How to Easily Backup and Restore Signal Messages on Mobile

Signal Messenger is gaining popularity as users are becoming more concerned about privacy, especially after WhatsApp's privacy issues. Unlike other messaging apps, Signal takes a different approach to backup and restore messages to protect user privacy. In this article, we will guide you on how to backup and restore Signal messages on both iOS and Android devices.

Backup and Restore Signal Messages on iOS

Signal has introduced a tool that allows users to transfer their Signal information from their existing iOS device to a new iPhone or iPad. The transfer process is end-to-end encrypted and designed to ensure your privacy. The transfer occurs over a local connection, similar to AirDrop, making even large migrations quick and seamless.

To transfer Signal messages to a new iOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Install Signal on the new device and start the registration process.
  2. After verifying your phone number on the new device, tap the prompt to transfer your account and message history from another iOS device.
  3. Look for the migration prompt on your existing device and confirm the transfer process.
  4. Use the existing device to scan the QR code displayed on the new device.
  5. Sit back and watch the transfer process, which usually takes just a few minutes.

Once the transfer is complete, your existing device will clear its Signal data, and you can immediately start using Signal on the new device. The existing device is always in complete control, ensuring the integrity and security of the transfer.


Backup and Restore Signal Messages on Android

On Android devices, you need to generate an encrypted backup file on your existing device and transfer it to the new device. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Signal app on your old device and tap on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.
  2. Navigate to Chats > Chat backups and select Turn on.
  3. Choose the local folder to backup the data.
  4. Write down the passphrase that acts as Two-factor Authentication (2FA) on the new device.
  5. Tap on Create Backup, and a backup file will be generated in the selected folder.
  6. Transfer the backup file from the old device to the new device and install Signal Messenger.
  7. Open the Signal app on the new device and tap on Restore backup at the bottom.
  8. Select the backup file and import it to the current Signal account.
  9. Enter the 30-digit Backup passphrase to complete the process.

It's important to remember that you won't be able to restore a backup without the passphrase. Treat the passphrase as a unique key that cannot be duplicated. Also, ensure that you have moved the backup file to your new phone or onto your reset phone.

Please note that it is not possible to transfer Signal messages from Android to iOS or vice versa. The current solutions are strictly limited to transferring messages from iOS to iOS and from Android to Android.


Desktop Compatibility

Unfortunately, you cannot transfer messages from Signal's desktop client to your Android or iPhone. Linked devices do not have the same account information as your phone. In such cases, you need to use the “Register without Transferring” option.

Once you have successfully backed up and restored your Signal messages on your iPhone or Android device, you can link your Signal account to the desktop client and enjoy using the same account on a bigger display.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Signal messages are securely backed up and easily restored on your mobile devices. Enjoy a seamless and private messaging experience with Signal!