On Migrating to ProtonMail: The Importer

So, since yesterday, I started moving my e-mail from older e-mail accounts to my brand new, shiny ProtonMail account. Now, I’ve already migrated my v@vero.moe account to ProtonMail from G Suite and it was relatively painless. However, I also have an older e-mail account with over ten years worth of e-mails that I’m currently importing. Since the username for that older account is a bit embarrassing, I’d rather not show it, but here’s the import in action:

ProtonMail Import/Export app processing an import of 79,000 e-mails.

What ProtonMail got right

I’d like to start this post with a positive, partly because I am planning to release Part 1 of “Selling a Piece of Blue Sky” today. Even thinking back on my time at GSMM tends to throw me into a funk. Knowing that, I’d much rather like to try to minimize the impact. So, I’ll talk about one thing that ProtonMail got right in their import and export app.

ProtonMail’s import/export app is still in beta and quite honestly, it feels that way. Though, they did get one thing right. It appears if you need to run a secondary import (for whatever reason), that you might not run the risk of re-importing mail that you’ve already imported.

What ProtonMail should improve upon

Firstly, I’d love to see the entire import/export process available through their web interface. I think having to download an application to import my e-mails is problematic. I also think that in bringing it to their web interface, you could use GMail and G Suite’s OAuth interface. But then again, given that Google has some serious issues with privacy, that might not be the best option. Having said that, though, there shouldn’t be any problem with doing an import via IMAP or POP3.

It’s also worth noting that you may need to babysit the app as it’s doing the import. Sometimes, it’ll ask you to “Retry”, “Skip” or end the transfer. For big transfers, it can be a pain to have the whole thing halted for one e-mail. It would be nice if it could hold the e-mails it has problems with aside so that you don’t have to babysit the process. My G Suite e-mail had roughly 30,000 e-mails and my older e-mail account has around 79,000 e-mails to import. Now, how would you feel if the app held up an import of around 110,000 e-mails because of a few?

The importer app holds up the process to ask about an e-mail.
Almost immediately after I hit “post”, I saw this message.

Additionally, I’d love to see a verbose mode to see which e-mails are being imported at the time. Given how big the window is, you could put the progress bar at the top or the bottom. Then, you have plenty of space to show a list of your e-mails as they are imported.

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