1. Check for Server Issues
If you cannot use the Signal app or are having issues with it, the first thing you should verify is whether the server for the app is down. For this, you can make use of Downdetector or Outage Report. These websites will inform you whether Signal servers are down and which countries are affected.
If any of these websites highlight issues with the servers, then there isn’t much you can do. You will just need to wait for the developers to fix the server issue.
2. Check Permissions
For Signal to run properly, it requires a set of permissions. You need to make sure that you have provided the app with all the necessary permissions. To use the Signal app on Android, the permissions required are camera, calendar, contacts, phone, files and media, location, and mic. For iPhone, the permissions are contacts, mic, camera, background app refresh, and notifications.
To check permissions for Signal:
1. Open the Settings app and tap on “Apps and notifications.”
2. Tap on the “See all apps” button toward the middle of the screen.
3. Scroll down and tap on the Signal app, then tap on Permissions.
4. Listed here will be all the phone settings that you have given the Signal app permission to access.
5. Make sure all the permissions required by the Signal app are selected, then check whether the Signal app not working issue is fixed.
3. Disable VPN
To access restricted websites and apps, we often get help from a VPN app.
VPN can also be used to bypass restrictions in apps like WhatsApp or Signal. However, sometimes VPN could also be the reason behind the Signal app not working. It could cause issues with connecting calls, delays in sending/receiving messages, etc. Make sure you have disabled VPN services on your smartphone.
4. Ensure Background Data and Notifications Are Enabled
Just like any other instant messaging app, Signal requires access to background data to receive push notifications. If the background data is disabled, then you will have issues with notifications.
Moreover, your Signal contacts might be trying to call you, but due to background data restrictions, you are not receiving the call notifications. It also interferes with media uploads or downloads. It is important that you enable the background data option for the Signal app.
To do that, go to the Settings menu on your phone and head to “Apps & notifications -> Signal.” Make sure the “Background data” toggle under “Mobile data & Wi-Fi” is set to ON.
Also, be sure the “Signal” notifications toggle is set to on under the Notifications menu. This ensures the Signal app has access to the Internet while running in the background.
Note: the menu options will differ depending on the brands of the phone you are using.
5. Disable Battery Optimization
Smartphone OEMs now include multiple settings to help you extend the battery life on your phone. The battery optimization feature, when enabled, can disable the background activities of the app to extend battery life.
If this option is enabled, you will have problems receiving incoming message notifications, call notifications, or media notifications. You need to ensure that this option is disabled on your smartphone.
For that, visit the Settings menu on your phone, then head to “Apps & notifications -> Signal.” Tap on “Advanced -> Battery.” Here you need to check that the “Don’t optimize” option is not selected.
6. Keep Signal Up to Date
You should also keep a close check whether there is a new update available. Most critical bugs and issues are fixed with the latest update. If Signal is not working for you, then the latest update could fix the issue.
If a new update is not available, then all you can do is wait for the developers to push a new update for the app.
7. Restart Your Device
One of the easiest fixes you can try when the Signal app is not working is to simply turn off your phone and see if it fixes the issue. Restarting your phone helps clear the cache and the temporary data, as well as reset device protocols to their default values.
8. Reinstall Signal
If nothing is working for you and the Signal app is still not working, you can try reinstalling the app. Sometimes a botched installation can be the reason behind the app not working properly.
The fixes mentioned above could help you fix most of the common Signal not-working issues that you may come across while using the app. If Signal is not to your liking, you can check out other WhatsApp alternatives, too.