Signal finally catches up with WhatsApp and lets you change numbers


Signal users can now change their number without nuking their chat history, enabling seamless transfer. — dpa

Getting a new number used to mean losing all of your old chat history. But then messenger apps like WhatsApp and Telegram came up with ways to keep your chats and account, even when you get a new number.

Not Signal.

The privacy-focused messenger app preferred by many data protection activists has been lagging behind WhatsApp, Threema, Wire and Telegram when it came to migrating chats and contacts to a new number.

But now, at last, Signal is giving its users the option to change their number within the app. This means you'll keep your chat history, groups and profile even when your number is new, and your contacts won't notice anything has changed.

Until now, you had to start from scratch and set up a new account whenever changing to a new phone number.

With WhatsApp, Threema, Telegram and Wire, changing your phone number has been a standard feature for a long time.

The new mobile phone number can be easily entered in the Signal app menu under "Settings/Account/Change phone number" if your app is up to date both – for iPhones (from version 5.27.1) and for Android phones (from version 5.30.6).

But remember: This change cannot be reversed. It only works if the new number is already active, i.e. short messages or calls can be received on it, and if you're using the same smartphone that was previously used with the old number. For more details, head to support.signal.org. – dpa

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