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Microsoft Outlook Web Vs. Which Is Best For You?

When people think of Microsoft Outlook, they think of their grandfather's email client. But did you know that there is also a free online version of Outlook? There is, and today we are going to compare the desktop and the online version head to head.

The obvious difference between Outlook desktop and Outlook web is that the desktop version is not free; it comes as part of the Microsoft Office suite, which isn't cheap unless you're a student or educator.

How does the free web version of Microsoft Outlook compare to its paid desktop counterpart? Let's take a closer look.

The design of the email

What can you expect when you sign up for a free Outlook online account? As part of the Office online suite, Microsoft Outlook is the communications hub for your online productivity.

You use Microsoft Outlook on the web as if you were using your Gmail account. Outlook's online email client also allows you to integrate multiple email accounts in one place, such as your account, formerly known as Hotmail.

When comparing the layout of to the Microsoft Outlook desktop app, the similarities between the two layouts become very clear.

Account navigation, including all subfolders, appears in the left panel, and actual emails and email previews are displayed on the right. This is true for both online and desktop clients.

When you click the email in your account, you'll see the preview on the right.

The same goes for the desktop version, except that the desktop version has a lot more icons and features that are displayed on the top menu ribbon (which we'll get to later).

In both cases, you can also integrate with some of your favorite social accounts, but this is definitely not a strength in either case. With Outlook Online, you can connect with Twitter and LinkedIn, but the selection of accounts is very slim, and the most popular social network Here are the fastest growing social networks you need to join. They are the fastest growing social networks that you need to join. Most of the social market, new services like Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp threaten to break Facebook's dominance of the social Internet. Read More - Facebook - isn't even available.

The desktop is getting worse and worse when it comes to social connections. On the desktop version, when I clicked File , Account Settings and Social Media Accounts I came across this web page, reporting that social account connections are “no longer supported”.

At a time when social media usage continues to grow, and the lines are blurring between messaging and social networking, it seems strange that Microsoft is going the other direction and disconnecting from these networks.

Outlook Categories

Many people organize emails in folders, but another very effective organization tool provided by Microsoft Outlook is the ability to classify and color code emails.

This feature is available on the web version by selecting the email and clicking on Categories item in the top menu.

You can change any of the category names to something a bit more descriptive by clicking Manage Categories and then adding a new category.

In the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook, categories are also available. You'll find them by right-clicking on the email and clicking Categorized from the dropdown menu, or simply by selecting the email, clicking on the Home menu item, and choose Sort by categories from the ribbon menu.

It goes without saying that when you receive a high volume of emails 8 Ways to Send Large Email Attachments 8 Ways to Send Large Email Attachments To send large files via email, upload your attachments to a service file storage and sharing. These are some of the best apps for the job. Read More

Outlook web rules, filters and more

The most powerful features you'll find available in the free web version of Microsoft Outlook include things like creating rules for incoming email.

You can get to this by clicking the ellipses in the top menu and then selecting Create rule… from the dropdown menu.

The inbox rules available here include sorting incoming messages based on who sent them, who it was sent to, and the words in the subject line.

This is a very limited list, and so is the actions list, which only allows you to move, copy, or delete the message, pin or flag the message, or forward, redirect, or send. That's it.

The only benefit to using the web version of Outlook is that you can set up automatic replies for when you're out of the office. How to Set Up an Out of Office Reply Email in Outlook How to Set Up an Out of Office Reply Email in Outlook What happens when you combine a two-week vacation with a busy work life? You'll have a giant project when you get back home:emails! Wait, why not automate a bit for you? Read More

These are configured from the Settings menu, selecting Automatic responses . Then all you have to do is define the time period when you will be away and unable to reply to emails, and you are done.

The Microsoft Outlook desktop includes a Rules feature. In fact, it is much more robust than the web version. When you click Rules from the Home In the menu, you'll see a window that looks very similar to the web version, where you can choose to turn on where the email is sent from or to, anything in the subject line, etc.

However, if you click the Advanced Options button, you'll see many more trigger options, such as whether the email is marked as important, has specific words in the body of the message, is registered or not, and so on.

It's worth noting that the desktop version does provide an automatic reply option, unless you have configured Outlook to work with an Exchange server. The only downside to managing your mail on your local PC is that you can't automate things that are normally server-based.

Outlook Web Extras

There are some things you can get with Microsoft Outlook on the web that you can't get with the desktop version. In the settings, you will find a Manage plugins option.

These are applications that you can "plug" into your account to help improve your online email client.

This includes some pretty cool integrations like Paypal so you can more easily send money via email, Uber Ride reminders to your calendar, Evernote so you can easily save emails to your workbooks, and more.

It's also worth noting that while you can't enable an out of office reply in Microsoft Outlook desktop unless you're connected to an Exchange server, you can set up an out of office email with your client. of Outlook Online. matter what email service you have added.

Outlook desktop extras

So what can you do with the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook that you can't do online? Quite a bit, actually.

While your Microsoft Live account will include a task app and a calendar app, they aren't as integrated with your email client as they are with the Microsoft Outlook desktop.

Plus, with the desktop client, you get a really powerful tool called AutoArchive, where you can have the client automatically save your oldest emails, so your inbox can stay nice and effortless with little to no effort from you. part.

That alone is enough to save time for many people to choose to use the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook, even though it is not free (Outlook Express, the free desktop version, is no longer available).

Managing your inbox is also much easier, as you can sort emails by date, sender or recipient, or flag messages for follow-up and quickly assign a due date to them.

Of course, the most powerful part of the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook is the ability to customize it yourself, using the VBA developer that comes with Microsoft Office.

You can enable this menu item in File> Options> Customize the ribbon and select Developer from the list of items in the list on the right.

Which version is right for you?

How do you decide whether to use Outlook Online or Outlook desktop? The answer is, it depends on what is most important to you.

  • Is it important to you to have access to your email client from any computer and from any location? Do you prefer to have better integration with online services and applications? If that describes you, you'll want to go with the online version of Outlook.
  • Are you more interested in tightly integrated scheduling, task management, and email organization? Looking for a more robust set of rules that you can use to automate inbound email management? If this is you, you'll want to invest in the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook.

Regardless of which version you choose, going with Microsoft Outlook gives you peace of mind knowing you're using a fully featured and constantly updated Microsoft product.

And to learn more about Outlook, check out How to Create an Email Signature in Office 365 How to Add an Email Signature in Microsoft Office 365 How to Add an Email Signature in Microsoft Office 365 Here's how you can add an email signature Email to Microsoft Outlook web App in Microsoft Office 365. Read more .

Are you considering switching to using Microsoft Outlook as your email client? Have you decided whether to use it online or at your desktop? Share your own thoughts in the comments section below!