Proton Mail beats Google and lands on desktop

Proton Mail desktop app in beta on laptop - promo image
(Image credit: Proton)

Popular secure email provider Proton has finally released its standalone desktop app, raising above some of its big tech competitors.

Available in beta at the time of writing, Proton's new app gives both Windows and MacOS users full access to its Proton Mail and Proton Calendar services.

The new application also comes with over 50 enhancements to help you boost productivity, while ensuring a secure and private experience. Offline access to emails will soon be available as well.

Proton Mail desktop app

"While many people use email on desktop in a browser, desktop apps can still provide certain advantages such as better offline support. For this reason, we have decided to launch a desktop app, something that even Gmail does not provide," said Andy Yen, Founder and CEO at Proton.

Yen explains that users can still configure standard third-party email desktop apps via Proton Mail Bridge. Yet, the new app comes as a more straightforward way of using privacy-first products. A step closer towards Proton's quest of cut big tech products, like Google Gmail or Microsoft Outlook, out of your digital life.

A shiny new application deserves some new features, though. Among the 50+ improvements, there is an email auto-forwarding option—Proton said to be the first and only email provider to offer this. A snooze button allows you to temporarily set aside some emails from your inbox for helping you to stay focused, and attachment previews should make it easier looking for documents across messages.

Proton Calendar got some improvements as well. You can now search your end-to-end encrypted calendar on the web, and view public holidays to keep track of national days off at ease. 

Proton Mail encryption explained - graph

Proton promises to store all your email with zero-access encryption, meaning that the provider can never access your messages or hand them over to third parties. (Image credit: Proton)

The provider also promises an even better level of security thanks to a new encrypted email forwarding feature. Bart Butler, CTO of Proton, described this as "a first" for encrypted email service.

He said: "Messages sent between Proton Mail accounts are always end-to-end encrypted by default. But to maintain end-to-end encryption for messages forwarded to other Proton users presented a huge technical challenge. We needed to figure out how to re-encrypt messages for different recipients without the server being able to access the content. Our cryptographic engineers have made this possible."

The beta version of the new Proton Mail desktop app is now available on Windows and MacOS devices for all Visionary users—you can sign-up until January 4 for the equivalent of about 30$ a month. It will land for all users sometime early 2024. The auto forwarding feature is still exclusive of paying subscribers, but all other updates are included with both free and paid plans.


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Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to