An email program, also known as an email client or email software, is a computer program that allows users to send, receive, and manage their email messages. It is a software application that is installed on a computer or mobile device and is used to access email accounts.

Types of Email Programs

what is an email program

There are two main types of email programs: web-based and desktop-based.

Web-Based Email Programs

Web-based email programs are accessed through a web browser and do not require any software to be installed on the user's computer. Examples of web-based email programs include Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and These email programs are convenient because they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser.

Desktop-Based Email Programs

Desktop-based email programs are installed on the user's computer and are accessed through a software application. Examples of desktop-based email programs include Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird. These email programs offer more advanced features than web-based email programs, such as the ability to work offline and to manage multiple email accounts.

Features of Email Programs

someone composing an email on a laptop

Email programs offer a variety of features to help users manage their email messages. Some of the most common features include:

  • Compose and send email messages
  • Receive and read email messages
  • Organize email messages into folders
  • Search for specific email messages
  • Filter email messages by sender, subject, or other criteria
  • Reply to and forward email messages
  • Attach files to email messages
  • Manage multiple email accounts
  • Set up automatic email forwarding and vacation messages
  • Sync email messages across multiple devices

Choosing an Email Program

When choosing an email program, it is important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Some factors to consider include:

  • Web-based or desktop-based
  • Compatibility with your operating system
  • Integration with other software applications
  • Advanced features, such as encryption and spam filtering
  • User interface and ease of use
  • Cost, if any


An email program is an essential tool for managing your email messages. Whether you choose a web-based or desktop-based email program, it is important to choose one that meets your specific needs and preferences.