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Encrypted Messaging App Signal now lets you transfer your account information from your existing iOS device, including your conversation history, to a new iPhone or iPad. The functionality rolled out last week with the version 3.9.1 update of the app, but the company officially revealed the latest feature in a blog post published on Tuesday, which also details the steps of how the process functions.

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The new process is an effort to strike a balance between convenience and safety. The method operates by a QR code created by your new Smartphone and scans your old computer. Your computers then set up a direct Wi-Fi link (or Bluetooth if Wi-Fi is not available) and send the data across the local network without the data ever going to a cloud service from a third party. Since the transition takes place locally, even big transfers can be done swiftly, Signal says.

But this created a longstanding problem with how to transfer logs between devices without potentially exposing all the conversations that a given user had. WhatsApp, for instance, can back up your chat history to Google Drive or iCloud depending on your device, but it warns that its end-to-end encryption currently does not protect these backups. IMessage backups work similarly: if you choose to back them up to Apple’s iCloud servers, they’re encrypted. But Apple retains keys to such backups, and in response to legitimate subpoena requests, it also sends decrypted backups to law enforcement.

When the cycle is done you will be left on the new computer with a more or less similar function. For a while now, signal users on Android have been able to migrate their data between devices, but the procedure is more convoluted and depends on you having to manually push an encrypted local backup to your Android device’s internal storage. The latest move based on QR code isn’t possible on Android at present.

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There are major caveats about how the new feature works which you should be aware of. The first is that if you want to transfer your Signal data from it you’ll need your old device. In other words, if you delete your Signal data from your old phone before you set up a new one, then you will lose the history of the call. The feature isn’t working between iOS and Android, either.

The messaging service launched PINs last month — allowing you to encrypt data such as profile information, account preferences, and who you have blocked — and back it up to Signal ‘s servers so you can restore it to a new computer.


Signal’s new iOS switch app aims to provide flexibility while also holding users’ keys in their pockets. The connection between the two devices is encrypted end-to-end, and the app will use a variety of checks to ensure it receives only the data it expects.


Anshul Sharma

Anshul Sharma is the visionary CEO of Fluper, the leading mobile app development company known for its innovative solutions and cutting-edge mobile applications. With a relentless drive for excellence and a deep understanding of the tech industry, Anshul leads Fluper with a focus on delivering value-driven products that transform businesses. Under his leadership, Fluper has become synonymous with quality, reliability, and innovation in the digital space.

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