How to Transfer Your Signal Account and Chat History to a New iPhone or iPad

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Apr 12, 2001
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Encrypted messaging app Signal has introduced a new account transfer feature to make it easier for users to migrate their chat history to a new iPhone or iPad.


The feature is part of Signal's version 3.9.1 update that was released last week, but the company officially announced it in a blog post on Tuesday.
Signal iOS now includes a new feature that makes it possible to switch to a brand-new iPhone or iPad while securely transferring Signal information from your existing iOS device. As with every new Signal feature, the process is end-to-end encrypted and designed to protect your privacy. Transfers also occur over a local connection (similar to AirDrop), so even large migrations can be completed quickly.
If you have your old iOS device and the new one to hand, you can transfer your Signal account and messages by following these steps.
  1. Download the Signal app on your new iPhone or iPad.
  2. Launch Signal on the new iOS device and begin the setup process.
  3. Enter your phone number in the Signal app, then choose Transfer from iOS device.
  4. Look for the migration prompt on your old iOS device, and confirm that you want to start the transfer process.
  5. Use your old device to scan the QR code displayed on the new device.
  6. Wait a few minutes for the transfer process to complete.
Check out the Signal blog post for further details on how the encrypted transfer process works.

Signal Private Messenger is a free download [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store.

Article Link: How to Transfer Your Signal Account and Chat History to a New iPhone or iPad
 

DinkThifferent

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2018
303
480
The Netherlands
I wish this app would be more popular than Whatsapp. I hate Facebook but i'm forced to use Whatsapp because everybody in this country uses it and you're basically turning your iPhone into a Nokia 3310 if you remove Whatsapp. Nobody i know uses iMessage either, even those with iPhones. I have tried it before but I always get the response "Why are you texting me here, please use Whatsapp".

So it's a great feature that still won't make me switch to Signal, even though I'd love to.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,233
4,410
Bedfordshire, UK
I wish this app would be more popular than Whatsapp. I hate Facebook but i'm forced to use Whatsapp because everybody in this country uses it and you're basically turning your iPhone into a Nokia 3310 if you remove Whatsapp. Nobody i know uses iMessage either, even those with iPhones. I have tried it before but I always get the response "Why are you texting me here, please use Whatsapp".

So it's a great feature that still won't make me switch to Signal, even though I'd love to.
For me Telegram is the best option, but the 'standard' is Whatsapp whether we like it or not. I held out as long as I could but I had to start using WhatsApp as literally all my contacts do.
 

dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
158
To everyone complaining they're forced to use Whatsapp - but did you actually try not using it? People who really need to reach you can use SMS
Some of us communicate with people all over the world. Texting with SMS is too expensive and too limiting.

I keep reading this advice here - either use sms or do not use whatsapp which is the standard!! in many European countries - . We should take under consideration the cosmopolitan environment where lot of people live - so they need to communicate globally -, the fact that sms is too limiting and that is costs money to some people. We can't force everybody to start paying for it.
 
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acidblood

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2006
95
105
Does this work for transferring history data from an iPhone to an iPad and vice-versa? I tested the first betas with this feature and deleted my iPad’s app thinking I would be able to transfer the full message history on my iPhone to the iPad, but found out it only worked for iPhone-to-iPhone or iPad-to-iPad transfers. Has anyone tested whether they fixed this on the official release?
 

Mr. Heckles

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2018
620
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Around
To everyone complaining they're forced to use Whatsapp - but did you actually try not using it? People who really need to reach you can use SMS
SMS isn’t secure and not cheap for international texting.

For me Telegram is the best option, but the 'standard' is Whatsapp whether we like it or not. I held out as long as I could but I had to start using WhatsApp as literally all my contacts do.
Telegram is ok, but not better then Signal. Signals encryption is on by default where Telegram isn’t. And when you turn on the encryption for Telegram, you’re tied to one device, where Signals encryption works across many devices.

I held out too until the virus hit. I wanted to check up on friends all over the world and WhatsApp was the way to go. It’s not bad actually.
 
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WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,432
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To everyone complaining they're forced to use Whatsapp - but did you actually try not using it? People who really need to reach you can use SMS
Agreed, just dont use it. Where I am all international texts are included free, and i just tell people I dont use whatsapp but do use all these other messaging programs so install one.

It wont get better unless people stop just joining the whatsapp problem.
- - Post merged: - -

I wish this app would be more popular than Whatsapp. I hate Facebook but i'm forced to use Whatsapp because everybody in this country uses it and you're basically turning your iPhone into a Nokia 3310 if you remove Whatsapp. Nobody i know uses iMessage either, even those with iPhones. I have tried it before but I always get the response "Why are you texting me here, please use Whatsapp".

So it's a great feature that still won't make me switch to Signal, even though I'd love to.
Funny, I say to people why are you trying to messaging me on whatsapp, please use anything else to reach me (including email).

If you're not part of the solution youre part of the problem.
 

Zed Jones

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
1
0
Headlines like this puzzle me. If you're hoarding your private data on an app meant to prevent data interception, that seems unwise.
 

dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
158
Agreed, just dont use it. Where I am all international texts are included free, and i just tell people I dont use whatsapp but do use all these other messaging programs so install one.

It wont get better unless people stop just joining the whatsapp problem.
- - Post merged: - -



Funny, I say to people why are you trying to messaging me on whatsapp, please use anything else to reach me (including email).

If you're not part of the solution youre part of the problem.
It's a personal choice that you are trying to "educate" people by forcing them to do what you personally believe is the right thing to do.

For various reasons not all of us want to push people. Can you imagine a professional pushing his/her clients to change the tool they are using to communicate which is pretty much the standard in the country?
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,432
3,375
It's a personal choice that you are trying to "educate" people by forcing them to do what you personally believe is the right thing to do.

For various reasons not all of us want to push people. Can you imagine a professional pushing his/her clients to change the tool they are using to communicate which is pretty much the standard in the country?
I can say the same thing in reverse. They are trying to educate me to use their messaging app. I am not trying to educate anyone, i just refuse to install yet another messaging platform as I have collected MANY over the years. SMS, works fine and is available on every device. imessage also is fantastic so many whatsapp people just use imessage with me when i say i dont have whatsapp, problem solved. Providing 5 alternatives is more than enough flexibility on my part.
 

dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
158
I can say the same thing in reverse. They are trying to educate me to use their messaging app. I am not trying to educate anyone, i just refuse to install yet another messaging platform as I have collected MANY over the years. SMS, works fine and is available on every device, problem solved. Otherwise, I also provide ~3 other alternatives...
I don't think the problem is solved with SMS. It costs money to people. It's not secure. You can't even send a file !! :)

Of course you can suggest alternatives ( we should be open minded anyway ) but either we like it or not whatsapp right now is the standard communication app in most European countries, and secondly on a professional level I wouldn't suggest people to start changing their apps :)
 
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acidblood

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2006
95
105
I can say the same thing in reverse. They are trying to educate me to use their messaging app. I am not trying to educate anyone, i just refuse to install yet another messaging platform as I have collected MANY over the years. SMS, works fine and is available on every device. imessage also is fantastic so many whatsapp people just use imessage with me when i say i dont have whatsapp, problem solved. Providing 5 alternatives is more than enough flexibility on my part.
SMS has no encryption, and most people don't have iMessage (given that most people have Android phones).
 
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WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,432
3,375
SMS has no encryption, and most people don't have iMessage (given that most people have Android phones).
And your point is what? You think "most people" give a heck about encryption for basic communication?

Anyway, im not installing whatsapp, i have plenty of messaging apps already and I dont want yet another one that is also now owned by facebook.
 
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acidblood

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2006
95
105
Headlines like this puzzle me. If you're hoarding your private data on an app meant to prevent data interception, that seems unwise.
I don't follow. Your chat history has zero value to you?

The data is secure on your device, whenever it's transferred over the internet it's end-to-end encrypted. Unless someone steals/confiscates your device and bypasses TouchID/FaceID/passcode, your data is safe, so in effect the data is only vulnerable to large government agencies. If there are particular messages you wouldn't want these large government agencies to see, just delete them -- I would expect, being conservative, that less than 1% of anyone's messages would fit that description.
 

dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
158
And your point is what? You think "most people" give a heck about encryption for basic communication?

Anyway, im not installing whatsapp, i have plenty of messaging apps already and I dont want yet another one that is also now owned by facebook.
You're selectively ignoring other issues with SMS that have been mentioned above , for example the cost factor! Some people care about cost, some about privacy, some about the zero features sms has..

Let me ask your personal opinion. I have a patient 70 years old who uses Whatsapp. As I mentioned it's the standard app here in Europe. Should I force him to change his app or should I already have Whatsapp on my device so he can communicate with me?
 
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acidblood

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2006
95
105
And your point is what? You think "most people" give a heck about encryption for basic communication?
OK then, you don't care about encryption (guess we should tell everyone that WannaGoMac decreed the widespread move of virtually all websites to https was pointless and we should all go back to http). Can you send a file (say a PDF) over SMS? Can you receive SMS if you're in a place with WiFi but no cell reception? Can you type SMS on your computer, which is much more practical, like you can with WhatsApp Web (you can since I assume you have a Mac -- are you extending the same courtesy to the other end of the conversation, who may not have one)? Can you easily send your current location over SMS?

SMS is dead, a relic of 10+ years ago, just get with the program.
 
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Mr. Heckles

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2018
620
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OK then, you don't care about encryption (guess we should tell everyone that WannaGoMac decreed the widespread move of virtually all websites to https was pointless and we should all go back to http). Can you send a file (say a PDF) over SMS? Can you receive SMS if you're in a place with WiFi but no cell reception? Can you type SMS on your computer, which is much more practical, like you can with WhatsApp Web (you can since I assume you have a Mac -- are you extending the same courtesy to the other end of the conversation, who may not have one)? Can you easily send your current location over SMS?

SMS is dead, a relic of 10+ years ago, just get with the program.
I couldn’t agree with you more. I hate getting SMS and using it.
Oh, you can send a location over SMS, I’ve actually done this.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,432
3,375
OK then, you don't care about encryption (guess we should tell everyone that WannaGoMac decreed the widespread move of virtually all websites to https was pointless and we should all go back to http). Can you send a file (say a PDF) over SMS? Can you receive SMS if you're in a place with WiFi but no cell reception? Can you type SMS on your computer, which is much more practical, like you can with WhatsApp Web (you can since I assume you have a Mac -- are you extending the same courtesy to the other end of the conversation, who may not have one)? Can you easily send your current location over SMS?

SMS is dead, a relic of 10+ years ago, just get with the program.
Youre so funny. The things you're extrapolating about me are hilarious. I just say no here are 4-5 other ways to reach me, it's really not this big of a deal for anyone i have told this too (except you i guess). Otherwise, imessage handles all that, and i get both imessages and sms on my macbook.

Anyway, have a nice day.

- - Post merged: - -

You're selectively ignoring other issues with SMS that have been mentioned above , for example the cost factor! Some people care about cost, some about privacy, some about the zero features sms has..

Let me ask your personal opinion. I have a patient 70 years old who uses Whatsapp. As I mentioned it's the standard app here in Europe. Should I force him to change his app or should I already have Whatsapp on my device so he can communicate with me?
Uh you shouldnt be using Whatsapp for healthcare related patient data communication. Use the communication system built within the EHR that complies with the necessary healthcare security laws of your country.
 

Mr. Heckles

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2018
620
585
Around
Uh you shouldnt be using Whatsapp for healthcare related patient data communication. Use the communication system built within the EHR that complies with the necessary healthcare security laws of your country.
WhatsApp is way more secure than email or SMS. Also, if a person messages them 1st a questions do they tell them to use something else? No. Chances are that person will only go on it though a computer and someone that old probably had so much crap on their computer, it would make SMS look safe.
 

dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
158
Youre so funny. The things you're extrapolating about me are hilarious. I just say no here are 4-5 other ways to reach me, it's really not this big of a deal for anyone i have told this too (except you i guess). Otherwise, imessage handles all that, and i get both imessages and sms on my macbook.

Anyway, have a nice day.

- - Post merged: - -



Uh you shouldnt be using Whatsapp for healthcare related patient data communication. Use the communication system built within the EHR that complies with the necessary healthcare security laws of your country.
You can educate others on how to do their profession but please do not tell me how to do my job.

I am very well aware of what I can send or not over whatsapp.. Way better than you at least in my profession.

I asked you something very specific , you ignored it, you altered it and you used it the way it was convenient to you. It seems you are extremely selective to what you want to read and to what you want to reply.

By the way just to inform you even icloud should be turned off if we are talking about healthcare data. But I guess you already know this already and you are forcing it to people of the profession.
 
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Stalwart

macrumors member
Oct 5, 2015
32
44
To those claiming SMS is insecure - i don't consider anything owned by Facebook secure, irregardless of their claims. They build the binary you install - they can leave as many backdoors as they want. I have Facebook and Instagram accounts - if you trust Zuck with Whatsapp - why not use FB/Insta?

To those claiming they need to reach their customers - if i were paid to use Whatsapp - i'd probably use it. I don't get paid to use Whatsapp, so i don't install it. For business communication with my coworkers we use Slack, and i quite like it.

To those claiming SMS doesn't have a specific feature they want/need - i mentioned SMS as a last resort. I also have a bunch of other messengers and social networks. I can also arrange a meeting in person if i don't feel like using digital communications.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
5,397
6,756
California
Ever since I switched to Windows before the virus hit, my wife and I have found Signal to be very viable. We've been using it for months now and it works. Of course, all of my family/friends use WhatsApp - but we find Signal to be much faster and much less of a drain on cellphones.
 

System Of A Down

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
4
5
And your point is what? You think "most people" give a heck about encryption for basic communication?

Anyway, im not installing whatsapp, i have plenty of messaging apps already and I dont want yet another one that is also now owned by facebook.
When people are educated on apps or services that don't value their privacy, they actually do care. Data backs this up.
 
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whyamihere

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2008
467
692
'nati
I don't currently use Signal, but I'm curious if this is a new feature only when starting fresh on a new phone?

I'm guessing if you got a new phone and restored from your old phone backup that it would have included your old chat history automatically without going through this process?
 
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