Transitioning from Gmail to ProtonMail

We understand changing email providers can be a daunting task at times. We appreciate you making the decision to use ProtonMail, and trust that you will be glad you did. Below you will find tools designed to make the process as simple and stress free as possible.

Closest/most frequently emailed contacts

After you have setup your ProtonMail addresses, it is important that you inform your contacts about your new email change. We recommend sending a message to your closest contacts through your existing Gmail email address with your new ProtonMail address in CC. This will help your contacts easily update your email address in their contact information.

Upload your contacts

Prior to importing your existing contacts into ProtonMail, you will need to export them from your Gmail account.

Once you have exported your contacts, please follow the steps found here to import your contacts.

Import your messages

ProtonMail currently supports import of messages through the Import-Export application and the ProtonMail Bridge, which are both currently available to paid users.

With the Import-Export app, you can quickly migrate your entire Gmail mailbox or the desired emails directly into your ProtonMail account. You can find instructions to import here.

In the Bridge, if you add both your ProtonMail and Gmail accounts to the same third-party client, you can import Gmail messages simply by dragging them into one of your ProtonMail folders. If you prefer not to use a third-party client, we are also working on building a separate import/export tool. You can export your Gmail messages and wait for our import tool or forward your existing Gmail messages to your ProtonMail account.

Setting up your Gmail to forward you your Gmail messages

These messages will not be end-to-end encrypted; however, forwarding your Gmail messages to ProtonMail allows you to see any new messages delivered to your Gmail in your ProtonMail account to ensure you do not miss any messages while transitioning to your ProtonMail email address.

To setup Gmail forwarding please follow these steps:

  1. Open the Gmail account that you want to forward from.
  2. At the top right, click the gear Settings.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  5. Click Add a forwarding address in the “Forwarding” section.
  6. Enter the email address you want to forward to.
  7. For your security, we’ll send a verification email to that address. Open your other email account and find the confirmation message from the Gmail team. If you’re having trouble finding it, check your Spam folder.
  8. Click the verification link in that email.
  9. Back in your Gmail account, reload the page in your web browser – look for the reload icon Reload.
  10. On the same Forwarding and POP/IMAP page in Settings, check that Forward a copy of incoming mail is selected and your email address is in the drop-down menu.
  11. In the second drop-down menu, choose what you want Gmail to do with your messages after they’re forwarded, such as keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox (recommended) or archive Gmail’s copy.
  12. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Moving your custom domain

If you use a custom domain in your Gmail account, you will need to follow a few steps to start receiving mail through ProtonMail.

Before removing your domain from Google: If the domain’s MX records currently point to Google mail servers, you will need to add your domain to ProtonMail and update the domain’s DNS records so they point to ProtonMail’s mail server. Otherwise, all messages sent to users in the domain will be bounced back to the sender.

You can now recreate your custom domain email addresses within your ProtonMail account.

Once you have updated your MX records, you can delete your domain from Google as all mail will now be delivered to your ProtonMail account.



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  1. Gudtalent

    Waoo. steps noted.

  2. persempre

    Well commented Thanks

  3. M4tt

    quick question…are forwarded email encrypted too?

  4. ProtonMail Support

    If you forward a message to a ProtonMail user, it is end to end encrypted. If you forward it to an outside recipient you need to add a password.

  5. ben closer

    That was fantastic post and proton mail is very easy to use.

  6. Future customer

    Contacts sync with phone addressbook is #1
    If you leave gmail but have no ideea who is calling you …
    Add this option for another “moover”.

    Ps: contacts is not important to be encrypted – could be optional, but ability to sync with iOS phone contacts iS!

  7. Arunmani

    I dont have a computer, so I do use Gmail n net from mobile. Will the steps mentioned above vary for me?

  8. ProtonMail Support

    You should be able to use the same procedure using a mobile browser as well, with the exception of using the ProtonMail Bridge.

  9. yz

    How to do it vice versa, transition from ProtonMail to Gmail?

  10. Nikola

    How do I use regular mail client, like Thunderbird with ProtonMail , and my domain name?

  11. Anonymous

    I never had such a difficult time starting a account

  12. ProtonMail Support

    If you need any assistance, please contact our support team at or using the support form at

  13. Franck A.

    “we are also working on building a separate import/export tool”
    => any news on this ?


  14. Sondra

    I do not want ALL my device contacts in my contact list how do I reverse this process?

  15. ProtonMail Support

    If your contacts have not been uploaded to your ProtonMail account, you can remove the app permission to read your contacts in your OS settings.

  16. Clive

    But if you have uploaded contacts already and it from a full list and not your most filtered list can you reverse the contact process to clear all contacts and then select another list to upload?

  17. ProtonMail Support

    You can remove all contacts by logging in to the web version of ProtonMail, going to Contacts and then clicking on the Delete All button.

  18. Maisie

    Currently my business email that is hosted via godaddy is managed through my gmail account using my business email address to send and receive via gmail inbox. Is this also possible with ProtonMail?

  19. ProtonMail Support

    Yes, you can add your domain in ProtonMail and then you will be able to send and receive messages to your business addresses using ProtonMail. To set up a custom domain in ProtonMail, visit If you need any assistance, please contact our support team at, via the report bug button or using the support form at

  20. Maruel

    Ok, in short, the only way to migrate from gmail to protonmail is by getting a paid subscription… That is very unfortunate.
    After reading so many reviews and comparing PM with the competition, I chose you only to learn that the free version is frankly useless. I rely on my email and I very frequently find myself searching for information in there. If I’m going to have to continue to maintain my gmail account, then might as well not open the PM account at all.
    I hope you change this in the future, so that people can actually get out of gmail and into PM fully (which is what I wanted to do) without having to pay for a membership. If you really need the money you could maybe enforce a donation for the migration step. Anyway, I will have to look elsewhere sadly.

  21. Marcus

    Manuel. Gmail is free and you are not the Customer, but the Product. With gmail the personal identifiable informaion (PII) is the value. Google is selling PII. Thet make a LOT of money.

    ProtonMail is a paid service to be useful, yes. But since PM is not selling your PII, would this be done for free?

    There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    //happy to pay for privacy

  22. John Parker

    Can you tell me whether these steps pr guidelines is for mobiles also or not? Because I do not have laptops or PC but I have a mobile phone. So can I use these tips on a mobile phone to transitioning from Gmail to promotional? I have a website which provides you the facility of Amazon Webmail Support for you so that you can solve your technical issues.

  23. ProtonMail Support

    Most of these steps can be accomplished using a mobile browser with the exception of importing messages using the ProtonMail Bridge, which will require a laptop/PC. For further assistance, please contact our support team at, or using the support form at

  24. JimSealy

    Can someone please tell me what I must be doing wrong. I sent test message to a non-proton address ( and that user has not seen it. I’m a new Proton user. Thanks

  25. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team using the support form:, at or with more information.

  26. Jennifer

    I am seriously considering ProntoMail but do not understand the process when sending mail to a non Pronto recipient. The receiver will require a pass word to read the mail, how would I deliver that password to them?

  27. ProtonMail Support

    You will need to communicate the password to the recipient through another channel, or you can set a password that can be easily explained to the intended recipient using the Password Hint field, but would be difficult for someone else to guess.

  28. Martin

    I would like to auto-forward certain message to a non-protonmail address, but there doesn’t appear any current way to do this. Please consider added that capability an enhancement request.

  29. Matt

    Make sure that you’re aware of the fact that you won’t be able to search your e-mails. I’m a paying ProtonMail customer and didn’t notice this CRITICAL missing feature until I had already gone through all the work to transition. Very disappointing. A missing search feature means that ProtonMail cannot be used for general e-mails.

  30. ProtonMail Support


    Encrypted search is in development and coming soon. Thank you for your patience!

  31. Art

    Hi Protonmail team, thanks for making this survice available.
    I’m transitioning from gmail to protonmail so I followed the steps to set up the forwarding option in my gmail account.
    I sent a test email in gmail to myself to see if it works and I don’t get the forwarded email in my protonmail.
    I followed the steps carefully and I wonder what the problem is?
    Looking forward to hearing back from you.

  32. ProtonMail Support


    Can you try setting up auto-forwarding in Gmail again? This worked fine in our testing just now.

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