How to Encrypt Emails with ProtonMail to Everyone


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Encrypting emails with ProtonMail is a great way to protect your sensitive data from being hacked and stolen. This article will show you how to use the free service with Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo! mail accounts.

ProtonMail is a free email service that features end-to-end encryption. It is easy to set up and use and can send encrypted messages to external recipients.

How to Encrypt Emails with ProtonMail to Everyone

If you use ProtonMail as your email client, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of security. It’s a client that supports encryption out of the box and prioritizes security. But it’s useless if you don’t enable ProtonMail encryption for non-Proton recipients. Let’s make a difference.

Your emails are encrypted from point A to point B in ProtonMail’s email system, so only you can view them. And in this lesson, you’ll learn how to use ProtonMail to send and receive encrypted emails.


If you want to follow along with the instructional section of this post step by step, make sure you have the following:

  • ProtonMail is a web-based email service that requires a web browser. It works with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, among other browsers.
  • ProtonMail is a free email service.

What is ProtonMail, and how does it work?

For a web-based end-to-end email service, ProtonMail is the best option. To put it another way, ProtonMail is more secure than other email services like Gmail. How? For security, ProtonMail keeps all emails in an encrypted format on their server.

Only you and ProtonMail have access to your encryption key, which means that only you can read your emails. The Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO) provide some of the world’s greatest privacy protection for all user data, according to Swiss privacy laws.

“Because ProtonMail operates outside of US and EU jurisdiction, only a court order from the Geneva Cantonal Court or the Swiss Federal Supreme Court may force us to divulge the relatively little user information we hold,” ProtonMail said.

Using ProtonMail to Send Encrypted Email

ProtonMail allows you to encrypt your emails for free, however there are certain services that need a premium membership.

Follow the steps below to begin encrypting email with ProtonMail.

1. Sign in to your ProtonMail account first.

2. Now, in the top-left corner of the screen, click Compose to create a new email with a non-ProtonMail recipient.

Your task is already done for you if you’re sending an email to other ProtonMail email subscribers. Emails transmitted between mailboxes are automatically encrypted by ProtonMail.

Creating a Brand-New EmailCreating a Brand-New Email

3. In the email message editor box’s bottom left corner, click the padlock symbol. This step will display a window where you can enter an encryption password for your email.

How to Encrypt an EmailHow to Encrypt an Email

4. Enter a password in the Encrypt for non-ProtonMail users box. When you send this email, the receiver will need to know the encryption password in order to view it. Once you’ve created a password, confirm it by using the SET button.

Viewing Emails Requires a PasswordViewing Emails Requires a Password

5. Return to the email editing page, and a padlock symbol should now appear beneath the recipient’s email address, as seen below.

Email Has Been Completely EncryptedEmail Has Been Completely Encrypted

6. Send the email by clicking the SEND button, knowing that it is completely secured even for non-ProtonMail receivers!

Using ProtonMail to Receive Encrypted Email

You may need to use ProtonMail to receive emails. Unfortunately, not all email providers, like ProtonMail, provide end-to-end encryption. However, if you receive an email from a non-ProtonMail account, ProtonMail will encrypt it automatically once it reaches ProtonMail.

ProtonMail Users Sending and Receiving Email

The whole delivery procedure is already encrypted end-to-end if both the sender and the receiver use ProtonMail. Hovering your mouse over the padlock on a ProtonMail email received by another ProtonMail user will confirm this.

Using ProtonMail to Receive Automatically Encrypted EmailUsing ProtonMail to Receive Automatically Encrypted Email

Receiving Email from Providers Other Than ProtonMail

Hover over the padlock symbol below the sender’s email address when you get an email that wasn’t encrypted by the sender’s email provider. You’ll see that it states “Storage with zero access encryption” down below.

With a feature called zero-access encryption, ProtonMail automatically encrypts incoming email from non-ProtonMail email providers. This feature assures that the email can only be decrypted by you. However, if you received an unencrypted email via another email service, such as Gmail, Gmail retains a copy of the unencrypted email.

Receiving Email From Another Email Provider That Isn't EncryptedReceiving Email From Another Email Provider That Isn’t Encrypted

Using Outlook to Receive Encrypted Email

Other email companies have different methods for encrypting and reading emails. Outlook is one of the most widely used email programs. Let’s look at how to read an Outlook email that has been encrypted.

Encryption is handled differently by each email service. Those procedures will alter if you get email from different email providers and email clients.

S/MIME certificates and Microsoft 365 Message Encryption are two options for encrypting communications in Outook (Information Rights Management). It’s a little different to view communications received through these two techniques.

You may encrypt and digitally sign your emails using S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). Only when the email is opened with the right decryption key will the content be rendered viewable. S/MIME encryption requires digital certificates from both the sender and the receiver.

S/MIME Encrypted Email Reading

If the email was encrypted with a S/MIME certificate, you’d see instructions to access it by downloading the Outlook software on your computer, as illustrated below.

Simply click on the email and follow the instructions from there.

S/MIME Encrypted Email ViewingS/MIME Encrypted Email Viewing

Encrypted Email Reading with Microsoft 365 Message Encryption

The instructions are somewhat different if the sender utilized Microsoft 365 Message Encryption to encrypt the email. Once you’ve received an encrypted email in ProtonMail, follow these steps to view it:

1. Open ProtonMail and open the email.

2. In the email body, click the Read the message button. Your web browser will open a new tab as a result of this action.

Viewing Encrypted Email Sent using Outlook in GmailViewing Encrypted Email Sent using Outlook in Gmail

3. On the sign-in screen, choose Sign in using a One-time Passcode if you’re not using an Outlook or Hotmail account; this will send a passcode to your ProtonMail account.

Using a One-Time Passcode to LoginUsing a One-Time Passcode to Login

4. Copy the passcode from the email received to your ProtonMail account.

5. After that, return to your browser and enter the passcode in the text area before clicking Continue.

The One-Time Passcode must be entered. The One-Time Passcode must be entered.

You’ll be routed to a Microsoft Outlook environment to see the email’s content after entering the One-Time Passcode to validate your identity, as shown in the picture below.

Viewing Email That Has Been DecryptedViewing Email That Has Been Decrypted


You’ve already learned how to send and read encrypted emails at this stage. Not only that, but ProtonMail is a much superior solution for sending secure email than other email companies.

ProtonMail is a free and open-source email service that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your emails safe. This means that only you can read the emails in your inbox, even if someone else has access to them. You can send an encrypted email from ProtonMail to anyone who also uses ProtonMail. Reference: how to send email with protonmail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ProtonMail Encrypt automatically?

How do you Encrypt all emails?

A: To encrypt all emails, simply send a message to the address or contacts that you wish to be sent encrypted messages. You will then get an email asking for your password in order to decrypt the email. Then enter that password and click Yes when asked if it is correct.

Does ProtonMail Encrypt all emails?

A: Yes, ProtonMail is an encrypted email service that encrypts all emails. Although it has not been hacked yet.

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