How to Retrieve and Delete Archived Messages in Signal

Written by Tijana - Reviewed by Ivana Messaging

4 min read

Signal is currently one of the safest messaging networks on the market.

This app is offering encrypted messaging, texts which only you and the person you’re texting can see. The company itself is unable to see none of the messages that are passing through.

However, even this type of protection is sometimes not enough, and completely deleting the messages is what users want to go for.

Well, regardless if you’ve archived your messages previously and want to delete them now, or simply want to delete them completely, we will guide you through the process of doing exactly that.

How to retrieve archived messages on Android

  1. Open the Signal app on your Android device.
  2. At the bottom of your chat list, tap on 'Archived Conversations'.
  3. Find the conversation you want to delete, and tap and hold on that Conversation. Click on 'Unarchive'.

How to retrieve archived messages on iOS

  1. Open the Signal app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of your chat list, and tap on the 'Archived Chats'.
  3. Tap on the chat you need to retrieve, tap and hold it, and then swipe to the left.
  4. Select 'Unarchive'.

How to retrieve archived messages from Desktop

  1. Open Signal from your Desktop.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of your chat list, and click on 'Archived Conversations'.
  3. Look for the chat you want to retrieve, and click on it.
  4. In the upper right corner, click on the drop-down from the options menu.
  5. Select 'Unarchive'.

How to delete archived messages on Android

  1. Open the Signal app on your Android device.
  2. At the bottom of your chat list, tap on 'Archived Conversations'.
  3. Find the conversation you want to delete, and tap and hold on that Conversation. Click on 'Delete'.

How to delete archived messages on iOS

  1. Open the Signal app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of your chat list, and tap on the 'Archived Chats'.
  3. Tap on the chat you need to retrieve, tap and hold it, and then swipe to the left.
  4. Select 'Delete'.

How to delete archived messages from Desktop

  1. Open Signal from your Desktop.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of your chat list, and click on 'Archived Conversations'.
  3. Look for the chat you want to retrieve, and click on it.
  4. In the upper right corner, click on the drop-down from the options menu.
  5. Select 'Delete'.

Can I recover deleted chats on the Signal app?

Since Signal’s main purpose is safety of the users, there is no way for deleted messages to be retrieved.

This is due to the fact that Signal uses specific encryption, and no third-party apps will have access to your chats. If you’re not sure whether you’ll need your chats in the future, the best solution would be to archive the chats.

Can I delete messages sent by another person?

Yes, Signal allows deleting a single message both from your side, or from the person you’re texting. To delete a message someone else sent, just find the message you need to delete, tap and hold, and tap on the trash icon. Select 'Delete for Me', and the message will no longer show in the conversation.

Can I delete a message I sent?

Yes, deleting a message you sent can be done both for you, and for everyone. Find the message you sent, tap and hold on it. In the upper part of your screen, select the trash bin. You can choose between 'Delete for Me' and 'Delete for Everyone'. The first option means only you won’t see the message anymore, and the second option means the other side won’t see your message anymore either.

Can a user see the message I unsent?

After deleting a message for everyone in the chat, there will still be a field stating that 'A message was unsent'. The text of the message will not be showing up, but this does not mean that the user hasn’t already read it from their notification bar.

Bonus: Check out where Signal stores photos and other media shared between users.