Can Tutanota Be Traced? (Explained in Simple Terms)

Tutanota is considered by many to be the pinnacle of private encrypted email providers. Founded in 2011, Tutanota has several years’ advantage over other providers like ProtonMail, and this added experience makes them a trusted brand. But security is often just as good as the user allows it to be, so it’s good for a user to ask, can Tutanota be traced? Let’s dive in and find out.

Tutanota cannot be traced since it strips your IP address from all email headers. Emails to non-Tutanota users are not always encrypted, and some personal information may leak this way. German courts are trying to force Tutanota to track users and keep logs, which could also be a future threat.

There is more to privacy and security than your emails being untraceable. Tutanota goes the extra mile to ensure that your emails are safe, secure, and private. Still, user error or improper use could easily cause your confidential information to be leaked, making you utterly traceable despite Tutanota’s best efforts. Let’s see where the weak spots are so that you can keep your emails private.

can tutanota be traced

How Can Tutanota Be Traced?

As a rule, Tutanota cannot be traced. Its service combines near-unbreakable email encryption with other measures to ensure that your location, identity, and further personal details remain hidden. Tutanota does more than encrypt your email since it also strips your IP address from the headers of all emails you send from your Tutanota account. This makes you virtually untraceable.

One potential weakness is that Tutanota cannot control the emails you send once they leave its servers. When sending an email from Tutanota to a Gmail account, for example, the email will be encrypted until it reaches Gmail’s servers, where it will be unencrypted “at rest” as per Gmail’s standards. At this point, the personal details you shared in the email can be used to trace you.

Best VPN Overall
Best VPN Features

The next level of weakness is the recipient. As mentioned before, human error is always a threat, and a lot of the security and privacy of your conversations are dependent on the people you’re sending messages to. If they are not careful with it, the emails can easily be accessed, and tracing them back to you will be possible if you share any personal information in the email. 

Tutanota, Your IP Address, And 3rd Parties

Tutanota does not store your IP address and has a strict no-logging policy. The IP address is kept temporarily just to send the email, but once it’s sent and your IP is scrubbed from the email header, it is also removed from Tutanota’s servers and logs. No personal information is kept. Thankfully this is a good thing, and if it can be maintained, it ensures your privacy.

Unfortunately, Tutanota’s strict privacy and security protocols may now be threatened by something that is entirely out of its control: its country of origin. Tutanota was founded in Germany in 2011. Even though Germany is known to have good privacy laws, a few concerns (some of them relatively recent) could have a negative effect on Tutanota.

This in itself is concerning, but if Tutanota keeps no logs, then there’s nothing that 3rd parties can access and share, is there?

In December 2020, a German court ruled that Tutanota has to develop systems that can monitor and log user activity so that the information can be available if the court requires it. Though Tutanota is appealing the ruling, since it is based on laws around telecoms providers and not email service providers, this does cause some concern over the future of Tutanota’s no-logging policy.

Suppose the courts and German law determine that it’s time for Tutanota to start monitoring user activity. In that case, that will mean that 3rd parties can trace your activity even though your emails are still encrypted. Nobody will be able to access what you said unless it leaks from the recipient, but by seeing your IP address and your access times, 3rd parties can potentially trace users.

For most Tutanota users, this should not be a problem, though. Very few are trying to use Tutanota for complete anonymity; we just like our privacy and prefer using an email service that’s not being used to target us with ads. But still, knowing that the possibility exists is a discomforting thought.

How Can You Avoid Tutanota Tracing?


Considering the fact that your emails could potentially be traced, even though chances of it happening are reasonably slim when you’re using Tutanota, there are some ways to prevent it even more and cover yourself more completely:

Access Tutanota Through A VPN Or Tor

As stated before, Tutanota removes your IP address from all email headers and does not keep IP address logs. But if the authorities or courts can manage to force Tutanota to keep logs at some point, your IP address could easily be leaked and visible for others to trace you.

To be honest, IP address tracking is not as much of a problem as many make it out to be, at least not for general internet users. Since most IP addresses are shared between many other users these days, it isn’t always possible to determine that you are actually the person using a particular IP address at the moment, even if you were using it before. But still, tracking you through your IP is possible.

A good VPN will provide an added layer of protection by hiding your IP address completely, even from Tutanota. If a VPN is not entirely reliable, and you absolutely need the extra privacy, you can always turn to the Tor network for more privacy. Tor is like multiple VPN connections running simultaneously, making you and your IP address virtually untraceable.

Encrypt Absolutely All Your Tutanota Emails

The moment an email sent from Tutanota leaves Tutanota’s servers, encryption can no longer be guaranteed. Other servers may store the email in plain text format, visible for all to see. 

However, Tutanota has the option to send encrypted emails even to users of other email platforms. This method sends a password-protected hyperlink rather than the full email. You send the recipient the password by some other means, and they can access the email safely encrypted on Tutanota’s servers. It’s inconvenient but worth it for the protection of your privacy and to remain untraceable.


There’s a reason why Tutanota is as popular as it is. As an encrypted email provider, it definitely ranks among the top, most untraceable email services available. The extra effort Tutanota puts in, like removing your IP address, adds incalculable value. But it’s never a good idea to be over-confident with your security. Cover all your bases and make sure your conversations remain private.

Best VPN Overall
Best VPN Features