What to do if an online company blocks registration with ProtonMail addresses

The vast majority of online services, including all major websites, allow you to use your ProtonMail email address when registering your account. But we have received reports of some sites rejecting users who try to register with a protonmail.com domain. This can be very frustrating—like someone telling you the address of the house where you live isn’t legitimate. In this article, we explain this problem and describe some ways you can resolve it.

Why sites block ProtonMail

ProtonMail can sometimes be blocked on accident because we are not yet as well known as some of the largest email providers. For example, to reduce spam, some forums only allow registration from well-known email providers like Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, etc. Other times, sites may block ProtonMail domains after experiencing large numbers of registrations from ProtonMail users, but because they are not aware ProtonMail is a major email service provider with millions of users, they treat the signups as suspicious.

Abuse and fraud rates from ProtonMail are no higher than from unencrypted email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. In fact, statistically speaking, ProtonMail addresses are less likely to be used for spam or abuse compared with other services because of our stringent anti-abuse measures and because of the fact that free ProtonMail accounts have limited capabilities and a paid account is necessary to fully take advantage of all email features. 

Fortunately, incidents of sites disallowing registration using ProtonMail addresses have been decreasing as ProtonMail becomes better known. Today, we are one of the largest email providers in Europe, and the largest email company in Switzerland. 

If you do encounter a situation where a company doesn’t allow you to register with your ProtonMail address, there are a few things you can do.

How to get ProtonMail unblocked

Obviously, we can’t control what other companies do. However, if this happens to you, you do have a few options:

  • Write to our support team and let us know what website is blocking ProtonMail email addresses. We’ll contact that service, inform them what ProtonMail is, and ask them to remove the ban.
  • We also recommend that you write to the company yourself and explain that ProtonMail is a very popular email provider and that you would like to register with your ProtonMail address. If enough people write to them, we have seen that companies quickly reverse course and allow registration with ProtonMail accounts. (A template email you can use is below.)

  • You can also try using your @pm.me email address, as these don’t usually encounter problems. This is a shorter version of your ProtonMail address, and it’s available to all users for free (though only premium plans offer the ability to send from your @pm.me address). Read about how to set up your short domain email address in our knowledge base.
  • Another way to resolve the problem is to get a custom domain email address through ProtonMail. Our Plus plans, which start at $4/month for a yearly subscription, give you the ability to use your own domain in your ProtonMail account (e.g., yourname@yourdomain.com). You can upgrade your account by going to Settings -> Dashboard while logged in at mail.protonmail.com and choosing a paid plan.

How we are resolving this issue

Over the long-term, this problem will eventually resolve itself because as ProtonMail continues to grow and more people use ProtonMail, companies will know to accept the ProtonMail email domain. This has already started to happen on its own. For example, some Swiss companies have ProtonMail whitelisted due to the popularity of the address in Switzerland.

In the shorter-term, we will continue to reach out to companies to ensure that they understand what ProtonMail is and allow ProtonMail addresses to be used for registration.

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for helping us spread the word about ProtonMail and online privacy.

Email template for unblocking requests

To: Customer support email address
Subject: Unable to register with my ProtonMail email address

Hello,

I would appreciate your help to register my account with your service. I was unable to use my protonmail.com email address during the sign-up process.

The block of ProtonMail on your domain must be a mistake. Over 15 million people use ProtonMail, which is a secure email provider based in Switzerland. The company was created by former CERN and MIT scientists to provide easy-to-use encrypted email. I believe it’s important not to discriminate against users who prefer a privacy-focused email service.

Thank you for your assistance.

Best regards,