If you’re looking for a new email service, Outlook.com or Gmail are your best options. Your selection may come down to personal preference. We evaluated both services to help you make a decision. Outlook.com (the free web version of the Microsoft Outlook email client) and Gmail are two of the most popular email services, and each has a number of appealing features. Both platforms support the fundamental email functions of sending and receiving messages, attachments, filtering, and cloud storage. These email services support connected services such as calendars and contact lists. Moreover, both are gratis. So let’s review Outlook.com vs. Gmail.com.
Outlook.com is a web-based email client that is accessible for free. It differs from Outlook, a component of the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity applications.
User Experience: Outlook.com vs. Gmail.comBoth Outlook.com and Gmail allow users to compose emails in either plain text or rich text formats. You can format messages with bold, italic, and underlined text if you select rich text. You can choose the color of the font, insert tables, add hyperlinks, indent text, and create lists. These options are displayed on one line in the compose menu.
Outlook.com is distinguished by its clean user interface. Outlook.com supports tabs, allowing you to open email messages in separate tabs on the same page. This feature makes it easy to keep track of emails that require a second look without marking them as unread.
Outlook.com’s immersive reader feature allows you to concentrate solely on one email. Select View > Show in the immersive reader by right-clicking (in Windows) or Control-clicking (on a Mac) a message and then clicking the option. To help you concentrate, the email fills the entire page and blocks out all other content. There is also the option to have Outlook.com read the text aloud, define each word, and perform other functions.
Comparatively, the Gmail user interface can appear cluttered and provides fewer customization options, although it has been redesigned for a more streamlined appearance than in its early days.
Attachments: Unique Is Outlook.com’s Photo Viewer
If you receive email attachments, you’ll appreciate Outlook.com’s photo viewer. Photos are displayed in a slideshow format, from which you can view, download, and save photos to OneDrive or another cloud storage account you have connected.
Most Gmail attachments can be downloaded and saved to Google Drive; however, some attachments can only be viewed and shared. If the Add to Drive button appears when you hover over the attachment’s thumbnail, you can save it to Google Drive. If images are sent within an email rather than as attachments, right-click and save the image to your computer, or download it.
In addition, Gmail does not automatically include attachments when you reply to a message. Select the down arrow and then click Include Original Attachments to include attachments.
Gmail affords more space for email composition: Outlook.com vs. Gmail.com
One shortcoming of Outlook.com is the diminutive size of the compose window, where emails are composed. You can adjust the size slightly, but composing emails with images or a distraction-free interface can be challenging.
In contrast, the Gmail compose window can be as large as desired. It is small when you select Compose, but you can expand it by selecting Full-screen. By holding Shift and selecting Compose, you can also make it a separate window, thereby minimizing distractions.
Advertising: Outlook Limits Advertisements
Outlook.com minimize its advertising. Instead of Gmail’s contrasting text links, Outlook.com uses tiles of the same color. The visual experience is subtle, but the advertisements on Outlook.com do not grab your attention as much as those on Gmail. However, if you are not seeing relevant advertisements in Gmail, you can manage your ad preferences.
Microsoft advertising serves advertisements on Outlook.com, over which you have control. Indicate to Outlook.com that you do not wish to see personalized advertisements, or indicate which topics and brands you are willing to see. It is a system with less intrusive webmail advertising.
Outlook.com is capable of sending and receiving email from Hotmail, Microsoft Live, and Outlook.com accounts. For instance, if you still have a Hotmail account and attempt to access Hotmail.com, you will be redirected to Outlook.com. Likewise, old Windows Live email addresses will be deleted. Gmail is Gmail.
Security and Storage: It’s a Draw
Each Outlook.com and Gmail email account includes 15 GB of storage space. This 15 GB is shared across all Google services, including Google Photos and Google Drive. You can purchase additional storage for your Gmail account as well as additional storage from Microsoft.
Both Gmail and Outlook.com integrate cloud storage services with your account, allowing you to select files from your computer and OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox when sending an email with an attachment.
In terms of security, the free versions of Gmail and Outlook.com encrypt messages in transit using TLS. This encryption is only effective if the recipient uses an email service that also supports TLS. The majority of major email services utilize TLS, so this is not a significant risk.
Upgrade your free account to a Microsoft 365 Home or Personal account or a Google Workspace account for more encryption and security options.
Aliases and Shortcuts: Outlook.com vs. Gmail.com
Outlook.com evolved from Microsoft’s enterprise-class email client Outlook, as opposed to Gmail, which was initially designed as a consumer-oriented email client. As such, it excels at email management.
Adding a plus sign (+) to the end of your email address in Gmail allows you to generate an unlimited number of alternative addresses for your account. It’s a useful feature if you want to avoid spam or create multiple accounts on the same website, for instance.
Outlook.com extends this capability by allowing you to create multiple email aliases that utilise the same email account as the delivery location. For instance, your primary email address may be [email protected], but you can create [email protected] as an alias and use it whenever you want as a regular email address. You will receive messages at your [email protected] address.
Outlook.com supports keyboard shortcuts, including shortcuts for Gmail, which is fantastic for email power users. Outlook keyboard shortcuts and Yahoo Mail keyboard shortcuts are also available. If you enjoy using hotkeys to navigate the screen, you will enjoy this.
Sorting and Blocking: Outlook’s Functionality Is Slick
Outlook.com’s sweeping and blocking features for deleting unwanted emails are intuitive. While it requires several clicks to remove a specific type of message from a Gmail Inbox, it only requires a few clicks to delete the same messages from an Outlook.com account.
When your email account’s storage space is limited, it is essential to determine which emails consume the most space. This is possible with both Gmail and Outlook.com, but Outlook.com makes it easier.
When sorting emails by size in Gmail, the messages are not sorted. You are instead employing a search operator. Search for larger:10m, for example, to find all email messages larger than 10 megabytes.
Select Filter in Outlook.com to sort emails by size and automatically categorize messages into sections. For instance, when filtering emails by size, you may see a section for messages between 25 and 100 kilobytes (KB), between 10 and 25 KB, etc. This visualization is more visually appealing and easier to comprehend than Gmail’s.
Using Folders and Labels, Outlook Simplifies the Process Folders versus labels are the most notable distinctions between Outlook.com and Gmail. Outlook.com, in contrast to Gmail’s counterintuitive labeling system, uses both labels and separate folders.
Because Outlook.com employs categories rather than labels, it is possible to tag email messages with multiple categories and save them in distinct folders, which is ideal for searching and retrieving messages later.
Microsoft hit the mark with this dual-function offering. This is sufficient for many users to switch from Gmail to Outlook.com.
Outlook.com and Gmail are difficult to distinguish as clear winners. Both are capable of sending and receiving messages, attaching files and images to messages, and managing email accounts. Both provide access to calendars and contact storage. Moreover, both are gratis.
It all comes down to aesthetics in the end. Outlook.com provides enterprise-level email on a budget with its intuitive user interface and superior email management features. But if you’re firmly rooted in the Google ecosystem and favour its customizability and organization system, Gmail may be the best option.