Migrate from Outlook to ProtonMail

migrate from outlook

Congratulations on joining the ProtonMail community! ProtonMail offers you an ad-free email service that safeguards your personal conversations with strong encryption. Learn more about what makes ProtonMail different.

This short guide gets you up and running with ProtonMail if you are transferring from Outlook. No matter how many emails, attachments, and contacts you have stored in your Outlook account, you can seamlessly move them to ProtonMail by following the steps below.

If you would like to know more about a particular topic, skip to:

If you need help transitioning from other email providers, check out our migration guides for Gmail and Yahoo.

Transfer existing emails

Moving your mailbox to ProtonMail is easy with our Import-Export app. The app is currently available to all users who have a paid ProtonMail account (you can upgrade to Plus, Professional, or Visionary in your ProtonMail account Settings > Subscription). 

The tool imports your entire mailbox directly from another email account, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, or uploads email files stored on your computer. You can also export emails from your ProtonMail account to your hard drive to securely back them up.

The Import-Export tool will become available to our free users once the beta stage is over. 

Download Import-Export for Windows or for Mac. Here’s how to use it.

Set up email forwarding

Once you’ve imported existing messages, continue with the setup of automatic forwarding. This ensures that all the new messages sent to your old Outlook account also arrive in your ProtonMail inbox. Once senders learn your new Proton address, they can reach you directly at your ProtonMail address. 

Keep in mind that messages forwarded from Outlook first go through Outlook’s servers. This means they will only be TLS encrypted, and not end-to-end encrypted, and Outlook can access them.  

Here are 4 quick steps to forward your Outlook messages to ProtonMail:

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings and View all Outlook settings
  2. Select Mail and then Forwarding
  3. Select Start forwarding
  4. Enter your ProtonMail address and select Save

Transfer contacts

ProtonMail offers a private, secure space for all your contacts. You can create an encrypted contact list in just two steps: export to a CSV file and import it to ProtonMail.

To export your Outlook contacts to a CSV:

  1. Go to People at the bottom of the page on the web Outlook version
  2. Select Manage > Export contacts in the toolbar
  3. Choose to export all contacts or only contacts from a specific folder and select Export
  4. At the bottom of the page, select Save to save the CSV in your default Downloads folder

To import the CSV to ProtonMail:

  1. Open your ProtonMail account in a browser on your desktop
  2. Select Import in the left menu on the Contacts page
  3. Drop your CSV file in the box or click on the box to select the CSV  
  4. Select Import

Inform your contacts 

Tell your contacts you are using a new email address. You could send out a short ProtonMail email to say hi and order a new set of business cards. 

Please keep in mind that ProtonMail imposes limits on the number of emails you can send at once to avoid spam and phishing attempts. The limits depend on many criteria, including the behavior of the sender. 

Learn more about sending limits

To make this transition easier, you can share your short domain email address @pm.me with your contacts. Emails received via @pm.me appear in the same inbox as those using you @protonmail.com address. All ProtonMail accounts, free and paid, can receive emails at this address and paid accounts can use it to send emails too. 

For example, if your email address is username@protonmail.com, the attached pm.me email address is username@pm.me. 

Learn more about ProtonMail’s @pm.me email address

Update online accounts

Connect your online accounts to ProtonMail to protect your sensitive communications, instead of using your Outlook address as a point of contact. By migrating messages related to finance, health, and shopping to ProtonMail, you will avoid having this personal information used to profile you and potentially exposed or sold to third parties. 

This has to be done on an individual account basis, so you can also use this opportunity to review your accounts’ security settings and delete accounts you no longer use. 

Start with accounts holding sensitive information: banks, tax services, or file storage.

Continue with accounts you use daily: social media, online shopping, or entertainment.

Update the rest of your accounts over time. Create a separate folder in your ProtonMail account where you automatically forward emails from your Outlook account. This will help you quickly spot which contacts are still using your old email address. To remind your contacts about your new email address, set up an auto-reply on Outlook each time your contacts email you at your old address.

Once you have updated the accounts you want to continue receiving emails from, you can delete your Outlook account. This brings you back in control over which websites or organizations have your contact details. 

If later you decide to regain access to any account still associated with your Outlook address, you can use the recovery email address or the phone number you provided at signup. Alternatively, you can contact the support team of the service you’re trying to gain access to.

Sign up with your ProtonMail address from now on. All of your information and account updates will be securely encrypted.

Get the most out of ProtonMail 

ProtonMail supports a set of features and apps for quick access on different devices, strong privacy protection, an organized inbox, and efficient communication. 

All ProtonMail users can also log in through beta.protonmail.com to access the latest designs and features.

Download ProtonMail apps

Download ProtonMail apps for all your devices. This will give you quick access to an interface optimized for your device and allow you to use ProtonMail features, including encrypted emailing, wherever you are. 

Get ProtonMail for iOS or Android

Get ProtonMail Bridge

If you use an email desktop app such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or Apple Mail, install ProtonMail Bridge to safely read and write encrypted messages in your email desktop app. Our guides help you configure it correctly.

Download Bridge

Use a custom domain

ProtonMail allows you to set up your custom email address for domains you own in a few easy steps.

Access your hosting service or domain name provider (e.g. Google Domains, Cloudflare, etc.). Log in to your account and update the domain’s DNS records to point to ProtonMail. 

Learn how to update DNS records

After updating the DNS records, wait 24 hours for the records to propagate and test it by sending an email to your custom domain’s email address — it should go right to your ProtonMail inbox.

Use multiple email aliases 

ProtonMail also allows you to receive emails to an unlimited number of aliases. If you don’t want to enter your actual email address, build an alias by adding a + to your username. This feature is available to all users. For example, if your email is username@protonmail.com, you will also receive the emails sent to username+soccerclub@protonmail.com in your inbox. 

Aliases together with filters help you manage your inbox. You can also use them to protect against phishing attempts or spam by assigning an alias to each account you register with. This helps you quickly identify the source of spam. 

Organize your new inbox 

Use folders and labels to quickly locate emails on certain topics or from particular senders. Create filters to automatically sort email into custom folders and labels and to clear your inbox of spam. 

More questions? 

If you need help migrating from Outlook to ProtonMail, access our Knowledge Base articles or get in touch with ProtonMail customer support 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.