How to migrate to Proton using Easy Switch

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Easy switch

Easy Switch is a tool that safely transfers your emails and folders from an external email account to Proton Mail(new window) (and your contacts and calendars if you are coming from Google). Your email messages and other data are encrypted the moment they arrive in your Proton Mail inbox, making the transition to a secure email provider easy and risk free.

Transferring your personal data to Proton Mail and Proton Calendar(new window) is an important first step towards transitioning away from privacy-invasive companies. If you need more help making the switch, see our dedicated migration guides for Gmail(new window), Yahoo(new window), and Outlook(new window).

Easy Switch is fully integrated into Proton Mail, and you can import emails from any email service provider that uses IMAP. If you are switching from Google, you can import your emails as well as your calendars and contacts.

To launch Easy Switch, sign in to mail.proton.me(new window) and go to SettingsGo to settings → Import via Easy Switch → select which service you want to import from.

Import via Easy Switch
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Once configured, Easy Switch works in the background so that you can use your computer as normal while your emails are transferred from your old account to Proton Mail. 

Easy Switch can transfer data from up to two different email accounts at the same time, but you can only run one transfer at a time from the same account. If you want to run two imports from the same account, you’ll need to wait until the first import is completed before initiating a second import.

To start importing your files from Google, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or Other email providers, simply click the appropriate button and follow the preparation guides built into Easy Switch. 

Authenticate your old account

Google

1. Select which files you want to import. You can choose from:

  • Emails
  • Contacts
  • Calendars

Select what to import
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2. Log in to the Google Account you would like to import from. We delete your login details once the import is complete. See our privacy policy(new window) for more details.

Choose an account
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3. You will see a screen that says Proton Import Assistant wants additional access to your Google Account along with a list of the different types of data that Easy Switch will need access to. You need to check the boxes to enable Easy Switch to import those files. Once you have checked the appropriate boxes in Google’s authorization screen, scroll down and click Continue.

Proton Import Assistant wants additional access to your Google Account
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4. This will bring you to the Customize and confirm import page.

Learn how to review and customize your import

Yahoo Mail

Before you can import your messages from Yahoo Mail, you will need to generate an app password that Easy Switch can use.

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Once you have generated the app password, enter your email address and the newly generated app password. 

Start a new import
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This allows Proton Mail to access your data so that we can import it into your Proton Mail account. 

We delete your login details once the import is complete. See our privacy policy(new window) for more details.

Learn how to review and customize your import

Outlook 

If you use Outlook with 2FA enabled, you will need to generate an app password(new window) before importing their emails into Proton Mail. You will also need to have a mobile Microsoft Authenticator app.

To generate your app password:

1. Go to the Security section in Outlook and select More security options

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2. In Additional security options, go to App passwords and select Create a new app password.

3. Outlook will automatically generate your password. Make sure you remember it as you will need it during the import.

If you fail to authenticate, go to your account’s Security section and select Sign in activity. You will then need to confirm that it was you trying to access your Outlook account. 

Once you have generated the app password, enter your email address and the newly generated app password. 
We delete your login details once the import is complete. See our privacy policy(new window) for more details.

Learn how to review and customize your import

Start a new import
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Other email providers (IMAP)

Before you begin your import, you will need to follow our guide on allowing IMAP access and adjusting settings before import(new window) for popular email services.

Once you have allowed IMAP access, enter the email address and password for the external email account you are exporting from. This allows Proton Mail to access your data so that we can import it into your Proton Mail account. We delete your login details once the import is complete. See our priv(new window)acy policy(new window) for more details.

Start a new import
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Learn how to review and customize your import

Review and customize your import

Easy Switch will display a summary of the files it expects to import. It also gives you an opportunity to customize which files you import and how they are labeled. 

This summary includes:

  • Folders found – the number of folders found in your external email account, including default system folders such as Inbox, Archive, Sent, and Drafts.
  • Time range of the imported messages 
  • Label of the imported messages in your Proton Mail account

Google

If you are importing from Gmail, Easy Switch will import all the emails in the Starred, All Mail, and Important system folders, as well as your contacts and calendars by default (the Important folder is imported as a custom folder).

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Your email labels will automatically be recreated as labels inside Proton Mail and emails will be labeled as they were in Gmail.

Messages from Gmail’s Inbox, Sent, or Draft folders will be automatically placed in the same folders in Proton Mail.

Example: A message labeled To-do in your Gmail inbox will be imported into your Proton Mail inbox with the To-do label applied to it.

Messages that are not in one of the three default folders (such as emails that were archived in Gmail) will be placed in the All Mail folder in Proton Mail. You will still be able to find them using the labels you applied to them in your external email account. 

Note that Proton Mail does not offer nested labels. If a label in Gmail is nested under a parent label, Proton Mail will create a new label with the name <parent label>-<nested label>.

To make your original categories easier to distinguish, the color of all nested labels will be the same as the parent label.

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Importing a calendar and your contacts works similarly.

When you import a calendar from Google, Easy Switch will, by default, create a new calendar using Proton Calendar filled with all your saved events.

When you import your contacts and contact groups from Google, Easy Switch will add them to your Proton Mail contacts. 

How to customize your email import

You can change the default email import settings by clicking Customize under Email. This will take you to the Customize import screen.

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Click Edit label to change the label that is applied to all imported messages, making it even easier to find your old data. 

Click Import to email address to change which of your Proton Mail email addresses to import your old emails to. By default, Easy Switch will import emails and associate them with your default Proton Mail address(new window). You can change this to a different Proton Mail address. 

The Import interval setting allows you to change the time range of your import. You can choose between: 

  • Import all messages since account creation
  • Import since 1 month ago
  • Import since 3 months ago
  • Import since 12 months ago 

Your import will always start with the most recent email messages. 

For example, if you migrate your custom domain, you can configure(new window) your custom domain on your Proton Mail account, create a custom domain address, and select this address before initiating the import.

In the Manage folders/labels section, click Show folders/labels to choose the folders you want to import into your Proton Mail account and edit their names. 

For Gmail, Easy Switch will automatically create labels inside Proton Mail.

By default, Easy Switch will import all folders and all emails since your account was created. All imported emails are labeled in Proton Mail to help you find them easily. 

In some cases, Easy Switch may require you to customize your import options to address issues it has discovered. These issues include:

  • Folders in your old account have names that exceed 100 characters, including spaces. We recommend using short folder names to ensure they are properly displayed on your screen
  • You are trying to import more than 2,000 folders 

Once you have customized your import, click Save.

How to customize your calendar import

By default, Easy Switch will create a new calendar in Proton Calendar when you import a calendar.  

However, you can also merge an imported calendar with existing Proton calendars. Note that calendar names are not unique, meaning if you have a Proton calendar titled “Work” and you import a calendar named work, they will not be merged automatically. You need to specifically choose to merge calendars.

To merge calendars, click Customize below Calendar. This will take you to the Customize import screen for calendars.

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Click the dropdown menu under Import from to choose which calendars to import.

Click the dropdown menu under Create in to choose whether an imported calendar creates a new calendar or is merged with an existing calendar. If you merge calendars, you can also choose which existing calendar the imported calendar is merged with

There is a 20 calendar limit per account. If you are trying to import calendars that would take you beyond that limit, you will need to take one of the following actions until you are within the limit:

  • Delete an existing Proton calendar
  • Merge an imported calendar with an existing Proton calendar
  • Cancel the import of a calendar

Other email providers (Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and IMAP)

When importing messages from other email services, the custom folders from that account will be created as custom folders in your Proton Mail account.

Note that editing a folder name only changes its name in your Proton account — not in your external email account.

  • If you import a folder that has the same name as a folder that already exists in Proton Mail, Easy Switch will merge the two folders in your Proton Mail account.
  • If the folder you are importing has subfolders that don’t exist in Proton Mail’s corresponding folder, Easy Switch will create the subfolders.  
  • All the messages from your external account’s system folders (such as Inbox, Sent, and Drafts) will show up in the respective system folders in your Proton Mail account, so you can’t edit these names. 
  • If your system folder has more than one subfolder, the first subfolder will become the root custom folder for the rest.
  • Deselecting a parent folder automatically deselects all its subfolders, and Easy Switch won’t import them.
  • Proton Mail supports three levels of hierarchy, including the parent folder. If the mailbox you are importing has deeper levels of hierarchy, Easy Switch will reorganize your subfolders based on the following logic:

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How to customize your email import

You can change the default email import settings by clicking Customize under Email. This will take you to the Customize import screen for email.

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Click Edit label to change the label that is applied to all imported messages, making it even easier to find your old data. 

The Import interval setting allows you to change the time range of your import. You can choose between: 

  • Import all messages since account creation
  • Import since 1 month ago
  • Import since 3 months ago
  • Import since 12 months ago 

Your import will always start with the most recent email messages. 

Click Import to email address to change which of your Proton Mail email addresses to import your old emails to. By default, Easy Switch will import emails and associate them with your default Proton Mail address(new window). You can change this to a different Proton Mail address. 

For example, if you migrate(new window) your custom domain, you can configure(new window) your custom domain on your Proton Mail account, create a custom domain address, and select this address before initiating the import.

In the Manage folders/labels section, click Show folders/labels to choose the folders you want to import into your Proton Mail account and edit their names. 

In some cases, Easy Switch may require you to customize your import options to address issues it has discovered. These issues include:

  • Folders in your old account have names that exceed 100 characters, including spaces. We recommend using short folder names to ensure they are properly displayed on your screen
  • You are trying to import more than 2,000 folders 

Once you have customized your import, click Save.

Start your import

Once you are happy with the import settings (either the default settings or your customized settings), click Start import. 

If you are importing files from Google, this will launch multiple import processes (one for your emails and one for your contacts), while if you are importing files from another email provider, it will only launch a single import (for your emails).

You will be shown an Import in progress notification. 

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The import process can take days to complete if you have used your old email service for a long time. However, it is handled entirely by our servers, so no additional input is required from you.

Learn how to manage your current and past imports(new window)

Troubleshooting Easy Switch(new window)

How to set up an organization in Proton Mail

Step 1: Set up your custom domain(s)

Step 2: Create your organization(new window)

Step 3: Add new users to your organization(new window)

Step 4: Migrate your existing email messages to Proton Mail(new window) (you are here)

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