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 Gmail. No matter how many emails, attachments, and contacts you have stored in your Gmail 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:
- Transfer existing emails
- Set up email forwarding
- Transfer contacts
- Inform your contacts
- Update online accounts
- Get the most out of ProtonMail
Transfer existing emails
Moving your mailbox to ProtonMail is easy with the Import Assistant app, available through ProtonMail V4 web beta. Alternatively, users with paid plans can use the Import Export app to import their emails. To get a Plus, Professional, or Visionary plan, go to your ProtonMail web app and click on Upgrade.
The apps import your entire mailbox directly from another email account, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. The Import-Export app also allows uploading email files stored on your computer, as well as exporting emails from your ProtonMail account to your hard drive.
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 Gmail 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 Gmail first go through Google’s servers. This means they will only be TLS encrypted, and not end-to-end encrypted, and Google can access them.
Here are eight quick steps to forward your Gmail messages to ProtonMail:
- In your Gmail account, go to Settings by clicking the gear in the top right corner
- In the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section, click Add a forwarding address
- Enter your ProtonMail address in the new window, click Next and Proceed
- Open ProtonMail where you can find a confirmation message from Google
- Click the link to verify your ProtonMail address and confirm forwarding
- Refresh your Gmail account webpage
- In the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section, select Forward a copy of incoming mail and select your ProtonMail address from the drop-down menu
Click Save Changes
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 Gmail contacts to a CSV:
- Open your Google contacts
- Hover your mouse over any contact and check the box that shows up
- In the top menu, click on the Selection Actions arrow and on All
- In the top left, go to More actions (the vertical dotted line) and select Export
- In the new window, select Export
To import the CSV to ProtonMail:
- Open your ProtonMail account in a browser on your desktop
- Select Import in the left menu on the Contacts page
- Drop your CSV file in the box or click on the box to select the CSV
- 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 email@example.com, the attached pm.me email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Gmail 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 Gmail 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 Gmail 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 Gmail 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 Gmail 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 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.
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.
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. When you have confirmed that emails arrive in your ProtonMail mailbox, you can delete your domain from Google.
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 email@example.com, you will also receive the emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 a 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.
Import your calendar
Proton Calendar brings you one step closer to complete freedom from tech giants such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft. Available now in beta, Proton Calendar uses end-to-end encryption on your events’ details, making your plans and appointments available only to you.
You can get a free secure email account from ProtonMail here.
We also provide a free VPN service to protect your privacy.