ProtonMail and the Bridge

ProtonMail and the Bridge
9 Jan 18

Although this sounds like a title for some science fiction book or movie, it is in fact a way to see your emails in applications such as Apple Mail.

Using iOS, it’s very simple to see emails sent and received via the ProtonMail app, but on macOS the only way, until now was to use a web browser login page. This worked fine on the whole but it wasn’t as convenient as with most other dedicated mail apps but now, that has all changed… with one small caveat.

That caveat is this; you needed to have a paid up account with ProtonMail for the bridge to work as the free accounts are not allowed to use this feature. At just over £4 per month (there is a yearly pricing option that can save you money over the monthly payments) its not that expensive especially if it lets you see your email in the Apple Mail application.

Setting up was relatively simple but I did find that I had to refer to the online help pages… it wasn’t clear during the installation what I needed to do next, but once read, the Bridge worked fine.

Mail now shows the ProtonMail email in a folder below the mail email account and are easy to deal with. The only real problem with using this way to see ProtonMail email is you lose the security of the web browser, as you need to use your password to access them. I haven’t seen a way to have this email password protected via the Mail app but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to do that… maybe you know how?

The Bridge is an application that runs in the background, one that I added to the list of applications to open when my Mac starts up, and it seems to be trouble free. I did find updates a bit of a problem with this app, when I clicked on the update, and downloaded it, I had to try a few times before it installed okay because I couldn’t at first get Bridge to close before the update installation… operator error maybe, but I don’t know.

So now I can just open up Mail and see my ProtonMail email alongside my other email all in one place and, apart for the previously mentioned loss of security reading email this way, I do feel okay as I no longer need to open a browser first to see them.

The only hope is for ProtonMail to add more email apps to the list of supported ones (Outlook, Mail and Thunderbird appears to be the only applications supported at this time) as it would be handy if Spark and Airmail could be added too. One good thing about using Mail as the way to see ProtonMail email is when you have Spamseive installed. As far as I can see, Spamseive works just as well as it does with Mail email, sifting out the spam (although I don’t currently suffer spam with ProtonMail).

I still run Mail in the background while using Spark as my main email application, as Spamseive doesn’t work with Spark currently but, I could be tempted to go back to Mail full time as it works better now in High Sierra now.

Another advantage of having a paid version of ProtonMail is the ability to have your own sign off on your email in ProtonMail. With the free version, you were unable to remove the message added to the bottom of all emails sent which advertised that you had sent it via the app and web browser page. Now, I have removed this advert and made my own sign off adding some personality not my email.

 The other advantage is you get more for this payment. You go from 500mbs storage to 5gbs, 150 to 1,000 emails per day, email filters etc… well worth the €5 (€48 py).

So if you’re looking for a secure email client which just works, the free version should be enough for you (the iOS version doesn’t at this time have a print option). Adding a paid account will, depending on how much features you need and the cost you wish to pay, be a good way to go and if you have a business, this might be the only email service you would want to use… safe, secure.


James Ormiston


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