It's probably not a surprise that Gmail makes the top of my list for one of the best free email accounts. Gmail is Google's free email service that has a nice and modern feel to it, is tightly integrated with other Google services, and does pretty well at blocking spam.
Gmail has some other awesome features, too, like the option to snooze emails for later, send and request money via Google Pay, and send emails that expire and can only be opened with a special code.
There are also different themes you can apply to Gmail's interface to customize how it appears, tons of advanced settings, and the ability to create labels and filters, import email in from other email accounts, use a chat client, and, among other features, install gadgets (add-ons) to extend Gmail's functionality.
Here are some other notable features in Gmail:
- Lets you read emails offline with Gmail Offline
- Shares a huge 15 GB of email storage with other Google services through Google Drive, making it easy to share files from your Google account right in an email (even files as large as 10 GB!)
- Can undo an email if you send it by accident (and catch it in time)
- There are numerous shortcuts you can use to make Gmail even easier to work with.
- Since Google Calendar is another part of Google's list of services, it's equally as easy to integrate it with your emails, like to instantly add events taken from messages.
- Lets you set up a vacation responder to auto-send emails when you're away.
- You can use advanced search options to find emails in your Gmail account.
- A mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
All Gmail email addresses end in @gmail.com. However, messages can be sent to other addresses, too, and they'll still arrive in the same Inbox.
This is really useful if you want to use your Gmail account to sign up for multiple accounts at the same website. The site will see each iteration as different even though they're still connected to your primary email account.
Here are some examples of Gmail addresses that are all technically the same:
Tip: If you have a YouTube account, you can log in to Gmail with the same information since YouTube is another Google service that's accessed through a Google account.
Outlook Mail (often called Outlook.com) is Microsoft's free email service that, like Gmail, has a solid interface that's easy to work with. It's easily second to Gmail or even tied as the best free email provider.
Changing how you use Outlook Mail couldn't be easier. You can very quickly change the color scheme of the page and choose where the reading pane should display.
I like how intuitive Outlook.com is—it's as easy as right-clicking an email to find further options like moving/deleting messages and searching for every email from that one sender, for example.
Email rules are supported with Outlook Mail which means you can set new messages to automatically move to a specified folder, be categorized, flagged or even forwarded if certain conditions are met.
Outlook Mail has some other features worth mentioning, too:
- You can connect directly to Skype through your email.
- It's closely related to Outlook Calendar so that events can be shared between the two.
- Add-ins are supported, like ones for PayPal, DocuSign, Trello, Boomerang, GIPHY, and many others.
- Users can enjoy easy access to other free Microsoft services through Outlook Mail because it's part of Microsoft Office Online.
- Microsoft has an official Outlook app for Android and iOS.
Free email accounts created with Outlook.com are configured as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Microsoft's email addresses used to be set up as @hotmail.com and @live.com. If you have one of those addresses you can still log in through Outlook.com, but any new accounts set up will use the newer @outlook.com.
As would seem obvious, Yahoo Mail is the free email account offered by Yahoo. Each new user gets a whopping 1 TB of free storage for email!
The compose window when making new emails is a bit similar to Gmail, but one useful difference is that it's easy to switch between inline image attachments and normal file attachments. This means you can switch a file attachment to be embedded in the email and just as easily reverse it to make it a file attachment.
Yahoo Mail is probably the best email service when it comes to alternate identities, or aliases. You can also create up to 500 disposable addresses that are linked to your main email address but don't contain your name or any other personal data.
This is extremely useful if you're often signing up for web accounts and don't wish to have your regular inbox spammed or filled with useless email; just delete the disposable address if the spam becomes too overwhelming.
Following are some other Yahoo Mail features:
- You can insert GIFs directly from a built-in GIF collection, and stationery with a similar stationery browser.
- Several awesome themes are available that changes the entire background and color scheme of the website, which makes for a pretty unique design.
- Supports the option to import contacts from a file on your computer as well as from your Facebook, Google or Outlook.com account. This makes it easy to transfer contacts from a different email provider to Yahoo Mail.
- Has a built-in news reader and notepad. You can switch to those views in seconds, and then just as easily move back to reading and sending emails.
- Yahoo Mail gives you access to an online calendar and an instant messaging service.
- You can connect external email accounts to Yahoo Mail so you can use one interface to manage all your mail, even from services like Gmail and Outlook Mail.
- Yahoo Mail can be used through the Yahoo Mail mobile app for iOS and Android.
Yahoo Mail email addresses are set up as email@example.com.
AOL Mail is another free email account option. The main page where you find your email also includes Today on AOL which shows top stories from AOL.com, which can either be viewed as a nice addition or seem cluttered depending on personal preference.
Like some email providers, you can quickly filter your messages to only show unread or read emails, or flagged or unflagged messages.
Many advanced settings are customizable like changing the spam filter's sensitivity, controlling who (if anyone) can you send you mail, enabling a reading pane, and blocking mail containing specific words.
In your mail settings, you can clearly read the IMAP and POP server settings, which are very useful if you're using your AOL email address with offline email clients. Some of the other best email services don't display this information, so that's a positive for sure.
Other AOL Mail features:
- You can configure an alert to have AOL send you a text message when certain criteria are met, such as if an email from a specific contact that includes a certain word in the subject or body is delivered to your inbox.
- In-browser sound alerts are supported, and there are several options you can choose from. This sort of flexibility is usually not available with web mail accounts, but AOL Mail is an exception.
- There's a to-do list and calendar with the ability to make events right from emails.
- The background changer lets your emails have a nice background image.
- You can import contacts in the CSV, TXT, or LDIF file formats.
- If you want to use AOL Mail through the official app, you can get it on your Android or iOS device.
An AOL email address gives you an email like firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can also receive mail if someone sends you messages at email@example.com.
Note: AOL Mail is not the same thing as the now-discontinued AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). AIM was an instant messaging service and AOL Mail is an email service.
Similar to Google, your Yandex email account makes it possible to access all of these services using one login.
The interface for Yandex Mail is very nice to work with. It's easy to read and provides a very simple layout while still keeping all the necessary tools intact.
Like most of the other email providers on this list, Yandex.Mail supports email filters, contact importing and exporting, tasks, and hotkeys. However, it's also unique in many ways that makes it one of the better email providers:
- You can forward multiple messages with ease; they'll send as file attachments.
- Files can be imported directly from Yandex.Disk.
- You can send an SMS copy of an email.
- Images can be imported into an email by their URL.
- There's an option to download emails as EML files.
- Emails can be sent on a delay.
- You can get notified when a message sends and even be reminded later if you don't get a reply.
- There are also dozens of themes you can choose from to instantly transform the entire page. Some of the themes can even be interacted with, such as the Weather theme, which shows local weather below your mail.
- You can add other email accounts to Yandex.Mail if you prefer to read all your mail here. This means you could make a Gmail and Yahoo Mail account, for example, and just read all of them at Yandex Mail.
- You can make free email accounts with your website domain name. See Mail for Domain for more information.
- A Yandex Mail app is available for both iOS and Android.
Email accounts created at Yandex end with @yandex.com.
The main difference between ProtonMail and the other email services above is that this one is centered around encryption. The idea is that you can send mail without fear that the people at ProtonMail, or anyone else besides the recipient, can read the message.
When you're ready to send an encrypted message, be sure to click that button before you send the email. That is, unless you send a message to another ProtonMail user, in which case it's always encrypted.
If you choose to encrypt the message, you can also set an expiration time so that the message is destroyed and unreadable after the duration you specify (the time starts the moment you send the message).
The maximum expiration time is four weeks (28 days) but you can choose something sooner, too, like 1-6 days or 1-23 hours, or a combination of both (e.g. one day and four hours, or just one hour).
If you send the message to a non-ProtonMail user and don't define an expiration time, the message will still expire in 28 days.
Recipients who receive encrypted messages open the message through a link that asks for the password, where it's decrypted and displayed in the browser. They can reply through an encrypted channel via the same message they decrypted, and don't even need to have a ProtonMail account.
You can choose to have a @protonmail.com or @protonmail.ch email address.
Important: Since there's also a premium plan available, the free one is limited to 500 MB of storage space, can only send up to 150 messages per day (which is more than enough for most people anyway), and requires the "Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email" signature.
Several other features are also not available in the free edition, like automatic replies, sub accounts, and more.
Though Zoho Mail does have a free email service, Zoho as a whole is like an online suite of several apps that are centered around business use.
The first thing I noticed about Zoho Mail when composing a message is how minimal the design is, which can be a great thing. When you make a new message, you can quickly switch between the new message and the rest of your mail through the small tabs on the right side of the page.
Streams is a feature in Zoho Mail that makes it easy to create groups where you and your team members can interact with shared messages and attachments. It works a bit like a private social media site.
Zoho Mail has these features, too:
- All the standard compose tools are included in Zoho Mail but you can also add images from Zoho Docs, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and other services, as well as include tables in your messages.
- It's easy to create new notes, tasks, calendar events, contacts and bookmarks in Zoho Mail since it's closely connected with some of those other Zoho apps.
- You can customize a lot of what you see on the page.
- Keyboard shortcuts are supported.
- You can use filters in this email service.
- Vacation replies let you send emails when you're away.
- Custom domains can be added to the white list and/or black list.
- An Android and iOS app are available to access Zoho Mail on the go.
All Zoho Mail addresses end as @zoho.com.
The major difference I find in Mail.com versus the other providers in this list is that you can choose between over 200 free domains. Instead of being stuck with one, like @outlook.com or @gmail.com, you can pick from a huge list.
The email domains are categorized into sections so it's easy to find one that relates to certain jobs, hobbies, tech, and music. There are also US, world, and spiritual domains.
Some of the top choices include mail.com, email.com, usa.com, myself.com, post.com, dr.com, techie.com, engineer.com, cheerful.com and writeme.com.
Once you create your email account, you can even build up to 10 alias addresses that work with your "main" address. For example, if you were to build a doglover.com address as your main one, and then use an asia.com address as an alias, any messages sent to either address will go to your doglover.com inbox.
The extreme flexibility to choose a custom domain name for your email address is what makes Mail.com one of the best email services, but that's about the only perk. There really isn't much else to be excited about when it comes to creating a Mail.com email account....
- You can connect other email addresses to it so that you can send and receive those messages through Mail.com.
- There's an email filter built-in.
- You can access a calendar to keep track of events.
- A file storage vault accepts up to 2 GB of free space.
- Mobile apps can be installed on Android and iOS devices.
Note: Mail.com uses the exact same interface and features as GMX.com. You can create an email account at GMX as well but you're only given the option to have it end in @gmx.us or @gmx.com. However, you do get unlimited storage space with GMX.
Tutanota (Latin for "tuta nota", meaning "secure message") is similar to the ProtonMail service above in that it automatically encrypts all your emails. However, you can disable end-to-end encryption if you'd like.
The first thing that stood out with this email service is that you can't proceed with creating your account until you make a really secure password. Some places will urge you to make your password stronger but still accept it; Tutanota requires it.
The web interface is really easy to use and provides nice menu transitions that really bring together the mail folders and email settings.
When sending messages to non-Tutanota users, you can choose to make them password protected or to keep them unencrypted. If a password is chosen, the recipient will get a custom link to open the message, where they must enter the password to read and reply.
Probably the nicest feature about this is that when the Tutanota user responds back to the user not using Tutanota, the messages are still contained within the temporary account. This means you can have back and forth communication with any other email service and they can keep the link open the whole time.
Even though it isn't as well known as Gmail, Yahoo, etc., Tutanota still supports the following:
- An email signature
- 1 GB of email storage
- Automatic contact creation for recipients you email
- Spam rules
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
- Premium features for a cost
You can make an account with any of these domains: tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io, keemail.me.
iCloud Mail is an interesting email service because many people don't even realize that they're just a few steps away from having one. It's for this reason that iCloud Mail is one of the better email providers: for most people, they can set on up in seconds.
However, iCloud Mail is only accessible to people with an Apple device, so while many people do have an iPad, iPhone, Mac, etc., not everybody does, so unlike the other services in this list, this one is very restrictive.
Once you've made an iCloud account, you can log in from a computer and access a suite of products in addition to your mail, like notes, reminders, photos, iCloud Drive content, contacts, calendar events, and anything else that's been synced to iCloud from your iOS device.
The iCloud Mail portion of iCloud isn't super advanced and probably won't serve you well if you want lots of options in your email. However, it's very easy to set up for iOS users without having to go through an often tedious process of adding your name, choosing a password, etc. All of this works well with your existing Apple ID.
Here are some other features:
- Access to 5 GB of free storage space for emails and other iCloud files
- Can be accessed via IMAP
- Supports keyboard shortcuts
- All mail sent to your iCloud Mail account can be set up to be automatically forwarded to a different address
- Files a large as 5 GB can be emailed through iCloud Mail through Mail Drop, which essentially sends a link to the files stored on your iCloud Drive
- It's easy to unsubscribe from emails in just one or two clicks
iCloud Mail accounts end with @icloud.com.
Tip: To make an iCloud Mail account from an iPhone or iPad, go into Settings and tap your name. Then choose iCloud and enable Mail. Use the Create button to sign up for iCloud Mail.
Then, you can log in to iCloud on a computer via your Apple ID and then open Mail to access iCloud Mail.
10 Minute Mail is by far one of the best email services if you need an email address right now, temporarily, and without having to go through all the typical user registration steps.
Just as the name suggests, 10 Minute Mail is not really a full-fledged email provider since it gives you an account for only 10 minutes. However, I've added it here because it's absolutely perfect for those times when you need a temporary email account.
Instead of providing your primary email that you use for everything else, plug in a disposable address from 10 Minute Mail. You'll get emails just like a regular email account, but it's not tied to your identity at all, and when the time is up, you don't have to worry about closing the account, deleting the emails, or anything—just exit the page or let the time expire.
10 Minute Mail is perfect for those times you're just testing out a service and don't want to get emails in your regular Inbox. It's also useful if you're sharing your email address with someone you don't trust. It's a valid email account that you can get verification emails on and can reply from, but it disappears after 10 minutes.
Of course, you could use 10 Minute Mail for longer than 10 minutes if you need to, but you'll have to use the refresh button on the email page to reset the clock to count down from 10 minutes.
The Best Free Email Accounts
Looking for a new email account? These are the best email providers out there
Free email accounts may seem like a dime a dozen, but there are some free services that stand way above the rest. This article will help guide you through the best free email accounts and which features make them the best.
When choosing a free email account, you'll want to look for a few characteristics to help you determine which one is best for you. The free email accounts will differ in how much email storage you get, what the interface looks like and how it can be customized, and what types of advanced features are included, like messaging, filters, and the ability to import other data.
It also is probably important to you what your actual email address is. If you can't find one that you like at your first pick for a free email account, I recommend moving onto another one to see if it's available there. Remember to try different combinations and variations to get an address that's not taken.
Note: It's important to never reveal personal information in your email address, like your home address or phone number. It's common for email addresses to be a name with a couple numbers, or a word or phrase that means something.