Orphaned Addresses

Here you can learn what happens with your custom domain addresses when you delete the custom domain, or when you downgrade to the free plan.

After you add a custom domain, you can then create custom domain addresses. When you delete the custom domain, we will automatically delete the domain’s addresses that do not have associated emails. The domain’s addresses that have emails will become orphaned addresses. These orphaned addresses cannot be used to send or receive emails but we keep them and their keys around so that you can still decrypt and read emails associated with them.

You can find orphaned addresses in Settings->Addresses tab under Inactive Addresses:

Custom Domain addresses ProtonMail

 Since their domain has been deleted, orphaned addresses cannot be enabled. However, if you add their domain again, they will automatically link and then you can enable them again. As with all other custom domain addresses, you can only delete an orphaned address if there are no emails associated with them.

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  1. Truls Werner

    I need to whitelist the recovery adress that you use so that I can recieve a token. Please send me the adress you send from

    Best regards
    Truls Werner

  2. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact us on contact@protonmail.ch or via the Report bug button.

  3. Brian

    Is there a way to use a catch-all address?

  4. Dave

    You say, “You can only delete an orphaned address if there are no emails associated with them.” WHAT? WHY? Why would anyone think this kind of restriction is acceptable? With this kind of restriction in effect, I now need to purchase an UNLIMITED number of email addresses from you for my custom domain, which is a service you do NOT OFFER!! And I must do this because your spam filter can’t ever be made to separate out all the spam with 100% accuracy. I have to keep changing email addresses every few years to get rid of spam, which will keep piling up throughout the decades, always slowly approaching an infinite number of spam messages received per day…. I can’t just delete all archived mail when I do that, what’s the point of having any cloud based service at all then….

  5. ProtonMail Support

    If you have messages on your account, and delete the address that those messages were sent to, they will become unreadable. You can disable custom domain addresses, and they will not count to your address quota. Only active custom domain addresses count.

  6. Dave

    Thanks for the explanation. Not realizing that disabled addresses didn’t count toward the quota is where my disconnect was…. Also I’ve been learning how your “encrypt at rest” works and is keyed by email address… 😛

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