Your Signal PIN is a code used to support features like non-phone number based identifiers. This means that your PIN can recover your profile, settings, contacts, and who you’ve blocked if you ever lose or switch devices. A PIN can also serve as an optional registration lock to prevent others from registering your number on your behalf.
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Enabling a Registration Lock will require the Signal PIN to register your phone number with Signal again.
- Go to Signal Settings > Account > 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 > Account > PIN reminders > Enter your PIN > Turn Off or Turn Off Reminders.
What if I do not see the option to turn off PIN reminders?
What if I forget my PIN?
We cannot reset the PIN for you. If you have access to the active mobile device, you can change the PIN at any time (Signal Settings > Account > Change your PIN).
- 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. 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.
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 open 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 > Account > 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,
- Update to the latest version of Signal
- 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.