ProtonMail uses a flexible hybrid system of folders and labels to maximize productivity and organization within your inbox.
- Folders are containers for your emails. If you move a message into a folder, it is removed from your Inbox. Each message can only be stored in 1 folder (in addition to the All mail and Starred folders) at a time.
- Labels are simply tags you can add to messages to make them easier to find or to apply filters to. You can add multiple labels to a message, and adding a label does not move it from the folder it is stored in (for example, your Inbox).
Custom labels and folders are shown in the left-hand sidebar of the web app or when you tap the Menu (hamburger) icon in our mobile apps.
ProtonMail currently uses 7 default folders to hold all of your emails — Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Starred, Archive, Spam, Trash, and All mail.
All Mail contains all the messages in your account, providing a centralized location to search for messages. The only way to remove a message from All Mail is permanently to delete the message from your Trash folder.
Besides the 7 default folders, you can create your own custom folders. This can be done from the sidebar in the ProtonMail web app. Simply click the + icon next to the Folders heading.
You can choose a folder name, parent folder (for nested folders), and whether you want to see a notification alert when new messages arrive in the folder. By default, folders will have the same color. You can choose to enable Folder colors by going to Settings → Folders & labels → Folders → Use folder colors.
You can manually move messages from one folder to another by clicking the Move to icon in the email toolbar and selecting the folder you would like the email to be placed in.
To create a new label, click the + icon next to the Labels heading in the sidebar of the main ProtonMail web app.
You can manually add labels to any email, regardless of which folder it resides in. Just click the Label icon in the email toolbar and select as many labels as you like in the dropdown menu.
Please remember that labels are just tags, and messages are actually stored in folders. If you delete a message from its folder, that message will also lose all labels associated with it.
Tip 1: Adding labels to messages and then archiving them can be used to emulate folders, except that you can add multiple labels to any email.
Tip 2: You can automatically move emails to folders and add labels to emails using filters.
At present, you can only create, edit, and delete folders and labels in our web app. However, you can view previously created folders and labels, as well as sort emails into folders and add labels to emails using our Android and iOS apps.
Folder and label limits
Different plans come with different limits on how many folders and labels you can create:
- Free: 3 folders and 3 labels
- Plus: 200 folders and 200 labels
- Professional: unlimited folders and unlimited labels
- Visionary: unlimited folders and unlimited labels