How To Send Encrypted Emails That Expire Automatically

ProtonMail can be used to send encrypted email messages with an expiration limit. This can be great in communicating time sensitive information which needs to have a very limited access to select recipients.

These messages can be delivered to any email domain and doesn’t require a ProtonMail sign-up to read them.

Here is how:

Login to ProtonMail and click on COMPOSE button.

composing emails securely in protonmail

At the bottom, click on the lock icon for setting the message encryption.


setting encryption for emails in protonmail

Next, set a password. This also needs to be known to intended recipients so that the message can be decrypted. Use a password hint if needed and click SET to encrypt the message.

password settings for encrypted emails

By default, encrypted messages to non ProtonMail users are set to expire after 28 days. The clock icon at the bottom of message composing window can change this.

expiration period option for emails

Again, click  SET to set the expiration time if needed.

setting expiration period for emails in protonmail

Send the message once the password is set along with expiration time.

At the recipient end, the received message won’t be decrypted yet. To do this, click on View Secure Message.

receiving encrypted messages

Enter the same password that was set before and click DECRYPT.

password for decrypting messages

Once decrypted, the message will now be visible along with a countdown to expiration.

email decrypted at the recipient end

All done.


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