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The Beginner’s Guide to Using Signal Private Messenger

Signal is one of the best end-to-end encrypted messengers on the market. It offers robust security, keeps minimal information about its users, and is free to use. Switching to it as your main messenger can be a bit daunting, so to help, we created a guide to walk you through the process.

As Signal continues to grow, many of its new features get lost on new users. Not only has Signal added new ways to keep your conversations private, but they’ve also added iMessage-like features to make it easier for people to make the switch and to enhance communications. However, as with all messaging services, to take full advantage of its features, you need the recipient to also use Signal.

Our hope with this guide is that it helps you figure out how to set up Signal and get the most out of it. Additionally, we hope you share this article with friends and family, so when you ask them to switch, the process isn’t as jarring. With any luck, all your conversations will be able to enjoy the security and privacy of Signal’s end-to-end encryption.

Step 1Download the Latest Version of Signal

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure you are using the latest version of Signal Private Messenger. Signal is continuously updated, and new features continue to come to the platform. The easiest way to accomplish this is to head to your app store and either install Signal if you don’t already have it, or update the app if the “Open” button is replaced by “Update” on the app listing.

  • Install Signal Private Messenger: Android (free) | iOS (free)

Step 2Sign Up Using Your Phone Number

How the app appears when you first open it is different depending on the operating system you are using. For Android, a popup will appear informing you that you need to provide Signal access to your contacts, storage, and phone calls for it to work. After selecting “Continue,” a series of permission propmts will appear which you’ll need to accept, and after doing so, you’ll be taken to the signup screen.

On iPhones, the signup screen is accessible right away, without the need to give the app-specific permissions first.

On the screen, Signal will ask you for your telephone number. While you can use a burner number, we recommend using your actual phone number, as this is how your contacts will find you on Signal. Either way, input a valid telephone number and select “Register.”