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Moving from Google Workspace to a Proton Mail Paid Plan

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I’ve been slowly but surely moving as many facilities as I can away from Google for privacy reasons. If you would like to read more about the Pros & Cons of both services, Kinsta has an excellent article that covers it well.

I recently moved an old domain ( that had a Google Workspace over to my Proton Mail Essentials plan. This is the process I used.

It doesn’t matter which Proton Paid Account Type you use

There are many different account types you can choose from, whether as an individual or for business. This article centres around a Business Option – Mail Essentials but the process is exactly the same, adding one Domain at a time.

Steps to add a Domain into Proton Mail Paid Plan

You will need access to your Domains DNS records.

Step 01 – Add Domain Name

Add the Domain Name you would like to add and configure for (See Image 1.)

Step 02 – Verify Domain Ownership

Verify you own the Domain Name by adding a TXT record (See Image 2.) Set the TTL (Time To Live) to 5 mins or less as you will need to wait till it can be found by Proton before you can proceed.

Step 03 – Add MX Records

Once verified add in two MX records taking care to select the correct priorities. Again set the TTL to 5 mins or less (See image 3.)

Step 04 – Add (or update) SPF Record

Add a SPF via TXT record (See Image 4) TTL → 5 mins.

You can only have one SPF record. If you plan to migrate data from Google using Easy Switch before cancelling the Workspace you must update the existing record.

Add the text string to the right of your existing record, after the v=spf1.

For example, from…

v=spf1 ~all


v=spf1 mx ~all

I’ve also added the mx in the above example. For further info read about anti-spoofing for custom domains.

Step 05 – Add DKIM Records

Add three DKIM‘s via CNAME records (See Image 5) TTL → 5 mins.

Step 06 – Add DMARC Record

Add a DMARC via TXT record (See Image 6) TTL → 5 mins.

Step 07 – Add Email Address(es)

Add one or more addresses that you’d like to use with this domain e.g. – The number you can add is dependant on how many you have free. My plan has a total of 10 spread across 3 custom domains.

Step 08 – Add Catch-All Address

While you’re waiting for Proton to verify all the DNS details may I suggest that you add a CATCH-ALL to your newly added domain.

A catch-all email address provides Proton Mail custom domain users the option to receive all mail sent to their domain, even if they are sent to an email address that has not been set up for their domain. / support / catch-all

Read this article for instructions – Once added you can check under Settings > Domain Names (See Image 7.)

Step 09 – Process Completion

Length of time it all takes depends on whether you remembered to set low TTL‘s on the TXT, MX & CNAME‘s.

Worst case scenario it’ll be ~24 hours for the DNS to fully propagate. You can get a visual conformation by going back to Settings > Domain Names and seeing if you are all green (See Image 8.)

That’s it. All done. You now have a fully configured Domain that’s using Proton.

Optional: Migrate Google Data to Proton using Easy Switch

Easy Switch is a tool that safely transfers your emails, calendars, and contacts from an external email account to Proton Mail. / support / easy-switch

If you wish to transfer all, or some of your data, read how to migrate to Proton using Easy Switch.

Import local files later…

Unsure about whether or not to import all your old data? You may wish a fresh start as an example. You can always import your saved data from Google at a later date using local files. This is dependant on you having followed the process below saving your old data to Google Cloud.

Cancelling Google Workspace account

This is a relatively painless procedure if you follow their documentation carefully and do all the steps.


  1. Setup 2 Factor Verification (needed for next step.)
  2. Export all your data to Google Cloud.
  3. Download and test the exported data.

You’ll end up receiving an email with a link into Google Cloud where you can find your data ready for download.

Google Cloud Storage
Google Cloud Storage

Once downloaded you will find the following saved data

  • archive_browser.html (info on how to use the data)
  • Calendar (folder w/ .ics files)
  • Contacts (folder w/ .vcf files)
  • Currents Circles (folder w/ .vcf files)
  • Currents Stream (folder w/ various)
  • Drive (folder w/ various)
  • Hangouts (folder w/ images, YMMV)
  • Keep (folder w/ HTML & JSON files)
  • Mail (folder w/ .mbox & user settings)
  • Tasks (folder w/ .Tasks file)

When you’re happy you can cancel the account

  1. Login to Google Admin Console.
  2. Go to Billing > Subscriptions.
  3. Click your subscription > More > Cancel Subscription.
  4. Select a reason for canceling and click Continue.
  5. Check the box to confirm you read the information and want to continue.
  6. Enter email address and click Cancel My Subscription.
    That’s it all done.

Final thoughts

This was never meant to be an in-depth technical article, more of a high-end overview of the process as a heads-up to anyone thinking about attempting it.

My last piece of advice is to ensure that you do export all of your data before cancelling the Google Workspace account. Check it to make sure everything you expect to be there is there.

Even if “you really really don’t think you’ll ever need it” store it somewhere safe for a few months. You never know, there may well be some important info in there that you had completely forgotten about. I’d still advise doing so even if you’ve used the Easy Switch system to import directly from Google. Once that account is cancelled you cannot go back, it’s gone for good.

// End of Article

Article Information

Category: Technical
Topic: #Tech-Stack

Dave Barr

Bristol based Scottish Expat who has 20+ years experience of Web Development and is continually on the look out to improve his skill sets. Learning new and innovative solutions for current requirements in the world of IT, WebDev and eCommerce.

About Dave Barr

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Bristol based Scottish Expat who has 20+ years experience of Web Development and is continually on the look out to improve his skill sets. Learning new and innovative solutions for current requirements in the world of IT, WebDev and eCommerce.

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