Secure messaging app Signal has been updated with a new feature which lets you keep your profile information, conversations and groups even if you change the registered phone number. This works only if you’re planning to continue using your old iOS or Android device with your new number.
Previously, getting another phone number would require users to register for a new Signal account even if they were keeping their old smartphone. Since the instant messaging app stores all chats locally on the device in question, people should be able to access their conversations even when they’ve changed numbers. So it’s naturally been a long-requested feature and the developers have finally obliged.
Before changing the mobile number associated with Signal, you have to make sure you carry out the following steps –
- Tap the ‘Change phone number’ option in the Signal account settings on your phone.
- Select ‘Continue’ and key in your old number in the first section and your new one in the second field.
- Pick ‘Continue’ (or ‘Done’). You’ll get an option to edit the number if you’ve entered it incorrectly.
- Lastly, select ‘Change number’ and follow the registration instructions for the new number.
The process cannot be undone and will only work if you can send and receive Signal messages to your old number with the same device. Also, you need to install the latest version of the app on your phone. Once you’ve changed to the new mobile number, your contacts will be notified of the same in the chat thread. Anyone registering for Signal with your old number will not be able to see your message history, of course.
For those who are getting a new phone but using the same number, Signal already has a system in place for device-to-device transfer of chats for iOS and Android users.