If you’re not using Gmail as your main email provider, it’s probably Outlook instead.
The latter boasted over 400 million active users in Microsoft’s last official figures from 2018, and that number is only likely to have grown since then.
But if you’re thinking of switching, Outlook’s inclusion in the premium Microsoft 365 service may have put you off. After all there’s no need for most people to pay to send and receive emails.
While there are some features reserved for paying subscribers, all the core functions are available completely free of charge. Here’s how to get it on all your devices.
How to get Outlook for free on Mac
Until 2023, signing up for Microsoft 365 or buying a standalone version of Office were the only ways to get Outlook on macOS.
That all changed when Microsoft announced an official Outlook app, which is available now on the Mac App Store. Simply download it like you would any other app, then sign in with your Microsoft account or create a free one.
How to get Outlook for free on Windows
Outlook is pre-installed with all Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices, meaning you’ll already have it on your computer.
If you haven’t set this up already, just search and launch it like you would any other app. Then follow the instructions to add your account.
Anyron Copeman / Foundry
How to get Outlook for free on iOS
Outlook is free to download from the App Store on any recent iPhone or iPad. Once installed, just create an account or sign in like you would on many other apps.
How to get Outlook for free on Android
Outlook is also completely free on the Google Play Store, and will work on all recent Android smartphones, tablets and hybrid devices (such as Microsoft’s own Surface Duo 2).
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
How is Outlook better with a Microsoft 365 subscription?
Outlook isn’t just included in a Microsoft 365 subscription for the sake of it. There are four key benefits when you sign up:
- 50GB of email storage (rather than 15GB)
- No ads, which also ensures pages load faster
- Email encryption, which also includes the option to prevent forwarding
- Extra security tools for detecting viruses and malware in attachments and links
- Premium support, supposedly Microsoft’s “highest level of service”
To take advantage of these, you’ll need to at least subscribe to Microsoft 365 Basic, which costs $19.99/£19.99 per year or $1.99/£1.99 per month.
Consumers also have the option to step up to Personal ($69.99/£59.99 pa or $6.99/£5.99 pm) or Family ($99.99/£79.99 pa or $9.99/£7.99 pm) plans.
See how they compare, plus all your other options, in our full Microsoft 365 buying guide.