What is one-password mode?

Reading
4 mins
Category
Passwords

When Proton Mail was originally released, it was created with a login password and a mailbox password known as two-password mode. This was to ensure end-to-end encryption. However, over time, our research team developed a way to provide the same level of privacy and security with just a single password.

Because this improves Proton Mail’s usability, one-password mode is now the default for all newly created accounts. For Legacy accounts (those created before December 2016), we also provide the option to switch to one-password mode. However, we will continue to support two-password mode.

One-password mode

One-password mode removes the need to remember two passwords, making it easier to use Proton Mail. Instead of two passwords, just a single password is required for login.

If your account was created after November 2016, you’re already in one-password mode. 

If you have an older account, you can still activate one-password mode:

1. Log in to your Proton Account at account.proton.me(new window) and click on SettingsGo to settings at the top right.

2. Select Account and password in the left sidebar. Under Passwords, click on the Two-password mode switch to turn it off.

Switch to turn two-password mode on and off
(new window)

3.  Enter your old login password, a two-factor authentication code (if you have 2FA enabled), and a new login password. Click Save.

Box to enter your new password to switch to one-password mode
(new window)

You’re now in one-password mode. You can log in and access your mailbox with your new single password.

Two-password mode

If your account is in one-password mode, it is also possible to switch to two-password mode. Having two unique passwords boosts your account’s security. However, we still recommend one-password mode for most users.

In two-password mode, you will be asked to set a login and mailbox password separately.

The first login password is used to verify the identity of the user. The second password is a decryption (mailbox) password that Proton Mail does not have access to. It is used to decrypt data on your device; we do not have access to the decrypted data or your decryption (mailbox) password.

This also means we cannot hand over your data to third parties or perform a mailbox password recovery. If you forget your mailbox password, we will not be able to recover your data.

To set up two-password mode:

1. Log in to your Proton Account at account.proton.me(new window) and click on SettingsGo to settings at the top right.

2. Select Account and password in the left sidebar. Under Passwords, click on the Two-password mode switch so it turns on.

Switch to turn two-password mode on and off
(new window)

3. Enter your old login password, a two-factor authentication code (if you have 2FA enabled), and a new login password. Click Save.

Box to enter your new login password to switch to two-password mode

4. Enter a new mailbox password and click Save.

Box to enter your new mailbox password to switch to two-password mode
(new window)

You’re now in two-password mode. You’ll need to use both your new passwords to log in to your account and access your mailbox.

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