How to Make Signal Your Default SMS Messaging App on Android


Signal is a popular privacy-focused, encrypted messaging app. It’s an alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and others. There’s a lot to like about the app, and if you make the switch, it can even replace your SMS app.

Like its competitors, Signal is mainly used for instant messaging other people who use the app. However, the Android app has an extra feature: It can be set as your device’s default SMS messaging app. Unfortunately, the functionality isn’t available on iPhone.

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Not only will you be able to communicate with your Signal contacts, but you’ll also be able to send and receive text messages with your phone number. All of your conversations can be in one place. Let’s do it.

Warning: SMS messages sent through Signal are “insecure,” meaning they’re not encrypted like messages between Signal users.

First, open the Signal app on your Android device. Next, tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the app.

Select “Settings” from the menu.

At the top of the Settings menu, tap “SMS and MMS.”

Next, you will see “SMS Disabled” at the top. Select it to proceed with making it the default.

A pop-up window will ask you to choose your default SMS app. Select “Signal” and tap “Set as Default.”

That’s it. Sending an SMS message is the same as sending a Signal message. The contacts list will show people on Signal at the top, indicated in blue.

If for whatever reason you would like to send an SMS to a Signal contact, you can do that, too. Start by typing a message like you normally would.

This time, instead of tapping the send button, tap it and hold.

Now you have the option to switch to “Insecure SMS.” As previously mentioned, SMS messages are not encrypted like Signal messages.

The send button will now be gray with an unlock icon. Tap it to send the SMS message.

You’re all set! Now you can keep all of your conversations, whether they’re over Signal or SMS, in one place. Keep in mind that you will not be able to access SMS through the Signal Desktop app.

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