How to use DeltaChat on both iPhone and Mac

Problem: If you log in on both clients with your mail account, messages sent and received on your iPhone will show in encrypted form on your Mac, and vice versa. Also you will not see your own messages written on your other device.

Solution: Follow the steps described here to set up DeltaChat on iPhone and Mac. This will allow you to seamlessly switch between your devices with your chat history in sync.

Attention! By following these steps you will loose all DeltaChat data on your Mac! If that is not what you want, create a backup of your Mac data before proceeding.



on iPhone:

  • In DeltaChat, go to: Settings -> Your Profile -> Password and Email Account, and enable “Send copy to myself” (necessary for seeing sent messages on your other device as well)
  • In DeltaChat, go to: Settings -> Export Backup
  • Open Files app and search for delta-chat , you should see a file named delta-chat-<DATE>.bak (if there is no such file check if “on my iPhone” is selected as search scope)
  • Tap the delta-chat-<DATE>.bak file, then tap the share icon in the upper right corner, then select “AirDrop” from the share sheet. A list of devices appears, select your Mac.

on Mac:

  • Look for a macOS notification asking you how to proceed with the incoming file, and click accept (it is also possible that you only see a brief notification about having received the file, without the need to take any action)
  • If you already have set up your email account in DeltaChat, you need to remove it first: in DeltaChat click the menu button in the upper right corner, then “Switch Email Account”, and click the X beside your mail account.
  • In DeltaChat, click on the Import Backup button on the start screen, navigate to your Downloads folder, and select the delta-chat-<DATE>.bak file. Your account now should have been imported together with your iPhone’s DeltaChat chat history.

You should now see both received and sent messages on iPhone and Mac.


:+1: just note that in some months the file name will change from delta-chat-<DATE>.bak to delta-chat-<DATE>.tar. (just so no one is confused)

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