Notification Emails

January 12th 2015 update:

As part of the version 1.12 deploy, we have improved our notification system.  You can now toggle notification on or off in the settings page while keeping the outside email for password recovery purposes.  If you have new unseen email that has not already been notified, the new system will send you a notification email about once every 24 hours.  However, if you access your ProtonMail account then leave (by signing out, closing the browser, and etc), the 24 hour waiting period will be reset and any new incoming email should trigger a notification within an hour or two.  Under this new system, infrequent users will not be spammed by multiple notifications per day, more frequent users will get timely notifications, and users who primarily use ProtonMail can simply switch the notifications off.  Currently, we still do not allow a notification for each new email due to the increased load and possibility of spam.

May 2014:

In ProtonMail Version 1.04, the notification email feature was launched. The notification emails can be set in the Settings page in your inbox.

notifications

 

Notifications behave exactly as one would expect, it sends a notification email to the listed email to inform you when there are new messages in your ProtonMail account.

notifications2

ProtonMail’s notification email system is intelligent and will not spam your other email account with notifications. Notifications are only sent if

1.  It has been 24 hours since you last logged into your account.

2.  There are new messages in your account (messages that have already been read once but are then marked as unread do not count).

3.  Notifications are only sent once per day at maximum.

While notifications are enabled, we do know what your notification email is and if issued an enforceable Swiss court order asking us to turn over your notification email, we will have to turn over your notification email. Notification emails are permanently deleted from our system if you delete the notification email in the Settings page.

About the Author

Jason Stockman

Jason is the Co-Founder of ProtonMail. He works on building ProtonMail's webmail interface and front-end encryption. Jason has 10+ years experience building websites and applications.

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89 comments on “Notification Emails

  • Hello, will there be other domains provided than protonmail.ch?
    What about country specific domains like protonmail.nl? Thanks.

    Reply
      • This should not be a huge problem. Domains can be registered from anywhere if the registrar allows registration from a external country.
        However: I think they will stick to the .ch to reenforce the switzerland-hosting to be displayed everywhere^^

        Reply
      • ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

        Reply
  • I agree with TroyDM. I will be logging into protonmail continuously more than my current email provider, thus negating notifications due to the 24hour rule.

    I believe the reasoning for email notifications assumes that the user will not be using the proton mail for other than important correspondence or communications with a human being (not a bot). Under that reasoning, I would prefer to be notified EVERY time I received a message, due to the importance of said conversations.

    Might I suggest that, yes, there is a notification option. But, allow us to pick the conditions under which notifications might be suppressed. Such as a check box for each item listed above.

    Reply
      • Please make disabling 24 hour notification an optional setting if you make a change.

        I prefer to log in when (a) sending or (b) when an email arrives. 24 hour notification is fine for my purpose. Thanks!

        Reply
      • Hi,

        As I am switching to protonmail I have set up 2 accounts. One that I use for my personal conversations and the other one that I use to communicate with the world/ to register at websites etc..
        It would be very helpful if I could setup “notifications” in such a way, that it sends out one notification (for each email) everytime I receive a new email.
        That would allow me to be most of the time online with one account and only check the other account if there is a new email.
        Although I can image that there are many more user who run more than one account for the same or similar reason.
        Therefore it might be even clever to have the “feature” to connect accounts together.
        So that you have in your account a button/notification-field that lights up as soon as the other connected email-account has received an email.

        Best Regards from NewZealand
        Michael

        Reply
  • Where do I go for more information of how to create an alias or two?
    And will the alias come up when I log in?

    Reply
  • I would also prefer a more frequent notification period, or better yet one that would have a user selectable time period

    Reply
  • Are there plans for mobile phone Apps and will it be possible to create folders within the e-mail App or web page? Examples are stored important e-mails and “orders placed”, etc.

    Reply
        • Yes, please hurry on the folders or labels. I’d like to be able to locate a stored email when necessary. Otherwise, this could turn into a big mess with no way to navigate other than the search field, which requires explicit knowledge to find just the right email. Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to being able to use ProtonMail as my primary email account.

          Reply
  • Very good product! I have been using and very impressive. Great job!
    Suggestions:

    -Grouping of recipients for business model may be desired.
    -Smartphone app version as another crowd fund project with smartphone version using host server as interface
    -Ability to save formats (ie logo, etc) for business.
    -Notification by phone txt message of message arrival.

    Reply
  • The real benefit of this function is to receive notification that an email has arrived. I don’t stay logged in all day, but I set this up so I could get notifications to do so on my phone. The 24 hour login rule defeats the purpose for me. Would be great to have settings that allow you to pick between “immediate” and “daily” notifications regardless of your last login to the system. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Unable to load Protonmail onto Apple IPhone 5…am I doing something wrong? Otherwise I love Protonmail…great work…great product!

    Reply
    • ProtonMail does not fully support mobile browsers at this time. We hope to publish a beta version of our iOS and Android mobile applications by the end of the year.

      Reply
      • Any chance you are developing an app for BlackBerry 10? or have native integration into the BlackBerry 10 Hub? If not, please consider as I am sure any BB user would prefer this over using an Android port.

        Reply
  • He probado el producto, y he encontrado el inconveniente que a direcciones de hotmail, no le llegas los correos de protonmail.., Por otro lado es excelente por el tema de la privacidad, solo me queda un interrogante:
    Dice que esto esta sujeto a la juridicción de Suiza.., lo que me hace pensar que los correos son almacenados( lo que me hace pensar que no es tan privado , se anula el acceso a tercero pero uds, lo almacenan) , quedando asi siempre expuesto a gobiernos que lo soliciten. (muy de actualidad y es lo que justamente se desea evitar)
    Solo serviria para que terceros inescrupulosos no puedan interrumpir el normal envio. Es algo similar a lo creado por un cientifico Argentino, del Conicet.

    saludos.

    Reply
  • Hi,

    I want to make an account with proton mail. I thought we didn’t had to give personal information, yet on sign up they already ask my emailaddress…..

    What if i don’t want to give personal information like my emailaddress? I just can’t sign up for an account?
    I really wanted to make one, but not with giving my emailaddress for notifications. (even though you say i can delete it in the system when signed up)

    Can you make the option to sign up without to give an emailaddress?

    Reply
    • Hi John, soon we will be implementing an invite system so if you get an invite code from a friend, then you will be able to get an account without providing an email address. Look for this to be launched in the next couple weeks.

      Reply
  • If the point of protonmail is privacy and security, why would I use this setting if:
    “While notifications are enabled, we do know what your notification email is and if issued an enforceable Swiss court order asking us to turn over your notification email, we will have to turn over your notification email.”

    If this is an email account I use I’ll just check it like any other. Not sure why I need to risk the reason I use it just so I can be told I have a new message.

    Reply
  • Why not provide a simple API for clients to use to check for new mail?

    1. Generate a unique ID (per account, an “API” key) from the settings panel.
    2. Issue an HTTP GET request using that ID as a specific parameter.
    3. Return the number of unread messages (only).

    Then, any client can be written/used to check for new email, without divulging any account information at all. Users could delete/recreate their API keys at any time. Internally, new email arriving could check for existence of a key, and if it exists, internally post an increment operation to it. Therefore, no keyaccount mapping need be done (other than being held securely in the user’s account settings), and if the key is compromised it only gets an attacker the current number of unread emails.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  • great service, thx !!
    maybe my question is really stupid, but will it be possible to receive and manage emails (encrypted) on a mail management program like thunderbird or others ?
    I guess these software already have encryption/decryption features, isn’t it?

    cheers

    Reply
    • We don’t support thunderbird yet because it doesn’t support ProtonMail encryption, but this is something we will try to work on later after we launch mobile apps.

      Reply
    • Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to also develop for Windows phone. We will work on this if we have extra time in the future.

      Reply
  • Concerning new mail notification: if the Proton Mail account is your only account you do have to log in frequently to check. And, if I understand correctly, the 24 hours counter is reset again, amking it somewhat ineffective (as mentioned here before).
    Would it be an idea to give users the opportunity to receive just “the number of new mails” information through POP3 or IMAP (SSL/TLS)? I’m not talking about full blown POP3 and/ or IMAP access so one can hook up for example Thunderbird. I’m just referring to the number of new messages in the inbox to start with.
    This would enable the use of an “mail watcher” or “new mail notifier” as for example shipped with many Linux distros (Xfce – https://github.com/brong/xfce4-mailwatch-plugin), which would eliminate the need to check in frequently to check new messages, and reduce traffic on the server caused by these frequent “check” logins.

    Reply
  • Concerning new mail notification: if the Proton Mail account is your only account you do have to log in frequently to check. And, if I understand correctly, the 24 hours counter is reset again, amking it somewhat ineffective (as mentioned here before).
    Would it be an idea to give users the opportunity to receive just “the number of new mails” information through POP3 or IMAP (SSL/TLS)? I’m not talking about full blown POP3 and/ or IMAP access so one can hook up for example Thunderbird. I’m just referring to the number of new messages in the inbox to start with.
    This would enable the use of an “mail watcher” or “new mail notifier” as for example shipped with many Linux distros (Xfce – https://github.com/brong/xfce4-mailwatch-plugin), which would eliminate the need to check in frequently to check new messages, and reduce traffic on the server caused by these frequent “check” logins.
    Furthermore, the HTTP GET request with specific ID mentioned above also sounds like a good approach…

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • Just wanted to see if there was any update on two of the feature’s Admin said would be implemented… Invite codes (it’s been more than “a couple weeks” since September 😉 ) and disabling/modifying the 24-hour requirement. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Thank you protonmail, you are the best. Recent Court opinions in the US indicate our government, more specifically, little creeps that like to act out their peeping-tom tendencies under the guise of “law enforcement,” have been using the pretense of “fighting terrorism” etc. as an excuse to spy on their citizens.

    And so, this encrypted stuff seems a good way to communicate, especially important, highly sensitive, confidential communications between attorneys and their clients or between counsel, etc.

    It is wholly violative of the US Constitutional right and protections accorded for privacy and unwarranted invasion of such privacy. Therefore, your protonmail protects US Citizens and all citizens throughout the World in their reasonable expectation of privacy. And, I thank you. Keep up the good work and I cannot wait until you all figure out how to encrypt attachments too.

    Reply
  • Hi,

    Just a suggestion! Protonmail invite notification email shouldn’t put actual username when sending to users that their email is ready to create!

    Since most of us are still using email like Gmail or Yahoo, it is still traceable using the username that Protonmail use in the notification for those users who requested for invite.

    Reply
  • Isn’t it unsafe to provide possibility of password recovery? In this case everyone who may hack your outside mailbox can get access to private one

    Reply
      • Hello.
        I’m agree with Serg, thas is recoreving just login password make one able to compromise an email address (the name of email box for recovering passord).

        Is there any way to delete notification email and make ProtonMail not to recover password through other mailboxes?

        Reply
          • Thank you for answer.
            But I tried the method you mentioned, but nothing happened. May be I have done anything wrong.

            I went to menu Settings – Account setting.
            Step 1. I changed Notification Email / Password Recovery Email to arbitrary email and saved changes.
            Step 2. After that I changed Notification Email / Password Recovery Email to email which was used to register protonmail account, and saved changes.
            Step 3. I cleared Notification Email / Password Recovery Email (no email mentioned), and of course saved the changes.

            When a try to simulate situation “forgot password”, I press “need help?” in login form and chosen “reset login passoword”.
            After entering PROTONMAIL ACCOUNT NAME and RECOVERY EMAIL form step 2 (which was cleared in step 3),

            Sorry for caps. I belive it shows main points of this message.

            I would like to make my protonmail account unassociated with any other simple email account, even this make me unable to recover passoword.

            Tell me please if I have done anything wrond in theese procedures.

  • YOU WROTE ” I would think for security it’s best for the server to be in switzerland”

    Why is Switzerland a good choice for your servers to be located?

    If the authorities of another country (eg, U.S.A.) want to read our Proton mail, they could request that a Swiss Judge should order Proton mail to open up our e-mails, in which case I suppose you would have to comply.

    Is Switzerland in any way safer or more difficult for them to do this than, say, Holland, or France… or Iran… or China…? Swiss Judges have ordered banks to give out information, why would they not force Protonmail to open up?

    Reply
    • The point is even if a Swiss judge forced us to open up the emails, all the email content that we do have is encrypted. As for whether a Swiss judge would order the disclosure of information, you only need to take a look at the numbers to see how high of a standard the Swiss courts apply. In 2014, only 18 cases were approved: https://protonmail.com/blog/transparency-report/

      Reply
  • How secure is ProtonMail with the Australian Govt making it mandatory for all telecommunications , emails etc, to be checked out as of Oct 2015. Apparently, all ISP’s have gotta be able to save and transfer data to their ‘Big Brother’.

    Reply
  • I just want to say to each member involved in the creation of the Proton System……THANK YOU ,THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! Much gratitude for ALL of your hard work, labor and time behind creating such a BEAUTIFUL interface !! VERY PLEASED & SATISFIED with the simplicity and MOST OF ALL the PRIVACY of using this so far. Everything about it so far, I’m extremely satisfied with. GREAT JOB EVERYONE!! I’m looking forward to becoming a full time proton user. I have several other accts that I’m planning on eventually transitioning for my business/personal email communication. I will be donating a lumpsum to support the expansion of your interface. Keep up the great work!! And HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!

    Reply
  • HI. Just one question: in “settings”, is the “current login password” mentioned in the “daily email notifications” section, the login password of my notification email (@gmail.com) or the login password of my @protonmail.ch account? Thanks

    Reply
  • I would like an UNSEND option – I have sent a couple of emails prior to making that last most important revision and then ooooops – SEND.
    So, danke for all of your magnificent efforts.

    Reply
    • I am having the same issue. In version 2.0, I received notifications, but after 3.0, even with the toggle enabled for notifications, I receive no notifications with email sitting in my inbox for days. I have stated this problem to admin twice with no response. As one who donated money to Proton Mail after deciding Proton Mail would be a good switch for my several email accounts utilizing the notification feature, to now lose that notification feature –– I sort of feel bait and switched. 🙁

      Reply
      • I’m just a new user so I may be talking nonsense.
        The “Notifications” section in the “SETTINGS” page seems to require your Proton password in the first data field.
        Is it possible the notification feature doesn’t work without entering correct info in this data field?

        Reply
  • Your proton email format is very confusing…I would suggest that it be modified to show the list of emails in the box on the left column and then then a pane which open the email content to be read and closed. and a thin line to separate the email coming from one person. right now I can see 10 emails coming and going from me to one person but the order is out of synch and when a new mail comes in, I see in bold but the order is not in the every bottom as it should…..but in the middle./.

    Reply
  • Are these notifications encrypted in any way? If not, is it planned to encrypt them? A plaintext notification would reveal to an eavesdropper that the two accounts involved most probably belong to the same person, it’s very inconvenient.

    Reply
  • This notifications by default are not clever. It allows Google on Gmail accounts to link old Gmail adresses to a protonmail account.

    Reply
  • Hey Jason,
    we like the program , when I sign up and tried to email out it kept erasing my reciptient and when I put the address in the to line it kept bring down a red tab saying I needed a recipitent name on the to line? what is going on?
    gloria

    Reply
    • Hi Gloria,
      Sorry for the inconvenience. We have released new version with fix for this problem.
      Can you please try to log out, refresh your browser and log in again?

      Reply
  • Hi Jason,

    It seems that email notifications are no longer working. I used to get some in the past but I’m no longer getting them. This forces me to log into my account to make sure I haven’t received mail; I’d rather log in only if I know that I have new messages.

    Thank you for everything anyway! 🙂

    Regards,

    Anne

    Reply
  • I cant change my login password it says login credentials. I cant change my mailbox either. I believe someone is using my email as theirs the account is SummerSunny@protonmail.com. additionally I am getting jobs contacts from new jersey which is weird. I have had someone using my intellectual property as theirs. in addition my phone number. I don’t have technical skills or computer aids

    Reply