Private users (ProtonMail for Business)

A ProtonMail Professional Account allows you to add users to your organization. These users can be either non-private users or private users.

By default, all users are non-private, which means their emails can be read by any organization administrator. This might be desirable for employee oversight and compliance reasons. 

Only administrators can access the messages of your organization’s non-private users  — ProtonMail cannot access the emails of ANY user of your organization, including non-private users.

As an administrator, you can designate a user as a private user when you add them or at a later time. A private user’s messages can only be accessed with that user’s login credentials. Administrators will not be able to access a private user’s messages.

Administrators cannot change a private user into a non-private user. To do this, you would need to delete the user account entirely and then recreate it.

If a private user loses or forgets their password, they must reset it using their recovery email address. The administrator cannot change their password for them.

How to designate a new user as a private user

When adding a new user, turn the Private switch on.

Screenshot of adding a new private user

How to designate an existing user as a private user

1. Log in to mail.protonmail.com and go to SettingsOrganizationUsers & Addresses or log in to account.protonmail.com and go to Organization →  Users & Addresses. Click Edit in the Action column next to the user.

Screenshot of editing a user's role

2. Turn the Private User switch on and click Submit (you may be asked to sign in again using your ProtonMail password to continue).

A screenshot of making a user private


Below is a checklist of steps (plus related articles) for setting up an organization in ProtonMail.

Step 1: Set up your custom domain(s)

Step 2: Create your organization

Step 3: Add new users to your organization

Step 4: Migrate your existing email messages to ProtonMail

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19 comments

  1. Maiygyne La Land

    I need help to reset both passwords – I only have one that I know of, and I think it is for the email
    I can’t get into my account at all and I have paid for the business security
    Please support

  2. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team at contact@protonmail.com or using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  3. Isaac

    How can secondary users create @protonmail email addresses? I am only able to use the custom domains. Thank you

  4. ProtonMail Support

    ProtonMail domain addresses cannot be assigned to sub-users, only to the main ProtonMail user. Sub-users can only use custom domain addresses. Since ProtonMail domain addresses cannot be deleted, you would not be able to manage your users properly. We are working on finding a way to support this in the future, however, we cannot speculate on an ETA.

  5. Irene Bruce

    Hi, i found a grammatical typo on the Terms and conditions page, under terms of payment, 3rd sentence….one word too many.
    I’ll be setting up an account soon. I appreciate this service!
    Irene B.

  6. Isaac

    Is there any way that other users in my organization can create and/or link ProtonMail.com/ch email addresses?

  7. ProtonMail Support

    Unfortunately no, ProtonMail domain addresses can only be added to the main ProtonMail account. Sub-users can only have custom domain addresses added.

  8. Galatia Politopoulou

    Hello i would liike to buy into protonmail so as to have a better use of my protonmail account, i keep encrypting everything as the account gets attacked and my password stolen and that is NOT very good, are you able to help? I DO NOT understand your guidance re; decrypting if i remember my last password, i remember very well my last password on this occassion, not sure what to do and i need it for my tax return !!!

  9. ProtonMail Support

    To recover your old messages that have been encrypted with an old encryption key, go to Settings > Keys, click on Enable keys and enter your old password. If you enter the correct password, your old encryption keys will be reactivated and you will be able to read your old messages.
    You can read more about restoring keys at https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/restoring-encrypted-mailbox/.

  10. Sheelagh

    Please advise me how to pay my protonmail monthly subscription using PayPal as an option. Where do I find this option? At the moment the only options given seem to be credit card, cash or Bitcoin.

  11. ProtonMail Support

    While PayPal does not show up as a payment option for monthly payments, you can use the Add credits option in the Dashboard, select PayPal and add enough credits for your monthly payment. Then you can use the added credits to pay for the subscription.

  12. Paul

    Can Professional users, (not the admin) tell if their account is private or not?

  13. ProtonMail Support

    If a sub-user is created as private, they will receive a prompt to change their password immediately upon the first login to the account. If a sub-user is created as public, they will not receive the password change prompt.

  14. Michael

    Could you please clarify – the business plan includes 1 user, as in 1 domain? I want to get a @ourcompany.com email for me and my employees, will I have to pay for each new email extra? Thanks!

  15. ProtonMail Support

    Users are separate from domains. To get separate mailboxes with separate login credentials, you will need to add an additional user to the plan for each person in the company. https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/faq-professional-plan/

  16. Proton user

    If I have two separate organizations set up on proton (one using Visionary subscription and another using Professional) can I use one mobile email client for both? How to set things up on kobile in that case? Thank you!

  17. ProtonMail Support

    The ProtonMail app does not support logging in with multiple accounts at this time.

  18. Jason

    I’m subscriber to Visionary plan and use a custom domain (a couple actually). One of my users on the custom domain forgot her password and cannot access her account. There was also no recovery email address set for her. I want to delete that email address and recreate it with the knowledge that any old messages would be lost. The system won’t let me, because there are still emails in her account (the one she can’t remember). How can I get that deleted so we can recreate it?

  19. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form.

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