The Bat!
Developer(s)Ritlabs, SRL
Initial releaseMarch 1997; 26 years ago (1997-03) (beta); March 1998; 25 years ago (1998-03)
Stable release[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 12 January 2024
Written inDelphi
Operating systemWindows (XP and later)
Size8 MB
Available in18 languages
TypeEmail client, feed reader

The Bat! is an email client for the Microsoft Windows operating system, developed by Moldovan software company Ritlabs. It is sold as shareware and offered in three editions: Home Edition, Professional Edition, and Voyager which is a portable version and is included with Professional Edition.[2]


Ritlabs, SRL is based in Chişinău, Moldova. It was founded as RIT Research Labs in 1992 by Sergey Demchenko and Slava Filimonov,[3] and were the creators of the DOS Navigator file manager.

Alongside The Bat!, Ritlabs also offer a mail server software called BatPost.[4]


Protocols and data security

The Bat! supports POP3 and IMAP alongside their SSL variants, and SMTP including secure STARTTLS connections. Microsoft Exchange Server is also supported via MAPI.

The internal PGP implementation based on OpenSSL lets users encrypt messages and sign them with digital signatures. Digital keys manager is included. PGP up to version 10.0.2 is supported. The Bat! supports S/MIME via Internal Implementation or Microsoft CryptoAPI, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) v3.0 / Transport Layer Security (TLS) v1.0, v1.1, and 1.2 (as of version 8.5) with AES algorithm.

The Bat! v9.1 supports TLS AEAD AES-GCM cipher suites for secure connections with mail servers. The Bat! v9.2.3 is in compliance with the Google's security standards related to the OAuth 2.0 protocol.

The Bat! checks attached file extensions and blocks their launching if they are suspicious. The Bat! warns users of double extension attachments and allows users to see the real extension. The Bat!'s internal viewer was replaced in version 9.2.1 with the Chromium web browser rendering engine to ensure HTML formatting is properly rendered, prevent script execution, and provide anti-phishing information.

Database encryption

The Bat! Professional has the option to encrypt the message database, address books and configuration files stored on the computer.[5] During the first program start, encryption can be activated and the master password can be set. The AES algorithm is used for encryption in the CBC process (Cipher Block Chaining) with a 128-bit key.[6]

Message Management

The Bat! provides virtual folders, advanced filtering, extensive search, a macro language, templates, tags, and color groups to assist in managing email.

Email templates contents may be dynamically changed through the use of macros, which can also be used to automatically execute other user-defined functions such as cursor positioning, addressing changes, identity changes, active account changes and other.


A filtering system that sorts incoming, outgoing, read, and replied messages to folders; auto-responds; replies with custom templates; forwards, redirects, prints, or exports messages; sends read confirmations; runs external programs and more.


Originally available in English, Russian, German, Polish and Dutch, the software interface has since been expanded to a total of 18 languages.

Support for IDNs that contain characters from non-Latin alphabets such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic and Greek. IDN support includes Latin alphabet-based characters with diacritics, such as those found in French and German.

Import function

The Bat! enables email import from the following programs and file formats:

Address books can be imported in the following formats:

RSS aggregator

Other than email, The Bat! also has a built-in feed reader using RSS.

Themes and Customization

In November 2020, with release of version 9.3 The Bat! introduced a number of themes to change its look and feel, also providing the ability for further color changes to the themes as provided. Toolbars and menus may also be modified, although doing that is difficult and not well documented.[original research?]


The Bat! has gained popularity in some regions including Europe.[7] Early reviews of The Bat! were largely positive: ZDNET in 1998 reviewed the first version and gave it 5 stars out of 5, saying "The Bat! is friendly, powerful, functional and easy to learn".[8] Zonia Heath of Shareware Junkies called it "a very fast and effective email client".[9] In 2000, also praised The Bat!, calling it an "exceptional piece of work" and noting the small 4 megabyte installation size.[10]

PCMag reviewing The Bat! 2.0 in 2004 gave a negative review.[11] In 2005, the website awarded The Bat! the "Best Email Client".[12] Alphr praised the Professional version of The Bat! 3.6 with its security features.[13] In 2011, Softpedia reviewed Professional version 5.0 and gave an "Excellent" rating of five out of five.[14] PC World on the other hand gave the Professional version 2.5 stars out of five in 2012, commenting that it "fails to deliver".[15] gave The Bat! 8.0 four stars out of five in 2019.[16]

Version history

Major version Initial release Notes
1.0 Beta March 1997 Supports folders, filtering, viewing HTML email without the need to have Internet Explorer installed, and international character sets. MailTicker feature.
1.00 March 1998 First stable version. Versions up to 1.31 was used the THtmlViewer layout engine by David Baldwin; 1.32 (27 April 2000) introduced a proprietary engine.
2.0 September 2003 Introduced IMAP support, a basic HTML editor, Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus Plug-ins and a Scheduler, and could import messages from Microsoft Office Outlook and Outlook Express.
3.0 September 2004 Introduced MAPI (Microsoft Exchange Server) support. IPv6 support added in v3.95 (December 2006).
4.0 February 2008 Text editor with Unicode support. Built-in image viewer.
5.0 April 2011 Improved IMAP protocol support. Quick reply feature and PGP v10 support added in v5.3.4 (December 2012).
6.0 November 2013 Full Unicode compatible. IDN support added. First 64-bit release. Support for RSS feeds, skype://, callto:// and tel:// protocols added in v6.3 (March 2014).
7.0 August 2015 CardDAV address book synchronization and Exchange Web Server (EWS) support.
8.0 November 2017
9.0 September 2019 v9.2.3 is in compliance with Google's security standards related to the OAuth 2.0 protocol for authentication with Gmail, Outlook and Yandex. Version 9.3.2 extended support to and
10.0 June 2022

Logo history

See also


  1. ^ "Download The Bat!". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  2. ^ "The Bat! Voyager".
  3. ^ "RIT Research Labs Company". 14 April 1997. Archived from the original on 14 April 1997. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Ritlabs SRL - secure email client software for Windows". 19 January 2015. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  5. ^ "The Bat! Help". Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "TechByter Worldwide | The Bat: Still Flying High After All These Years; Utilities that Monitor Your Computer's Hardware; Short Circuits; and Spare Parts". Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  8. ^ "The Bat!: Let the BAT get your email - ZDNet Software Library". 15 September 1999. Archived from the original on 15 September 1999. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  9. ^ "The Bat!". 14 October 1997. Archived from the original on 14 October 1997. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  10. ^ "This Bat really flies". 28 May 2000. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "The Bat! 2.0". PCMAG. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Best Email Client -". Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  13. ^ "The Bat! 3.6 Professional review". 17 February 2006. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^
  15. ^ "The Bat! Professional Is Not an Easier Email Client". PCWorld. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  16. ^ Morant, Adrian. "Review : TheBat! Email client". Retrieved 23 October 2023.