been looking at this myself. Tried Spark and Tbird for a few hours. Both were lackluster and neither could import my Mac Mail mbox in my archive.
Mac Mail is good, but the search is weak.

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I just installed Postbox, and was really liking it until I realized that it doesn’t work with SpamSieve, like I thought it did. I have years of spam messages in SpamSieve’s corpus. But, Postbox does have it’s own built-in spam filter, though I’d have to train it, which isn’t necessarily something that I want to do.

One positive about it, is that if I do use Postbox, I can now use Spotlight (and other apps) to search my email again, instead of just using Apple Mail.

Another negative, there’s no easy way that I see, to move or achieve email into DEVONthink.

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And still a risk of losing email content if you upgrade to Catalina.

Apple only required users to obtain an app-specific password in order to access their accounts with Thunderbird, etc. https://support.apple.com/HT204397

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Been there, done that, no t-shirt.

It’s been several years so maybe I’ll try again.

Spark on iPhone/iPad, Outlook on Mac.
On Mac - I first migrated from mail to Spark but then it became buggy so I moved on to Outlook. I liked Spark more but it was just not stable enough.

Similarly, access to Gmail from Thunderbird also requires you to “enable access for less secure apps”.

I’ve used Thunderbird forever, with several gmail and personal server accounts. Only on a single desktop, however.

This shouldn’t be necessary. Thunderbird has supported OAuth 2.0 for quite some time. It should be automatically enabled when creating a GMail account in Thunderbird. If you’re trying to migrate an old configuration, manually enable OAuth 2.0 for the account. You should then be able to log in with your normal Google credentials. Thunderbird will prompt you for the 2FA code when Google asks for it.

See also Mozilla support: Thunderbird and Gmail

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That seems to work for IMAP only, which is good to know but I use POP.

Still using Apple Mail, despite it’s serious flaws. Here is the worst one, just to mention it:

Apple Mail doesn’t like Gmail very much. I had Mail produce tens of thousands of identical copies of certain Gmail attachments (not all, and the numbers differ too), creating more than 200 GB of mail attachments with millions of files (no kidding!). It seems that you can avoid that by saving drafts locally, not on the server (Preferences > Accounts > Gmail > Mailbox behaviors > Drafts mailbox). This is a rarely reported problem and most people don’t seem to have it (or haven’t noticed it, as it doesn’t cause any obvious other problem; or they have their settings right). Joe Kissell doesn’t mention it in “Take Control of Apple Mail” (4th or previous editions).

Disclaimer: still using High Sierra and Mail 11.5, not sure if this has been fixed in subsequent versions.

Speaking as someone who has never liked or seriously used Mail, I’m currently using Spark on the Mac (with fallbacks to Mailplane for when Gmail’s native interface is the best option) and the Gmail app on the iPhone and iPad.

I like a lot of things about Spark, but there are just enough quirks that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it.

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Have you considered Airmail? They have versions for different platforms and it interfaces well with Gmail and Spam Sieve.

I have made my positions clear on Apple designed applications. I do not use them. No Safari, no Apple Mail, no Apple maps, no Letters, Numbers, or Keynote, no Finder, no, no ,no. There are better choices.

To me Apple is for Operating Systems not applications. YMMV.