Proton Mail launches official desktop app

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 14, 2023

Proton has launched a beta version of the Proton Mail desktop application today. Available for Visionary plan subscribers initially, it gives users of the app access to Proton Mail and Proton Calendar.

The app is the first standalone program to access Mail and Calendar on the desktop. Proton subscribers who wanted access up until now had to resort to using Proton Mail Bridge for that. It allows users to access Proton accounts in standalone email applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird and others.

The dedicated Proton Mail desktop application will make things easier for users, at least when it comes to the configuration part. It is available for Windows and Mac systems initially, but will also be released for Linux. Proton plans to have a version ready in early 2024. All Proton Mail users will gain access to the dedicated desktop app in early 2024 according to Proton's support page.

The beta application is a work in progress. A dedicated Proton Mail support article lists features that are not yet supported but are planned. The app does not support offline mode at this point, which means that emails can't be accessed while offline. In other words, you can't read or draft emails while you are not connected to the Proton server.

Other limitations include that mailto links and ICS files won't open in the app, that users can't switch between accounts easily, and that there is no notification badge for unread messages. All of these features (and more) are planned and will be introduced in the future.

Proton Web app, desktop app or Mail Bridge

Proton Mail users have three tools at their disposal now. The web version of Proton Mail, which they may access from any modern web browser. The desktop app, which is in beta and only available for Visionary subscribers, and Mail Bridge, which acts as a bridge to use Proton Mail in third-party email clients.

All three serve different purposes. Proton Mail users who use other mail services and a dedicated email program may want to keep using Proton Mail Bridge for that purpose, as it helps bring all accounts together in a single app.

The desktop app may be an alternative for users who prefer to use a dedicated app, especially if Proton Mail is their online email service.

Proton Mail launches official desktop app
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Proton Mail launches official desktop app
Proton has launched a beta version of the Proton Mail desktop application today.
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  1. Surströmmingen said on December 17, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    I use proton, the free version. I don’t mind the subtle, slim “upgrade bla bla bla”-bar, that I can close. I do mind however, that if I were to upgrade, I wouldn’t get proton in my language. Their translations are very few which is ridiculous if you’re going to go up against Google and Microsoft. This desktop app is a clear step in the right direction, it feels that a paying customer is getting their moneys worth for sure. But not without proper and complete language support.

  2. Ern Ag said on December 16, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    Be careful proton is funded by european commission, privacy and security are just fata morgana

  3. e. fromme said on December 15, 2023 at 7:23 pm

    No matter what app type it is, proton mail is not worth a penny. Used it in 2021 – waste of money, a technical junk heap. Considering the privacy controversy makes it all the more unattractive. Use a vpn and t-bird is the better choice.

  4. David said on December 15, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    What’s the difference between the new app and just using Proton in a browser? I can make an executable app from a URL in 2 seconds. What features does this new app have that web browsing to Proton doesn’t?

  5. Native said on December 14, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    As long as it’s web-based, it’s worthless. Soon we will need 192GB of RAM for all of these crappy electron based applications.

    1. Kirk said on December 18, 2023 at 7:21 am

      Tutanota too has a similar electron client which is exactly similar to the web app. I used it for a couple of weeks before uninstalling it because it was essentially, not a ‘real app’.

  6. Andy Prough said on December 14, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    This is just an electron client, according to Protonmail’s github page: “Desktop application for Mail and Calendar, made with Electron”.[1]

    Electron is a slimmed down chromium web browser. If you are already using Protonmail in a browser then I’m not sure this is going to be of much benefit, although Proton might build some added security features into this electron client that your normal web browser does not have. Until we get more information, it’s hard to tell.

    [1] github[dot]com/ProtonMail/inbox-desktop

  7. MaskedforProtectionfromGovtCam said on December 14, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    ProtonMail has not told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about its’ service, as evidenced by the following reports. Why should anyone trust it now?

    2021: ProtonMail advertises itself as the world’s largest secure email service, and yet it recently shared the IP address and device details of a customer with Swiss and French authorities, which led to an arrest.

    2021: ProtonMail removed “we do not keep any IP logs” from its privacy policy. Swiss courts compelled it to log and disclose a user’s IP and browser fingerprint. This weekend, news broke that security/privacy-focused anonymous email service ProtonMail turned over a French climate activist’s IP address and browser fingerprint to Swiss authorities. This move seemingly ran counter to the well-known service’s policies, which as recently as last week stated that “by default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account.” After providing the activist’s metadata to Swiss authorities, ProtonMail removed the section that had promised no IP logs, replacing it with one saying, “ProtonMail is email that respects privacy and puts people (not advertisers) first.”

    2021: End-to-end encrypted email provider ProtonMail has said it doesn’t store IP addresses. Not only did it collect that data, it also turned it over to Europol. ProtonMail’s recent decision to hand over sensitive customer information to European law enforcement is raising questions about whether the company’s privacy claims are less of a promise and more of a mirage. After French law enforcement requested—through Europol—that Swiss authorities share the IP address of a climate activist, the end-to-end encrypted email provider ProtonMail shared the user’s information. But on its site, ProtonMail has claimed in the past that, “No personal information is required to create your secure email account. By default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account. Your privacy comes first.” And since TechCrunch first reported the company shared one of its users’ sensitive information with law enforcement, some ProtonMail users are starting to question whether the so-called “anonymous” email provider has been two-faced in its claims that it puts user privacy first.

    1. boris said on December 15, 2023 at 5:06 am

      From their website on the bottom.

      “This project is supported
      by the European Union’s
      Horizon 2020 program?.

      EU is financing development of the service, so why are you so surprised that they will cooperate with Europol? Privacy statements mean absolutely nothing. I learned it a long time ago from Google and Microsoft.

    2. Inspector Clouseau said on December 14, 2023 at 11:09 pm

      Without links or sources your argument is null and void. Too bad.
      Fake news!

      1. 45 RPM said on December 18, 2023 at 10:07 am

        Considering that Inspector Clouseau is a character in movies that is completely clueless, your comment does fit with the name.

  8. Frank said on December 14, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    Mail Bridge only works for paid accounts. That bit of info is missing from the article.

    1. boris said on December 15, 2023 at 5:11 am

      Article mentions that it is “Available for Visionary plan subscribers initially”. It is the same as paid accounts because you have to pay for Visionary plan subscription.

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