Restoring encrypted messages in your mailbox

If you reset your Proton password, you will lose the ability to read existing emails due to the message encryption that we use. Note that this only happens in the case of a password reset (i.e. when you forget your password) and not when you change your password. 

If you are in Two-password mode and reset your login password or your mailbox password, your account will switch to the One-password mode. When this happens, you will also be unable to read your previous messages. 

However, in certain situations, it is possible to recover your existing emails and decrypt them:

  1. You are in Two-password mode and reset your login password or mailbox password. Your account is switched to One-password mode. However, you still remember your previous mailbox password.
  2. You are in One-password mode and reset your password. However, you still remember your previous password.
  3. You have access to your previously exported key and can import it into your account.

How to decrypt your messages

1. Go to Settings at the top right and click on Go to settings.

2. Select Encryption & keys in the left sidebar. 

3. Scroll down until you find the Email encryption keys section. This section displays your account’s encryption keys. When you reset your password in One-password mode or your mailbox password in Two-password mode, a new encryption key is generated. Your previous encryption key is then deactivated. 

4. To read your old messages, you will need to reactivate your old encryption key using your old password. Click on Reactivate.

5. Click Continue to enter your old password.

6. Enter your old password and click Submit. You should be able to read your old emails again. 

Note that if you reset your password multiple times, you may need to try all of your previous passwords until you find the right password to reactivate the remaining keys.

Learn how to download your public and private encryption keys

Learn how to upload your backup private encryption key

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