With ProtonMail, there are four main types of email addresses you can use:
- Free personal address: the personal email you signed up with (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org, or its short form, email@example.com).
- Additional address (alias): based on a ProtonMail domain (like firstname.lastname@example.org) or your own custom domain (email@example.com).
- +Alias: unlimited extra addresses using the “+” sign.
- Organization user address: for users in an organization with their own individual login and inbox.
Here we explain what these addresses are and how they differ from each other.
Free personal addresses
A free personal address is the original email address that belongs to individual ProtonMail users.
Everyone on ProtonMail can have at least two free personal addresses:
- One ending in @protonmail.com (like firstname.lastname@example.org), usually the original address you signed up with.
- A short version of this address ending in @pm.me (email@example.com), which you can activate in Settings.
(If you joined ProtonMail before 2016, you also have a @protonmail.ch address.)
If you have a free account, you can only receive emails at your short @pm.me address. If you have a paid account, you can also send messages from your @pm.me address.
You can’t disable your free personal addresses. But if you have more than one ProtonMail account, you can merge their addresses into a single account to send and receive mail from the same mailbox.
Additional addresses (aliases)
If you have a paid plan, you can create additional email addresses, also known as aliases, to send and receive mail in your ProtonMail mailbox.
These email addresses can use any ProtonMail domain (@protonmail.com, @protonmail.ch, or @pm.me). For example, if Alice User has the free personal addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, she could also create aliases like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, if these addresses are available.
If you subscribe to a paid plan and have your own domain name, you can create additional addresses using your domain, known as custom addresses.
For example, if Alice were a paid user and owned the domain name “aliceuser.com”, she could send and receive mail from addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org from her ProtonMail account.
Additional address limits
If you have a paid plan, you can create at least five additional addresses (including custom addresses) by default, depending on your plan, with the option of buying more addresses.
Note that your free personal addresses don’t count towards this limit. And custom addresses don’t count if they are disabled.
Learn more about creating and using additional addresses (aliases).
+Aliases are a kind of sub-email address based on one of your free personal email addresses.
You can create a +alias using the “+” symbol after the username in your email address. For example, Alice User (email@example.com) could create +aliases like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You can create an unlimited number of +aliases for each of your free personal email addresses. Note that you can’t compose new messages from scratch using +aliases, but you can reply using the +alias to messages sent to that address.
Learn more about aliases and +aliases.
Organization user addresses
If you have a Professional or Visionary plan and a custom domain, you can create an organization. This enables multiple users to have an email address using your domain. Unlike regular custom addresses (aliases), organization user addresses have their own login and inbox.
An organization’s administrator (also known as an “admin”) can assign organization users one or more email addresses that use their custom domain (not a ProtonMail domain). For example, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.
By default, an organization user’s mailbox is “non-private”, which means any admin can read their messages and change their password.
An admin can also designate a user as “private”, which means admins don’t have access to their emails and can’t change their password. If a private user forgets their password, they must reset it using their recovery email.
Learn more about private and non-private users in an organization.