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17 best tips and tricks for using Signal like a pro

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Signal – Private Messenger is one of the secure messaging alternatives to WhatsApp. It offers a number of features similar to WhatsApp. That said, if you’re following the wave of migration, you might end up being clueless about Signal. This post provides the 17 best tips and tricks for using Signal Messenger like a pro. This post provides tips for Android and iPhone users. The steps are the same on Android and iPhone unless otherwise noted.

1. Use the dark mode

Like all other social apps, Signal Messenger also supports built-in dark mode. You can enable it from the settings.

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To enable dark mode on Android and iPhone, open the Signal app. Tap the profile picture icon in the top left corner. Tap Appearance.

Choose Dark mode in Theme.

2. React to messages with any emoji

Signal gives you the function to react to messages, just like in Facebook Messenger. Whether you want to create a poll, end a conversation or just express your emotions, reacting directly to the message is helpful.

To reply to a message, tap and hold it until you see the reaction menu. Tap the emoji you want to react with. Tap the three-dot icon at the end of the reaction menu to open the full list of emojis.

3. Quote message

Conversations often get confusing when you reply to multiple topics in the same chat. To avoid this, you can quote or select the message you are replying to. This way, other people will also understand the context of the answer. Swipe right on the message you want to quote.

Alternatively, tap and hold the message. Select the Reply icon from the menu.

4. Archive chat

Often you may want to clean up the Signal chats list. But the thought of deleting the chat thread may prevent you from doing so. What you can do is archive the chats. Archive hides the chat thread from the main list. Move the chat to the archived conversation. You can always unarchive the chat, otherwise, the chat will be automatically removed from the archive when you receive a new message from that person.

How to archive and unarchive chats on Signal on Android

Swipe right on the chat thread in the chat list. Alternatively, tap and hold the chat thread. Tap the Archive icon.

To unarchive a chat, scroll down to the end of the chats. Tap Archived Chats. Touch and hold the chat you want to unarchive. Tap the Unarchive icon.

How to archive and unarchive chats on Signal on iPhone

On iPhone, swipe left on the chat thread and select Archive.

To unarchive a conversation, tap Archived Chats at the bottom of the chat list. Then swipe left on the chat and select Unarchive.

5. Chat PIN

If you contact someone frequently on Signal, you can pin their chat at the top of the chat list. Blocked chats do not move down even if a new message arrives for other chats.

To block a chat on Android, tap and hold the chat thread. Tap the Pin icon. To unlock, tap and hold again and select the Unlock icon.

To pin on iOS, swipe right on the chat and tap Pin. To unlock, swipe right and select Unlock.

6. Cancel sending messages

Did you accidentally send the wrong message? Do not worry. You can unsubscribe from any of your sent messages within 3 hours of being sent using Signal’s Delete for All feature.

Touch and hold the message you want to cancel. Tap the Delete icon. Select Delete for all.

7. Disable notifications of merged contacts

Whenever any of your contacts join Signal, you get a notification. Fortunately, you can turn off those notifications. Go to Signal App Settings> Notifications. Turn off the switch next to Merged Contact to Signal.

8. Change chat color (Android only)

On Android phones, you can customize the theme color of your chats in Signal. You can select a different color for each chat.

To change the color of the chat, open the chat in Signal. Tap the person’s name at the top. Tap the chat color and select a different color of your choice.

9. Use custom notifications

By default, all incoming messages have the same notification sound. However, you can customize it and use different tones for different chats.

To do this, open the chat and tap the name at the top on both Android and iOS. Then on iPhone, tap Message Sound and choose a different tone. Likewise, change the tone for other contacts.

On Android, tap Custom Notifications. Enable the switch next to Use custom notifications and choose your favorite sound. You can also set a different ringtone for Signal calls.

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Tip: Enable Disable notifications if you don’t want to receive notifications from a chat.

10. Use Signal as a photo editing app (Android only)

Interestingly, you can use the Signal app as a mini photo editing tool. You can crop the image, add stickers, text, and scribble on your image. Once you are done editing the image, you can save the final image to your gallery directly without taking a screenshot.

For this, attach the image in your chat. You will be taken to the edit screen. Use the tools above to edit your image. To save the image without sending it, tap the Save icon.

11. Blurs part of the image

The signal allows you to blur part of the image. You can use the auto blur effect where Signal will automatically blur the face in the image or manually blur any part of the image.

Tip: Use the Blur tool to hide private information in screenshots.

To do this, attach the photo in the Signal chat. Once you are on the image editing screen, tap the Blur icon at the top. Draw over the area where you want to blur the image.

Alternatively, turn on the Blur Faces option below if you want Signal to automatically blur faces.

12. Send photos and messages that disappear

On Signal, you can choose whether you want the image to remain in your chat or to disappear after the viewer sees it. It is somewhat similar to what’s available on Instagram messages. The image will instantly vanish from both the viewer and the sender and replaced by a 1x Media placeholder.

To send a one-time viewable image, attach the image as normal using the + icon. Then on the image editing screen, you will see an infinite icon in the lower-left corner. Touch it. The icon will change to 1x, which means that the image will be deleted automatically after viewing it. Send the image.

13. Disable read receipts and typing indicators

Don’t like to read receipts or typing indicators in Signal chats? You can turn it off. However, you will also lose the ability to view them in your chats.

If you decide to turn them off, tap the profile picture icon to access the Settings. Then tap Privacy.

Turn off the switch next to Read Receipts and Typing Indicators.

14. Use Signal to take notes

Several people use chat apps as options for taking notes. I often use WhatsApp to take quick notes. Fortunately, you can do the same in Signal. And what makes it interesting is that it’s a built-in feature in Signal.

To get started on Android, tap the new message icon. Then tap Note to self.

The Auto Chat Note will open. Use it to jot down your notes, add images, etc. This chat will appear in your chat list and will be synced between your connected devices.

On iPhone, tap the search bar at the top of the chat list. Then search for Note to self. Tap it to open the chat. Type anything and send it. The chat will appear in the chat list. Then use it directly to write your notes.

15. Install new sticker packs

Often you get a sticker from a package that you may want to use yourself. For this, you will need to install the same sticker pack. To do this, tap on the received sticker and you will see the Install button.

16. Use Signal on the Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop

You can access Signal chats on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Just download the Signal desktop app for the required operating system and you are good to go. Scan the QR code and follow the onscreen instructions to connect to the desktop application.

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17. Add your sticker packs

If you don’t like the default sticker collection in Signal, you can add your own sticker packs. For this, you will need to use the Signal Desktop app. Then go to File> Create / Upload Sticker App. Follow the onscreen instructions. The same stickers will then also appear in your mobile apps.

Use it well

We hope you enjoyed our collection of Signal Messenger tips and tricks. Signal promises to add more features to the app such as animated stickers, chat backgrounds, etc. So what are the features you find interesting in Signal? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments.

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