ProtonMail’s New Features Guide

We are excited to dedicate this blog post to help our new and returning users learn more about the newest features and improvements we have added to ProtonMail in the past year. Here is a list of some of the great features we’ve added this past year:

Encrypted Attachments

Encrypted Attachments Blog

In the past, attachments sent and received with ProtonMail were not encrypted. Now with ProtonMail v1.16, attachments are now automatically encrypted and decrypted within your inbox. This has been one of our most requested features and we are excited to implement this feature now for all of our users.

With this new update, all attachments exchanged with other ProtonMail users are end-to-end encrypted! Attachments received from incoming outside emails or sent to outside are stored encrypted and cannot be decrypted except by you with the correct mailbox password. When you view your messages, you can decrypt stored attachments immediately within your browser by clicking download.

The Encrypt for Outside Users feature does not support end-to-end encryption of attachments yet; we will release this in the future.

New Folder: Archive

So far, all emails in ProtonMail reside in one and only one of 5 folders: Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Spam, and Trash.  You can think of these as physical compartments and emails can be moved from one folder to another. The Starred “folder” is actually not a real folder because it simply gathers starred emails that reside in the 5 real folders.


In v1.16, we are finally adding a widely requested 6th folder: Archive.  For those unfamiliar with Archive, it is mainly used to store emails that you don’t want in your inbox but want to keep.  This is particularly useful for inbox zero practitioners: you can now move email from Inbox to Trash if you want to delete it or to Archive if you want to save it.

Great, now what if you also want custom folders to organize emails into categories such as “To-do” or “Summer Vacation”? After much research and thinking, we came to the conclusion that the best way to implement custom “folders” is actually through custom “labels”.

Labels for Messages

The problem with folders is that an email can only be in one folder; this is very intuitive but also very limiting. Typically, when you delete a folder, you also delete all the emails inside it, leading to complicated re-organizations. Labels, on the other hand, are much more flexible and thus better for customization. This is why in v1.16, we built labels on top of the 6 real folders.


The way labels work is first, you create a label (in the Labels dropdown or in Settings).  For example, let’s create the label “Friends” with a blue color. Once a label is created, it will show up on the left sidebar below the folders and also in the Labels dropdown. You can now add the label to any email regardless of which folder it resides in using the Labels dropdown.

Clicking the “Friends” label on the left sidebar will take you to the listing view of all emails with the “Friends” label and feels just like a folder.  You can then remove labels from emails: this will NOT delete the emails or change which folder they are in.  Finally, in the Settings page, you can edit, delete, and even re-order labels.  Deleting a label does NOT delete any emails.

We hope our hybrid system of folders and labels will help increase your productivity and we will continue to innovate to make them easier to use.

Theme Settings

Ever wanted to give your ProtonMail inbox a custom theme? Now you can with the newest Theme tab in ProtonMail settings.

New Theme Settings

With this page, you can insert your own CSS theme code to customize the look and feel of your inbox, exactly the way you want. We’re excited to see what you can come up with using this new feature, so please tweet us screenshots of your custom themes! You can view and download custom themes that have been submitted to us on our official custom themes page. To submit a theme to us, email us at If you ever mess up and want to reset your theme, click here.

New Editor & Encrypted Reply for Outside Email Users

Encrypted communications with your friends, business partners, and clients without ProtonMail accounts is now easier than ever with the newly improved Encrypt to Outside feature.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.44.35 AM

Any recipient of your password-encrypted message can reply within the same conversation without needing a ProtonMail account. They can simply click ‘Reply Securely’ after accessing the password protected message you send them and the reply will be delivered to your ProtonMail account, with full end-to-end encryption.

Quick Hotkey Shortcuts (Inbox only)


Now you can mark your messages as read or unread without clicking the button! Press [u], [r], or [s] on your keyboard while hovering over your emails to market messages as unread, read, or starred respectively. These new hotkeys make it even more convenient for you to organize your inbox.

Sending/Receiving from


All ProtonMail accounts now support sending and receiving from both and domains. This means that you can send/receive mail as [username] OR [username] To choose which email to use when sending, it’s easy as choosing from the dropdown menu from the compose page next to the “From” box. You can go into settings to set which email you would like to serve as your default email address for outgoing emails. For a more detailed explanation, please check our knowledge base article.

 ProtonMail Knowledge Base

ProtonMail Knowledge Base

Have you ever had a ProtonMail question but didn’t know where to look? Don’t worry, we’ve created our knowledge base so now you’ll be able to look for answers, tutorials and facts about ProtonMail all in one place. With the knowledge base, you’ll also be able to help out by giving valuable feedback ProtonMail needs for improvement through the report bugs and request features buttons!

Feedback Forum

Since our launch, we have designed ProtonMail with privacy and usability in mind, and we’ve worked hard to make sure that each comment and suggestion is a part of our development process. Now you can vote, comment and post new ideas for ProtonMail to develop in the future through the Feedback Forum.


You can access the Feedback Forum directly from the Knowledge Base through the “Request Feature” button, as well as on the footer of our Homepage. To give feedback, simply type out your idea in the “Enter your Idea” form. You can vote on ideas other users have submitted and see how many votes each idea has received. In general, we will try to build the features which are the most requested. In order to avoid duplicates, we suggest trying to search first before submitting a new feature to ensure that it has not been submitted already.

We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the new features we’ve added to ProtonMail in the past year. Your feedback has been highly important to us as we plan new features in each new version of ProtonMail. If you would like to share your ideas or suggestions with us, please share them with us on the Feedback Forum or send us an email. As always, you can follow our progress on Twitter or on our blog.

Best Regards,

The ProtonMail Team

About the Author


We are scientists, engineers, and developers drawn together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties online. Ensuring online privacy and security are core values for the ProtonMail team, and we strive daily to protect your rights online.

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68 comments on “ProtonMail’s New Features Guide

  • it will be nice if we have acknowledgment of receipt future, it’s so rare in webmail.

    Vidal guillem

  • This is a very minor issue, so please take it as a suggestion!

    On the main website, could you put a link for “Sign In” next to the “Sign Up” link?

    It would make it easier to find, especially on portable devices.



  • Thank you very much for opening my protonmail account. It is reassuring that there are innovators such as yourselves.

  • I finally received an invitation to set up a Proton email after waiting several months. However, I cannot find the email and link to move forward with the set up.

    I have several email addresses and have checked them all, but cannot find this email. Is there a way for you to check when the invite went out and next steps?


  • I am still waiting for the invitation. But was wondering, won’t it sound a bit geeky to say/write (Since I am no scientist or into software or IT)

    I just wished to know, are you guys planning to introduce new shorter domains like, maybe or or

  • I have to ask – What is the maximum password length for the Protonmail Account, and then the Protonmail Encryption?

    Also, I second making a protonmail iPhone app, that’s pretty much all I need now.

    One more suggestion – Make a forum, people won’t need to comment on blog posts with questions anymore and they can discuss among themselves.


  • Hi

    Can I make it appear as if I’m sending email from my own domain address through a forwarding service?

    Gmail let’s you so this and calls it “send as.” This would allow me to use proton email for school.


  • Congratulations on coming out of Beta and going public! I have been cheering you on and hoping for this day for quite some time and wish you unparalleled success.

    I have hoped to transition from to for reasons that are numerous and personal. The only thing that they have on you for the moment is the option of aliases. I have not seen this mentioned in upcoming advancements but I am hoping for this measure of anonymity to be included in your product service and would certainly be willing to pay a premium upgrade for this addition. Having 2-step authentication, plus end-to-end encryption is superb. There is no product as elegant as yours that I have seen. Please allow your membership to travel under multiple aliases for the security of anonymity.

    Thank you always for creating something better than anyone else and best wishes for continued success.

  • Problem

    When sending email to your correspondence, the receiver never knows if that’s the first message or the second message received in order by them from a lost or accidentally message sent to them or when the email has multiple messages using the same subject name.

    Solution (my Idea) for Email Auditing

    The email client or web client application should provide a method of keeping track (auditing trail) of the number of messages sent and received by the order they were sent and received. So the receiver and sender can be assured of no missing and out of order messages by using an encrypted sequential number included within the message subject line.

    Note: The email and web client would just need to automatically update the auditing trail for the correspondence with a sequential number tired to the contact user address.


    The email client should associate a sequential number whenever the same contact is used to send messages to the same email address.

    0000000001 = message 1 of 1 sent.
    0000000002 = message 2 of 2 sent.
    0000000003 = message 3 of 3 sent. Etc…

    The email or web client can then notify the receiver if any of the received messages are out of order or missing! Such as by changing the color of the sequential number to red color when missing and orange if just received out of order etcetera.

    Thanks for considering this idea to include an email auditing function or feature.

  • Hi, you have done a great job so far with so many new features. Some suggestions to make it better and friendlier would be mobile app (Andriod for me), custom domains (sending mail on behalf of …….), read receipt and sub folders. Labels are great, but subfolders are what most us are used to.

  • Love the service, got a bunch of friends to sign up today.

    Im sure u get a lot of requests for regular email functionality (and I’ve listed those below), but a really cool custom privacy-centric feature would be an online password store! Since your already encrypted I mean… I’m already keeping my passwords in a draft mail… but add some extra functionality, like passphrase generation, rotate reminders, copy/paste username/pass like keepass uses… that would be soooo convenient!

    Rank of regular email features I would love to see:
    1. Mobile App – must be made available as direct download from your own site, no Google/Apple bs…
    2. Chat in mobile app and on site
    3. Thunderbird support
    4. Calendar
    5. Automatic forwarding from aliases (to use for online signups)
    6. Custom domain names

  • Congrats for moving out of Beta! I’m honored to withness the development of this beautiful baby!

    Jason, I saw your feedback form, but since the options are very concise, I hope you allow me to give some feedback here?

    IMHO what would be a great improvement to ProtonMail is some kind of IMAP new mail notification system. The method with a shadow account as it is now could limit users to use ProtonMail as their only, main account. I certainly would use it more if I had a direct new mail notification for ProtonMail.

    Furthermore, I would take a look at the formatting when the message is printed. I now do experience a bug when I print my messages (mostly to PDF), with the text in the message body cut at the bottom, thus not showing the whole message. It looks like it is cut off by a line at the bottom. Also the message header (From, To, Date) most of the time is printed on a separate/ new page from the message text. Both are somewhat annoying, especially if more official/ professional/ formal messages are concerned.

  • Hi ProtonMail,

    I know hat sizelimit has been pushed up to 1GB recently, but I know that one day i’ll reach this limit. Do you plan to ad a feature to export all our mails in some compressed, encrypted and readable format so that we can clear out our mailboxes and not loose anything?

    Thank you very much and keep up the good work!


  • A feature that I very much miss is ‘rules’. I’m very keen to automate the management of emails and would find this useful. Especially around auto-labelling emails.

  • +1 for the features already mentioned that would get me to switch:

    1. A mobile (Android) app with notifications
    2. Multiple identities, so that I can send using my own domain using my domain host’s SMTP server

  • I’m a POP diehard. (Yes call me a dinosaur.) I love the idea of email being encrypted and anonymous on the server. Is POP access anywhere on your radar?

  • Thank you for accepting my request back in Sept 2014 for a FREE beta Proton email account.
    I fully do intend to donate, soon.
    I just wanted to say that it is comforting to have an encryption email service to use
    in these days of NSA and even Wikileaks ability to hack emails and servers.

    As a computer technician from the old days (1980’s) of IBM, I know nothing is 100% secure;
    BUT, I also know that it takes more time to hack a server or an account, the better protected and encrypted it is.

    I intend to use Paypal to donate soon; but I’m not funded enough yet to do so.

    Again, thank you for your great email application and service.
    This was needed decades ago; but I’m glad it’s finally here. 🙂

    Rick White
    Treasurer, Organizer & Web Maintenance
    and Health & Safety Rep

    Local 1701


  • Love the utilization of labels!

    Do you think you guys may implement an “Unlabeled” tab so we can only view what is currently not categorized. In addition, do you plan on adding automatic labeling based on sender address? For example, I would like to add all emails from “” to label “Family”, however I currently have to do this manually. It would be nice if I could configure emails to be labeled upon receipt based on certain criteria.

  • PLEASE SLA’s. I love the service but other business needs require SLA’s. I am so happy that you can protect my data from the BIG BUSSINESS CONSUMERS that monitor our every move. I know everyone is concerned about NSA tapping into BIG BUSSINESS’s records, but they are just willfully ignorant of the real threat that lays in the private sector.

    Thanks again for giving me a safe haven from those who would manipulate me for profit.

  • As a new user, I was not sure what I thought about labels instead of folders. Like others, I have long used folders to organize my emails. However, they work great! Only problem is that we are limited to 20 labels.

    Would it be possible to increase this number significantly?

  • I often use third party applications such as Evernote to organize and keep track of projects going on for work.I’m not sure how popular the idea is, but it would be nice to integrate these notes into my Protonmail account somehow. I often have email and notes and calendar all open at the same time.

  • hello, great work you are doing guys.

    As a suggestion there needs to be an easier way to add contacts from an email you receive. I.e. ‘add to contacts’ button.

  • Thank you for your brilliant service.
    I’ve read an interview article where you (the developers) stated concern about backdoors being placed if Protonmail went on the appstores. I have a … well, obvious kind of solution. Why don’t you just make an apk file with SHA256(whatever hash algorithm is the securest) verification available on your website? A very simple but effective solution isn’t it?
    Plus, I think many users would appreciate it tremendously it if you could
    1. Push the attachment file size limits a bit further.
    2. Make it possible to send attachments with your secure reply (via the PM->Unencrypted viceversa method).
    Thanks again. And keep up the good work. ^^

  • the only thing still missing is new mail notification something that tells you right away you have new mail. Sending a notification to another email address is not a viable option.

  • Is there any way to customize/add new keyboard shortcuts? for example, a key to switch to the archive folder view, and a key to archive the selected/open email?

  • Question: how easy is it to send mass mailings/flyers? Is the address book set up to make it easy to just click the names of the people who should receive the flyers? Please describe how this feature works with Proton. Thank you.