Best email program or what happened to claws mail?

I remember installing Gpg4win a few years back and I believe it was the full installation and it included an email program called Claws Mail. I never really started using Gpg4win back then, but now I am and I was wondering about Claws Mail and alternatives.

I see the most recent version of the full installation includes what I understand to be plugins for Gpg4win to work with MS Outlook. This surprised me as even though I understand a lot of people use Outlook that a free software program like Gpg4win would not with an alternative for those wishing to avoid Outlook or any other commercial software whenever possible.

So, am I missing something? When I installed the full version of gpg4win-2.3.0.exe I did not see the option for Claws Mail nor any other, just the plugins for Outlook.

I have Office 2007 installed on my Windows 8.1 machine since I need it for other things, but always try to avoid Outlook and have moved away from Mozilla’s Thunderbird as well as Firefox, so this is why I was looking into Claws Mail.

To me Claws Mail seems to the only decent and free alternative to Outlook and Thunderbird on a Windows machine, so why isn’t included in the full version of gpg4win-2.3.0.exe and should I still use the latest Claws Mail and if not, what else do you recommend?


Hi Douglas,

Thank you for your Feedback!

GpgOL (The Outlook Plugin) ist just a feature that comes with the gpg4win installtion. The Outlook Plugin is just shipped with the gpg4win installtion. As far as I know, by not adding an additional client, the installtion package is much smaller and the updates on the gpg4win package only concentrate on gpg4win itself and they don’t have to hassle with additional packages.

With gpg4win you install gnugp to your system, so you are free of choice with any mail client that supports PGP. Since I don’t know Claws Mail, I took a look at the webpage ( The offer a Windows Port and even list PGP as valid Plugin for this Port. As far as I read, you just download Claws Mail, activate the PGP Plugin, configure it and it should be ready to use.

Best Wishes

The most popular E-Mail client with gpg4win support is Thunderbird with Enigmail plugin.

Trojitá is currently getting support for GnuPG, too but that’s still under development.

I think it might be a good idea for our homepage to list / link some E-Mail clients that work well with Gpg4win. Maybe with one or two screenshots of each.

For now this would be at least Claws and Enigmail probably GpgOL and Outlook Privacy Plugin. Maybe Emacs? I’m not sure if we should mention kontact for windows as the publically available installers for it are unmaintained.

Troijta we could add once they’ve released a windows version with crypto support.

Jochen, thanks for the reply, I get it now.

However, could you still tell me whether or not that a few years ago did GPG4Win come with Claws Mail as an additional component to install?

The reason I’m trying to figure this out is because I’m trying to remember if the PGP or GPG program I used for my Windows Vista (the OS I had at the time I used PGP/GPG a few years back) machine back then was GPG4Win & Claws Mail. As I said before, I never really “dove into it” and started actually using GPG and the programs, but from what I remember it was GPG4Win and I don’t want to install and then uninstall 10 different versions of old releases to find out if it was an previous version of your package.

Thanks Again.

Fully working gpg plugins for MS Outlook are missed dreadfully since years…

In my opinion in GpgOL (and in Outlook Privacy Plugin too) some essential features are missing or a little bit buggy (Pgp/Mime support, signature verifying…).
A stable running but really expensive tool seems to be Giegerich’s Gpg4O, but its missing sending PGP/Mime support too.

So Thunderbird seems to be the one and only fully featured client for gpg secured communication.

Hi Douglas,
to add some history: Until 2.3.0 we were shipping Claws Mail with Gpg4win.

We also were the ones who did create the Windows installer for Claws
in the first place. We seperated the packages so each one can be maintained and updated separately. (You can read up on the technical discussion on gpg4win-devel in July 2015.)

Best Regards,
ps.: Flattr Gpg4win at,
if you appreciate this answer and my work within the Gpg4win Initiative.

Andre, Chris & Bernhard,

Thanks, those were all the answers I was looking for. I’m impressed by how quickly and accurately everyone replied.