How to create a free ProtonMail account

Content
  1. ProtonMail sets the standard for privacy and security
  2. Getting started with ProtonMail
  3. Secure access to ProtonMail
  4. ProtonMail and POP, IMAP and SMTP
  5. Download your ProtonMail PGP public key
  6. Enable Authentication Logs in ProtonMail

ProtonMail sets the standard for privacy and security

ProtonMail is considered the easiest and most secure way to send private and anonymous email. The email that the service stores on its servers is encrypted and only you can decrypt it. Messages exchanged with other ProtonMail users are automatically encrypted. Because ProtonMail uses a common standard for email encryption – built-in OpenPGP – you can securely exchange email with people who don’t use ProtonMail.

Your data is subject to the privacy laws of Switzerland, where the service is located, and not to the laws of the European Union or the United States.

Getting started with ProtonMail

Setting up a ProtonMail account is very easy and you don’t have to share any personal information at all, although the service can record your location’s IP address when you sign up.

To create a new ProtonMail account:

  1. Open a web browser and go to the ProtonMail registration page.

  2. Select Register Is free Choose a free plan

    Or opt for a paid ProtonMail account plan to get more storage, filters and other features and to support the development of ProtonMail.

    You can change your account type at any time after registration.

  3. On screen create an account go to section Username and domain and enter the username you want to use as your ProtonMail email address.

    It is best to use lowercase letters in your username. You can use underscores, dashes, periods, and some other characters, but they don’t increase the uniqueness of your ProtonMail username. For instance, example is the same username as example

  4. In chapter password enter the password you want to use and repeat to confirm. This is the password you use to log into your ProtonMail account.

  5. In addition, in the section Recovery email (optional) enter one of the alternate email addresses. If you need help remembering your account name or password, this is the address where ProtonMail will contact you.

  6. Select create an account

Secure access to ProtonMail

When using a browser to access ProtonMail, log in to https://mail.protonmail.com/login and make sure the browser shows the verified and validated security certificate for the site. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar.

Use the official ProtonMail app for Android and iOS devices to access ProtonMail on your mobile device.

ProtonMail and POP, IMAP and SMTP

ProtonMail does not provide IMAP or POP access and you cannot send email using your ProtonMail address via SMTP. This means that ProtonMail cannot be set up in Microsoft Outlook, macOS Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, iOS Mail or other email clients. Likewise, your ProtonMail cannot be forwarded to any other address.

Download your ProtonMail PGP public key

Others can send you encrypted emails on ProtonMail if their email provider uses built-in OpenPGP and they have your public PGP key. To share your PGP public key, upload it to a key server such as the MIT PGP public key server. From there, mailers can retrieve the key automatically.

To get a copy of the PGP public key for your ProtonMail email address:

  1. Open a web browser and log in to your ProtonMail account.

  2. Select Settings

  3. Go to the tab Keys

  4. In chapter Contact encryption keys copy the link Fingerprint

Enable Authentication Logs in ProtonMail

Enable authentication logs to have ProtonMail log all attempts to access your account and the IP address of each login attempt.

  1. Select Settings

  2. Go to the tab Safety

  3. In chapter authentication logs select Optional

  4. Enter your ProtonMail account password when prompted.

  5. Select send

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