Software Windows

New Outlook is replacing Windows Mail. Should you use it?

screengrab showing Windows Mail alongside new Outlook on Windows 11
Windows Mail vs. new Outlook

If you’re a Windows Mail user, then I not only offer my sincerest condolences, but bring good news. Windows Mail is being replaced with Outlook. No, not the desktop version of Outlook, or, but new Outlook. Sort of. In the coming months, the new Outlook will be default on Windows 11, but some Windows Mail users are being offered the chance to upgrade today. If you’ve spotted this and are pondering whether you should try new Outlook, then read on.

screengrab of Windows Mail

What is the new Outlook?

Technically, it is classified by Microsoft as a Progressive Web App (PWA). PWAs run on a Windows computer, but using technologies from the web. Therefore, new Outlook looks, works and feels like but packaged into an app which can run on a PC. Windows Mail, which has been around since Windows 8, has always been a problematic product for Microsoft and having supported countless users over the years, I don’t think I’m going too far in saying that its demise cannot come soon enough. So, raise a glass for Windows Mail, multiple winner of the coveted Best Software award by Unfinished Apps magazine, and hope to hell it never comes back.

Why is it better than Windows Mail?

screengrab of new Outlook after upgrade

As it is a PWA, it entwines neatly into the and introduces features which have never appeared in Windows Mail. Some of the most useful features are Sweep, which will move and delete emails in bulk, and the improved search functions which combine beautifully with highly customisable options for tagging, flagging and snoozing messages. The new software also integrates calendar and contacts, which naturally are in sync with Other advantages it has over Windows Mail are the junk mail filters, focussed inboxes and message rules.

Does new Outlook work with Gmail?

screengrab of new Outlook after upgrade

Yes, and that’s a smart development. Gmail integration into email clients can be unpredictable, and Microsoft has worked hard to bring Outlook management to Gmail accounts. It also works with Yahoo. Currently, IMAP and POP accounts are unsupported, which also means that if your Windows Mail setup is connected to an IMAP email account, they will not offer you the opportunity to try new Outlook. Hopefully, this should be remedied for the official 2024 release. Of course, if you try it and you don’t like it, then it is possible to revert back to Windows Mail.

As Microsoft has built New Outlook as a PWA, it shares the same codebase as Hopefully, this will simplify the implementation of new features from Microsoft’s online platform.

Finally, and this is a plea from me, directly to Microsoft. Please, give new it a differentiating name. Can I suggest Outlook Express? That always used to be very popular.

How do you send photos by email?

About the author

Lee Grant

I can normally be found attacking things with screwdrivers in my small computer repair business or writing a column for PC Pro magazine.

I am also trying to solve a mystery involving David Bowie.


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  • Can you tell me if existing old emails now on Windows will be automatically transferred when switching to New Outlook?

    • If you’ve been using Windows Mail for a few years, there there is no transfer of emails to be performed. If you’re existing email setup uses IMAP (most ISP accounts) or Exchange (which is basically Outlook, Hotmail, Live, etc), then your mail resides on your provider’s server and the new software will show you exactly what you had before.

      If you used the really old version of Windows Mail, which used POP, then you won’t get the upgrade option for New Outlook and your email will remain on your machine.

  • At least, with windows male it was a simple matter to view the iCloud calendar and contacts. The new outlook doesn’t even appear to be able to do this yet without that it’s useless for anything other than email.

  • Yesterday I finally got forced to update to the new version of Outlook and after several times hating it and switching back to the old one, now I can’t escape it anymore. First, it lags and it’s slow. It takes years to open Office documents and it’s annoying when it opens them in the app. Second, why no more multiple file attachments? I have to attach everyday several documents in an e-mail. This is incredibly frustrating. Where did e-mail chains disappear? Do I have to scroll until I find the e-mail I want to reply? Let’s not talk about the design, which is a total mess, not productive and not organized. I personally liked the simplicity of the previous app version. Maybe the options for e-mail attachments and chains exist and I need to figure them out but all in all this is one of the worst updates I have ever seen in apps. The app became like the browser version of Outlook so why should I download it, I’d rather use it in the browser from now on.