How to Restore a Backup in Signal

There are few things more annoying than losing key pieces of information on messaging apps like Signal. This is particularly the case when it can easily be avoided. However, that doesn’t mean that Signal will automatically do the work for you. Seeing as the app prioritizes user security, all backups need to be created manually.

How to Restore a Backup in Signal

But don’t worry. It isn’t too difficult and won’t cause too many headaches. Whether you are a tech enthusiast or simply dabbling, this guide will get the job done for you within minutes.

How to Restore a Backup on Signal

To restore a backup on Signal, just follow the instructions outlined below. That way, your data will be both safe and accessible.

First, you need to find where the backup was stored. Go to “Settings” in the app.

  1. Then, click on “Chats.”
  2. Next, click on chat backups to reveal the file.
  3. Use any file managing app to store the backup on a computer or storage device for safety.
  4. Next, reinstall Signal onto your phone.
  5. Give Signal the required permissions and it will automatically find the backup on your phone.
  6. When prompted, click on “Restore backup” to finish up.
  7. Enter the password that you screenshotted when creating the file.
  8. Hit “Restore” to finish up.

Granted, this isn’t the most straightforward of processes, but it is effective. Just follow the steps and you should have everything you need at your fingertips.

How to Restore a Signal Backup on Desktop

Unfortunately, transferring folders is not supported by Signal. Fortunately, there are a few workarounds. The best way is to just export the backup files from your computer to your phone and then back again. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Install Signal Desktop and open it.
  2. On your phone, open the Signal app and go to “Signal Settings” and “Linked Devices.”
  3. Hit the + (Android) or “Link New Device” (iOS).
  4. This should bring up a QR code on your desktop screen.
  5. Scan the QR code with your phone.
  6. Pick a name for your linked device and hit “Finish.”

You should now be able to move the backup files freely between your two devices.

How to Transfer Your Signal Messages to a New Phone

To transfer your messages from one phone to another, you will first need to create a backup file. If you scroll down to the FAQ section, you’ll see that we have a handy guide for this part of the process. After you’ve done that, here’s how to transfer all of that info over to your new device:

  1. Enable a backup on your old phone.
  2. Make sure to record the 30-digit passcode for the backup file.
  3. Manually move the file from your old phone to the new one.
  4. Install Signal on your new phone.
  5. Before registering your number, enter the 30-digit password for your backup.

Admittedly, the process takes a while and is a little more complicated than with other similar apps. This, as mentioned above, is due to the fact that Signal places a huge emphasis on the privacy for their users. It is best to see this as a decent trade-off for that extra peace of mind.

Additional FAQs

What if My Last Backup Says “Never?”

It isn’t uncommon to have months or even years of data amass before you decide to back it up. In the busy world that we live in, things like backing up your data can easily go by the wayside. Don’t worry, though. If this has happened with your Signal data, it isn’t a disaster. Just be aware that there might be a lot of data that will require a lot of memory space. Regardless, here’s how you go about backing it up:

• First up, free up some space on your phone if you need to.

• Then, enable the permissions for Signal.

• Go to “Settings” on your phone.

• Then click into “Apps” or “Apps and notifications.”

• Click into Signal.

• Select “App permissions” or “Permissions.”

• Make sure the SD card is either disabled or taken out.

• Hit “Enable all permissions” to create the backup.

And there you have it. That should be all of your Signal data backed up into one file on your phone. Depending on how old your phone is and how much data needs to be backed up, this process could take a while.

How Do I Restore Backed Up Signal Files on Android?

Changing over to a new phone is pretty easy these days. Generally speaking, Google has all of your data backed up on the cloud. This effectively means that as soon as you log in to Google, you have access to most of what you had on the old phone. However, this simply isn’t the case with Signal.

As referenced previously, Signal prioritizes its users’ security and confidentiality above all else. But the good news is that Signal offers encrypted backups only for users of Android. Naturally, these are stored locally and never elsewhere. To restore backed up Signal files on Android, just follow these steps:

• First up, open the Signal app on your Android device.

• Hit the three dots in the top right corner.

• Next, choose “Settings.”

• Then tap on “Chats and media.”

• Scroll down and tap on “Create backups.”

It is worth noting that if this is your first time backing up your data, you’ll get a pop-up saying “Enable local backups?” You will then be given a 30-digit password to access your backup in the future. The best thing to do is to record this code somewhere safe. Perhaps consider taking a screenshot.

Can I Merge My Message History?

Unfortunately no. Signal does not offer the option to merge your message history.

Where Are Signal Messages Stored?

All Signal data; messages, pictures, and videos are only stored locally on the device you are using. Signal does not store any of their users’ content in their servers or on the cloud. The idea is that the users’ information is far less likely to become compromised this way.

How Do I Enable Backups on Signal?

Enabling a backup on Signal is relatively simple and can be done within a few minutes. Just follow these steps:

• Tap on your profile icon within the app.

• Then go to “Chats and media.”

• Click the “Chat backups” option and turn it on.

• Copy the 30-digit passcode and keep that code safe.

• Confirm that you’ve taken down or saved the passcode.

• Next up, hit “Enable backups.”

How Do I Backup and Restore Messages on Signal?

Signal has become massively popular since WhatsApp introduced new additions to its privacy policies. However, one advantage that WhatsApp had was that it allowed users to create cloud backups for your data. Sadly, for now, we have to settle for local backups only. Regardless, to create a backup, this is all you need to do:

• Open the Signal app on your phone.

• Tap the three dots in the top right-hand side corner of the screen.

• Select “Settings” from the menu.

• Next, go into “Chats and media.”

• Now tap into “Chat backups” in the menu.

• From the screen that pops up, choose “Turn on.”

• Lastly, you will have to choose a folder for your backups to be stored.

• Select a folder to store in and hit “Use this folder.”

• Then, you’ll have to click “Allow” to give Signal access to this folder.

• You will then get a 30 digit passphrase – don’t panic.

• Take a screenshot of this code to use later.

• Click on “Enable backups.”

And that’s it. Admittedly, there are a lot of steps involved and it really doesn’t look that easy. Fear not, though. If you follow our guide closely, you’ll be fine.

Restoring Backups on Signal

As you’ve seen, restoring and backing up data isn’t exactly the easiest process on Signal. But there’s good reason for that. Signal is one of the most secure platforms out there for messages and calls. The best way to view the complications involved is as a fair trade-off for the privacy it allows.

If you have recently switched to Signal, we’d love to hear from you. Did you switch because of the changes to WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments section below.

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