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Webmail lacks a search functionality and I don't want to install Outlook on my home computer. Are there any alternatives?


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closed as off-topic by HopelessN00b Dec 16 '14 at 19:39

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Are you looking for a full MAPI compatible exchange client? (Not for IMAP or POP?) – l0c0b0x Oct 12 '09 at 16:11
I don't suppose you have Outlook available over Citrix at work? Can you run Oulook over some sort of terminal services or remote access solution? – nray Oct 12 '09 at 16:37
Are you using IE? If you use IE you get search functionality in OWA 2007 – Izzy Oct 12 '09 at 17:37
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends what you need to be able to do. If you just need POP or IMAP access, any mail client will generally do. If you need full MAPI Exchange access with calenders, tasks, contacts, etc. then you're really limited to Outlook.

You say you're using Exchange 2007, so you could look for something that talks to Exchange Web Services, but I don't know of any premade solutions to this.

+1 for mentioning MAPI compatibility. – l0c0b0x Oct 12 '09 at 16:10
POP and IMAP are not enabled by default, and I would venture are not usually available in a work setting. – nray Oct 12 '09 at 16:34
Whilst POP and IMAP are not availible by default, I know of many companies who do enable one or both, for remote workers who do not, or cannot use outlook anywhere – Sam Oct 12 '09 at 16:39
If you ask your admin nicely, he might enable IMAPS. Note that the service needs to be configured, and also, the individual account has to have it enabled. We have the service configured, but only for a handful of accounts. <br/> Also, you'll have fun with SMTPS + AUTH - a lot of mail clients don't do SMTP AUTH properly, so you may well find you can receive but not send. – Richard Gadsden Oct 12 '09 at 16:39

If you run mac at home, the newest OSx version (snow leopard) has a built-in mail client that uses EWS (Exchange Web Services). It's the only "free" or bundled Exchange-aware client I'm aware of.


There's a Greasemonkey userscript, OWA Search, that adds search capability to OWA. It works … okay.


It's also worth noting that OWA does have a search feature if you access it from Internet Explorer.


That was HP OpenMail.

What was HP OpenMail? – John Gardeniers Oct 13 '09 at 10:01
Hah! And Scalix [] was the name of the open source project that grew out of OpenMail. I wonder if they ever made a client, and if it would work with today's Exchange Server? – nray Oct 13 '09 at 17:07

You can try Thunderbird, but depending on how the Exchange server is configured, you may not have any luck. This is a pretty good how-to regarding Thunderbird and Exchange.

Or, depending on how sensitive your mail is, you can just forward a copy to a gmail account and use gmail.


The Linux client Evolution had figured out how to leverage Outlook Web Access to work as an exchange client, but I'm not sure whether this was free or not and whether it still works or not. Cool idea, though.

Sometimes I prefer the search in OWA, because it's so much easier to restrict the search to just subject keywords, (you do always send emails with good searchable subjects, don't you?).

What was the name of the old HP mail system*, it was fully MAPI-compatible and I believe it even went open-source in the end... or am I just imagining things?

*Thank you @sendmoreinfo, it was Scalix (ex-HP OpenMail) I was thinking of.


I have had a good experience using eM Client:

It has full MAPI support (Calendar, Contacts, etc.) and seems to perform almost as well as Outlook from what I can tell so far (I have only been using it for about a week now).

There was some trouble getting it set up at first, don't make the mistake I did: use the "automatically detect" settings to connect to your Exchange server, and if it can't connect (it won't be able to) manually enter the information. It seems that manually configuring eM Client for Exchange from the get-go doesn't work (at least it didn't for me, and according to the community forums a lot of others), you have to do the automatic thing first.


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