Email Client

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What Does Email Client Mean?

Email client is a desktop application that enables configuring one or more email addresses to receive, read, compose and send emails from that email address(s) through the desktop interface. It provides a central interface for receiving, composing and sending emails of configured email address(s).

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Email client is also known as email reader or mail user agent (MUA).

Techopedia Explains Email Client

Email client primarily is a desktop application that enables users to receive and send emails directly on their desktop. Typically, email client requires an email address to be setup and configured before user can start using email service. These configuration and settings generally include email address, password, POP3/IMAP and SMTP address, port number, email aliases and other related preferences.

On a pre-defined time or when invoked manually by user, the email client fetches new emails from the email service provider’s hosted and managed mailbox. These emails are delivered using the mail transfer agent (MTA) of an email service provider. Similarly when sending emails, the email client uses mail submission agent (MSA) to deliver messages to the email server and further to the destination email address. Moreover, email client can be used to configure multiple email addresses from different email service providers. Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and IBM Lotus Notes are popular examples of email clients.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.