How to send an encrypted email

Reading
6 mins
Category
Compose and send emails

Proton Mail is the easiest way to send an encrypted email because your messages are encrypted automatically in the background. Here we explain what encryption is and how to send a secure email using Proton Mail.

If you’re not on Proton Mail, you can sign up for a free Proton Mail account(new window) to send free encrypted email.

What is email encryption?
How to send an encrypted email with Proton Mail
Web app
iPhone or iPad
Android
How to send an encrypted email to non-Proton Mail users

What is email encryption?

Email encryption is a process that encodes a message so that only the intended recipients of the message can read it. The message is scrambled into an illegible string of characters. The only way to change the email back into its original, legible format is by using a unique encryption key.

Learn how encrypted email works(new window)

How to send an encrypted email with Proton Mail

Emails sent between Proton Mail users are automatically end-to-end encrypted (E2EE).

If you send an email to someone not on Proton Mail, it won’t be E2EE encrypted by default. But you can send an end-to-end encrypted email to a non-Proton Mail user using Password-protected Emails or PGP.

Learn what is encrypted with Proton Mail(new window)

You can see the encryption status of any message you send or receive by checking the lock icon in the To field.

Encryption lock icon showing the encryption status of the email

Learn what Proton Mail’s lock icons mean(new window)

Send an email on the Proton Mail web app

To send a message on the web app:

1. Log in to your Proton Mail account at mail.proton.me(new window).

2. Click the New message button.

New message button

This will open the email composer window.

Email composer window

3. Enter your recipient’s email address in the To field. As you type a recipient’s address, Proton Mail will suggest addresses from your Proton Contacts using auto-complete.

To field to enter the recipient's address

Once you’ve entered a contact in the To field, double-click the contact name or email address to edit them. You can also right-click on the name or address to Copy address, Edit address, View contact details or Remove the address from the To field.

Right-click an address in the To field for more options

You can enter multiple recipients in the To field (up to 100).

Multiple addresses in the To field

If you wish, you can also add Carbon Copy (CC) or Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) by clicking on CC BBC.

CC and BCC fields to include additional recipients in your message

We suggest using the CC field when you’d like to include additional recipients whose responses are welcome but not required. When you use BCC, the email addresses of the BCC recipients are not shown to the other recipients of the email.

4. Enter an email subject line in the Subject field.

5. Type your message in the main composer window. You can change the font and text size using the formatting ribbon above the message window. 

6. Click Send. If you click Send by mistake (or have second thoughts about sending the message), you can use Undo Send(new window), which gives you a few seconds to cancel sending the message. 

The web app has a selection of keyboard shortcuts(new window) that allow you to quickly perform the tasks you do the most in Proton Mail.

Send an email on iPhone or iPad with Proton Mail

To send a message using the Proton Mail app on your iPhone (iOS) or iPad (iPadOS):

1. Tap the Compose email icon (looks like a pen) to start composing your message.

Compose email button (looks like a pencil)

2. Tap the downward arrow next to the To field to add CC and BCC recipients, and tap the Send button (looks like a paper airplane) to send.

Buttons for CC, BCC, and to send your message

You can’t change the font and text size in our iPhone or iPad apps. But you can add multiple attachments(new window), Undo Send(new window), send Password-protected Emails(new window) to people who are not on Proton Mail, and set a message expiration timer(new window).

Send an email on Android with Proton Mail

To send a message using the Proton Mail app on your Android device:

1. Tap the Compose email icon (looks like a pen) to start composing your message.

Compose button in the Android app

2. Tap the downward arrow next to the To field to add CC and BCC recipients, and tap the Send button (looks like a paper airplane) to send.

Down arrow to reveal the CC and BCC recipients in the Android app

You can’t change the font and text size in our Android app. But you can add multiple attachments(new window), send Password-protected Emails(new window) to people who are not on Proton Mail, and set a message expiration timer(new window).

How to send an encrypted email to non-Proton Mail users

The easiest way to send an encrypted email to someone who doesn’t use Proton Mail is to use a Password-protected Email.

Learn how to use Password-protected Emails(new window)

You can also send a message that’s automatically end-to-end encrypted to a non-Proton Mail user if they use PGP encryption(new window).

Learn how to use PGP with Proton Mail(new window)

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Contact support
General contactcontact@proton.me
Media contactmedia@proton.me
Legal contactlegal@proton.me
Partnerships contactpartners@proton.me