How To Encrypt iCloud Mail in Minutes | SecureMyEmail™

Apple's iCloud service has an estimated 850 million users. Although iCloud does offer an impressive array of encryption and privacy capabilities, iCloud Mail still lacks proper end-to-end encryption. But, fear not. We will show you how to encrypt your iCloud email so you can be assured that you have the very best privacy and security available for your email. And, it only takes a few minutes! 

Why should I encrypt my iCloud email?

The general reasons are, of course:

  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Legal compliance - HIPAA, GDPR, etc.

But, it's more important than you might think.

Email is not just an essential tool for sending and receiving personal and business messages and files. Most of us forget that emails are also likely stored for many, many, many years on your email provider's servers.

Although this makes email ideal for archiving and organizing personal and business data, it also makes it a very juicy target for data criminals, evil corporations, and other less-than-scrupulous parties.

Therefore, it's a super-duper good idea to make certain that your email is not only encrypted in transit, and when it is stored, but also that you, not your mail provider, control the ability to access your encrypted data.

Even the saintly Apple corporation, that does seem dedicated to user privacy and security, especially versus other tech companies, can leave something to be desired in this area.

What does iCloud encrypt?

Basically, there are two levels of iCloud encryption offered - Standard data protection and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud.

Apple's standard data protection offers end-to-end encryption (meaning, even Apple should not be able to access) for the following:

  • Passwords and Keychain
  • Health data
  • Home data
  • Messages in iCloud (only when iCloud backup is disabled)
  • Payment information
  • Apple Card transactions
  • Maps
  • QuickType Keyboard learned vocabulary
  • Safari
  • Screen Time
  • Siri information (excluding Siri Shortcuts)
  • WiFi passwords
  • W1 and H1 Bluetooth keys
  • Memoji

If you activate Advanced Data Protection, the following will be protected with end-to-end encryption as well:

  • iCloud Backup (including device and Messages backup)
  • iCloud Drive
  • Photos
  • Notes
  • Reminders
  • Safari Bookmarks
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • Voice Memos
  • Wallet passes
  • Freeform

So, sounds pretty good, right? But, did you notice iCloud Mail wasn't included?

Is iCloud email encrypted at all?

Not as well as you want it to be.🙂 

Like most email providers, Apple does use a protocol called TLS (Transport Layer Security) to encrypt emails in transit. They also recently announced that they now encrypt emails at rest on their servers. That being said, they do not offer end-to-end encryption of iCloud Mail. Which is what you really want.

iCloud Mail does not use end-to-end encryption because of the need to interoperate with the global email system. All native Apple email clients support optional S/MIME for message encryption.


We're not going to officially say that Apple is gaslighting here. People say that too much nowadays anyway. lol. But, to our point, we "interoperate" just fine with the "global email system" and can provide end-to-end encryption for any email address, including iCloud.

Check out the big brain on us, we guess. :)

Okay, so iCloud Mail is not end-to-end encrypted. What does that mean?

End-to-end encryption essentially means that only YOU have access to your encrypted data and that it is not accessible by other parties, including your email provider. It's far superior to other methods because if your iCloud mail is not end-to-end encrypted:

  • TLS encryption only encrypts email in transit and only works if the receiving email provider also uses TLS.
  • Email that is not end-to-end encrypted can be intercepted and possibly decrypted, especially at destination.
  • Apple, of course, still has access to your email.
  • If Apple still has access, if a data breach, or even a policy change, occurs then others will have access too.

Apple said I could "optionally" use S/MIME to encrypt my email. What is S/MIME?

S/MIME is indeed a way to end-to-end encrypt email, but it has some SERIOUS limitations:

  • Very difficult and tedious to set up.
  • Must obtain and import an S/MIME Certificate from a Certificate Authority.
  • Must manually set up and perform a "certificate exchange" with each recipient you wish to exchange encrypted email with.
  • Must be set up manually per device.
  • S/MIME only works with S/MIME and is not compatible with PGP or other types of encryption.

If you don't believe us, here are some articles from Apple on how to set it up:

Suffice it to say if this is as easy as Apple, a company known for making computing simple, can explain KNOW you don't want to use S/MIME.

Unless you enjoy things like building IKEA furniture with a hangover.

What is the best way to encrypt iCloud email?

Not to be arrogant or self-promoting, but it's SecureMyEmail. We spent a lot of time on it, and it's the way to go. 

Why is SecureMyEmail the best way to encrypt my iCloud email?

  • It's EASY to set up.
  • Supports "zero knowledge" end-to-end encryption.
  • Works on Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
  • Seamlessly send encrypted email to anyone.
  • Recipients don't need to use SecureMyEmail, a portal, or do anything special.
  • Recipients' replies are also encrypted.
  • Encrypted email is stored safely and only you can access.
  • Can encrypt iCloud Mail, as well as all your other personal and business email accounts.
  • Apple cannot access or scan your email.
  • Even if your email accounts are hacked, your encrypted emails will remain encrypted and safe because you, not anyone else, possess the means to decrypt them.

Does SecureMyEmail have a free trial?

Yes! We offer a 30-Day Free Trial. NO credit card or payment info is necessary up front. If it's not for you, the trial will just expire and there will be no charge

How much does it cost if I decide to buy?

Our paid service is only $3.99/month or $2.49/month ($29.99/year) for annual subscription. This is per user and includes use on all your devices.

Again, this also allows you to encrypt your other business and personal email accounts too...not just iCloud.

If you really want to go to town and try our amazing VPN service too, we have a SecureMyEmail+VPN bundled offer for only $59.88/year.

We do require a payment (versus a free trial) for the bundled VPN offer, but it includes our 30-Day Unconditional MoneyBack Guarantee. We've offered this guarantee since 2005 so you needn't worry we'll skip town with your cash or anything.

How do I set up SecureMyEmail to encrypt iCloud email

  • First, set up an "app-specific" password with Apple. This is a password that you will use with SecureMyEmail instead of your Apple ID. You can just name it "SecureMyEmail" or whatever you want.
  • Go to our pricing page and decide if you want to purchase the bundle with VPN, or scroll down and just do the free trial of SecureMyEmail.
  • When you download and set up our software, choose "Manual/Other" as your email provider when asked.
  • Use the app-specific password you set up in #1 as your Email Account Password and your iCloud email will download into your new SecureMyEmail INBOX.
  • You're all set. You can now download our apps on your other devices if you like and just sign into your SecureMyEmail account on them.

How do I send encrypted iCloud email with SecureMyEmail?

  1. In the SecureMyEmail software or app, click "Compose," enter your recipients, and write your email. If you have attachments, add them. Then, just click SEND.
  2. If you're sending to another SecureMyEmail user, that's it.
  3. If sending to a non-user, you pick which encryption method you want to use, set expiration date, and email will be encrypted and sent.

You're all set at this point but if you want to see this broken down to microscopic level, including what a recipient sees, you can check it out here.

I like my email setup. Do I need to switch to SecureMyEmail?


SecureMyEmail apps are fully functional email software, you can use us for your iCloud, and other email accounts, if you like.

But, if you like your current set up (most people do), that's totally cool. 

Thanks to IMAP, everything will stay perfectly synced. If you send and receive encrypted email, you will see those emails in your iCloud, Outlook, Apple Mail, or wherever too. But, they will be encrypted.

You'll just need to use SecureMyEmail apps to read and send encrypted email because we have the magic the others lack.

But, we run in any browser and we have mobile apps too. So, even if you don't use us as your email client, it's very easy. If you send a LOT of encrypted email, just keep us running. If encrypting email is an occasional thing, then just fire us up when you need us.

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