How to Disable End-to-end Encryption in Messages

Last Updated on June 15, 2024 by Humera Hallari

End-to-end encryption is one of the most common secure communication methods messaging service providers use. It protects user data and provides security while sharing crucial information. Disabling the end-to-end encryption is not at all recommended. However, some users still want to disable it from their device or messaging app. So here I am with a complete guide on How to Disable End-to-end Encryption in Messages.

You can view our other guide on How to Turn Off Time-Sensitive Notifications on iPhone, Should You Delete the “com.dti.folderlauncher” Package?, What does Hide Alerts mean on iPhone and How do you enable it, Does Facebook notify screenshots? Why Does My iPhone Background Go Black on iOS 16?, YouTube Not Showing Full Screen on Smart TV.

Importance of End to end encryption

End-to-end encryption protects your messages and makes sure that no one sees your messages. E2EE Protects the shared information in such a way that the data shared is encrypted on the sender’s system and can be decrypted only by the receiver. The shared data cannot be read by any third-party app, Internet service provider, Application service provider, or hackers.

All the major messaging service providers are switching to end-to-end encryption to win the user’s trust and provide them with the privacy they need while sharing crucial information while messaging.

In E2EE, the data is encrypted on the sender’s system or device, and only the intended recipient can decrypt it. As it travels to its destination, the message cannot be read or tampered with by an internet service provider (ISP), application service provider, hacker, or any other entity or service.

How to disable End – to – End encryption in messages

The Messages app for Android does not support end-to-end encryption for SMS services. Please note SMS/MMS does not have End – to – End-to-end encryption when sending a text message.

Alternatively, Google has started RCS (Rich Communication service) for all Android devices having OS 5.0 and above. It helps you share Multimedia messages without any issues of limitation like MMS, Supports group chats, and offers End- to – End Encryption.

The feature of End-to-end encryption is auto-enabled if both sender and receiver are having RCS activated/turned on in their devices.

To check if a conversation is end-to-end encrypted 

End-to-end encrypted conversations have:

  • A banner that says “fL9B1H Kso2lBduczEXRtl GTXGYsoqdvGgGW3228ORcQE WQN1mzmR2F MXWXVFuc=w18 Chatting with [contact name or phone number].”
  • A lock fL9B1H Kso2lBduczEXRtl GTXGYsoqdvGgGW3228ORcQE WQN1mzmR2F MXWXVFuc=w18 next to message timestamps.
  • A lock TG8cQmQlfE4OWbCe2xzsO0 SVtmUjA8zO6l4g1yH565f2ssEigfBARQ3egwBTzwjPw=w36 h36 on the send button when you compose a message.

If messages don’t have locks, make sure you and the person you message both have:

How to disable end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp

To turn on end-to-end encrypted backups:

  1. Go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup.
  2. Tap End-to-end encrypted backup.
  3. Tap Turn on, then follow the prompts to create a password or use your 64-digit encryption key.
  4. Tap Create or Generate.

To turn off end-to-end encrypted backups:

  1. Go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup.
  2. Tap End-to-end encrypted backup.
  3. Tap Turn off, then enter your password or 64-digit encryption key.
  4. Tap Turn off again to confirm.

There is an alternative way to disable end-to-end encryption is via cloud backup.

  1. Google Drive (Android):
    • When you back up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive, the backup is not end-to-end encrypted.
    • You can access these settings in WhatsApp by going to Settings -> Chats -> Chat Backup.
    • Here, you can set up backups to Google Drive and adjust their frequency.
  2. iCloud (iOS):
    • WhatsApp chat backups on iCloud are end-to-end encrypted.
    • You can disable iCloud backups in the iPhone’s settings. Go to Settings -> [Your Name] -> iCloud -> Manage Storage -> Backups and then select your device. Here, you can turn off WhatsApp backups.
  3. Local Backups:
    • WhatsApp also creates local backups on your phone which are stored in the WhatsApp folder of your device’s internal memory or SD card. These local backups are not encrypted.
    • Local backups can be found in the WhatsApp/Databases folder on Android devices.

How to remove end-to-end encryption in Facebook Messenger

Normal messages on Facebook Messenger are not end-to-end encrypted. Whereas, Facebook Messenger provides a “secret conversation” option that uses end-to-end encryption by default. End-to-end encryption on Messenger can be managed and can be used for selected chats.

Below are the steps to manage the secret conversation

  1. Avoid Using Secret Conversations: If you don’t want end-to-end encryption, simply use the standard chat feature in Messenger. These chats are not encrypted end-to-end. To ensure you’re not using a secret conversation, look for the padlock icon next to a person’s name. If it’s present, it’s a secret conversation.
  2. Turning Off Secret Conversations: If you have an active secret conversation and wish to stop using this feature, you can do so in the settings. Go to your Messenger profile settings, find “Secret Conversations,” and turn it off. This will disable end-to-end encryption for future messages but won’t affect existing secret conversations.
  3. Deleting Secret Conversations: To remove an existing secret conversation, you can delete the conversation from your Messenger. This won’t delete the conversation from the recipient’s device, though.

How to remove end-to-end encryption in Instagram Messages

Instagram doesn’t have a feature for disabling end-to-end encryption. whereas, it provides a secure storage option wherein you can get your full message history whenever you log into Instagram from a new device using the security method mentioned below that you choose.

Secure storage is automatically turned off but you can choose to turn it on at any time.

To turn secure storage on

  1. Click menuMore in the bottom left, then click Settingssettings.
  2. Click How others can interact with you.
  3. Below Messages, click Manage end-to-end encrypted messages.
  4. Click Secure Storage then Turn on Secure Storage.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a PIN. Remember to save your PIN somewhere safe.

To turn secure storage off

  1. Click menuMore in the bottom left, then click Settingssettings.
  2. Click How others can interact with you.
  3. Below Messages, click Manage end-to-end encrypted messages.
  4. Click Secure Storage then Turn off Secure Storage.
  5. This will turn off secure storage on all devices. Any new end-to-end encrypted messages will be stored on your device only.
  6. Once turned off, you will have the option to delete your secure storage. If you choose to do so, your end-to-end encrypted messages will be deleted forever and cannot be recovered.

Turning off End – to – End Encryption in cloud storage.

People use cloud storage to keep their data secure, in recent times concerns have arisen over data security as users are feeling that their data is vulnerable to hackers and other sources.

Reasons may vary on the user in Choosing to turn off the end-to-end encryption in cloud storage services on Android devices, It improves performance as encrypted file takes longer to load and save compared to unencrypted files.

The decision to turn off End-to-end encryption depends on users as they should be aware of the risk of their data online and the steps they can take to avoid such risk of cyberattacks and Hacking attempts.

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