ProtonMail is a secure email provider based in Switzerland that offers one of the best free secure messaging solutions on the web. If you’ve run your course with the service, you can delete your account, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind.
Before You Delete Your Account
There are many reasons that you might want to delete your account, but if you’re doing it to re-register your username, be aware that ProtonMail does not allow this.
ProtonMail’s support explains:
“We do not recycle usernames, which means the same username will not be available in the future … you cannot delete your username in order to recreate it with a different domain (@protonmail.com or @protonmail.ch). Once an account is created, the domain cannot be changed.”
The only way to switch ProtonMail domains (e.g. from @protonmail.ch to @protonmail.com) is to purchase a premium plan and add the corresponding address as an alias.
You can merge ProtonMail accounts, but you will lose all data associated with secondary accounts when completing the process. You will need to have a paid ProtonMail Plus subscription and contact ProtonMail support from each of the accounts you would like to merge.
You can start the account merging process by contacting ProtonMail via the support form.
How to Delete Your ProtonMail Account
To delete your ProtonMail account permanently, first, log in with your username and password, then click on the Settings tab at the top of the screen.
You’ll arrive on the “Account” tab in the sidebar to the left of the screen. Scroll all the way down to the Delete Account section and click the “Delete your account” button.
A window will pop up with a text field to explain why you are leaving, a field for an email address that you can leave in case ProtonMail needs to contact you, and a password field to verify your decision.
When you’re ready to pull the plug, hit the “Delete” button. According to ProtonMail support, account deletion can take up to two weeks.
If you decide that you’ve made a mistake and would like to recover your account, all might not be lost. A comment left by ProtonMail on the related support document suggests that you can email support for help with this.
Looking for Secure Email? Consider Tutanota Instead
If ProtonMail isn’t quite what you’d hoped for but you’re still interested in using a truly secure email provider, why not give Tutanota a go? Learn the differences between Tutanota and ProtonMail, and then sign up for a free Tutanota account.