Proton Mail message expiration

2 mins
Compose and send emails

When sending an email from your Proton Mail(new window) account, you can set it to expire after a set amount of time. This feature is only available for:

  • Encrypted messages between Proton Mail users (both the sender and the recipient of the email are on Proton Mail)
  • Encrypted Password-protected Emails(new window) between Proton Mail users and people who are not on Proton Mail

By default, all emails sent from your Proton Mail account do not expire.

How to set an expiration time for an email

1. Open your email composer by selecting New message in the left sidebar.

New message button

2. Click on on the ellipsis menu [⋯] at the bottom left of the composer and select the hourglass Set expiration time.

Set expiration timer button

3. Select the amount of time the email will exist before expiring. Click Set.

Box to set the message expiration time

Note that the timer starts when the email is sent, not when the recipient has read the email. The maximum expiration time is four weeks (28 days). 

What happens to the email after it expires?

Proton Mail sender to Proton Mail recipient

Sender: The email is deleted from the sent folder.

Recipient: The email is deleted from the inbox (or the folder that holds the email at the time of expiration).

Proton Mail sender to non-Proton Mail recipient

Sender: The email is deleted from the sent folder.

Recipient: Recipients of Password-protected Emails are sent a link that contains the contents of the email. The contents of the link are immediately deleted once the message expires. 

Note that once the email expires, the encrypted message and attachments within it will be deleted. However, the email containing the link to the encrypted message cannot be deleted as it resides outside of Proton Mail’s infrastructure.

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