Protonmail users can activate a free email address until April 30th

Apr 12, 2022

Proton AG has launched a new email domain called Users who have a address can activate a free ID with the same username, for a limited time.

Protonmail users can activate a free email address until April 30th

This isn't the first email provider to offer two domain names for the same IDs, Google has been doing this for a long time. In case you aren't aware, this is how it works. If your email address is, you can also use to receive mails in the same inbox. Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCloud offer similar email aliases with some restrictions.

What is

The Proton 2022 Survey, which was conducted last month, saw users voice their top requests to improve the products from the company. The Switzerland-based company states that over 33% of the people who responded wanted a shorter email domain, hence the creation of the email domain. could be a unified domain for services (Drive, Calendar, VPN) offered by the company. email address

Why is this important? Simply put, a shorter name is easier to type. Also, some websites may have character limits for the username. If you have an unusually long email address, and use it as the username, there is the possibility that you may not be able to sign up for the site. So, having a shorter email domain could help in such cases. There is one more advantage, while Proton can recognize that the two IDs are linked to the same account, other websites cannot detect that and belong to the same person. So, in theory, you could have 2 accounts per service, which can be handy for signing up for some subscriptions, trials, etc.

Did you know: Protonmail offers an even shorter domain with addresses, free users can use it to receive emails, but any mails that you send from your account will use your regular address. A premium subscription removes this limitation.

What is the catch?

Protonmail announced the news about a week ago, but the option to claim the free address didn't go live until today. The only catch here is that you need to activate the ID before April 30th, and you will be able to use it forever. Users who don't activate the free address before the said date, will need to pay for a premium ProtonMail account to get the ID. You can continue using your regular address normally after activating the ID.

How to claim your free email address

1. Login to your Protonmail account.

2. Open the following page:

Or, navigate to it manually by clicking on the Settings button in the top right corner of the page, and then hit the "Go to Settings" option. On the sidebar to the left, select "Identity and Addresses".

How to claim your free email address

3. You should see an section at the top of this page.

4. Click the button that says "Activate".

claim your free email address

That's it, you have claimed your free address that you can use to send and receive mails. You can manage your addresses, setting the default one to be used, from the same page, using the section at the bottom. Activating the free address for your current Protonmail username will not count against your quota.

Manage your Protonmail addresses

Can other users claim a address with your username?

The company has made it clear that will become a paid service after April 30th. Let's say your email ID is If you don't activate the free address now, could someone else could sign up for If a person were to email you, would they not assume that both accounts belong to you? Could result in misuse of your ID, aka identity theft, impersonation or mistaken identity?

Protonmail and

The company's blog post was not clear about this, and drew flak from users for the possible risks. A representative of the company on reddit cleared things up by saying that your alias is reserved to your account.

"Your aliases are reserved only for you, meaning that only you will be able to create the equivalent alias under the domain, if you already have that alias under the domains.

Just like any other additional address, addresses created under the domain will count against your additional address quota. This does not apply to the address associated with the original username of your account."

So, other users will not be able to claim your account even if they wanted to, by creating email aliases (a premium feature). That said, you may want to claim the free address just to avoid the hassle.

Reference: 1, 2

There is one caveat to this. Free Protonmail accounts that are inactive for 12 months or longer will be deactivated, and deleted along with all data stored in them. So, if you let your account become dormant, you will also lose the account associated with it. Premium subscriber accounts will never go inactive.

Proton acquired the Simple Login email alias service recently, you can read about it here.

Protonmail users can activate a free email address until April 30th
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Protonmail users can activate a free email address until April 30th
Protonmail is offering a shorter email domain called, and you can activate an address for free until 30th April.
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  1. Hary said on April 14, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    @ASHWIN Hvala za ovu obavijest.

  2. Anonymous said on April 13, 2022 at 5:56 am

    Company with no ability to treat people with empathy.

    1. Frankel said on April 13, 2022 at 12:36 pm

      Plus the requirement for TOR since they cannot even protect you.

      1. Anonymous said on April 13, 2022 at 5:41 pm

        Yes, exist others e-mails services with most quality. ProtonMail not is best decision of a consumer.

  3. pangasinan said on April 12, 2022 at 11:29 pm


    they restricted the ‘’ domain to paid accounts, it is much better than ‘’

  4. Andy Prough said on April 12, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    I just hope that someday someone will love me as passionately as the commenters on ghacks love to hate proton.

    I’m liking this offer of a free extra email address, and the free email address on top of it. Very cool of the Greatest Villains on Earth(TM) to do that for a fellow. Excellent article, Ashwin.

    1. lopm said on April 12, 2022 at 9:09 pm

      “I just hope that someday someone will love me as passionately as the commenters on ghacks love to hate proton.”

      It really is quite entertaining.

      But anyway :

  5. SpongeTodd said on April 12, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    what about just using Google or Outlook? or well, using other FREE email service like Vivaldi or yahoo or whatever you find on the web? even having your own domain/VPS service to host open source messaging servers or whatever that probably will include an email service is something to think about.

    Understand, email is NOT secure or safe doesn’t matter if they use the fake marketing scheme of ‘encryption’ and ‘we care about your privacy’ and all the lies around the fairy tale of having privacy in an internet world.
    Email by itself is terrible, you should stop using it and you should stop pretending you have to use it because there are many ways to communicate with someone besides emails that are faster, better and less insecure and where you have more control about it like deleting your information whenever you want.

    The only way a supposed email encryption will work is by emailing to people using the same service email, if you are using Proton unicorn pee supposedly secured encrypted email service and you email Gmail, Outlook and everyone else, what do you think will happen to your supposed fairy tale encryption? it will not magically work.

    Federated system is terrible which is the reason why Matrix and other services like that are terrible if your messages can get delivered to different servers outside your control and then you can’t have more control about them.

    It’s funny how people talk about hosting Matrix and XMPP and other services like that because why would you use someone else’s server you don’t know you can trust, but people trust these companies and even pay them to use their service based on lies, when it is obvious you will have to mail anyone that has gmail or outlook or some other domain like lawyersonyourside or hospitalcrap dot com or just about any business that is obviously not going to be proton or protonmail or whatever.

    The point is paying for Pronton mail service is a waste of money, because email will not get fixed only because ‘we added some magical encryption for you to protect the privacy you will not have anyway’.
    And the worst is since not many use proton (I seriously have never seen anyone using protonmail besides project veritas), it is obvious by you being a single person in the middle of a city using proton mail you will stand out more, which means the gov agencies can spy you easily, which is the reason why being ‘different’ will not help you but will make it even worst and since most people use gmail, you technically will have better luck by using a gmail address and the supposed security features of gmail to blend more and hide just a tiny bit.

    What else would you want to support Proton and throw money at them? isn’t it to get some supposed privacy? Well, you aren’t getting it and you are actually making it worst because those two reasons, email protocol is terrible idea which worked fine for its purpose but you can’t get anything out of it so you can’t ignore the consequences of a federated system, and second, you will not be emailing proton users so all the unicorn pee generated fake word like privacy which is just an illusion, will be even worst in the case of proton users since they will stand out more and the systems in place to identify you and find you and track you will have an easier job when you are one of the few Proton email users in a city or town.

    I mean, look how dishonest companies like Proton are, they sell you a fantasy, a fairy tale, they sell you smoke in a bottle, a piece of invisible cloth that you have to pretend that exists but you can’t even feel. They use the word ‘privacy’ and email in the same sentence which is a lie but clueless people still buy that ‘nice’ speech, they are liars like politicians, like doctors, like lawyers, they are here to make money, not to give you privacy that you won’t get.

    Yeah you can get ‘free’ limited Proton account, so you are not paying it and still would be enough to email someone and don’t use gmail or outlook etc. But the problem with Proton is how they talk so much about privacy, so they are lying, and they do it with a straight face but laughing at you inside “look at these idiots believing they will get privacy, only because this random company adds encryption and privacy words in their product”.

    Of course people can do and believe whatever they want, but it’s stupid to really trust liars who just sell you not just a bridge, but an invisible bridge, and they are not going to tell you how terrible email protocol is and how non-existent their supposedly encryption is 99% of the time. Are your hopes more people are going to somehow switch to Proton mail service? the lawyer? the universities? the hospital? the random page you have to request information? the company and its support page? it is not going to happen.

  6. Tom Hawack said on April 12, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    I prefer Posteo to Totanota. Especially for alias email addresses. Posteo offers 5 free and extra 0.10€/month, but the most noticeable advantage is that Posteo allows the user to remove an alias and replace it with another, whilst Tutanota states,

    “Please note: It is technically not possible to delete aliases with a Tutanota domain. These can only be deactivated. Deactivated aliases remain linked to your account in case you want to activate them again in the future. When you are using your own domain with Tutanota, you can delete aliases with your custom email domain and create new ones.”

    I had tried Tutanota and discover this alias restriction only later on. Posteo is far more flexible.

    As for Protonmail, I tried a free account years ago and abandoned it after having been bombarded with emails from the company suggesting me to switch to a paid plan. I’m not mentioning the privacy debate which has been and still is going on because I personally have no certitude. Posteo is nice and secure, suits my needs.

    1. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 4:42 pm

      @Tom Hawack

      Yeah, it’s a good service. Much like Tutanota, I have heard good things about it, although I am not using it myself. One of the more trustworthy ones for sure, and not connected to any shady corporation. Just posting this as a sort of thumbs up, if you will.

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 12, 2022 at 5:07 pm

        I’ll add a smile to those thumbs up :=)
        Aesthetically speaking the Posteo interface isn’t particularly nice but it is functional and being free of heavy makeup makes the pages lighter. I”ve modified nevertheless a few wrinkles with a dedicated CSS.

      2. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 5:52 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        I am actually undecided on your overall posts at times. For example, you know that I am highly skeptical of the process that some people call “browser hardening”, because I think that this results in browser fingerprints that are not any less unique than they were when you started out. I am a strong believer in the “monolithic” approach of the browser coming preconfigured, not because I am supposedly too stupid to configure a browser as some claim here, but rather because I think a monolithic approach of the default instances behaving in the same way has the best shot of actually succeeding against tracking 2.0, or forms of tracking that increasingly move away from local data if you will. That’s why I am highly critical of Firefox; it does not protect privacy in any meaningful way by default, and people doing their personal setups is opening yet another can of worms. Therefore – no offense meant – I believe that some of your tinkering is actually harmful advice, or at least advice that fails to achieve the intended purpose, if the intended purpose is to achieve a higher level of online privacy, and is not just meant to be a hobby of sorts. Not talking about CSS mods here, I mean your about:config stuff.

        That being said – and I know that this sounded highly critical – you also gave me some pretty great advice, for example, there are more privacy-friendly versions of mainstream websites like Nitter (Twitter), Teddit (Reddit), or Invidious (YouTube), which I have found thanks to you. When I am on Twitter / Reddit / YouTube, of course Brave does its thing and blocks a whole bunch of stuff and messes with fingerprinting and what not, but still, there is this clue that these websites are still trying to get around my anti-tracking measures one way or another, and the connection count coming from those websites even after tracker blocking seems to enforce this view. By using the more privacy-friendly versions of the websites suggested by you, I feel better now because they seem to be essentially tracker-free. I am a bit worried at times that not enough people are using these instances (similar to my above concerns re. browsers), so that this may effectively harm privacy again (don’t know if that is a concern for you, would like to hear your thoughts on the matter)…

        In the same manner, I have also found Searx now which seems to respect privacy far more than any search engine I have used so far. I know that there’s DuckDuckGo, and perhaps they can’t be any worse than Google so might as well use them (fatalistic, I know), but them not open-sourcing their backend code does bother me and leads me to not trusting them completely. Searx is actually open source and most instances just run the code vanilla, as is.

        Just wanted to thank you for leading me down this path re. alternative websites, these are pretty neat. As said above, I am a bit undecided about your posts, I think it’s great advice at times and horrible advice at times. Using Posteo definitely falls into the “great advice” category, though. :D

        Again, no offense, just my straight up honest opinion, and my thanks for leading me down that path.

      3. Tom Hawack said on April 12, 2022 at 7:34 pm

        @Iron Heart, no need to take precautions, I’m not susceptible :=) Yet courtesy is always appreciated.

        I’ll try to do my best in English because your interesting requires it.

        I think I practically never advise; I share my experience. I dislike whatever proselytism.

        Concerning Firefox, my experience history is simple : I discovered Firefox many years ago, I appreciated its prefs and its global provacy and security orientations. I tweaked it increasingly, had tough times with the 58 and 70 versions, but made it. From there on it is true that, as you say, hardening is my credo. I understand your point of view but by hardening I do not follow a quest of anonymity : if I did I’d use a VPN and indeed follow your equation, that is be transparent to be less recognizable.

        I know the user’s IP does it all : why would I bother to hide? What I aim to try to perform via hardening is mainly to avoid being followed from one place to another : I move from one place to another, I’m recognized, OK, doesn’t bother me in fact, but I don’t want to leave that place with a sticker on my back and visit that other place with the sticker spotted. as far as possible.

        Concerning whatever browser, whatever OS, who truly believes either are optimized out-of-the-box?
        Firefox has many default values which may not all be optimized for a user’s privacy; these values, when accessible via a pref, change my annoyance into a plain bother. And because i’m starting to know a tiny bit more Firefox than years ago, because I can modify those values, I feel happy about the overall Firefox experience.

        I think I’ve never over-estimated Firefox nor been hysterical about its hypothetical superiority. I just happen to like it, partly objectively partly because I have a certain mastering of it,.

        I would elaborate further in French. Really. To carry on with human considerations, my belief is that, be it in life as on the Web, perfection is absent. The correlation as i see it is that a comment which implicitly or explicitly and systematically glorifies this and condemns that is not truly valuable. But nevertheless why refuse to read the arguments even if we consider their conclusion as so firmly advocated that we can get to suppose they are oriented on the basis of other considerations. I truly believe, and it’s not hard to when it seems so obvious, that good and bad sign anyone and anything here on Earth.

        Privacy-friendly versions of mainstream websites. i’ve discovered and shared but, again, free of demagogy when I pointed out (was it here or on a GitHub repository?) that the very community shared-code these are built on required a user’s caution given good code in bad hands can serve a bad cause …

        P.S. I should of course have written in my previous post that “I’ll always consider that the content prevails on the container”, beacause A prevailing on A can only have a meaning with an extra dimension such as time :=)

        Let us stay positive within reality : you are, Iron Heart, quite talented and far more technologically educated than myself, which is why I appreciate reading your comments, arguments, references. But, as in Court, the truth, all the truth, nothing but the truth. Sometimes I have the feeling not all the truth is exposed. Which doesn’t mean that what is stated is untrue. But, again, I’m not a techie, lol.

      4. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 5:12 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        It doesn’t need to be aesthetically pleasing with a dedicated mail client. :D

        But yeah, CSS tweaking is a possible fix as well of course.

      5. Tom Hawack said on April 12, 2022 at 6:03 pm

        @Iron Heart, it depends what we expect from cosmetics. Personally I’ll always consider that the content prevails on the content. Maybe I should have been more explicit. Posteo as many sites seems to have never checked what the layout looks like once the font-size is increased. Amazing the number of places (just to mention those I frequently visit) where I have to add one or a few CSS line(s) just to have a decent page display … Ghacks is not concerned :=)

  7. Clairvaux said on April 12, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    “Free Protonmail accounts that are inactive for 12 months or longer will be deactivated, and deleted along with all data stored in them.”

    This is an important piece of news, which was not announced by Proton Mail, as far as I know. Up to now, Proton Mail had an advantage over Tutanota, in that free, inactive accounts were not deleted.

    Quite a few Tutanota users got stung by that policy, because they neglected the rules : if you don’t log into your free account for 6 months, it will be automatically deleted. You will be able to recover your address if you open a paid account, but the contents of your former account will be lost.

    Proton Mail used to be more lenient on this matter. Free accounts were liable to deletion if one did not log into them for 3 months (only), but Proton Mail officially stated that the policy was not enforced for the time being, in one of its infuriating twists of ambiguity.

    This, however, has now changed, and free, inactive accounts are “liable” to deletion after 12 months.

    The policy is still ambiguous, in that it does not exclude that your account might stand even if you exceed the 12 months inactivity rule, but of course no one will want to risk that.

    It also must be noted that Proton Mail, contrary to Tutanota, does not offer the option to recover one’s email address if the account is deleted.

    1. Ray said on April 13, 2022 at 12:46 am

      Didn’t know about Tutanota’s 6-month inactive policy. Sure enough, I checked my free Tuta account and it was deleted. I guess because there is no recovery email during the signup process, you wouldn’t know if your Tuta account is going to be deleted :)

    2. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 4:28 pm

      > It also must be noted that Proton Mail, contrary to Tutanota, does not offer the option to recover one’s email address if the account is deleted.

      ProtonMail, contrary to Tutanota, is also connected to the data mining operation Tesonet.

      1. Clairvaux said on April 12, 2022 at 8:54 pm

        Instead of spreading fear and disinformation, you might take it upon yourself to tell us how this “Tesonet operation” is evil (since that’s what we are supposed to infer), and how Proton Mail is “connected” with it.

      2. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 10:53 pm


        Hey there, acting all smug, when in fact you might be advertising a “privacy-respecting E-mail service” that is actually operated by a data mining company:

        Every company wishes it had customers like you, swallowing their marketing as gospel without questioning.

        > [Editor: removed, personal attacks..]

        What would gHacks be without the babysitting…

      3. thebrowser said on April 13, 2022 at 2:57 pm

        Let’s find out ;)

      4. Iron Heart said on April 12, 2022 at 9:06 pm

        * [Editor: removed, personal attacks..]

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