Signal announced that it will now allow users to change their phone number. It is an unusual choice for a company that identifies users based on their phone number. That said, it may be a feature that people who use Signal will be excited about.
Millions of people worldwide rely on Signal every day for secure and private communication. Some of these people change their phone number, but want to continue using Signal without registering for a new account. We now provide the ability to change the phone number on your Signal account, while retaining all of your chats, profile information, and groups.
There are two ways to change your phone number in Signal. If you are getting a new phone, but keeping your old number, you can use Signal’s end-to-end encrypted device-to-devise transfer on Android or iOS to carry your contacts and chat history over to your new device.
Signal recommends you do that before wiping or recycling your old device as Signal messages are excluded from built-in operating system and cloud backups.
If you are keeping your existing phone, but getting a new number, you can use the Change Number feature. It will let you keep your profile and all of your existing messages and groups on your device, while making you reachable at your new phone number.
The Signal Support website provides some additional details:
Change Number is supported if you can send and receive Signal messages on the phone with your old number, or are keeping the same phone and changing the number.
Change Number is not supported if you cannot send and receive Signal messages on the phone with your old number, do not have your old device, or lost your phone. It also won’t work if you have cleared your phone.
In order to change your number, you must be using the latest version of Signal available for that device. This means Android v5.30.6 or later, or iOS v5.27.1 or later.
Your contacts in Signal will see an alert in your chat that the phone number has changed.
Overall, I think this is a good idea. It gives Signal users the opportunity to change their phone number without losing anything. The process sounds quick and simple.