Signal logo on a smartphone
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If you’re looking to add an extra layer of security to your Signal app, you can lock your messages behind your smartphone’s lock screen security features. Here’s how to add a screen lock to Signal.

By turning on the Screen Lock feature on your iPhone or iPad, your messages will be hidden until they’re unlocked using Face ID, Touch ID, or your lock screen passcode. The same goes for Android. You’ll either need to authenticate yourself using a supported biometric security feature such as your fingerprint or a traditional password or PIN.

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Open the Signal app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Open the "Signal" app

Next, tap on your profile picture in the top-left corner. If you haven’t uploaded a custom image, you will find your username’s initials instead.

Tap your avatar in the top-left corner

Select the “Privacy” option from the overflow menu.

Select the "Privacy" option

Finally, toggle on the “Screen Lock” setting.

Toggle on the "Screen Lock" option

Once the feature is enabled, you can customize the “Screen Lock Timeout.” This setting allows you to adjust how long it takes for Signal to lock itself and require your phone or tablet’s lock screen security to unlock.

Select the "Screen Lock Timeout" listing

From the pop-up window, select one of the options between 1 minute, 30 minutes, and instantly.

Choose a timeout period

You can now exit Signal’s settings menu and the app itself. The messaging app will lock itself after the timeout period you chose in the previous instruction.

The next time you want to send a text message in Signal, you’ll need to unlock the app using your phone or tablet’s password, PIN, pattern, fingerprint sensor, Face ID, or other biometric security feature.

Profile Photo for Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at How-To Geek (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry.
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