How To Backup Your Signal Messages
Last Updated: February 9, 2021
Do you want to save a copy of your chat history on Signal? Or do you want to transfer your messages to a new device? Either way, we’re here to help you. Here’s a guide on how to create a backup in Signal.
Ever since WhatsApp updated their terms and conditions, many of its users are looking for alternative messaging services that provide similar features. If you’re one of them, Signal Messaging could be the app for you.
Signal Messaging is a secure, simple, and open-source messaging service that provides end-to-end encryption in their messages and calls. It doesn’t have any trackers and advertisements that allow users to connect with other people without worrying about privacy.
But unlike WhatsApp, Signal doesn’t allow its users to store their messages, files, and media to a cloud backup. It only saves your data and chat history locally on your device.
In our guide below, we’ll teach you how to create a backup of Signal messages on your device.
How to create a backup in Signal
Signal stores your messages, files, media, and other data on your device locally. The app doesn’t use cloud backups, unlike other messaging services like WhatsApp.
As such, you can only create local backups or transfer your data from one device to another, depending on your device. In any case, check our tutorials below to learn if you can backup your messages and other data on your phone or computer.
- Launch the Signal app from your app drawer, and make sure to sign-in with your number.
- On the upper right side of your screen, tap More options (ellipsis) > Settings. Alternatively, you can tap on your profile icon or initials on the left.
- Tap “Chats and Media.”
- Under the Backups section on the bottom of the page, select “Chat backups.”
- Tap the “Turn on” button and choose a folder where you want to store your backup. Give Signal access to your SD card if prompted.
- Write down or screenshot the passphrase generated by the app and store it in a safe place. Once you do, mark the checkbox and tap “Enable backups.“
- Tap “Create backup” to save your messages, files, media, and other data on your device.
There you have it. That’s how you create a Signal backup on Android. Below the Create backup option, you can find the location of the file on your device.
Unfortunately for iPhone users, the iOS app doesn’t support storing messages outside of your active account. Signal only saves mosts of your data locally, and your iCloud backup doesn’t contain any messages or chat history.
However, you can transfer your Signal data between two devices. But when you do, your old device becomes disabled, and your message history gets deleted from the app.
To transfer your data, you need to have both devices nearby. Next, complete your Signal registration on your new device. Select “Transfer from iOS Device” and scan the QR code with your old device.
As for Signal users on desktops, the app doesn’t support transferring your folders manually. Copying files to another Signal app may result in errors in message handling or sync.
If you encounter some errors in using a new Signal app on your desktop, you might want to unlink your old device and delete all its data before linking your account to the new device.
What happens if I forget my 30-digit passphrase?
If you lost your Signal passphrase, you can’t restore your backup on a new device. Since the app can’t show you your old passphrase, you need to create a backup once again to generate a new one.
To do so, start by heading to Settings > Chats and media > Chat backups and turn off your backup. Afterward, turn on your backup and follow the on-screen instructions to generate a new passphrase.
To wrap it all up
Creating a local backup on Signal is only available for Android users. The iOS app doesn’t allow you to store messages, files, and media outside your active account. As for desktop users, transferring folders may lead to message handling or synchronization errors.
Once you have your local backup, you can use it to restore your Signal messages and other data on a new Android device. All you have to do is set up the app on your new phone, choose to restore a backup with your 30-digit passphrase, and enter your phone number.
That’s all we have on our guide about creating a backup on Signal. For the latest tips, tricks, and tutorials, click the bookmark button, and visit us regularly for our daily posts and updates.