I moved years of Gmail messages to Proton. It was surprisingly straightforward.


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With a number of clicks, I moved greater than 15 years of e-mail messages from Gmail to Proton Mail, a smaller e-mail supplier in Switzerland.

I used to be stunned how straightforward it was.

I’m not quitting Gmail. But. However this experiment confirmed me what it could possibly be like if transferring our digital lives have been as straightforward as ordering a pizza.

Proper now, the relative simplicity of my Gmail-to-Proton switch isn’t typical.

When you’ve got an iPhone, it’s troublesome or unimaginable to save lots of your photographs or backups of what’s in your telephone to something apart from Apple’s cloud. On an Android telephone, Google will steer you to make use of Gmail, Google Maps and Google’s cloud. If you wish to ditch Spotify or Amazon, you could be reluctant to go away behind your playlists or wishlists.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Publish. Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer sits on Amazon’s board.)

Company tech giants make some nice merchandise. However we even have little selection however to remain in a Large Tech marriage, whether or not we’re in love or not.

I’ll clarify how I moved my Gmail messages, why you may need to, and the way my e-mail swap was enabled by European bureaucrats who need to make it simpler so that you can get a Large Tech divorce.

I’m not attempting to influence you to stop Gmail or Apple Images. However you deserve actual freedom to choose up your digital reminiscences and transfer to one thing higher. And there are too many limitations in your approach.

How I took the exit ramp from Gmail

Proton pitches itself as a safer and personal e-mail service. It’s free to begin utilizing. Proton presents an “Simple Change” characteristic with directions to maneuver your inbox messages from Google’s Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft’s Outlook.

There’s not but a straightforward strategy to switch messages from one other e-mail supplier, comparable to Apple or your web service supplier.

I checked a field asking whether or not I needed to repeat simply my Gmail messages or additionally my Google calendar entries and telephone contacts.

Subsequent I entered my Gmail account password. The entire course of took me just some minutes. (Try the One Tiny Win part under for extra detailed directions.)

After about three hours of Proton processing within the background, my Gmail messages completed flowing into my Proton inbox. The corporate says this might take as much as a number of days.

The unique messages are nonetheless in my Gmail. New emails despatched to my Gmail handle nonetheless present up in my Gmail inbox. This provides me an opportunity to check drive Proton with out committing to switching e-mail suppliers.

Proton additionally permits you to ahead emails routinely from Gmail to Proton if you wish to wean your self off Gmail.

Proton stated that about 90 p.c of latest customers don’t pull in messages from one other service and as an alternative begin with an empty inbox.

Why you may need to take into account an e-mail swap

You already know that “free” providers have strings connected. Google exhibits you adverts in Gmail primarily based in your on-line exercise if you’re logged into Google. (Gmail now not scans your inbox to focus on adverts.) It’s additionally worthwhile to Google if you’re logged into Gmail and the corporate is aware of who you’re as you hop across the net.

Proton is among the few surviving e-mail suppliers from a comparatively small firm, and it doesn’t promote adverts or become profitable in different methods out of your private info.

Google stated in an announcement that its communication software program together with Gmail is “deeply dedicated to constructing a platform that’s an open and extensible basis for our customers, clients, companions, and builders.”

The Google consultant additionally pointed to the corporate’s work with a tech coalition to make it simpler for folks to maneuver their information amongst totally different providers.

Andy Yen, Proton’s CEO, advised me that he doesn’t anticipate you to stop Gmail or no matter e-mail supplier you’re utilizing.

Yen imagines Proton because the place for communications that you just need to preserve personal, like these amongst your family and friends or e-mail associated to your funds and well being.

“Our objective is to not be the one e-mail account you utilize,” Yen stated. “It’s to be the e-mail account for issues that matter.”

Take into account rigorously earlier than you switch emails as I did. Proton had a glimpse at my Google account information. I’ve accomplished sufficient reporting about Proton to belief the corporate however you positively shouldn’t belief simply any e-mail supplier.

Yen stated that Google did a rigorous safety test earlier than Proton might entry a software program hyperlink to Google account information.

European regulation is liable for my e-mail swap

Yen stated Proton’s Simple Change characteristic was potential due to Europe’s Common Knowledge Safety Regulation.

That privateness regulation is liable for the fixed cookie pop-up messages you see on web sites. However GDPR additionally compelled many corporations to allow you to transfer your information from one digital service to a different.

It’s not at all times straightforward or helpful to maneuver your information some place else. I downloaded 15 years of my tweets and different info from Twitter nevertheless it’s not like I’m going to switch it to Instagram or one thing.

One other European regulation, the Digital Markets Act, is attempting to go even additional.

The regulation could, for instance, require Google and Apple to allow you to extra simply again up your telephone to Dropbox’s cloud, use Proton Mail if you faucet an e-mail handle in your telephone and pay for apps with out utilizing the businesses’ official app shops.

Google stated Android provides folks selections comparable to switching the built-in keyboard or messaging app and in some instances paying for apps with out utilizing a Google account.

It’s not clear but how Large Tech corporations will change their providers to adjust to the regulation. Some components of the DMA won’t make sense or stand up to authorized challenges. However I consider the DMA is an attention-grabbing try to loosen tech giants’ grip in your life.

I discovered it eye-opening to make use of Proton’s e-mail switch characteristic. It made me curious how straightforward it could be to modify out of different digital providers I take advantage of.

And even for those who persist with Gmail, iCloud or Fb Messenger perpetually, you need expertise corporations to really feel terrified that you just may ditch their merchandise at a second’s discover. That worry is what retains innovation alive for you.

However company terror is barely actual if it’s really straightforward to modify.

The Washington Publish is making our articles free for everybody to learn this week by Thursday. Get pleasure from! Might I recommend beginning with this latest column concerning the whimsy and the potential hazard of Photoshop’s two-click photograph invention machine.

(For those who don’t subscribe to The Publish, you’ll want to offer your e-mail handle. Sure, we’ll attempt to persuade you to subscribe to The Publish later.)

Listed here are extra particular steps to switch your Gmail messages to Proton Mail:

Your first transfer is to create a Proton Mail account for those who don’t have one already. It’s possible you’ll have to pay Proton for it for those who’re transferring a lot of messages from Gmail or one other e-mail supplier.

Proton Mail provides you 500 MB of free digital storage and you’ll double that to 1 GB for those who do a number of duties in your account. (My Google account says I’ve about 2.2 GB of Gmail messages.)

For comparability, Apple provides iPhone homeowners 5 GB of free storage for e-mail, photographs and backups in your gadgets. Google presents 15 GB totally free for Gmail, its photograph service, file storage and different cloud providers.

Proton has a 15 GB storage choice for e-mail, digital file storage and extra that prices $4.99 a month and an “limitless” account with 500 GB of storage for $11.99 a month.

Professional tip: For those who’re paying for Proton Mail, you’ll lower your expenses for those who purchase on Proton Mail’s web site and never within the Proton Mail apps for iPhone or Android gadgets.

Apple and Google’s app shops conceal lower-priced digital subscription choices from you. Proton is among the many smaller tech corporations which have picked fights with Apple and Google over their management of what you are able to do in apps.

From my Proton Mail inbox, I went to the Settings gear icon within the higher proper hand nook. Select “Go to settings” → Import by way of Simple Change → Gmail. Or that is the place you’ll be able to choose to repeat your e-mail messages from a Yahoo or Outlook account as an alternative.

Subsequent I entered my Gmail account password. That was just about it.

You may select to maneuver solely your Gmail messages to Proton, or additionally switch your Google calendar entries and telephone contacts.



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