The ProtonMail Import-Export application beta is now available to all paid users


We’re excited to announce the beta release of the Import-Export app, which is one of the most-requested features in our community feedback forum. With this tool, you can import your entire mailbox directly from another email account, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, or upload email files stored on your computer. You can also export emails from your ProtonMail account to your hard drive for secure backup.

We have been testing the Import-Export app with Visionary and Lifetime plans, and we are now ready to open up the beta app to all paid plans.

How to use the Import-Export app

Starting today, all users with Plus, Professional, Visionary, and Lifetime accounts can download the Import-Export app.

Windows users can download the app here.

MacOS users can download the app here.

Once you have installed the app, you can follow the instructions to import and export emails. To import emails from another email service provider, you will have to ensure your account is configured to allow IMAP access (don’t worry, it only takes a minute).

If you have questions about using the app, you can check our Knowledge Base section on Import-Export or get in touch with our Support team.

Great for individuals and businesses

For businesses, strong encryption is one of the best ways to harden your organization against cyberattacks, achieve many of the technical compliance requirements of the GDPR and HIPAA, and show your clients that you take data protection seriously. The Import-Export app makes switching to encrypted email much simpler. With just a few quick steps, you can migrate your entire organization to ProtonMail. During import, emails are automatically zero-access encrypted, meaning ProtonMail never has access to your messages. The export function can help you securely back up your files for retention and archiving.

For individual users, many of these same benefits apply: You can now leave your non-private email service behind and decrease your risk of being impacted by a security breach. Additionally, if you are reaching the storage limit on your account, you can export emails from your account to clear up space without having to delete them.

Why is Import-Export a paid feature?

At ProtonMail, our mission is to make email privacy and security accessible to everyone. As some users have pointed out, the decision to make the Import-Export app available only to paying users seems to conflict with our mission. In fact, if we have the capacity, we will open up Import-Export to all users, but we first need to ensure this new feature will not overload our servers. We will update the community with more information about the possible expansion of this feature.

We want your feedback!

When a new feature is in beta testing, we rely on your feedback to help improve our product. If you find any problems or have suggestions for improvements, you can get in touch with our Support team by following these simple instructions for web and mobile devices, or connect on our social media pages listed below.

Thank you for helping us build the future of email.

Best Regards,
The ProtonMail Team

You can get a free secure email account from ProtonMail.

We also provide a free VPN service to protect your privacy.

ProtonMail and ProtonVPN are funded by community contributions. If you would like to support our development efforts, you can upgrade to a paid plan or donate. Thank you for your support!


About the Author

Ben Wolford

Ben Wolford is a writer at Proton. A journalist for many years, Ben joined Proton to help lead the fight for data privacy.


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43 comments on “The ProtonMail Import-Export application beta is now available to all paid users

  • What about the Linux version? Will he be ignored again?
    There is no ProtonMail Bridge, no ProtonVPN Linux, and now no Export-Import for Linux?
    After all, privacy and Windows do not stand together!

    • We’re actively working on resolving this specific issue with one of our next updates for the Bridge app and Import/Export APP.

  • One thing I’m not clear on after reading the above is where the imported emails are accessed from. Will there be a separate section in the app to view these emails or will they appear in a separate folder under the main mail folder. I’d like to know a little about this before installing the beta. Will they be accessible from the iOS app, etc. Thanks.

    • The imported messages will be stored on your ProtonMail account, depending on which folder you’ve selected during the Import process. You can view the messages while logged in from the web app, mobile app or if you’ve configured your ProtonMail account with an email client via Bridge. You can find the instructions for the Import/Export app here as well:

  • Why do so few (any?) of these announcements mention anything about Linux? I presume a significant proportion of your user base is primarily using Linux, more so than your peer services. Is this feature available, or will it be available soon?

  • A few ideas and questions:
    1. when i am logged in and i click ‘report bug / i have a question’, it openes a new tab; why doesn’t it keep me logged in?
    2. how can you prove that users have 100% privacy, that you don’t read/access their emails, CONSIDERING you have servers exactly (is this a coincidence or not really?) in those 5-eyes countries, and a very bad/evil country like Iceland? Yes, some people know how to read between the lines and know about the super-secret Icelandic owners of 🙂 Thank you for your honest (and not necessarily professional) answer.

    • The report bug should open the form to create a ticket and the I have a question opens a new tab as it leads to the knowledge base. Our servers are definitely not hosted in a 5 eyes country. They are located on several locations within Switzerland so your data never goes to the cloud. However, it is important to keep in mind that 100% privacy is not possible.

  • What about the Linux version? Will he be ignored again? There is no ProtonMail Bridge, no ProtonVPN Linux, and now no Export-Import for Linux?
    After all, privacy and Windows do not stand together!

  • All paid users who use Windows or Mac. But not to Linux users. As usual 3rd class support for Linux. Still waiting for IMAP before giving you money.

    • Our Bridge app for Linux is currently in open beta and it enables you to configure your ProtonMail account with an email client like Thunderbird or evolution. Our import/export app for Linux is currently in development. Thank you for your patience.

  • You should have made the import-export software compatible with ALL windows versions…

    Not inclusive to limit to only the more recent ones.

    • We support Windows XP and higher. We don’t support older Windows versions because they are no longer supported by Microsoft and not safe to use.

  • So I’ve been testing the migration tool on Mac (High Sierra) and here are a few thoughts:

    – It’s somewhat unstable: initialising the migration process resulted in launching the app 3 times because it crashed while configuring the IMAP folder mapping (and creating the destination folders). I had about 25 folders to match.
    – It’s also stable: I have a slow ADSL connection and got tired of waiting for the mail upload to complete over my 0,9Mbps link. So I paused the process and switched wifi to use my phone 4G connection instead. I got a red ribbon stating the connection to the server got lost but after retrying it reconnected and I got to resume the migration.
    – It lacks documentation: Some messages could not be migrated because of size or header problems. The limitations should be documented so we can have an idea of what will be migrated and what won’t.
    – It seriously lacks asynchronicity (probably not a word but you know what I mean) in user interactions: When a message cannot be migrated, it asks the user what to do and pauses the migration process meanwhile. I started the whole thing before going to bed because of the slow connection (don’t forget, fibre optics is a city folks thing) and was kind of appalled the next morning to find the whole thing at 20% progress because it awaited my input. I’m sure it would be possible to keep migrating other emails meanwhile…
    – In the end, it’s pretty hard to know which emails were not properly migrated and that’s frustrating. A listing or log output of those missing emails would be welcome to manually process them post-migration in case some are important (the app logs located at ~/Library/Logs/protonmail/import-export/c0/ are not very helpful in that matter).
    – Again on the slow connections: some email providers have server-side migration tools that allow for datacenter to datacenter migrations instead of transiting through the user’s internet connection. Maybe the migration tool could simply trigger that and the actual transfers could be performed by ProtonMail servers?

    Am I confident my emails were properly migrated? The tool identified 18423 messages to migrate which is consistent with the quota usage displayed by my previous provider (Fastmail). However, the disk usage is quite different: Fastmail calculates those emails use 2,8 GB of disk space while ProtonMail displays a quota use of 1,80 GB. So either they use very different filesystems and ProtonMail has a smaller cluster size allowing smaller objets to use less disk space, or some emails or attachments were not properly migrated. Again if there were logs of unprocessed messages it would be easier to assess the resulting state. I guess I could configure both accounts in an IMAP client and download the full accounts to compare the mailbox size on a common filesystem but that would take some time on my slow connection. Maybe if I can get the ProtonBridge to work on a headless Linux server (in a datacenter with fast internet) I will try to compare the results.

    If you are interested in the tool logs (for the first two crashes for instance) I can share them, just tell me where to upload them or who to send them to.

    Thanks for the tool, maybe I should have started with that! I wrote this message in the spirit of feedback and improvement, I understand it’s still in beta… very promising so far anyhow.

  • TL;DR: Wanting a blog post about how to integrate free email address with paid account.

    This is a function I’ve been waiting for! Probably like others here, in the early days of ProtonMail, I’ve created 2 free email accounts. Since I liked the service, I upgraded my main account to a paid plan. Unfortunately, the 2nd email account had accumulated too many emails to manually export the emails 1 by 1. Now this tool has been released, it should be easy. However, afraid of screwing up, could you write a blog post or something on how to do this step by step? For example:

    1. Install import-export app.
    2. Export emails free account… (wait… I guess it doesn’t work yet for free 😐 )
    3. Import emails to paid account.
    4. Delete free email account.
    5. Add email address to paid account.

    Thank you in advance.

    • The steps you have mentioned are correct. We will definitely pass your suggestion to our team to add a new article on how to transfer a free ProtonMail account over to a paid ProtonMail account including the messages. However, in order to login to the Import/Export app, your ProtonMail account needs to be subscribed to one of our paid ProtonMail plans. A workaround for this would be to temporary subscribe to our Plus plan with the free account so you can export your messages with our app. Also, we do have a support team that can help you with onboarding, so if you need additional assistance please contact us at

  • I’ve send two mails to get this Beta application for Linux. And I still don’t have any answer. Could you please consider my demand?
    Thank you for your help and for your great encrypted email service.

    • Our team has informed us that they have recently sent over invites for the Linux Bridge build, so please let us know if you were able to receive it.

  • I have been a paid member for a little and I am trying to import my gmail into protonmail using import/export tool. I didnt use the bridge having heard horror stories, so I thought waiting for this tool would be worth it. Little disappointing so far.

    I have like 2000 emails in my sent folder in gmail and around 30000 in inbox. After numerous tries I have finally gotten all my sent mail into protonmail sent folder. Atleast it says it imported all of them – tough to verify.

    No matter what I do – when I try to import my gmail inbox email into protonmail inbox – it just sits at “Estimating the total number of messages”.

    Hopefully can find a fix to this soon.

    • Thank you for reporting the problem, we are indeed working on this and will have a new release soon which will hopefully address this issue.

  • The import export failed pretty miserably on my email server by constantly insisting that the server/port numbers are incorrect, when I know this to be untrue. Without a clear error message it is rather hard to use if your email server is not google or yahoo.

    • Import/Export tool is in beta right now and it may have some bugs. We will be releasing new versions that should fix many of these.

  • I have tried several time to get the import tool to work, I can log in to my Protonmail account no problem, but the two Gmail accounts I have tried with both show “Incorrect login credentials. Please try again” I have enabled IMAP and have even allowed 3rd party apps to connect to Gmail as per request from a Protonmail support staff member, also I have no 2fa enabled on the Gmail accounts.

    Also I have a paid plan with ProtonMail.

    Last time I heard from support was on the 31st of January and I replied back the same day, but nothing in return..

    Could you please reply Mia N so I can get some help?

    • Hi Rune! Please note that since the Import/Export app is in beta, unfortunately some errors are expected. Our team is constantly working on fixing these issues and improving the app in order to make everything work as expected. Can you please share your ticket number with us so our team can check and assist you further? Thank you.

  • Trying to migrate from Gmail to PM about 10K emails of about 5GB in size all up. No matter what I try after the import started and keeps working along nicely, eventually I’m getting the error message:

    The program encountered an unknown error

    Imported message not fully encrypted
    please see log files for more details.

    Happy to provide the log files to the PM team if that is of any help but please fix this bug!


    • Hi Martin! Please send us the logs. Also, please inform us if you are interested in import/export beta in the future? Thank you.