Say hello to the future of ProtonMail! Introducing Version 4.0 beta

illustration of ProtonMail Version 4.0 beta

Today we’re unveiling our biggest redesign ever. Not only does ProtonMail Version 4.0 look more modern on the surface, it’s part of our ongoing transition to a newer software framework that lays the foundation for future features, new products, and better customization. 

You can start using the ProtonMail Version 4.0 beta right now. It’s open to all users, including those with Free plans. If you don’t have a Proton account yet, you can sign up here: 

Then go to beta.protonmail.com and log in with your Proton credentials.

Version 4.0 is the launchpad for more Proton products

illustration of ProtonMail Version 4.0 Inbox

It’s no secret that we’re building privacy-focused alternatives to the online services you use every day. The Proton ecosystem is an ambitious project that will tie together ProtonMail, ProtonVPN, ProtonContacts, ProtonCalendar, and ProtonDrive in a seamless continuum of encryption tools. Inside of Proton, you’re in control of your own data.

Proton exists to serve the community, and as is our custom, Version 4.0 will be in beta for some time to allow us sufficient opportunity to collect feedback from the community and make changes and adjustments. As such, ProtonMail 4.0 will continue to iterate and evolve in the coming months as we take your input into consideration. During this process, we will continue to make significant software changes. 

In particular, ProtonMail 3.0 was written using a JavaScript framework called AngularJS, which was created in 2010 and provides a relatively simple, out-of-the-box solution for developing a web app. But it’s not very easy to make changes to it, and the way it manages user inputs (like starring an email or moving a message to a new folder) is not very efficient. 

With Version 4.0, we’ve decided to implement a newer JavaScript library called React, which is much more flexible and efficient. With React, we can build web pages much faster, giving us the freedom to quickly deploy new apps and features, and then continuously improve them. By nature, React is a JavaScript library, not a JavaScript framework like AngularJS. This provides more freedom to our app developers to build Proton in the best way possible.

Moreover, the web app itself will be much faster. Our transition to React for Version 4.0 is already starting, with Settings and Contacts already written in React. The ProtonMail inbox is still written in AngularJS but will transition to React over the course of the beta.

Watch the video below to hear Product Manager Mathew Stastny and Lead Developer Richard Tetaz discuss the development of Version 4.0.

New look, same ProtonMail

Even if you don’t notice the new programming framework, you’ll notice the major upgrade to the design of our web app. Our goal was to build a user interface that felt lighter and helped you work faster. We wanted to create an email workspace you’d want to spend time using and which could serve as a starting place to access your ProtonVPN account, your ProtonContacts, and the other forthcoming Proton tools. 

To help bind our products, we’ve added a new navigation bar in the top left corner of your Mailbox where you’ll find buttons for ProtonMail, ProtonContacts, and ProtonVPN. When ProtonCalendar is ready for beta release in the near future, it will also appear here. We’ve also added intuitive design elements, plus a cleaner and more helpful Settings page.

illustration of ProtonMail Settings menu

You asked us for more themes, and we heard you. Version 4.0 gives us the ability to develop more themes, faster. Our top priority is a Dark Mode, which we’ll release later on during the 4.0 beta. It will also pave the way for dark themes in other Proton apps. We will also introduce at a later date additional inbox customization features. And of course, you still have the option to import your own color scheme in the custom theme editor

Your feedback matters

As we add new themes, tweak the design, and continue making improvements, your feedback will help guide the future of ProtonMail.

During the beta, you can reach us with any kind of feedback on Version 4.0 via our bug report feature inside the web app. Proton thrives because of its community, and we’re excited to hear what you think of the new design!

Best Regards,
The ProtonMail Team

You can get a free secure email account from ProtonMail here.

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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58 comments on “Say hello to the future of ProtonMail! Introducing Version 4.0 beta

    • Hi! No, you won’t be stuck. You can access Version 4.0 by logging in at beta.protonmail.com. You can switch back to Version 3.0 by logging in at mail.protonmail.com.

      Thanks for your patience, by the way. Hope you enjoy the redesign! You can send any and all feedback via the bug report feature.

      Reply
  • privacy focussed…., what does that exactly mean? Does Proton adopt the W3C Decen ID standard or does protonmail comply with regulatory and turns in users based on AML and KYC rules?

    Reply
  • So excited to try this, congratulations on hitting beta!

    Any chance there’ll be a beta link for protonmail.ch as well?

    Reply
  • I like the new look. But most importantly I love your product generally and can’t wait to see ProtonCloud and ProtonDrive when they launch. Keep up the amazing work!

    Reply
  • I use ProtonMail (or any other email service) on mobile devices (iOS, iPadOS, Android) 99.9999999% of the time. For ProtonVPN that’s like 95% of the time. So, I really won’t be participating in the beta. In fact, until you’ve redesigned the apps I really won’t notice ProtonMail 4.0 even exists.

    Regarding the screenshots you shared, it’s weird that it looks almost exactly like the Gmail UI. That would be my only feedback on PM 4.0.

    Anyway, I’m happy you’re working on improving the service/ecosystem and will continue to be a paying customer. But, please, all changes and new products should be released at the same time on mobile.

    Question: now that Mac Catalyst is out, is a Mac app in the horizon?

    Reply
  • Thank you very much from USA Florida Miami, we need people like you to provide us with the necessary tools to be safe with our data, privacy is synonymous with Democracy and that those rights are respected, hopefully always remain invincible and always learning along the way to Be stronger every day in your code, thanks Ben Wolford and the entire Proton Team.

    Muchísimas Gracias desde U.S.A Florida Miami, necesitamos que personas como ustedes nos brinden las herramientas necesarias para poder estar a salvo con nuestros datos, la privacidad es sinónimo de Democracia y que sean respetado esos derechos, ojala siempre sigan invencibles y aprendiendo siempre en el camino para ser cada día mas fuerte en su código, gracias Ben Wolford y a todo el Equipo De Proton.

    Reply
    • U2F support is planned but we don’t have a release date yet as it requires us to make some changes to the domains that we use. Thank you for your patience!

      Reply
  • I am new on ProtonMail. I like the design so far. Will other links (other than Facebook & Twitter) be accessible in the future on the top bar? Other links might include Bitchute, Mind, Mewe or Internet Search.
    I also noticed you have “Google Plus” featured as an accessible link. Since April 2019, Google Plus was removed by Google & this link is no longer accessible. So, you can remove it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestions. Regarding Google Plus, could you please tell me where you see this icon? We don’t use Google Plus.

      Reply
  • Since I’ve joined ProtonMail a year ago (or even more), I was very impressed by the whole work you do, and since I became a subscribed user, I very much support all your work and impatiently wait for all the features that will come. I’m happy to be part of the Translation project and spread the word for you wherever I go. I think mouth-to-mouth advertising is still the best way to attract new clients and to raise your reputation, because ProtonMail really deserves it, and even more than that. I can’t imagine life without ProtonMail anymore and I’m excited about the expansion and growth of the Proton ecosystem in the future. It cannot be anything else but a bright one, that’s for sure. Love you very much, ProtonMail!

    Reply
  • Redesign is nice and always welcome and work under the hood might have been really extensive. But I was hoping to see in-message search or some other functional changes along. Otherwise it looks more like just a new paint. But anyway I appreciate the ProtonMail development.

    Reply
    • Hey Artem, thanks for the feedback. Yes, encrypted message body search is planned for the live release of Version 4, plus a few other features. We were eager to get the beta in your hands as soon as possible.

      Reply
  • Buenos días, una cuenta con ProtonMail genera alguna mejora en la seguridad cuando es asociada a una cuenta para acceder a tu smartphone?

    Reply
    • While I’m not sure I understand what kind of smartphone account you’re talking about, there is certainly a privacy benefit to associating all your accounts with your ProtonMail email address. When you do, all confirmations, receipts, newsletters, service communications, etc. will be sent to your encrypted inbox where we cannot read them, unlike other email services that do scan your inbox and construct profiles of you.

      Reply
  • Dear Proton Team,

    I am impressed with your fast development and your great job providing high-quality services and protecting my privacy! ProtonMail is my primary e-mail address and I am a paid user of ProtonVPN.

    I think that the current ProtonMail theme is fairy dark and elegant and the 4.0.0. beta version is even darker. So I am a little bit surprised to know that so many people ask you for the “dark theme”. I would like to see more colors… And as I spend too much time on the computer, I’d love a theme that would make me feel as if I am I the Amazon Jungle!

    Honestly, I don’t understand why the ProtonCalendar is that important. Whereas e-mail and VPN are inherently online services, I can keep my calendar offline, which may be the most secure solution.

    My impression is that your most important goal is the secure ProtonDrive, which will be truly useful for us and surely a good business for you. My friends were very excited hearing about your plans about the ProtonDrive! Although there are several providers (including one based in Switzerland) of a “secure” cloud storage, oddly, by now the most practical solution for me is to encrypt sensitive files locally on my computer and then upload them on GoogleDrive (15GB of free space!). I can easily sign and encrypt any file on the disk with just a single command line under Linux. However, most of my friends in Europe and South America have little knowledge about computers and many of them feel the need of more privacy.

    Finally, I hope you will never forget about the users of Linux developing your future apps!

    Thank you for your great work,
    X.Y.

    Reply
  • I like the new look of ProtonMail 4.0. However, it is very difficult to see the difference between Read and Unread messages. Can you please make the two more differentiated for ease of use.

    Thank you.
    V

    Reply
  • Nice. But please try to do not reduce the size of email display. It’s reduced with the new interface. I lot of surface is not used with the new ribbons.

    Best regards

    Reply
  • Curious that ProtonMail, a privacy email, chose React, a framework developed by Facebook, one of the least privacy concerned company. Why did you do that? 🙁
    You moved from Angular (Google) to React (Facebook). Very strange move. Why did you not move to a more open source library (Vue or something else)?
    I just signed up for ProtonMail but your move has made me reconsider being an user now that I know ProtonMail has just become dependent on Facebook 🙁
    Too bad. I was very hopeful I had found the best email provider 🙁

    Reply
    • While React might have been developed originally at Facebook, there is a large and independent open source community of developers around React, so it is not in any way dependent on Facebook at all because it is an open source community driven software.

      Reply
  • Tried it and love it. Nice work! Looks modern and clean.
    Maybe it’s just my imagination, but the 4.0 version seems to work (much) faster?

    Reply
  • Hi There,

    Good job guys. Will be there the possibility, in future, for the theme to contain more rows on Inbox. I mean like the density of gmail to be compact. If you get the possibility the layout to be customizable: as themes, size etc. it will be bring some advantages in terms of organization.
    Anyway on December I will upgrade my account and close gmail for ever, after six months for migration (to advise all the contacts).

    Reply
  • Really love the design of 4.0 and looking forward to the other Proton products!

    Will Proton Calendar and Contacts be able to be used on Android in place of Google Contacts/Calendar? I think my question is will they be separate apps for us to download to use instead of using Google’s default. I just don’t want to have to go into ProtonMail to reach either things. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks, KT! Whether calendar and contacts is a separate app is not decided yet, but it’s very likely calendar will be a separate app.

      Reply
  • I almost never use web apps. I really hope that the announced calendar and contacts tie into the IOS ecosystem, or I will not be using them. It should be fairly easy to create those services with an encrypted transmission and storage. My highest wishes for a new feature though – are for an encrypted no knowledge notes solution

    Reply
    • Spellcheck would be an interesting feature (which you could add to User Voice protonmail.uservoice.com), but isn’t there a spellcheck built in to your OS or browser?

      Reply