How to Filter Emails in ProtonMail With Folders and Labels

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How to Filter Emails in ProtonMail With Folders and Labels

A private and ordered email inbox is required for good online hygiene. ProtonMail provides anonymity by default, but we’ll teach you how to use labels, folders, and a strong filter tool to keep your email organized.

ProtonMail: A Secure Email Service

What exactly is ProtonMail? It’s an email service that provides end-to-end encryption for consumers worried about their privacy. As individuals become more worried about big tech data collecting, criminal hackers, and government overreach, ProtonMail has experienced a surge in new users.

ProtonMail for Android | iOS is available for download (Free, in-app purchases available)

The ProtonMail inbox has a few handy capabilities, such as the ability to filter and organize emails using labels and folders. As of this writing, free ProtonMail accounts are limited to three custom folders and three labels, whereas premium users may have an unlimited number of both.

Related: The Most Secure and Encrypted Email Providers

Labels Versus Folders

Labels and folders seem to serve the same function at times; they both group emails together for you and display next to each other in the inbox menu.

Consider folders to be containers for your emails and labels to be tags. An email can only be in one folder at a time, but it may have unlimited number of labels. Both help you arrange your email and may be utilized efficiently on their own or in tandem.

Related: How to Create Secure Events With ProtonCalendar

For example, you might label multiple emails “Purchases” to readily identify your purchasing history, and then filter all emails with that label into a folder named “Finances” to conveniently analyze all money-related communications.

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You may also use a label as a kind of pseudo-folder, not storing any particular emails but just gathering them from wherever they are when you click that label.

How to Make a ProtonMail Folder

If you’re using the mobile app, choose Settings > Account Settings > Labels & Folders from the menu.

Click Settings on the desktop version, then Folders & Labels in the settings menu bar.

Click Add Folder and name it under the Folders header. Assign it a parent folder if you want it to be nested inside another folder.

You may turn off Alerts if you know you won’t want push notifications for emails sorted into this category.

How to Create a ProtonMail Label

Click Add label in the Labels section of the settings menu and give it a name and color.

After saving, your label should now display in the ProtonMail interface underneath your folders.

How to Set up a ProtonMail Filter

After you’ve built your folders and labels, you can begin creating filters.

Mobile users should be aware that, as of this writing, the mobile edition of ProtonMail does not support filtering. Instead, you must use the desktop interface.

Click Filters in the Settings menu. Click Add Filter under Custom Filters. Each filter has three components: name, conditions, and actions, which will be discussed more below.


Give your filter a distinct and memorable name in case you need to update it in the future. We might use “Online Sales” as an example.


This specifies the conditions under which you want your filter to operate. You may have one or more conditions, and either ALL conditions or ANY one condition must be satisfied.

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To continue with our example, you might put “If the sender ends with,” which would cause any email from a PayPal domain to trigger the filter.


Actions specify what should happen when an email triggers the filter. You might choose “Move to Finances folder” or “Label as Sales.” You may also immediately mark it as read, star it as essential, or respond with a pre-written note.

Save your filter when you’ve specified all three criteria, and your email should now be automatically sorted and labeled for you.

Related: The Best ProtonMail Substitutes for Email Security

Optimizing Your Secure Inbox

You’re well on your way to a productive and secure email experience now that you have an automatic inbox.

If you dislike or are unable to use ProtonMail’s web-based interface or mobile app, you might try one of the numerous free external email clients we suggest instead.

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