Using Labels / Folders

ProtonMail uses a flexible hybrid system of folders and labels to maximize productivity and organization within your inbox.


Folders

ProtonMail currently uses 6 folders to hold all of your emails – Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Starred, Archive, Spam, and Trash. Emails are moved across different folders when you use the different organizational buttons in the ProtonMail interface. For custom folders, ProtonMail supports Labels.


Labels

To create a label, use the Labels tab in settings or the Label Settings inside your ProtonMail inbox. A Label can be used to emulate a Folder by applying a Label to a message and then Archiving it at the same time. This will remove the conversation from the Inbox, and put it under its own Label “folder” in the sidebar.

 

Labels menu within ProtonMail Settings

You can add labels to any email regardless of which folder it resides in using the Labels drop-down.

Adding a label from a drop down menu on a opened message in ProtonMail

Please note: Labels are not stored in the label tag, they are stored in the folders (Inbox, Archive, Spam ect.). If you delete the message from the folder, the message will be deleted from the label as well.

 

Labels limit

Labels limit for free and Paid accounts

Rate This Article

(245 out of 302 people found this article helpful)

123 Comments

  1. Morgan Johnstone

    Hi, I just want to say thanks for verifying this feature is needed. I was just about to email support to see if I was missing something.

  2. ProtonMail Support

    Glad it was helpful! Thank you for using ProtonMail Beta!

  3. Markus Pitkänen

    Hi! I also miss folder feature, it is needed. But overall this email service is outstanding. Nice work, thank you!

  4. Jan

    I love your service and a lot of my friends are already using Protonmail but for me the create folders thing is needed to organize your mails like Hushmail does;) really great great work and i am looking forward to get that feature so do my friends you People are amazing thumb up

  5. ProtonMail Support

    Thank you for your support. It is coming soon!

  6. ProtonMail Support

    Thank you for your support! They are coming soon!

  7. Laura Lynnae Daniel

    This is fantastic news! I am unable to find the login area on this page to vote.

  8. Laura Lynnae Daniel

    This is fantastic news! I am very much looking forward to using this as my main account for important emails.

  9. Stéphane Rousset

    I strongly support the (imminent?) addition of this feature.

    … And I too would like to know how/where to log in on this page in order to vote, as this very page askes me to.

  10. Thank you for being transparent about the lack of this feature and expected timeframe. I think it’s going to be a very important one to have before I can start moving much of my communications here.

    Folders are important. I think it’s also important to be able to label mail with metadata that smart filters can be applied to. GMail does some neat things with this, as an example.

  11. Anonymous

    +1 Vote Up! I hope with this feature implicated ProtonMail will become my primary e-mail account. Thank you for your work with our security & freedom in your mind.

  12. Eric

    Change ‘out’ to ‘our’ before “top priority” in the content of this page, and your spelling will be good to go. =)

    Full steam ahead.

  13. C Strachan

    Please just use folders and not this label nonsense that Gmail has created.

  14. J

    Earrly 2015 is almost gone. When will this really happen? I was told last year this was “very close”

  15. Mike

    We are going on 5 months into the 2015 year and this (adding folders) was suppose to be done “early” 2015? I mean that is a SIMPLE feature to add, it’s not rocket science. Who wants to have thousands of emails without any organization. This should have NEVER been an afterthought. Love the concept, security…. But this is a real major pain in the you know what.

  16. Ron

    Thank you for such a smooth and secure e-mailing product. Tops! I do agree that the folders or tabs etc. will enhance it and make it the best of the best. can’t wait so I can really use for that.
    Thanks again,

  17. Nick

    Dudes! I love your work. But why is there a limit in the number of labels I can have?

  18. Anne

    Thanks for offering a mail system that is not snooped and email data sold to marketers. The folders feature is needed, so please add. Customers like me would be willing to pay for email with robust features that is private.

  19. Peter

    Nested labels, I’d like an option to nest labels so labels in labels.

  20. peerSr

    Nested folders and filters please.
    Great service! Thank you.

  21. Shirley

    I would like to be able to move an email to a “folder” or the “label” created, and remove it from the inbox so it’s not cluttered, without deleting it entirely. How can I do this?

  22. ProtonMail Support

    You can Archive it when adding a label.

  23. Andros

    Great service! Love Protonmail. Can’t wait for the paid option with more storage. Was wondering (like Nick above) why there is a limit on the number of labels? Paid option as well? Don’t necessarily mind, but would be nice to know the feature is coming.

  24. Shawn

    I use one label per person I receive email from, so I’d love to have about 300 rather than the 20 limit.

  25. Francisco Abreu

    Is there a limit for the number of labels I can create?

  26. Paul D

    We really need folders instead of just tags…. and combining messages just because they have the same subject header is really not appreciated

  27. ProtonMail Support

    At the moment, it is limited to 20 but this will be raised in the future.

  28. raizo

    Folders are needed.
    This is very basic functionality in e-mail.

  29. J

    FILTERS Please!
    thank you!

  30. David M

    having the ability to set rules for labels would be nice.
    if sender = then label =

  31. John

    Any updates on release date for creating additional Folders? This feature available as part of the paid plans would be fair

  32. Anonymous

    Inboxes and filters are needed. With this feature a complete move to protonmail is possible

  33. Mike

    Folders are very much needed 🙂 Thank you

  34. HydraGene

    First of all, labels are a great feature, very organizing, thank you.
    But I think the usage of these labels can be improved. To my knowledge, now I have to assign a label to every single e-mail. Which is pretty annoying. Even if I get an e-mail from the same contact with the same sort of content, I need to add the label manually again.
    What I miss is an “auto-assign” feature, or the option to “auto-assign” labels. Isn’t it possible to assign a label to an e-mail address? This way every e-mail from payday@myjob.com automatically gets the label payday, so that I don’t have to take (kind of) unnecessary steps to assign labels over and over again.
    Would be cool if you can build this feature, at least as an option, in the settings for me.
    Keep up the good work!

  35. F

    Hi,
    Would it be possible to get sub-labels and collapsible categories?

  36. Dan

    Before I start moving all my email over to Proton…I need the folder option…labels will not cut it as it clutters your inbox. I’m wanting to move away from Gmail but you need to take care of the folder issue first.

  37. suhas meena

    Hi,
    how can i move the mail directly to the label when the mail arrives. e.g. I have label with name as gmail and i want that all email from *.gmail.com where * represents the userid goes to the label and still i can see them in inbox. That would be a great feature.

  38. Noyon

    First of all, Protonmail is Awesome. I’m really satisfied with the mailbox.
    Labels are a very smart way to sort the mailbox.
    But for a better browsing, i’d like to hide emails labelled by clicking on the corresponding labels in the side view for exemple.
    I hope that this feature will be implemented in the future.
    Thank you.

  39. Robert

    Please add active filtering to Protonmail. I would like to create a filter that will automatically send certain emails to folders/labels I create for greater organization.

  40. Vladimiras Lekecinskas

    We need filters – it’s not possible to manually sort hundreds of emails that pour in, labels don’t help when you need to spend so much time each day cleaning your planet from spam and newsletters baobabs. We need automatic filters to skip the inbox (Archive) and assign a label to emails.

  41. Anonymous

    Agree with all the above. Custom folders and filters are a requirement for me

  42. Anonymous

    Please add folders as a feature, or if you insist on using labels (which I’ve never heard of before (no I’ve never used gmail)), give me the option to only view messages with a certain label. The point of folders is to categorize messages and not see the other stuff.

  43. AL

    Was going to become a premium user until I realized that I couldn’t create folders and subfolders. For me, this is a dealbreaker. Hope you guys implement it soon! Cheers.

  44. Russell B Waters

    Would very much like to see filters or some sort of automatic sorting from domains or addresses, I’m very happy with Protonmail in general and this would make me much more happy 🙂

  45. I just signed up for a paid plan with ProtonMail. However, I can’t use it yet, because without filters I can not work effectively. Please add filters.

  46. soyboy

    please add RULES I don’t want manually put tags on each letter it’s insane

  47. Jet Walsh

    Need folders and rules functionality please.

  48. Anonymous

    Though the labels are nice, folders are imo a lot better.
    An other thing I would prefer is to disable conversations. Now it’s not an option, and personally I find the conversation-style much more confusing than seperate messages. It would be great to at least have the option.
    Will this be a future feature?

  49. Anonymous

    Hey, filters/rules are missing.

  50. Petra

    I have a premium account with 5+ email addresses on 1 domain, handled by 3 employees. All incoming and sent emails are mixed in 1 inbox. We need the folders to separate at least the different email adresses. Any news on this one?

  51. Anonymous

    Is it possible to move labeled email from the Inbox to a *separate folder* to clean up the Inbox? This feature would be very much appreciated, as otherwise we’re left to scroll through a long list of messages to get to the ones we want. Also, folder close from view messages we want hidden out of the Inbox view. I’m new to ProtonMail (paid subscription) because I like its outlay better than Startmail’s (where I was also a paid subscriber), but have to confess without the ability to put mail into separate folders, I’d have to reconsider, as I can’t easily make sense of a giant collection of emails with different labels.

    The only other issue I’m having so far is the limit on aliases and their permanence. I’d like to find a secure, private email subscription service that allows me to create as many aliases as I need to (even if I have to delete old ones so that only a given number are active at any time). Besides privacy, unlimited aliases was the second main issue I chose to buy a subscription to an email service.

    Thanks!

  52. Anonymous

    Don’t know why my comment didn’t publish–excuse me if this is a repeat. I like Protonmail’s look, but have two major concerns (paid-subscriber, here):

    1) Folders. Absolutely needed to overcome an otherwise cumbersome Inbox.
    2) Greater flexibility with aliases. I’d like to be able to create them as needed AND delete old ones. Otherwise these become just other email addresses, circumventing the point, at least for me, of using an alias.

    Thanks

  53. Enbee

    Filtering plus alphabetical labels!

  54. PT

    I started to use ProtonMail; however, without the folders option, I will hold off from using it. Please add the folders feature soon. Thanks.

  55. Please add the ability to set up custom Filters that search incoming emails and adds a label or forwards email or archives or moves to trash based on sender or subject keyword.

  56. Anonymous

    I love your service but we seriously need to have incoming mail filtering to folders/filters it’s a must have for many people. Until then I will be keeeping my gmail account open

  57. NeedThis

    Really need to be able to tag mails based on filter rules. Unless im missing something this seems to be a missing feature so far. Something similair to googles “updates, forums” etc would be awesome.

  58. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment we do not have custom filters available, but we are working on releasing this in the future.

  59. One more vote for being delighted with ProtonMail so far but agreeing that Folders are a critically essential feature. I am a paying user

  60. Please add folders

    Please add folders with custom filter. The only missing feature why I have not switched to Protonmail. Please add folders.

  61. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment, you cannot setup separate mailboxes and passwords for the custom domains addresses. Also, you cannot add your custom domain on multiple premium ProtonMail accounts.

    We are working on adding these features in the near future.

  62. Sam

    We need to be able to sort labels eg alphabetical as opposed to the present random presentation. Also as mentioned by others we need nested labels.
    Hope these features come soon.
    Thanks for all the work that has gone into protonmail.

  63. Andrew Mind

    Yeah We need an automatic filtering/lableling by the sender address / domain mask. I have so much letters from monitoring systems, and my Inbox looks like a trashbox without auto-assign by custom filters.

    And about search in messages – If i try search content inside messages, then no results ;(. Now search is working only by sender/destination email addresses and by subject of letters. Do you plan improvements in search functionality?
    Need search content inside messages.

  64. Saccodipulci

    Please need account separate for different email adresses for premium accoun (domain custom). Any news on this one?

  65. GM

    Any chance of folders/sub folders. I can’t commit to paying and switching from gmail without this

  66. Rebeka

    Hi there,

    Can you help me please, how can i add more mailboxes to my purchase (visionary)?
    I’d like to use, separeted mailboxes (separeted users) with my max. 20GB storage, but i cannot find, how can i create it.

    Many Thank
    Regards

  67. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment, you cannot setup separate mailboxes and passwords for the custom domains addresses. Also, you cannot add your custom domain on multiple premium ProtonMail accounts.

    We are working on adding these features in the near future, which will probably be by the end of the summer.

  68. ProtonMail Support

    Our team is currently working on the sub-accounts. We are hoping to release them by the end of the summer.

  69. ProtonMail Support

    We will consider adding more folder options in the future.

  70. hooksfan

    Until you give us the Folder option (besides the ones you already have) many of us will not migrate over. To be able to create your own folders is something other email providers allow you to do…

  71. MHE

    Labels work well, but the folder options is the one thing you could improve to make this fantastic email service even better.

  72. stephen

    I also like folders for organization and cannot commit to using ProtonMail as my main email client yet. I like the different colored labels and can move them to Archive but then the Archive folder becomes cluttered too, although the colors help. Thanks for ProtonMail !

  73. stephen

    On second thought, after moving the colored labeled emails to archive, then selecting the label from the menu, it acts like a folder and shows only the emails under that label. You can also date them from new to old or the reverse and the new-mail counter shows right next to the label, just like a folder. I didn’t notice this until today, I kind of like that, it does add a element of organization. I may like this better!

  74. Brennan

    Please add filtering rules for inbox and labels. Others have asked for folders+rules; I could live without folders but having labels without any automatic filtering with rules makes them almost useless.I like protonmail and what it stands for so I am willing to pay ( as I have been now for months) and do not mind less features to an extent. In fact the ‘big’ email services are too bloated nowadays. Its nice to login and not have blinking, moving, respawning banner adds harassing you the whole time. I have finally made it my primary email; and the lack of rules/filtering was not apparent until now. Please add, Thanks

  75. Hi can you export/import Labels from one email provider to another?

  76. Anonymous

    I have been happy to sponsor the development of the mobile app and other features, and happy to pay for Plus. There are a few much needed options for PM. Folder capability is one. Display options such as a ‘non-conversation’ view is another. And to expand your business toolkit, a good calendar system would broaden your audience. I am sure you are aware of all of these and look forward to their consideration for future release – just wanted to add my support for further dev in these areas and say great job thus far! I am sure there are many who would support you financially in the development of these new features.

  77. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment this is not available. Thank you for your suggestion. We are looking closely to every suggestion our customers are reporting and try to implement it in the future updates to make ProtonMail more user-friendly.

  78. Rob

    Hello Protonmail Support!

    Is it possible to use labels automatically? So that if I label one email, all the others from the same address / domain get labeled the same.

    Thank you!

  79. SLe

    I’m just going to re-post Stephen’s comment from above- this is brilliant! For those (who like myself) are frustrated with no folders- see this!!

    “On second thought, after moving the colored labeled emails to archive, then selecting the label from the menu, it acts like a folder and shows only the emails under that label. You can also date them from new to old or the reverse and the new-mail counter shows right next to the label, just like a folder. I didn’t notice this until today, I kind of like that, it does add a element of organization. I may like this better!” ~Stephen (above)

  80. Steve McIntosh

    I’m sorry, but without folders, use is very limited. If you do figure out how to incorporate this, I would like to know as it looks like a great product. Disappointing…..total deal breaker.

  81. ProtonMail Support

    We use Labels since we believe that they are more versatile. We will consider changing this in the future.

  82. Wilf K

    I would love to use folders and sub folders.. A lot easier for me, too. I would also like the option to NOT have to assign a colour to a label/folder, in order to set it up!!

  83. Guy Carr

    Trying to set up label. I do not see where I can use sub labels. Please advise if you have this capability

  84. Perttu Ehn

    +1 for Rules to set labels automatically, based on some logic with recipient name, subject etc.

    For easier task management having an option to send an email to username+task@protonmail.com with rule to set label “Task” based on the recipient “+task” -part would be really helpful.

  85. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment, we do not have option to create sub-labels. We will consider developing this in the future.

  86. KERRYWM

    Like all of the others above, I’d love to see folders. That said, I really like the look and feel of the UI – I find it intuitive and clean, unlike the Swissmail account I just jettisoned. Please keep up the good work; I look forward to continued advancement and productivity from ProtonMail. 🙂

  87. Far better than folders !
    Most of the subjects do not fit in a single folder.
    I read the need for folder, but what for ? labels do it best !

  88. As others have said — I’m very disappointed to not be able to create additional folders and move mail to those. Other E-mail providers have this feature. I don’t understand why ProtonMail doesn’t. I wanted to switch to ProtonMail but this will prevent me from doing that. I hoped “labels” was another name for folders and I created my usual ones — but I see all it does is put that “label” name by the mail and leave it in the Inbox. That will not work for me. I hope you allow the moving of mail to folders soon!

  89. Jerry

    Many people want to have more folders and the ability to create folders as needed and that is what i want also. I see no reason to upgrade when i can’t create my own folders. Personally i do not see a reason for me to label very many emails. Folders are needed, yes this is very much a deal breaker for many people as stated above.
    For me I wanted to use protonmail but without being able to put mail in folders when need is really disappointing. I am at the point of now looking for another email program.

  90. Pete Yadlowsky

    Like many others, I’m very accustomed to using folders, but on closer inspection I see that labels are actually more flexible and useful; e.g an email can have any number of labels, but can belong to only a single folder. This clamoring for folders seems to be a case of clinging to the familiar, perhaps dispelled once people give the new method a chance. That said, what I really need is a way to import from imap email to protonmail, perhaps mapping folder names to labels in the process. I’m sure I’m not the first to ask about this, so here’s another vote.

  91. Reyn

    FOLDERS! What the hell, guys! Every e-mail provider lets you create folders. Look at all the people who have left a comment on here, showing their desire for folders in their e-mail! Make it so!

  92. Lala

    I love Protonmail and happy I found it. One thing I would love to see what other email provides are having are sub folders or or nested labels. I have some things that I want to put in a label for example, shopping then create a sub folder or label called “receipts”. Or create a label called “projects” then a sub label called “Buccabu project”. I will be waiting on that soon.

  93. Ray

    I must say i agree with Jerry and Teresa here, not being able to create folders is a becoming a dealbreaker for me. I see no reason to upgrade to plus or visionary either when there is no folder support.

  94. PierreRB

    I’m a new pay user of PM and the impossibility manager it with additional folders is simply unbelievable. However, this is a 2 years old request ! I think it should be a higher priority for devs. Could you make it possible for Christmas (2016) ?
    Nice job anyway for this secure mail box.
    Best regards.

  95. ProtonMail Support

    We will look into this, and check if it can be done when we add the import option in the future.

  96. ProtonMail Support

    We believe that the Labels are more flexible, but we will consider adding this in the future.

  97. ProtonMail Support

    We believe that the Labels are more flexible, but we will consider adding folders in the future.

  98. ProtonMail Support

    We believe that the Labels are more flexible than folders, but we will consider adding this in the future.

  99. Folders

    Hello,

    The same. I will wait for folders before upgrading to paid account.

    Labels are not convenient at all for me (everyone organize things differently).

    Thanks,

  100. secondsunrise

    I am a supporter of the Labels and find them to be very useful. However, I would very much like to see the ability to automatically move emails INTO a label, skipping the Inbox altogether. This is how Gmail works and it is highly efficient and organizable. I have several different labels and sub-labels and instead of clogging up my main Inbox, they are sorted automatically to the correct label and do not even appear in the main inbox.

  101. Ivy

    Just wanted to add on to the cry out for folders. I don’t really care for the labels since everything is still in my inbox. There I things I don’t want to delete but am tired of seeing. Having the option to put said things away in a folder out of my inbox would be great.

  102. Chris

    Just wondering if folders will be coming in the future? Or are we simply meant to use the labels plus archive feature in place of folders? If so, my vote would be for folders to be offered in addition to labels for those who prefer organizing their inboxes in that way. It never occurred to me that proton mail wouldn’t have folders so I was a bit gobsmacked when I realized *after* setting my entire account. Hopefully, they’re on their way! Thanks for an awesome email service!

  103. I changed from Gmail to your service and I mainly wanted to find a more secure email and to be able to upload pictures in a folder and documents in another folder and music in another folder but now I’m confused how would I be able to do all that on your service?

  104. Lola

    NEW USER, USING LABELS, IMPORTANT !!!
    As it is impossible (october 2016) to organize the labels by alphabetic order, use my method :
    create the 20 labels from the beginning , in that order :
    1) A 2)B 3)C 4) D 5) E 6)EF 7)F 8) GH 9)IJK 10)LM1 11) LM2 12) NO1 13)NO2 14) PQ 15)QR 16)S 17)ST 18)T 19)UV 20)WX
    You can add more As, less Ns…according to which language you’ll use…
    You will be always able to fill the proper names of the labels afterwards when you’ll need them…
    Otherwise you’ll end up with a mess such as : 1) mum 2)Ana 3)Wilson 4)Suzan….and it is for now impossible to move “Ana” at the top of the list, for instance…

  105. ProtonMail Support

    For now we only offer email service and we do not offer cloud storage. This is planned for the future.

  106. ProtonMail Support

    We are looking into adding the order option in the future. For now you can order the labels any way you want in Settings>Labels by dragging and dropping the label in the correct spot.

  107. Dan

    I am in the same boat as Jan and Al. I NEED folders so I can create specific ones for certain emails. I hope that this will become an option for all level Protonmail users in the VERY near future.

  108. Charlie Parish

    Labels are fine and dandy but I really do need hierarchical folders for serious email use. The Inbox becomes just too cluttered otherwise. A proper Windows client or IMAP would allow this.

  109. Jim

    Folders have worked fine for me for years. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I’d like to convert to Protonmail but until folders are supported it’s a no-go!

  110. Vas

    Just adding up to the above comments, I think the “adding folder” option is an essential part of a proper email management. Hope it can be introduced shortly, as labeling is too messy.
    Overall, great work guys! Keep it up..!

  111. Diane

    I just jumped right in on a 1 year Subscription & I would also like to have a add folders feature however labels are nice I would still rather separate into personal folder categories with labels within those folders .

  112. dave

    how do you create / alter / list the labels in an alphabetic manner… 1,2,3 a,b,c…..?

    where is this function within the settings->?

  113. ProtonMail Support

    We will provide this option in the future.

  114. Anthony

    Well …. I read through 2 years of comments. Could you please give us an honest and transparent answer about when you will implement folders? You have been talking about it for 2 years.

  115. Patricia A. Callebaut

    i want to use the filters but it don’t works!

  116. KM

    Need folders. The “Labels” creates one huge mess. And they won’t go alphabetical. Are you kidding me?

    Please put folders feature!!

  117. ProtonMail Support

    You can change the order of the labels in Settings –> Labels.

    If you use labels together with filters and the archive feature, Labels are practically indistinguishable from folders.

  118. ProtonMail Support

    It is not planned right now because labels + filters + archive folder almost perfectly replicates folders.

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