How can I download my public key?

ProtonMail uses PGP for end-to-end encryption (learn more what is encrypted here: https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/what-is-encrypted/). This means that your account has two keys, one public and one private. You can share your public key with other contacts outside of ProtonMail, so they can send you secure messages.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Open the Keys tab
  3. Click on “Download Public Key”

Your public key will be downloaded in the format “protonmail_public_your.username.txt” locally. You can share this key with other people, or use it with Facebook by following the steps on this article Using ProtonMail with Facebook PGP emails

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32 comments

  1. predrag

    Can you update this? There is no option to download public key on that page. Where is it now?

  2. ProtonMail Support

    We will add this option back very soon. You can use our previous version to download your public key: https://v2.protonmail.com .

  3. Lilian BAZILLE

    Hello,
    Are there plans to add the possibility to upload its own private key ? Or the possibility to download the private key from ProtonMail ?

    Thanks

  4. ProtonMail Support

    We are working on adding an option to add other keys to ProtonMail, but we don’t have an estimated time for this. For now you can only download the public key for your ProtonMail address.

  5. S

    Why would anyone upload their own private key? That’s not safe at all. Simply encrypt your message outside of protonmail. I wouldn’t even use your protonmail key to encrypt messages.

  6. J-B. Dijoux

    Hello,
    I have a question. Once the keys are uploaded, is it possible – if they were stolen – that a malicious individual use to decrypt my account ?
    Thank’s a lot.

  7. ProtonMail Support

    The decryption keys are stored on our servers, and they are encrypted with your mailbox password. In order for someone to read your messages, he will have to obtain your mailbox password, and be able to log in to your account.

  8. Ondrej

    Hello,
    do you plan to switch old key-algorithm into elliptic curves (e.g. Curve25519 which can be found in open GnuPG 2.1)?

    Thanks

  9. ProtonMail Support

    Elliptic curves won’t be supported until it is added to openpgpjs

  10. Ondrej

    Alright, ECC has not been implemented yet. Anyway it seems like we could find them hopefully in openpgpjs v3.0. https://github.com/openpgpjs/openpgpjs/milestone/7

  11. Anonymous

    i can’t download a valid key, seems to be that the key is just for any address in the account, cause i got multiple addresses, and need for each address an individual key?

  12. ProtonMail Support

    Can you please contact us at contact@protonmail.ch so we can explain all the steps?

  13. Atheoz

    Why can I not download this key from the new version? Removing this feature is idiotic to say the least.

  14. ProtonMail Support

    We are working on implementing this on our latest release. V2 does not support creating multiple addresses. Now all created addresses come with different key pair.

  15. Lawrence Lee

    Your https://v2.protonmail.com link redirects to the new site so there is no obvious way for me to download my Public key. How do I do it now?

  16. ProtonMail Support

    This is now added under Settings –> Keys

  17. zjklhvbsdklj

    Sooo, how does this actually work though? I tried sending an encrypted mail to my protonmail address using my public key from settings, but all I got was the PGP code block that was sent. Then I checked the headers and see a different code block – it looks like protonmail is moving my email from server to browser using PGP, but not seamlessly decoding messages? What’s the point in that?

  18. Patrick

    same here… A non protonmail user should be able to send an encrypted message to a protonmail user using his pgp public key…

  19. Eric

    Is there any way to download the private key that’s paired with my public keys? In particular, since I have some external domain accounts, it would be pretty good for me to have a copy of my private key stored somewhere secure. If protonmail dies (for whatever reason), and I shift the MX record for my domain to a different system, I’d like to still be able to use the public key I’ve distributed to decrypt stuff, and for that I need the private key).

    Unrelatedly: I can’t log in to the knowledgebase anymore. If I click log in, it goes to mail.protonmail.com, and the cookies seem restricted to there, so I’m unable to interact with the knowledgebase (like upvote something)

  20. ProtonMail Support

    Not yet, but we will add this in the future.

  21. enigma

    It has been a year since you stated that we could add our own phone keys…. Where is it?

    Really want to use my own private keys protonmail should not need to store my private keys.

    Better yet I would like to use my yubikey 4 to which has my phone private sub keys on a secure chip. It could do my decryption, signing, encryption and login all while being more secure than the current system.

    Most importantly I could then use the same keyring for my identity on keybase, GitHub, and protonmail

    As it stands protonmail built in pgp is useless, I am not going to pass out a public key for an identity that I do not truly own… You own it and therefore it is not my identity

  22. David Koch

    I’ve am using the Proton Mail (PM) bridge to send email from Thunderbird to correspondents using other email services (Gmail, etc.). Lately, I’ve been experimenting a bit by sending and receiving GPG4Win encrypted messages as attachments to an email. The end result was that I can decrypt messages that travel through AOL, Gmail, etc., but not those that come via PM (through the bridge). Is this a bug, or just the way the system works since it offers its own encryption system?

  23. ProtonMail Support

    Could you please provide us with more info at bridge@protonmail.ch?

  24. Diimaan

    Still there is no option to download my public key! What is stopping you guys to enable it???

    And the v2 is not working so is the old.protonmail.com!

  25. ProtonMail Support

    You can download your public key by using the procedure described in this article.

  26. Anonymous

    I have downloaded the the public key to my computer, What do you do next is that it? What is the point of it as I can encrypt e-mails by selecting the encrypt button before I send? What do I do with the fingerprint?

    When I send an encrypted mail, is there a way so that the recipient can read without putting in that secret word?

  27. ProtonMail Support

    The public key is used to receive end-to-end encrypted from outside of ProtonMail. You will need to share the key with the person that would send you end-to-end encrypted messages in advance.
    Messages encrypted for outside cannot be sent without a password.

  28. stobgopper

    Is there a way to download public keys from mobile? I’m not seeing a Key tab in my settings…

  29. ProtonMail Support

    For now, public keys can only be downloaded using the web client by going to Settings -> Keys, then click on Download for a specific key.

  30. Anonymous

    I tested sending myself an encrypted email using my public key and the message isn’t decrypted in my inbox. Is the decryption supposed to be automated?

  31. ProtonMail Support

    If you have received a message using the correct key, it should be decrypted automatically. For further assistance, please contact our support team at contact@protonmail.ch, support@protonmail.ch or using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  32. Thierry

    Hello,
    How to use correctly your keys:
    – On an “off-line” pc (no internet connection) build your keys (4096 + ECC openpgpjs do support it now – S.E.A.)
    – When done, move your private key to an “offline” storage secured (never be connected to internet)
    – backup subkeys + public keys
    – erase all keys on your offline pc (check by gpg -k and gpg -K)
    – and use only the subkeys
    I don’ think that having his own private key on Protonmail servers is a safe solution and part of the best practises.
    For people who want to know exactly how to build a keys: https://spin.atomicobject.com/2013/11/24/secure-gpg-keys-guide/

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