Outlook vs Apple Mail: Comparing Email Services

outlook vs apple mailWhile Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail are usually used by one camp or the other, some switch due to the benefits. Outlook is usually for those using a PC, while Apple Mail fits with those using a MAC. However, one my fit better with your needs than the other.

Both have similarities, but also have plenty of differences. Below, you will find a complete look at these two mail options and what you may gain or lose from choosing Outlook vs Apple Mail.


Ever since Microsoft brought out Windows 8, the design language used for Outlook has become modern. This is the same with Windows 10 and both provide a better Outlook than in the past. The appearance of Outlook Mail is very clean and simple to use. However, don’t mistake the simple and clean look for a mail app without plenty of features.

Outlook is packed with options, but easy on the eye. It’s simple to navigate and the inbox layout provides three options: Focused, Quick Filter and Other. Over time, this mail app will even learn which contacts are most important and show those first. Using the Focused filter will allow this to happen even faster.

Apple Mail also provides a pretty clean and straightforward appearance. It features a two column layout with a search bar and the ability to display mailboxes in various ways. The menu tree hasn’t changed much from one version to the next, but it does seem a bit cluttered.

While Apple and Outlook are similar in appearance, the winner is Microsoft Outlook here. It’s a bit cleaner and feels more polished compared to Apple Mail.


The organization of Microsoft Outlook vs Apple Mail are a bit different. When it comes to viewing your email, Apple Mail certainly gets this right. Depending on the device you’re using, it can be difficult to view Outlook emails in full screen mode. For example, in an iPad, the left hand column doesn’t go away when trying to view an email with Outlook.

However, when you use Apple Mail, this isn’t an issue. In fact, you can even view emails in portrait most on your iPad with ease. Viewing emails is a rather important feature of any mail app and Apple Mail makes it easier on some devices compared to Outlook.

The navigation also falls under organization and Microsoft has this feature right when it comes to Outlook. Apple Mail seems to like having the controls across the top of the screen, which can be nice, but can also be a bit difficult on some devices. Outlook, on the other hand, provides many control options in the right hand corner with all of the most important mail options at the bottom of each email.

Overall, organization is a tie between Outlook vs Apple Mail. Outlook has better navigation, but viewing emails on many devices is a bit better with Apple Mail.


Storage in Outlook vs Apple Mail depends on how you are using the apps. If you’re using your own server, the storage will be determined by your mail hosting and not the app. However, if you’re using a free version of either of these mail apps without your own hosting, your storage may be limited.

The limits depend on how you go about using either one of these apps, even without your own hosting. Both provide plenty of storage for most users, especially if you keep your inboxes pretty clean. However, it’s possible to reach your storage limits if you receive quite a few emails with attachments.

Overall, both provide a good amount of storage, but it seems as though more people reach their limits faster with Apple Mail.


Another very important feature of any mail application is security. Even though you may think Microsoft is synonymous with great security, Outlook is best to be used as a consumer level product. The security isn’t the greatest with ActiveSync protocols still able to be bypassed. There are also some questions about the way sensitive information can be accessed on Microsoft servers.

Apple does seem to provide a bit of better security than Outlook. For most normal users, Outlook won’t pose any security risks, but for those dealing with sensitive information, it could pose some risk.

When it comes to security, Apple Mail is the winner.

What Outlook Offers that Apple Mail Doesn’t Offer

Apple Mail offers plenty of features for most users, but Outlook may be a better choice for some. Here are a few things you get with the Outlook mail app you won’t get with Apple Mail.

Support for Multiple Accounts

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, using Outlook will provide you with the ability to use a Microsoft Exchange email address, Yahoo, Gmail and iCloud. They can all be fed into just one app. Apple Mail will do the same thing, but it won’t allow you to filter the emails like Outlook will.

With the Outlook mail app, you can have everything all together or you can split it up by importance. Apple Mail doesn’t offer this feature making it a bit more difficult when using multiple accounts on the same device.


Apple Mail and Outlook both allow you to use attachments, but it’s seamless with Outlook. Some attachments can be easily added in Apple Mail, but if you want to use Dropbox or Google Drive, it requires a few extra steps to make it work.

With Outlook, the process is very simple as it will link with most online storage accounts, such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and OneDrive. This makes adding attachments to emails easy without any extra steps.

Contacts and Calendar

Outlook gives you contacts and calendar apps right inside your mail app. With Apple, these are three separate apps and they are not integrated at all. Keeping your contact menu handy inside Outlook can go a long way to making it easier to do what you need to do.

Having the calendar app built in also makes a pretty big difference. It’s easier to integrate and schedule important things without having to leave the mail app.

Outlook vs Apple Mail – The Verdict

While both mail applications provide good choices, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft Outlook has an edge on Apple Mail. Both provide a user-friendly design with good organization, but Outlook provides more features, easier attachments and a better overall experience for most users.

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