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Gmail vs Outlook: Which one comes out on top?

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Emails have replaced traditional mail for the most part, and Gmail and Outlook are the two most widely used email platforms worldwide, followed by Yahoo Mail.

In this article, we pit Gmail against Outlook to compare them over 12 parameters and see which one is better and which one you should use and why.

Also read: What is ProtonMail and 6 reasons why you should use it.

What is Gmail?

With over 1.5 billion users, Gmail is a free email service by Google launched on April 1, 2004.

Gmail can be used to send and receive emails, create address books, block spam, schedule emails and perform a lot more tasks. In order to access these features of Gmail, we first require a Google account, which also makes accessing other Google services like Calendar, Docs, Slides and Youtube.

The key features of Gmail include:

  • Filtering spam or junk emails automatically.
  • Email conversations and group conversations, keeping the inbox more organised and holding the thread of emails together.
  • Hangouts can be used for instant chatting and voice and video calls instead of sending emails.
  • Smart compose and reply makes typing an email easier and less time-consuming.

Also read: How to set up automatic reply in Gmail?

What is Outlook?

Originally released by the name of Hotmail in 1996, Outlook was relaunched by Microsoft on July 31, 2012 and currently boasts over 400 million users.

Microsoft Outlook is one of the oldest email client software that started shipping with Windows in the Office 97 bundle. Since then the email client has come a long way in both functionality, application and cross-platform availability. Currently, Outlook can run not only on Windows but also Mac, Android and iOS as well as can be accessed online. If you keep busy all day and don't have long to reply to every email, it makes sense to automate some of the tasks in your workflow that are bound to remain the same and feel like a repetition every time you've to perform them. One such thing in emails is your signature that goes at the end of your email and will remain the same in most cases.  Similar to several other services, Outlook comes with a default signature setup, which is something generic that you're unlikely to include in your emails as signing off with style is important. In this article, we're going to walk you through changing your signature in Outlook on the PC as well as mobile app. How to change signature in Outlook on PC? Open the Outlook app on PC and follow the steps below. These might also work on Outlook live. Step 1: Click on the File option at the top-left of the app window.Step 2: Click on Options from the left-sidebar menu.Step 3: A dialogue box will pop-up on the screen .Click on Mail from the left-sidebar menu and then click on the Signatures... button beside Create or modify signatures for messages under Compose messages sub-heading. Step 4: Either click on the New button to create a new signature for your emails or select and edit an existing one. Then type the new or modified signature in the Edit signature text box below. Click on the OK button to save the changes. Make sure to choose the correct email account for the respective signature if you have more than one email address configured on your Outlook app.  Also read: 7 tips and tricks that will make your Edge (Chromium) experience better How to change signature in Outlook on the mobile app? Launch the Outlook app on your smartphone and follow the steps mentioned below.  Tap on the three horizontal bar (hamburger) menu icon at the top-left of the display. Then tap on the Settings (gear) icon at the bottom-left on the next page. Then tap on Signature under Mail sub-heading with the default app signature below. On the next page, edit the Signature and then tap on the tick-mark icon at the top-right of the display. The new signature will be saved, and you'll see the change reflected under the Signature option. The same steps should also work on Outlook for iOS. Let us know in the comments below if they don't. Also read: How to setup a Gmail account?

Outlook can be used to send, receive and organise emails, to-do lists, calendars, contacts and tasks, all in one place. The first step to use Outlook is creating an email account. Once you are a part of the organisation, you can store information about people you interact with, work with tasks and appointments and even schedule emails.

The key features of Outlook are:

  • Creating and accessing meetings, tasks, appointments and contacts from a single drop menu, instead of switching between windows frequently.
  • Using Quick Parts to send similar category of mails quicker, by saving parts of the mail that can be inserted later.

Also read: What version of Outlook do I have?

What is the difference between Gmail and Outlook?

Gmail and Outlook both have a huge user base and an amazing set of features. Both have different set of strengths and test cases. While Outlook is more suitable for professional use, Gmail is better for personal use, but doesn’t lag behind for professionals as well.

While there is no clear winner among the two, one’s better than the other in specific tasks discussed below.

ParameterGmailOutlookWhich one is better?
AccessibilityGmail can be accessed via a web browser only. There are mobile applications for both iOS and Android.Outlook can be accessed via the web browser as well as the desktop application. It is also available on both Android and iOS.Outlook
Charges for usingFree to create and use. For add-ons, G-Suite, Basic pack can be purchased starting at $6 per month.A free web-mail service, but in order to download and use on desktop, a purchase has to be made. Microsoft 365 starts at $6.99 per month. Gmail
InterfaceThe compose option, search bar and labelled emails are clearly visible, and easy to find and navigate.The top bar or ribbon that has options for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes embedded, which is not directly or clearly visible.Gmail
SearchThe search is advanced. You can search on the basis of labels, tabs, categories, recipients, subject lines, and attachments.The search feature is rather simple with a search bar to search for specific emails or contacts or queries. Gmail
Archive foldersWhen an email is archived, it is shifted to a folder names All Mail, which can make sorting difficult later.The clean up feature automatically archives any duplicate messages. The archive folder exists as a separate entity and does not mix with other mails.Outlook
Accessing calendars and contactsIt does not have the inbuilt features of calendars and contacts, but integrates with Google calendars and Google contacts externally.It has inbuilt features of calendar and contact that makes using them easier without having to connect with or open a new window.Outlook
Application integrationsGmail has extensions that can be installed on Chrome directly, including Gmelius (a collaborative inbox tool), Boomerang, and Giphy. Other external apps that can be integrated directly into Gmail include Slack, Zoom, and Evernote. App integrations are available for apps like Asana, Trello, GitHub, and also Grammarly, Boomerang, and Evernote. But these are not available for Outlook web. Gmail
Integration with storageGoogle Drive can be used for uploading files and sharing them seamlessly via Gmail.Outlook uses OneDrive to upload and share files.Equal
StorageFree storage capacity of 15 GB.Free storage capacity of 30 GB, and extra 5 GB with a free OneDrive account.Outlook
Security2-step verification2-step verificationEqual
Encrypted mailsEmails sent are auto-encrypted during transit using TLS, provided the receiving account supports TLS. The users are given an option to encrypt the emails. The user needs to select the encryption option before sending the email. Gmail
Customer ServiceOfficial and community support. G Suite users have live 24/7 customer support available.Official and community support. Dedicated support for Microsoft 365 users. Gmail
Difference between Gmail and Outlook

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Ishita Maheshwari

Ishita Maheshwari

A creative nerd, TT player, an avid reader, and an engineering student.