How to Switch from WhatsApp to Signal

Signal’s popularity has soared in recent days as a result of endorsements from well-known figures including the world’s richest man Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and US whistleblower Edward Snowden. The software has really topped the top free charts on the App Store in a number of nations, including Austria, France, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, and Switzerland. Here is the information you should be aware of before cancelling your WhatsApp account and switching to Signal.

Switch from WhatsApp to Signal

If you looked for the finest WhatsApp alternatives, you could have found Signal. Today, we’ll examine a method for leaving WhatsApp by using a secure chat software.

Creating a Signal Account

For the time being, adding friends to Signal and creating an account both require a phone number. But, the development team for Signal recently announced plans to implement a user ID system in a Reddit AMA. As a result, Signal will soon offer the flexibility of adding users without knowing their phone number, which is already possible with Telegram.

Signal is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. From the official website, you can download Signal based on the device you’re using. To access the desktop version, you must first sign up for a Signal account on a mobile device. Install the application, enter your phone number, and then wait for the verification code to begin. Due to Signal’s lack of preparation for this unprecedented level of user adoption, you may have had problems with the delivery of verification codes over the weekend. To accommodate the shift, the organisation has since improved its infrastructure.

Moving Personal Chats to Signal

Moving to a different messaging service might not be practical if you have many important messages on WhatsApp. You can export a duplicate of your previous messages and choose to save them on Signal, even if you can’t technically move old chats from WhatsApp to Signal.

A chat must be exported as a text file and sent to Signal’s Note to Self area in order to complete the process. By tapping on Without Media or using the Include Media button, you can choose to export only the media files. Choose one of the file explorers to store the text file if Signal doesn’t appear in the share sheet. The file can then be manually sent to the Note to Self area of Signal.

After exporting conversations, you can start a new conversation by touching the floating pencil action button. Now, contacts who are currently using Signal are visible to you. The discussion pane appears when you tap on the contact you want to talk to.

It’s a feature I appreciated when starting a new chat that the person’s membership in a shared group is displayed. This makes it simple for me to determine whether an incoming communication is from someone I actually know. Although you can view mutual groups on other messaging applications as well, it’s a nice touch to have that information available at the beginning of a chat.

  • Message Requests

The ability to accept, block, or remove message requests is another useful Signal feature that the app offers. If you frequently receive unsolicited messages solely because you belong to a public group or someone has managed to obtain your phone number, this is a lifesaver. Figure: A signal

  • Supported Formats and Limits

Text messages, pictures, videos, encrypted voice and video calls, GIFs, voice memos, contacts, location, and stickers are all supported by Signal. Signal offers the same 100MB file size limit as WhatsApp does for sending files.

  • Stickers

Signal advises utilising the #makeprivacystick hashtag to search the web or browse Twitter to find new stickers. As an alternative, you might want to take a look at Signal Stickers, an unofficial directory of stickers for Signal that is an open-source project. Although animated stickers aren’t supported by Signal by default, you can add them from Signal Stickers and use them without any problems. Having used animated stickers, I can confirm that they are effective in both private and group chats.

What I don’t like about Signal stickers, though, is that when you send stickers from sticker packs, you can’t quote messages. I find sticker fights on WhatsApp and Telegram groups to be quite engaging, therefore I’m sorry to see this tiny annoyance on Signal. Of course, you may not find it as crucial to quote messages when sending stickers, but it is something you should keep in mind when switching to Signal. One workaround is to use the GIF interface and select stickers from Giphy’s selection of stickers if you wish to quote messages when sending stickers.

  • Encryption

One of the very few private messaging platforms created with privacy in mind is Signal. On Signal, every message you send is end-to-end encrypted. For end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp actually employs the Signal protocol. Signal claims that your contacts, social network, groups, group membership, profile name, profile avatar, location information, gif searches, and trackers, adverts, and analytics are not accessible by the messaging software. Moreover, one could argue that Signal is the industry standard for online encrypted messaging because to endorsements from privacy activists like Edward Snowden. Further information regarding Signal’s privacy policy may be found in the company’s explainer here.

Moving Group Chats to Signal

If you wish to export a copy of your WhatsApp messages to Signal, just follow the same steps as for personal chats. To recollect, open the group, select More -> Export Chat, save the file using one of the file explorers from the share sheet, and then email the file to the group chat or Note to Self.

If you’ve been using Signal for a while, you might remember when Signal groups lacked some of its current features. Signal updated its private group system in December 2019 to add new features such group link or QR-code invites, mentions, admin controls for user management, group info editing, and disappearing message timer, along with the option for admin approval. Legacy groups are those that were created prior to this upgrade. You can use all of the aforementioned capabilities because new groups use the upgraded group system. A total of 1000 individuals can be in a group on Signal.

  • Creating a new Signal group

Tap the pencil FAB in the bottom right corner and select New group to start a new Signal group. After tapping this, you may select the people you want to include in the group.

After selecting members, give the group a name and profile picture. When finished, click the Create button to start the group.

  • Group Link Sharing

After creating the group, touch on it and select the Group link option. Use the Share button to send your friends on WhatsApp the invite link. You always have the choice to reset the group connection by tapping the Reset link button if, by accident, it is disclosed. As soon as you do this, Signal will delete the previous invite link and create a new one for your group.

  • Adding new Admins

If you’ve never used Signal, adding new administrators can be a little challenging. On Signal, you must tap on a member to reach the admin promotion option as opposed to WhatsApp, where you simply long-press on a member to do so. Choose Create group admin from the pop-up menu that just appeared.

Move to Signal for Secure Messaging

If you’re new to Signal, feel free to go through our coverage of the greatest Signal hints and tips to get to know the programme better and feel at ease using it. To see what the competition has to offer, I’d also suggest reading our comparison of Signal versus WhatsApp and Telegram. Signal offers the best privacy features you can obtain to stay in touch with your friends and family, while not having as many features as Telegram. See our advice on switching from WhatsApp to Telegram if you prefer that app to Signal.