- support new features -- like non phone number identifiers -- while still protecting user privacy.
- serve as an optional registration lock. If this is enabled and you forget the PIN, you may be locked out of your account for up to 7 days.
What else should I know?
- You will be asked to enter this PIN the next time you register your phone number with Signal.
- Using the PIN, your profile, settings, and contacts will restore when you reinstall Signal.
- This is not a backup. Your message history is not linked to this PIN.
- We do not know your PIN and cannot reset or recover it for you.
Continue below for FAQs, including:
Did you mean to view:
- Screen lock
- Verification code
- Blog post for PINs
- Blog post for Secure Value Recovery
- Blog post for Signal's approach to user data
Why do I see two PINs?
Signal PINs are
- different from the SMS verification code that is used during the registration process and
- also unrelated to the device passcode that you may be asked to enter if screen lock is enabled.
How do I manage or change my PIN?
Signal Settings > Privacy > Signal 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 will require the Signal PIN to register your phone number with Signal again.
- Go to Signal Settings > Privacy > Signal PIN > Registration Lock to enable or disable. This can only be modified on your phone.
- If you forgot your PIN, you may be locked out of your account for up to 7 days. We cannot reset the PIN for you.
How long can my PIN be?
There is no limit. Feel free to add as many characters as you want.
How does Signal help me remember my PIN?
Signal includes a built-in reminder feature that uses spaced repetition. To help you memorize your PIN, Signal will periodically ask you to confirm it. These reminders occur at the following intervals after the feature is first enabled:
- 12 Hours
- 1 Day
- 3 Days
- 7 Days
- 14 Days
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, go to Signal Settings > Privacy > SIGNAL PIN > PIN reminders > Enter your PIN > Turn Off or Turn Off Reminders.
What if I do not see the option to turn off PIN reminders?
- If you have a Registration Lock enabled and do not have access to your old phone, you will need to wait for the PIN to expire.
- If you do not have a Registration Lock, you can still get started with Signal. Tap SKIP in the top corner.
When does the Registration Lock expire?
- Registration Lock expires after 7 days of inactivity. If you don't have access to the previously registered device and cannot remember your PIN, you will be able to register for Signal again after waiting for this expiration period to pass.
- The inactivity timer is reset to 7 days each time you send a message on a linked device like Signal Desktop or an iPad.
How does Signal help ensure that PINs don't expire for less active users?
The expiration timeout counter is reset whenever a client connects to the Signal service. In addition to activities like sending or receiving a message, the Android and iOS apps will make occasional requests to the server so that the PIN is kept alive.
What if I only see a numeric keyboard for my alphanumeric PIN during registration?
- Update to the latest version of Signal.
- Tap Enter Alphanumeric PIN then enter your pin.
- Some iOS users can copy and paste their PIN and it will be accepted. You can update or create a new PIN after you register.
What can I do if I don’t see an option to create an alphanumeric PIN?
What if I do not see a PIN screen when I register for Signal?
- Update to the latest version of Signal
- Interact with with the on-screen prompt or go to Signal Settings > Privacy > PIN > Create a PIN or Change your PIN.
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 Introducing 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 > Privacy > Signal PIN > Registration Lock > Confirm this is disabled.
- Go to Signal Settings > Advanced > Advanced PIN settings > Disable PIN > Disable PIN to confirm.