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HomeTechnologyI moved years of Gmail messages to Proton. It was surprisingly simple.

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


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With a couple 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 shocked how simple it was.

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

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

In case you have an iPhone, it’s troublesome or unattainable to avoid wasting your photographs or backups of what’s in your cellphone to something apart from Apple’s cloud. On an Android cellphone, Google will steer you to make use of Gmail, Google Maps and Google’s cloud. If you wish to ditch Spotify or Amazon, you is perhaps reluctant to go away behind your playlists or wishlists.

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

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

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

I’m not making an attempt to steer you to stop Gmail or Apple Pictures. However you deserve actual freedom to choose up your digital reminiscences and transfer to one thing higher. And there are too many obstacles in your method.

How I took the exit ramp from Gmail

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

There’s not but a straightforward technique to switch messages from one other e-mail supplier, resembling 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 cellphone contacts.

Subsequent I entered my Gmail account password. The entire course of took me only a few 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 tackle 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 enables you to ahead emails robotically from Gmail to Proton if you wish to wean your self off Gmail.

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

Why you would possibly wish to contemplate an e-mail swap

You recognize that “free” companies have strings connected. Google reveals you adverts in Gmail primarily based in your on-line exercise whenever you’re logged into Google. (Gmail not scans your inbox to focus on adverts.) It’s additionally worthwhile to Google whenever you’re logged into Gmail and the corporate is aware of who you might be as you hop across the net.

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

Google mentioned 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 individuals to maneuver their information amongst completely different companies.

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 wish to hold non-public, like these amongst your family and friends or e-mail associated to your funds and well being.

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

Think about fastidiously 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 undoubtedly shouldn’t belief simply any e-mail supplier.

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

European regulation is answerable for my e-mail swap

Yen mentioned Proton’s Simple Change function was potential due to Europe’s Basic Information Safety Regulation.

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

It’s not all the time simple or helpful to maneuver your information elsewhere. 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 making an attempt to go even additional.

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

Google mentioned Android offers individuals selections resembling 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 Huge Tech corporations will change their companies to adjust to the regulation. Some components of the DMA won’t make sense or face up to authorized challenges. However I imagine 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 function. It made me curious how simple it is perhaps to change out of different digital companies I exploit.

And even in case you follow Gmail, iCloud or Fb Messenger perpetually, you need expertise corporations to really feel terrified that you just would possibly ditch their merchandise at a second’s discover. That worry is what retains innovation alive for you.

However company terror is simply actual if it’s truly simple to change.

The Washington Put up is making our articles free for everybody to learn this week by way of Thursday. Take pleasure in! Could I counsel beginning with this latest column concerning the whimsy and the potential hazard of Photoshop’s two-click picture invention machine.

(Should you don’t subscribe to The Put up, you’ll want to offer your e-mail tackle. Sure, we are going to attempt to persuade you to subscribe to The Put up later.)

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

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

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

For comparability, Apple offers iPhone house owners 5 GB of free storage for e-mail, photographs and backups in your gadgets. Google provides 15 GB without spending a dime for Gmail, its picture service, file storage and different cloud companies.

Proton has a 15 GB storage possibility 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: Should you’re paying for Proton Mail, you’ll get monetary savings in case you 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 disguise 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 through Simple Change → Gmail. Or that is the place you may 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’ll be able to select to maneuver solely your Gmail messages to Proton, or additionally switch your Google calendar entries and cellphone contacts.

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