Sign is a secure messaging app that takes your privacy seriously. By default, messages only go to your phone, but you can add other devices that will receive copies, allowing you to chat from your computers and tablets. Here’s how to manage the devices that can access your Signal account.
How to view your paired devices
Signal uses your phone number to identify who you are, which means you must register and log in with your smartphone to use the service. Once you’ve done this, you can link other devices, such as an iPad or a computer running macOS, Windows, or Linux.
You can only use one “mobile device” with Signal at a time, but you can link up to five more devices, such as tablets or laptops. This means that you can only have one primary iPhone or Android smartphone linked to your account at any one time. You will need to re-register Signal if you want to switch from Android to iPhone or vice versa.
To view existing paired devices or to add more, open Signal on your main smartphone and tap on your profile icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap “Paired Devices” in the menu that appears to see any other devices you have added. Tap the plus button or “Pair new device” to add another device using a QR code.
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Disable paired devices in Signal
Your main Signal device, your main smartphone, can be used to unlink any connected device. To do this, reveal your paired devices by tapping on your profile icon in the upper left corner of the app.
Then choose “Linked Devices” from the menu that appears.
To unpair a device, swipe left and tap the “Unpair” button that appears. You will be asked to confirm your decision at the bottom of the screen.
If you try to send messages using an unpaired device, you will see a warning appear to inform you that you must re-pair your device to resume normal use.
Unlinking a device will also delete any chat history on that device as conversations are not transferred to newly paired devices for security reasons.
The rise of secure messaging apps
Signal is part of an upward trend in secure messaging apps. Its closest rival is possibly Telegram, with both platforms fighting for WhatsApp refugees who have been spooked by the service’s commitment to sharing data with parent company Facebook. However, Telegram doesn’t always use end-to-end encryption like Signal does.
Learn more about Telegram and Signal or choose a different secure messaging app to protect your privacy.