Set Proton Mail as the default email client in iOS

Douglas Crawford

Share this page

If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you can now set Proton Mail(new window) as your default email app in the latest version of iOS. This is a welcome decision from Apple to allow users to choose their preferred email service, and means that “mailto” links can now open in Proton Mail instead of Apple’s Mail app. 

Although this is a small change, it represents a win for privacy because you can now more meaningfully control how you send and receive data on your own device. Here we talk about why this matters and, toward the bottom, how you can change your default mail app to Proton Mail.

What this means for Proton users

iOS has always been a “walled garden” that Apple keeps under tight control. One of the ways it has done this is to prevent third-party apps that compete with its own apps from being set as the default apps used by iOS.

The result was that most iOS users take the path of least resistance and settle for using Mail as their email client and Safari as their browser. In this way, Apple ensures most of its users stay within the Apple ecosystem, including using lucrative premium services, such as Apple TV, Apple Music, iTunes, and iCloud.

This has been hugely profitable(new window) for Apple but is hostile to the interest of its customers. Recently, however, people have begun to push back. Following efforts from developers including Proton(new window), Apple has made moves to placate critics, including allowing users to change their default email client and browser starting with iOS 14. 

Although a relatively minor concession for Apple, this is great news for Proton Mail users. You can now send secure end-to-end encrypted messages by default, using an open source app and a service that never spies on you or shares your data with third parties. 

Change your default email app to Proton Mail

How to set Proton Mail as default app

Here are the steps to update your default email settings:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Proton Mail app and tap it.
  3. Tap “Default Email App.”

For more detailed instructions, including information about how to update iOS to the latest version, please our knowledge base article(new window)

Final thoughts

At Proton, our mission is to build a more secure and private internet for everyone. This is why we are developing exciting new end-to-end encrypted products, such as Proton Drive(new window) and Proton Calendar(new window), that give you control over your own data.

Control over your data is, after all, the bedrock of online privacy. The ability to use Proton Mail as your default email app in iOS gives you greater control over your data, and is therefore a win for privacy.

You can get a free secure email account from Proton Mail here.

We also provide a free VPN service(new window) to protect your privacy. Proton Mail and Proton VPN are funded by community contributions. If you would like to support our development efforts, you can upgrade to a paid plan(new window). Thank you for your support.


Feel free to share your feedback and questions with us via our official social media channels on Twitter(new window) and Reddit(new window).

Protect your privacy with Proton
Get a free account

Share this page

Douglas Crawford

Starting with ProPrivacy and now Proton, Douglas has worked for many years as a technology writer. During this time, he has established himself as a thought leader specializing in online privacy. He has been quoted by the BBC News, national newspapers such as The Independent, The Telegraph, and The Daily Mail, and by international technology publications such as Ars Technica, CNET, and LinuxInsider. Douglas was invited by the EFF to help host a livestream session in support of net neutrality. At Proton, Douglas continues to explore his passion for privacy and all things VPN.

Related articles

The first month of 2023 has brought brutal layoffs from Big Tech, a potential ban of TikTok in the US, and another Twitter breach. But the biggest development of this new year has to be the ascent of ChatGPT.  The chatbot can produce remarkably huma
Hackers were able to steal account details from over 200 million Twitter users and posted the database on a hacking forum in early January 2023. These details include users’ email addresses and Twitter handles, allowing people to potentially identify
From your online shopping receipts to financial statements, your emails contain a great deal of sensitive information about your life, interests, and daily schedule. If you’re concerned about your online privacy, it’s therefore vital to keep your inb
At Proton, we’re committed to building privacy-focused products that are convenient to use and improve your productivity. Last year, we released the new mobile apps for Proton Calendar and Proton Drive, letting you manage your schedule and upload imp
Most email services aren’t secure and limit attachment file sizes, but there are ways to send large files securely. If you’ve ever tried attaching multiple images or video files to an email, you’ll know that it doesn’t always work. We explain ways t
Email wasn’t initially designed to be secure. From spam and phishing attempts to malware, unethical marketers and cybercriminals try to undermine the security and privacy of your inbox every day. Since your inbox stores plenty of sensitive informatio