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Relink Signal Desktop After Changing Phone Number (Missing QR Code) #2211

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propagandagirl opened this issue Apr 4, 2018 · 27 comments
Closed

Relink Signal Desktop After Changing Phone Number (Missing QR Code) #2211

propagandagirl opened this issue Apr 4, 2018 · 27 comments

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@propagandagirl
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@propagandagirl propagandagirl commented Apr 4, 2018

I changed my phone number and need to update my signal desktop. The signal app on phone is working ok with new number. But the desktop app hasn't prompted me to relink and I can't see how to do this. Online instructions by signal seem to say it should automatically give me a new qr code to scan but this isn't happening. How do I get the desktop app to give me a QR code?
Thanks

  • I have searched open and closed issues for duplicates

Bug description

Steps to reproduce

Actual result:

Expected result:

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Signal version:

Operating System:

Linked device version:

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@gasi-signal
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@gasi-signal gasi-signal commented Apr 6, 2018

@propagandagirl Have you tried unlinking your desktop device from your previous number? That should trigger a prompt to link it to a new device 😄

@gasi-signal gasi-signal changed the title Relinking phone&signal - no QR code? Relink Signal Desktop After Changing Phone Numbers (Missing QR Code) Apr 6, 2018
@gasi-signal gasi-signal changed the title Relink Signal Desktop After Changing Phone Numbers (Missing QR Code) Relink Signal Desktop After Changing Phone Number (Missing QR Code) Apr 6, 2018
@gasi-signal
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@gasi-signal gasi-signal commented Apr 6, 2018

@propagandagirl Another workaround from my colleague: Open Developer tools using View > Toggle Developer Tools, select Console, copy & paste this command storage.put('password', ''); into the line below, hit Enter, wait a few seconds, and then restart the app. This should get you unblocked.

@propagandagirl
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@propagandagirl propagandagirl commented Apr 7, 2018

@propagandagirl
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@propagandagirl propagandagirl commented Apr 7, 2018

@propagandagirl
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@propagandagirl propagandagirl commented Apr 7, 2018

@propagandagirl
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@propagandagirl propagandagirl commented Apr 7, 2018

@gasi-signal
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@gasi-signal gasi-signal commented Apr 7, 2018

Glad to hear, Emma! Enjoy your weekend 😄

@gasi-signal gasi-signal closed this Apr 7, 2018
@richo
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@richo richo commented Sep 26, 2018

Just to touch on this issue, I can't unlink from my old device, because I already registered my new one, and now signal doesn't trust my old one any more. I can obviously try overwriting that password property, but I'm not really sure how that helps (especially when I actually kinda want to preserve my message historya nd I'm betting that will clear it, my guess being that its the encryption passphrase for the bundle).

Is a supported way to do this on the roadmap?

EDIT: I guess password is just the token used to communicate with the upstream servers. That would be great to document!

@woozalia
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@woozalia woozalia commented Sep 27, 2018

SOLVED: I found the answer in issue #956, but it was misspelled:

  • Open View -> Toggle Developer View
  • Select Console tab
  • Enter Whisper.Registration.remove(); in console (lower right)
  • a re-link button will appear above the Signal contact list.

...and I just have to note that this only adds to the bizarreness of Signal's UX. There should be a menu option for this operation. (Don't get me started on all the other issues.)

original question

What was the answer to "But I have no idea how I get another QR code to display!"? ...because I have the same problem, and I haven't even changed my phone number (just moved the number to a new phone).

@scottnonnenberg-signal
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@scottnonnenberg-signal scottnonnenberg-signal commented Sep 27, 2018

@woozalia I'd love to hear your list of top UX problems in Signal Desktop. Please feel free to reach out to me directly.

@comharris
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@comharris comharris commented Dec 8, 2018

Thank you @woozalia. Fixed my issue!!

@helgator
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@helgator helgator commented Feb 13, 2019

Do not use Whisper.Registration.remove();! You will loose all contacts and conversations on the desktop. Just happened to me.
I do not understand the concept of a software that requires endusers to enter the developer mode ...

@scottnonnenberg-signal
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@scottnonnenberg-signal scottnonnenberg-signal commented Feb 13, 2019

@helgator You'll only lose your messages and contacts if you register with a different number entirely.

As to why you need to go into this mode? You shouldn't, because it's easy to unlink your desktop from your phone, or restart Signal Desktop after setting up your new phone. Both situations will ensure that SIgnal Desktop offers to re-link without entering developer mode.

@helgator
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@helgator helgator commented Feb 13, 2019

Thank you for the hint. But I cant confirm any of that.

I thought it is the purpose of this threat to explain how to connect the desktop to a new phone? In my case it includes a new number. Why does Signal assume that I dont need my old contacts anymore just because I have a new number?

I suppose most users including me cant unlink their phone because first of all you realise that you have to "unlink" only after you try to link the new phone and at that that stage the old phone is either sold, lost, kaput or stolen so you cant unlink anymore. Restarting the desktop app did not do anything. The help page says: 1. Install signal desktop and open it. 2. With your phone scan the QR code. ... What QR code? There is no option in the desktop app to display QR code. So the only way to convince Signal to reconnect is the developer tools.

"Both situations will ensure that SIgnal Desktop offers to re-link without entering developer mode."
How?

2 similar comments
@helgator
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@helgator helgator commented Feb 13, 2019

Thank you for the hint. But I cant confirm any of that.

I thought it is the purpose of this threat to explain how to connect the desktop to a new phone? In my case it includes a new number. Why does Signal assume that I dont need my old contacts anymore just because I have a new number?

I suppose most users including me cant unlink their phone because first of all you realise that you have to "unlink" only after you try to link the new phone and at that that stage the old phone is either sold, lost, kaput or stolen so you cant unlink anymore. Restarting the desktop app did not do anything. The help page says: 1. Install signal desktop and open it. 2. With your phone scan the QR code. ... What QR code? There is no option in the desktop app to display QR code. So the only way to convince Signal to reconnect is the developer tools.

"Both situations will ensure that SIgnal Desktop offers to re-link without entering developer mode."
How?

@helgator
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@helgator helgator commented Feb 13, 2019

Thank you for the hint. But I cant confirm any of that.

I thought it is the purpose of this threat to explain how to connect the desktop to a new phone? In my case it includes a new number. Why does Signal assume that I dont need my old contacts anymore just because I have a new number?

I suppose most users including me cant unlink their phone because first of all you realise that you have to "unlink" only after you try to link the new phone and at that that stage the old phone is either sold, lost, kaput or stolen so you cant unlink anymore. Restarting the desktop app did not do anything. The help page says: 1. Install signal desktop and open it. 2. With your phone scan the QR code. ... What QR code? There is no option in the desktop app to display QR code. So the only way to convince Signal to reconnect is the developer tools.

"Both situations will ensure that SIgnal Desktop offers to re-link without entering developer mode."
How?

@scottnonnenberg-signal
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@scottnonnenberg-signal scottnonnenberg-signal commented Feb 13, 2019

If you no longer have control of your phone but you didn't delete your Signal account before giving your phone away, and you've changed your phone number too, you are definitely in a tough spot. Even the delete account website requires that you receive a SMS at the number in question: https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007061192-Unregister-or-Delete-Account

But it needs to be that way to be secure, so someone can't steal your account from you very easily.

@RalfJung
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@RalfJung RalfJung commented Mar 23, 2019

it's easy to unlink your desktop from your phone, or restart Signal Desktop after setting up your new phone. Both situations will ensure that SIgnal Desktop offers to re-link without entering developer mode.

That's just not accurate. I reinstalled my phone, not knowing I would have to unlink Signal Desktop before wiping. I set up Signal again after wiping, same phone, same number. How do I reconnect Signal Desktop to the new Signal installation? It does not show a QR code.

I have never seen an app whose backup-and-recovery UX is even remotely as bad as Signal's. This is an entire new dimension.

EDIT: Okay, it is not quite as bad as I thought. I was under the impression (based on the description in the app and discussions I found online) that the "backup and restore" functionality of the app itself would only backup and restore messages and media. But it seems to also backup and restore the secret key. Still strange that it doesn't even mention that.

@scottnonnenberg-signal
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@scottnonnenberg-signal scottnonnenberg-signal commented Mar 25, 2019

@RalfJung If you've set up Signal on your new phone, and then you close and reopen your Signal Desktop instance, you should be asked to re-link. Is that not working for you?

@RalfJung
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@RalfJung RalfJung commented Mar 25, 2019

No, that did not happen. I tried 2 times.

Then I tried the debug console command above, and that worked perfectly -- my message history was preserved as well.

@rjurney
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@rjurney rjurney commented May 24, 2019

Why the fuck won't anyone say how to get a QR Code from Signal App? This is ridiculous. Just answer the fucking question.

@myrdd
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@myrdd myrdd commented Sep 25, 2019

how to get a QR Code from Signal App?

I also wondered how to do the re-linking from Signal Desktop. As @scottnonnenberg-signal says:

set up Signal on your new phone, and then [.] close and reopen your Signal Desktop instance

So step by step:

  1. set up Signal on the new phone
  2. Check if Signal Desktop is running on your PC. If so, close it: either via File > Quit Signal or Ctrl+Q.
  3. open Signal Desktop again
  4. wait for the following message to appear (”Unlinked Relink Signal Desktop to your mobile device to continue messaging.“):

Screenshot ”unlinked“

  1. Click on the Relink button. A QR code will appear. Now you are able to link the devices again, as described e.g. here: https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007320551

This worked for me, and all messages are still there at Signal Desktop. 🙂
(I used Signal Desktop v1.27.2 and Signal (Android) v4.47.6.)

@veg4life
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@veg4life veg4life commented Mar 11, 2020

Thanks @myrdd ! This really worked. I also uninstalled signal from old phone after closing the Signal App on my Windows PC.

Once I closed app on Windows Desktop and had uninstalled Signal from old phone. I then Re-0pened Signal App, like steps 3-5 and it worked like a charm!

@tiiiecherle
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@tiiiecherle tiiiecherle commented Nov 7, 2020

How is it possible to run this command
storage.put('password', '');
on the database from the command line (Terminal.app) on macOS, e.g. with sqlite3, without opening Signal.app?

Thanks

@AnkeEtz
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@AnkeEtz AnkeEtz commented Jan 4, 2021

On Linux there is a directory ~/.config/Signal/
If you remove (or rename) this directory the next time you start signal-desktop, the QR-code will appear.
I don't know whether there is a similar configuration directory on Windows.

@ElijahLynn
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@ElijahLynn ElijahLynn commented Feb 9, 2021

@RalfJung If you've set up Signal on your new phone, and then you close and reopen your Signal Desktop instance, you should be asked to re-link. Is that not working for you?

This just worked for me, this needs to be added to https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007320551-Linked-Devices.

@KelseyDH
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@KelseyDH KelseyDH commented Feb 24, 2021

@RalfJung If you've set up Signal on your new phone, and then you close and reopen your Signal Desktop instance, you should be asked to re-link. Is that not working for you?

Bingo, this did it to me. Needing to restart should be considered a bug.

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