Open source messenger without e2e encryption

Hi everybody!

Because i use a number of devices, i’m looking for an open-source messenger without e2e encryption, so synchronization among the various clients (2 phones and 2 laptops) will JUST_WORK™.

Do you think my best bet would be XMPP and just not enable e2e encryption? Does anybody have a suggestion?

I can see that you come from Telegram, because that’s the only app sucky enough to not be capable of using end to end encryption on multiple devices. I’d suggest Signal, as ist works well, has a relatively large userbase (at least larger than XMPP) and can do almost everything you need.
You can install Signal on your phone and then pair it with multiple computers. The only issue is that you can’t pair it with another phone afaik, but maybe I’m wrong → DuckDuckGo might give you an answer.

Alternatively, you could use Matrix/Element (Element is the app and Matrix the protocol that powers it), which has all the features you want + end to end encryption.


Does that mean you do not need E2E or that you explicitly do not want it?

Best wishes,

Thanks for the suggestions! At the moment i’m using Threema. The problem is that you can only run it on one phone and the web-app requires the phone to be connected to the computer over bluetooth, i think :confused:

I’ll have a look at Matrix!

in my (rather limited) experience, e2e makes data migration and multiple clients painful :frowning:
coming from google hangouts i never considered this when my friends started using whatsapp. then i changed phones and lost my entire whatsapp chat history :frowning: my google hangouts chat history goes back 15 years and is available in whatever the current name of the google hangouts client is. I’d like an open-source version of that :slight_smile:

The Signal desktop client works 100% separately from the phone app. I’ve used it for several months while my phone was broken.


Have you checked this? For sure no cloud backup, however to import a local back-up of Signal to a new device is quite easy…

Really on Windows? I dont use it often but everytime I open it on my PC it tells me its outdated and I have to reconnect with my mobile device and then all old chats are no longer visible, but only new sent/received after reconnected. Is there some setting to avoid this?

I was very surprised about how easy it is to transfer your history to a new chat. Just place the phones next to earch other, press a few options in the menu and the messages get transferred automatically over Wifi.

Interestingly, my grandma has the same problem. I use it daily (it’s so much more convenient to just type on my laptop than having to reach for my phone and type on the annoyingly small keyboard there) and I don’t experience that issue at all.


Seems you use different Signal app :joy: …thanks for the hint, found the instruction

maybe that’s the reason, because so you stay connected and probably automatic disconnection is kind of a security feature.

I think it depends on the frequency you use the desktop app, not the phone. Like I said, I’ve used the desktop app for months while my phone was turned off.

Try Element (Matrix client) and setup backup and sync for your keys.

No, the web-app doesn’t require bluetooth.

In both cases, you need the Threema mobile app, and your mobile device must be connected to the Internet.

Taken from Support - Threema

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I’ve been using the Signal desktop app without Signal on the phone for 3 month now (just too lazy to restore Signal backups after every factory reset).

You only have to authorize the desktop app again if you changed (e.g. reinstalled / reset) the Signal app on your phone or the message history gets too far out of sync, because that’s considered the main device, otherwise it should keep working just fine :slightly_smiling_face:

+1 for Signal. Even if you don’t need e2e encryption it does not hurt, and the software it top quality.

I wouldn’t necessary call it top quality. Literally every decision the UI/UX team made in the last 1.5 years made the experience worse for me. But security and privacy wise, it is still the best option.


One important hint about signal in the context of @ehrt74 s original aim: If you update your phone you can take your entire history to your new phone (either restore from backup or place the two phones (in same WiFi + I think Bluetooth on) next to each other an use the Wizards), yes. BUT: you need to resync your Desktop app and then you will lose all your old messages there :frowning:

I do not care about this, but I guess this is exactly not what @ehrt74 wants :confused:

Other than that: Signal – YAY! :smiley:

Matrix will do what you want (if you configure the chats/rooms correctly), also incl. e2ee, but you need to set up your own server (/trust somebody) to use it…

I still have multiple years of conversation history in Signal Desktop, that’s after countless resets / repairings and a switch between two devices. That way I could have my space limited 16 GB Nexus 4 delete old messages automatically while still being able to access everything when needed.

But: If I would delete Signal Desktop (and all my backups) now, all that data would be indeed gone forever, as the history isn’t kept on a central server (after it’s been delivered to devices).
And you obviously (sadly) can’t transfer those old conversations from the desktop to a new phone… :roll_eyes:

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