Types of email addresses and aliases

4 mins
Addresses and identities

With Proton Mail, there are four main types of email addresses you can use:

  • Free personal address: the personal email you signed up with (for example, alicejones@proton.me or alicejones@protonmail.com)
  • Additional address (alias): based on a Proton Mail domain (like alice-work@protonmail.com) or your own custom domain(new window) (alice@alicejones.com)
  • +Alias: unlimited extra addresses using the “+” sign
  • Organization user address: for users in an organization with their own individual login and inbox

Here we explain what these addresses are and how they differ.

Free personal addresses

A free personal address is the original email address that belongs to individual Proton Mail users.

Everyone on Proton Mail has at least one free personal address:

  • The original address you signed up with, which usually ends in @proton.me or @protonmail.com (like alicejones@proton.me)
  • A short version of this address ending in @pm.me (alicejones@pm.me), which you can activate in Settings(new window) if your address is available

If you joined Proton before June 2022, you could get a free @proton.me address (alicejones@proton.me) for a limited time in addition to the original @protonmail.com (or @protonmail.ch) address you signed up with.

If you signed up before 2016, you also have a @protonmail.ch address.

With a Proton Free plan, you can only receive emails at your short @pm.me address. If you have a paid plan, you can also send messages from your @pm.me address.

You can’t disable your free personal addresses. But if you have more than one Proton Mail account, you can merge their addresses(new window) into a single account to send and receive mail from the same mailbox.

Additional addresses (aliases)

If you have a paid plan, you can create additional email addresses, also known as aliases, to send and receive mail in your Proton Mail mailbox.

These email addresses can use any of our domains (@proton.me, @protonmail.com, @pm.me, or @protonmail.ch). For example, if Alice Jones has the free personal addresses alicejones@proton.me and alicejones@protonmail.com, she could also create aliases like alice-work@proton.me and alice-subscriptions@protonmail.com, if these addresses are available.

Custom addresses

If you subscribe to a paid plan and have your own domain name, you can create additional addresses using your domain, known as custom addresses.

For example, if Alice had a paid plan and owned the domain name “alicejones.com”, she could send and receive mail from addresses like alice@alicejones.com or newsletters@alicejones.com from her Proton Mail account.

Additional address limits

If you have a paid plan, you can create at least 10 additional addresses (including custom addresses), depending on your plan.

Note that your free personal addresses don’t count towards this limit. And custom addresses don’t count if they are disabled.

Learn more about creating and using additional addresses (aliases)(new window)


+Aliases are a kind of sub-email address based on one of your free personal email addresses.

You can get a +alias by using the “+” symbol after the username in your email address. For example, Alice Jones (alicejones@proton.me) could get a +alias like alicejones+bills@proton.me.

There is no need to create or set up a +alias in your user settings. Rather, a new alias is created whenever someone sends you an email to that +alias. This means you can have an unlimited number of +aliases for each of your free personal email addresses.

Note that you can’t compose new messages from scratch using +aliases, but you can reply using the +alias to messages sent to that address.

Learn more about aliases and +aliases(new window)

Organization user addresses

If you have a Proton for Business plan (Proton Mail Essentials or Proton Business) and a custom domain, you can create an organization(new window). This enables multiple users to have an email address using your domain. Unlike regular custom addresses (aliases), organization user addresses have their own login and inbox.

An organization’s administrator(new window) (also known as an “admin”) can assign organization users(new window) one or more email addresses that use their custom domain (not a Proton Mail domain). For example, staffmember1@yourdomain.com, staffmember2@yourdomain.com, admin@yourdomain.com, etc.

By default, an organization user’s mailbox is “non-private”, which means any admin can read their messages and change their password.

An admin can also designate a user as “private”, which means admins don’t have access to their emails and can’t change their password. If a private user forgets their password, they must reset it using their recovery email.

Learn more about private and non-private users(new window)

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