How To Recover Deleted Messages on Signal [Quick Guide]

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How To Recover Deleted Messages on Signal

Let’s find out how to recover deleted messages on Signal.

If you’ve cleared your chat, the app data got deleted due to device issues, or you’ve performed a factory data reset, don’t worry! I’ve explained below the tried and tested methods to get back your deleted texts.

How To Recover Deleted Messages on Signal

Find below various troubleshooting ideas to retrieve deleted conversations on Signal:

Solution 1: Chat Backup on Android

You can recover deleted messages on the app only if you’ve enabled chat backup on an Android device. Here’s how you can find out if you can or can’t retrieve your texts:

  1. Open the Signal app.
  2. Tap on your avatar or initials in the top left corner of the app.
signal profile
  1. You should see the Settings screen.
  2. Tap on the Chats settings option. It’s below the Appearance menu.
settings
  1. Now, you must see the Chats menu.
  2. Tap on the Chat backups settings at the bottom.
chats menu
  1. On the Chat backups screen, do you see the blue Turn Off button?
chat backups
  1. If yes, you can recover deleted messages.
  2. If not, you can’t retrieve wiped-out texts.

If you’ve previously enabled Signal chat backup on your Android device, follow these steps to recover them. This will only work if the backup is recent.

  1. Uninstall the Signal app from your device.
  2. Install the app again from Google Play.
  3. Run the newly installed Signal app.
  4. On the Welcome screen, you should see the Transfer or restore account option. Tap on that.
Transfer or restore account
  1. Tap Next on the Allow permissions screen to approve.
Allow permissions
  1. On the Transfer or restore account screen, tap on the Restore from backup option.
Restore from backup
  1. Tap Choose backup on the next page.
  2. The Signal app should automatically locate the backup folder on the device.
  3. Tap on the appropriate backup file on the Android Files app explorer view.
Tap on the appropriate backup
  1. Choose Restore backup on the Restore from backup? screen.
  1. You should see the Enter backup passphrase dialog.
  2. Enter the 30-digit passcode you saved when you activated the Signal backup in the past.
Enter backup passphrase
  1. You’ll see the Restore complete dialog if you’ve entered the right passcode.
Restore complete
  1. The same dialog box will ask you to choose the backup folder for the new setup.
  2. Select the backup folder on your Android device or tap Not now.

Once the Signal account setup is completed, you’ll see your deleted chats on the Home Screen.

Solution 2: Using Google Drive Backup

You can create a backup for Signal chats on your Android device. Then, upload the backup directory to your Google Drive cloud storage.

Now, you can download this backup folder on any Android device where you want to install a new copy of Signal. It’ll automatically detect the restore point file and retrieve deleted chat conversations.

Firstly, you must create a backup folder and save it on Google Drive by following these steps:

  1. Open the Signal app and tap on your profile picture or initials.
  2. On the next screen, tap Chats.
settings chats
  1. Now, press the Chat backups option at the bottom.
chat backups
  1. Tap the Turn On button.
turn on backup
  1. Android file explorer dialog will open. Tap Choose folder.
choose folder dialog
  1. Create a new folder inside the Files app and tap Use This Folder to choose it as the backup directory.
use this folder
  1. You’ll see a 30-digit passphrase for restoration purposes. Take a screenshot of that.
  2. Now, on the same dialog box, tap Enable backups.
enable backups
  1. Tap on the Create backup button.
create backup
  1. Open the Google Drive app.
  2. Tap the New button at the bottom right corner.
new upload g drive
  1. A dialog box will show from the bottom. Choose Upload on that.
upload to g drive
  1. The Recent screen will open. There, tap the horizontal three-lines menu in the top left corner.
  2. On the Upload menu, tap on the device name, which represents the internal storage.
tap internal storage
  1. Locate the Signal backup folder on the next window and tap on that.
choose signal backup folder
  1. You’ll see two backup files. Long tap on the files to select them.
  2. Now, hit Select in the top right corner of the screen.

You’ve successfully uploaded the Signal backup files to Google Drive.

On a different Android device, download these files and move them into a dedicated folder like Signal backup in the Android internal storage directory.

To retrieve lost chats, follow the steps mentioned earlier in Solution 1.

Signal Chat Backup Limitations

Currently, Signal doesn’t allow creating a restore point for chat conversations and media on the following devices:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Windows PC
  • Mac.

Therefore, you can’t recover deleted chat conversations on the above devices.

missing
Chat backups missing in iPhone Signal app Chat settings

You might find third-party apps on the internet to claim Signal chat recovery. However, these apps struggle to deal with its security measures.

Signal uses high-level end-to-end encryption to store its data in internal storage. When you delete a conversation, it removes the content in the binary data level. Hence, data recovery becomes almost impossible.

That’s the essence of the Signal app — maximum security for private conversations between two or more parties (unlike on WhatsApp).

Only advanced data forensics apps like Oxygen Forensics Suite might help, but you can’t access them as an individual. They’re only available to law enforcement, corporate, and government agencies.

I suggest following these steps to start backing up your Signal app data right now. So, on a rainy day, you can retrieve accidentally deleted texts effortlessly.

So, now you know how to recover deleted messages on Signal. If the article helped you or you know a better method than the ones I’ve listed above, leave your comments below.

More about the topics: how to, signal