Why is it important to export my ID?
Every user creates a unique, random Threema ID when setting up Threema for the first time. If you lose your smartphone or buy a new device, you need an export (i.e., a backup that contains the public and private key) of your Threema ID. We recommend to immediately enable Threema Safe or create an ID export after creating a new Threema ID.
Threema offers different backup options for different use cases. In the following documents, you will find information about when to use which backup. You will also find a step-by-step guide how to carry out the backups.
There are PDF documents for the different platforms available where all backup options are explained in detail:
A data backup allows you to move your chats, groups, and contacts (including their verification level) to your new or reset phone. Moving data backups between devices is only possible within the same operating system. If you switch the
OS (e.g., from iOS to Android), you can transfer your ID, contacts, groups, and privacy settings using Threema Safe. And you can always export chats.
- To create a data backup on your previous phone, select “Backups” in the main menu, and open the “Data Backup” tab.
- In the “Backup Path” section, tap “Change,” and follow the on-screen instructions to define where the backup will be created on your device’s file system.
- Tap the “Create data backup” button in the lower right corner.
- Activate the option “Include media files.”
- Once you have provided a password, Threema creates a backup in the folder you have chosen in step 2. This backup contains media files, contacts, chats, groups, and your ID.
- Move the backup file to your new phone (by using a computer for instance).
- Start Threema on your new phone. In the setup wizard, tap on “Restore from Backup,” and select “Data backup.”
- Select your previously created backup and tap on “Restore.” After entering the valid password, your backup will be restored. Depending on its size, this can take several minutes.
- Delete your ID on your old phone to make sure you receive notifications on the new device: n your old phone, navigate to “My profile,” and select “Delete ID.”
- Create an ID export on your previous device: Tap on “My Profile,” then select “ID export,” and activate the option “Include in phone backup” after exporting your ID. Make sure to store this password in a safe place; without it, you won’t be able to restore the exported ID.
- Transfer your data using Quick Start from your old to the new device (or create an encrypted iTunes or computer backup of your old device, and restore it on your new device).
- When starting Threema for the first time, tap “Restore from Backup,” select “Keep local data,” and tap “ID Export.” The ID-export string is prepopulated. What’s left to do for you is to enter the ID export’s password and to confirm by tapping “Done.”
- Make sure your data was transferred correctly. If that’s the case, delete your ID on your old phone to make sure you receive notifications on the new device: on your old phone, open the “My Profile” tab, and select “Delete Data and ID.”
To restore a Threema ID, you need an ID export (or a Threema Safe backup). The ID export consists of 80 digits and letters in groups of four characters (separated with dashes). You string is shown in two ways when exporting an ID: as plain text for copying/pasting and as a QR code.
In the restore menu, you can either enter the long string manually, or you can scan the QR code. Restoration is only possible with an ID export. If you mistakenly scan a public Threema ID, you will see a long string after scanning that starts with “3mid:”. Restoration will not be successful in that case. Please ensure that you are using an ID export for restoration.
We have no access to your data. If you would like to restore your ID, messages, or contacts, you need both a backup and the corresponding password. If some of the information is missing, your data is not accessible anymore. We can provide you with the following general recommendations:
- Ask your chat partner if they can send you the messages/media files once more, or if they can export the conversation as a text file.
- Adjust Threema’s settings to automatically save incoming media files to the standard media folder of your operating system. This will keep these files accessible to you even if you delete the app.
- Create a passcode lock for your app to protect your ID in case your device gets stolen, for example.
Verification of the Email Address
Emails might get stuck in spam filters, so please check your spam folder, and please be patient. Some ISPs use greylisting, which causes emails from new senders to be delayed by up to an hour.
You can try again (perhaps using a different email address) by going back to the “Linked Email” dialog, clearing the address and saving. This will reset the status, and you will be able to try again.
Verification of the Phone Number
We make a best effort to deliver text messages to all countries. If you don’t receive the verification message, this might be due to a temporary problem or because your carrier filters certain messages. Threema offers the option to request the verification code via a phone call:
- On Android, a green banner is displayed on the main screen during pending verification; tap “Enter Code” and then “Request call.” Please note that a phone call can only be requested after the SMS reception timeout (of approx. one minute) has elapsed.
- On iOS, simply go back to the “Linked Number” dialog and choose the call option.
Please understand that we cannot call certain countries/numbers.
Note: You can use Threema while the email verification and/or the SMS verification is pending. You can also choose to use Threema without providing a phone number and email address. In this case, however, others need to know your
ID in order to contact you.
Remove Threema ID from Current Device
Would you like to remove your Threema ID from the current device in order to create a new ID or to restore a backup? Delete your ID in the “My Profile” section in the Threema app. On iOS, an additional dialog will appear: make sure the “Delete everything” option is turned off, tap “Delete Data,” and confirm your choice in the following dialogs. When starting Threema the next time, you can use the setup wizard to create a new ID or to restore a backup.
Please note: When deleting your Threema ID as described above, the ID will only be removed from the current device. In case the ID is also set up on another device, it will not be deleted there. Also, the deleted ID can still be restored if a backup was created.
Permanently Delete Your Threema ID
If you should ever happen to lose access to the device on which your Threema ID is set up (e.g., if the device is stolen), you can revoke your ID only if an ID revocation password was set. You can set an ID revocation password under “My Profile > ID Revocation” (Android) or “My Profile > ID Revocation Password” (iOS).
On iOS/iPadOS, it is possible to delete your ID and data directly in the app. To do so, you need to have access to your ID, but no password is required. Navigate to “My Profile” in the Threema app, and tap “Delete ID and Data.” In the following dialog, activate the “Delete everything” option, and confirm by tapping “Delete ID and Data.” Another dialog will appear, which requires you to enter your Threema ID to delete everything.
Without access to your ID or without a previously set revocation password, it is not possible to delete the ID. However, the ID will be marked as inactive automatically after three months of inactivity.
If you revoke your ID (i.e., if you delete your ID and data), other users will be unable to send messages to this ID after about one hour. Within 24 hours, the ID will be crossed out (or hidden, if the “Hide Stale Contacts” option is enabled) on your chat partners’ contact lists.
In contrast to other messengers, your identity in Threema is not dependent on a phone number. Irrespective of the SIM card / phone number you’re using or in which country you are, your Threema ID stays the same and everyone can still reach you. Your existing chats are unaffected by a change of your phone number as well.
Do you have a new phone number and don’t use the old, linked one anymore? Simply delete the old number in the “My Profile” tab and type in the new one – your ID is now linked to the right number.
If you created a second ID, your contacts might see your name twice. You can fix this as follows:
- Link your new ID to the same email address and phone number as your old ID. This will cause the link of the old ID to be removed, since every email address or phone number can only be linked to one ID at a time.
- Ask your chat partners to delete your old ID from their contact list. It will not be found during synchronization anymore as the links have been removed.
- If you were a member of group chats, please ask the respective administrators to remove your old ID and add the new one. If you were a group administrator yourself, the groups in question must be re-created or cloned by existing group members.
If you cannot or prefer not to create a new ID, you can also unlink your old ID.
Read here how you can get rid of duplicate contacts in your own address book.
If you want to remove a phone number or email address that’s linked to your Threema ID, simply navigate to “My Profile,” tap on the number or email address, and remove it.
If you no longer have access to the respective ID, you can remove the account link online. To complete this process, you must have access to the linked email or phone number.
When you switch your device (or reset it to factory settings), you can transfer (or restore) your Threema ID and continue to use the app as usual. To transfer your ID, you need a Threema Safe backup. In addition to your ID, Threema Safe contains other important data, such as contacts and groups. The chat history will not be restored with Threema Safe.
Alternatively, you can create an ID export. With the ID export, only the ID can be restored.
With data backups, you can transfer all your data, including chats and media files. However, data backups can’t be restored if you switch between operating systems (e.g., from Android to iOS). When this is the case, it would be best to use Threema Safe.