Mail app replacement for Big Sur?

I love Apple’s Mail app, right up until Big Sur. They made the menu bar up top awkward and made the Mailboxes column awkward and extremely hard to read on a high Rez screen. So I’m looking for a replacement. Bearing in mind I love the Mail app pre-Big Sur, does anyone know of any Mail replacements that I might like?
(Do not suggest Outlook please. lol. Oh, and no subscription apps, as a rule I avoid those like the plague. I have Mail accounts on both Google and iCloud, I use folders (mailboxes) and rules and sigs…I don’t like wasted space (too much white space, so Apple’s been driving me nuts in many apps over the last few years)).

I normally use web-mail interfaces, but when I want to run an app, I like Mozilla Thunderbird.

You may find a bit of a learning curve, since its UI design is (mostly) based on the old Netscape Communicator, which was never very Mac-like, but it gets the job done.

MailMate is popular with many here and sounds like your cup of tea.


MailMate is excellent. Some people are bothered by the interface which is more utilitarian than lovely, but it doesn’t bother me because the features are good.


I like utilitarian as well. If I was hung up on beauty I’d still be running Linux and changing window managers all the time. LOL

I forgot about Thunderbird. I think I last ran it like 20 years ago or whenever it was it first came out, on Linux.

I have several email clients on my Mac. Yet, Mail is my #1 Mail is really good despite the many complaints. It is overall the most functional, and the most able to be personalized. It is easy to set up. Does not require a special password from Apple to use. Allows use of SpamSieve to enhance protection. The Blocking Filter is very accurate and easily worked with. I only have an iCloud account but I do have over 100 mailboxes and have no problems with accessing, sorting, filing, or deleting emails. I have many different signatures, 30+ (JPEGS, GIFS) and the the Random selection works with no problem. Font personalization is easy unlike so many other email clients that if they allow you to choose it requires special sight to figure it out. Mail also has the advantage of allowing attachments up to 20 MEGS with no complaint where many others balk at 10 MEGS or so. Finally, I feel more data secure with Mail… gmail makes me very uncomfortable with Google’s known tracking and monitoring activities🤬. I suspect Microsoft Mail is not much better🤔. Maybe Apple does the same… though I have seen no evidence of it until I do I will feel more secure.

Granted Mail is not perfect, but so far with Big Sur, I have no complaints of any substance and have far fewer than I had with Catalina! For those of you with big issues I pray that Apple will render fixes soon! Bottomline, I have to say for my needs I really like Mail very much!!!:100::sunglasses:

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I also had to move from in BigSur, due to some issue with our Exchange server.
I’m happy with Readdle Spark, after having tried most of the alternatives.



What I need the most in a mail application is the ability to attach a note to an email. I accomplish this by using a Mail add-on SmallCubed MailSuite.
I have not been able to find any other mail application to do it.

I do like Spark a lot. But for years I have asked them to consider linking their app to SpamSieve or the like and Readdle has not been responsive to this. That is sad especially during these difficult and insecure times.

I’ve been using Postbox (based on Thunderbird) for over a year, and like it quite a bit (although I wish it could use SpamSieve’s filtering plugins - that’s a Thunderbird issue). Being able to search lightning-fast through over 10 years of email is my primary criterion for an email client, and that’s why I had been using PowerMail since long before Apple put Spotlight in MacOS. Postbox has a similarly powerful search engine, some nice additional features, and doesn’t make text look awful on retina displays (the latter is why I switched from PowerMail, which continues to work as well as it ever did but is no longer getting updates, and thus was never updated for retina displays).

Like you I like Mail very much but I have to say that Big Sur Mail does have problems not least of which is the search function which seems to have gone completely crazy. It doesn’t search well and unless you clear the search window you cannot return to the inboxes Mail also has problems with order of receipt and seems to flip flop back and forth, I am confident that future updates will fix all of these irritations and have no plans to change.

I agree with all this. I have tried most alternatives to Apple Mail over the years but always reverted in the end.

I am not having issues reading or viewing any aspect of UI in Big Sur, except for the overly small menu bar items. I suggest you review all viewing settings in both Mail and System Preferences.

Big Sur is not perfect but so far I am fairly pleased with it and it hasn’t impacted on my productivity.

I am another Apple Mail user and expect to remain so, but my needs are extremely limited. I can easily understand people switching to some other solution, and I am reading threads about alternatives.

Since Apple’s mail client was so dismal as recently as Catalina and Big Sur, I’m not sure why someone would expect it to improve in the near future, if ever. Personally, I think Mail is an embarrassment, but Apple seems to have felt that email has not deserved its attention for many years and I’m not sure why that would change. I hope I’m wrong.

Thinking about the Mail application as it runs in HS (I am locked to that OS because Cupertino refuses to sign any drivers nVidia makes post HS), my major annoyance lies in 2 areas. There is very little flexibility in it’s search function, I can’t customise anything AND I have no idea exactly where it is searching as there are no indication if it’s just the mailbox or all mailboxes. The other thing that really scorches me is the Rules dialog. I have hundreds of these, but can only see a few at a time in a non-expandable list AND there is NO search function whatsoever (beyond me how dumbly designed this is).

If course any new application will HAVE to not only preserve my hundreds of mailboxes BUT also all my rules. Now I was a big Eudora fan and am still sad it is n longer…I remember there were some “almost” Eudoras but have not kept up a whole lot with mail clients mostly thinking that because it was a built in kind of app, there was no incentive for a third party to champion their own client. More minor but NO subscription based model… advance the functionality but with new versions, Ill be happy to pay for something like that when/if it happens.

RE: mail search - I absolutely love InfoClick from Nisus. It works like a charm and i have never had any real difficulty. The few times I hit a glitch the folks at Nisus instantly responded and helped me get my act together ;-). I don’t know if it works with Big Sur because I hear Apple has really locked down security in mail access, but using Catalina it has worked beautifully and I have found mail from years ago in my searches.

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Actually, you can search multiple mailboxes at the same time. (or view) multiple mailboxes at the same time. You can select multiple mailboxes from the sidebar (just command-click them) and the title of the list switches from the name of the list to the number selected. For each the option at the top that normally just names a mailbox becomes ‘Selected Mailboxes’.

Well, I banged away at it for a bit… not getting expected results… THEN I saw, kinda buried in the menustripbar a bold item “Search.” Had been missing it because its slightly darker gray text on slightly lighter background. Still, what you search ON is extremely limited… kindly called rudimentary! When you have a VERY large archive of email, it’s pretty inadequate.

Still, what you search ON is extremely limited… kindly called rudimentary!
When you have a VERY large archive of email, it’s pretty inadequate.

Well, look at all the possibilities here:
It seems rather good to me, albeit not that intuitive.


You can change the size of the font for the Mailbox sidebar, in General Preferences. It affects all Sidebars.

You can Customise the Toolbar via the View menu (or 2-finger tap)

Re: space. You can resize the columns via the line that separates them. Hover the mouse then click-drag to resize to your preferred size. You can pretty much do away with space altogether if you want.

Personally I think Mail is an excellent app. Years ago, I abandoned organising mail myself and now use only Smart Mailboxes. You never loose anything! Did you know that you can make Boolean Mailboxes?