Alfred's New Ramblings

Restoring Signal backup.

Restoring Signal backup, in my opinion, is unnecessarily complicated.

If you are reading this to restore it, I have some bad news for you. There is a good chance you will not be successful.

Backup your Signal chats.

  1. Go to Signal Settings, Chats, Chats Backup, Turn on
  2. Choose the folder to keep the backup.
  3. Copy the 30-digit passphrase and keep it safe. Without this passphrase or key, the backup file cannot be opened.

Restoring your Signal chats.

  1. Restore can only be done on the first-time launch of the app.
  2. Ensure the file is located on the device.
  3. Select “Transfer or restore account”, located at the bottom edge.
  4. Select the restore backup file. Using only the Android OS’s file browser inside the Signal app.
  5. If you select a third-party app eg Explorer, you will get an error “Backup could not be read”
  6. Enter the 30-digit passphrase that you have previously saved. If you don’t have it, you will not be able to restore it.

As you can see, you have a passphrase and a backup file you need to keep track of. This passphrase is different from the PIN to access the app. Why can’t we use the PIN to decrypt the backup file?

Why the screen did not warn against using third-party file managers?

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