Your Signal PIN is a numeric or alphanumeric code used to help you recover your profile, settings, contacts, and block list if you ever lose or switch devices. It supports features like non-phone number based identifiers. A PIN can also serve as a registration lock.
To enable PINs, Signal developed Secure Value Recovery which keeps your social graph unknown to Signal servers. This is unlike other apps and platforms that store this kind of data in plaintext on their servers.
- A PIN is not a chat backup. Your message history is not linked to a PIN and a PIN cannot be used to recover lost chat history.
- We do not know your PIN and cannot reset or recover it for you.
- If you forget the PIN and have enabled a registration lock, you may be locked out of your account for up to 7 days.
Continue below for FAQs, including:
Why do I see more than one PIN?
Your Signal PIN is
- not the SMS verification code that is used during the registration process.
- not a screen lock and unrelated to the device passcode that you may be asked to enter if screen lock is enabled.
- for Android phones, different from the 30-digit passcode used to restore a chat backup.
How do I manage or change my PIN?
- On your phone, go to Signal Settings > Account > Change your PIN
Can I use my fingerprint, face, or phone's screen lock instead?
Your Signal PIN is unrelated to the device passcode. Your device password manager can store your PIN which you can copy and paste into Signal.
How do I manage or change the registration lock option?
- Enabling a registration lock triggers a 7-day inactivity timer if your number is registered on another device.
- On a registered and active version of Signal on your phone, go to Signal Settings > Account> to enable or disable.
When does the registration lock expire?
- Registration Lock expires after 7 days of inactivity.
- After 7 days of inactivity, a new PIN can be created. The old PIN and information associated with it are no longer available.
How long can my PIN be?
There is no limit. Feel free to add as many characters as you want.
Why do I see PIN reminders?
Because we cannot recover or reset the PIN for you, we periodically ask you to confirm the PIN.
Can I turn off these reminders?
- It is important to memorize your PIN. We cannot recover your PIN if you forget it.
- You will see the reminders less frequently if you consistently enter your PIN correctly. The reminders will become more frequent if multiple attempts are necessary.
- To disable, on your phone, go to Signal Settings > Account > PIN reminders > Enter your PIN > Turn Off or Turn Off Reminders.
- We cannot reset the PIN for you.
- If you have a registration lock enabled, you will need to wait for the inactivity timer to expire.
- If you do not have a registration lock, you can still get started with Signal. You will lose some saved settings like your profile information.
- On Android, tap Skip > Create new PIN
- On iOS, tap Need Help? > Create New PIN
I know my PIN. Why is it not accepted?
- Check that the date and time settings for your phone are set correctly for your timezone.
- If you've run out of PIN guesses, you may see Error connecting to service or info about this on the screen.
- Tap Need Help? > Contact Support to tell us what's going on. This option may only appear after you've tried a PIN a few times.
What if I only see a numeric keyboard for my alphanumeric PIN during registration?
- Tap Enter Alphanumeric PIN then enter your PIN.
- Some iOS users can copy and paste their PIN and it will be accepted.
Why is there a PIN?
Signal PINs are used to support new features like non-phone number based identifiers where your Signal contacts only reside within Signal. To enable this, Signal developed Secure Value Recovery which keeps your social graph unknown to Signal servers. This is unlike other apps and platforms that store this kind of data in plaintext on their servers.
- Without a PIN, reinstalling the app on the same device would mean that all of your Signal contacts are lost.
- By disabling PINs, you are disabling Secure Value Recovery.
- To disable, from the Create PINs screen, Select more or > Disable PIN
How can I remove a PIN if I already created one?
Users without the optional registration lock can disable PINs.
- Go to Signal Settings > Account > Registration Lock > Confirm this is disabled.
- Go to Signal Settings > Account > Advanced PIN settings > Disable PIN > Disable PIN to confirm.