It’s readers’ question time again and this time it’s about Telegram. The full question is ‘I heard that messages are stored on Telegram servers and I don’t want that. How can I delete all my messages on Telegram?’
Telegram is a secure messaging app for mobile and desktop devices. It has millions of users and the company prides the service on its encrypted, easy-to-use email service. This means that whoever uses it uses it a lot, which means that the household can be in order. That’s why today we’re going to look at your deletion options in Telegram. I’ll also share some Telegram tricks I’ve learned since using the app.
One of the reasons Telegram is so popular is the end-to-end encryption. This service means you can send messages to another person in any way you want while protecting your content from unwanted readers. Even if you have nothing to hide, privacy is a precious right in today’s digital society. If you live in an area where freedom of speech is restricted or you are concerned about your own privacy, you will especially like Telegram.
Is it possible to delete all messages on Telegram?
Fortunately, Telegram finally allowed users to expand their privacy options in the last two years. You can retrieve any message at any time, for any reason. Before the new updates were available, users could only delete messages if they were less than 48 hours old.
To delete all messages in Telegram:
Select a message you have sent.
Select the trash can icon at the top right of the chat screen.
You also have the option to delete the message from your contact side. Just tap “Delete also for [Contact]” before selecting Delete.
Depending on the option you choose, your chat history will also disappear from other users’ chats.
If you want to delete an entire thread with another user, simply swipe slowly on the thread (from the message list) and tap the red “Delete” option on an iPhone. Android users can press and hold the thread to delete all content.
Before replying to group messages, it’s important to understand that you may not have the option to delete them. According to Telegram, only group admins can delete and remove chat history.
If you join a group chat, be careful what you say, as this information may be out of your control once you hit “send.”
Telegram takes online messaging a step further than just deleting chats. You can create “Secret Chats” in the app.
Secret chats in Telegram
Secret chats work differently than normal chats in Telegram. Normal chat saves a copy on the server so you can sync between devices and still have a conversation. Secret Chat is peer-to-peer, so copies are only saved on the devices that you and the person you are talking to use.
Secret chats are also self-destructing. You have the option to set a destruction timer in Telegram so that messages disappear once both parties have read it. To start a secret chat in Telegram, select “New secret chat” from the menu.
Change your phone number in Telegram
If you have multiple phones or change your number when you switch contracts, you can change it in Telegram so you can keep all your chats.
Select Settings in Telegram, then Change number.
Add your new number in the box and select Save.
All your chats will be transferred and downloaded to your new device (if you have one).
Using multiple Telegram accounts
I’m sure there are reasons why you may want to use multiple Telegram accounts. I only have one account, but if you want more than that, you can.
Tap the Menu icon (three stacked lines) in Telegram.
Select the down arrow next to your name.
Select Add account from the list.
Add your number and follow the account setup wizard.
Once added, use the same down arrow to switch between accounts. You can do this as many times as necessary.
Lock your chats
Security is a big selling point for Telegram. End-to-end encryption is a big plus, but the ability to lock chats is even better. It adds another layer of security that keeps your conversations as private as possible.
Select Settings in the Telegram application.
Select Privacy and security.
Select Password lock and enable it.
Add a PIN and you’re ready to go.
Telegram has had a lot of bad press over the last year. Some of it was justified and some of it was not. Either way, it’s still a very good chat app that keeps your conversations secure in a number of ways. For that alone, it’s worth using.
Prevent message forwarding
To further protect your privacy, you can change the settings to prevent anyone from forwarding your messages. Visit the privacy settings and tap the “Forwarded messages” option to ensure that no one except the recipient has access to them.
To prevent forwarding:
Open the Telegram app and tap “Settings” in the bottom left corner.
Tap “Privacy & security.”
Scroll down and tap “Forwarded messages.”
Switch from “Everyone” (which is the default) to “My contacts” or “No one.”
The app even allows you to set up forwarding capabilities to select contacts. Depending on your messaging needs, the app is quite customizable.
Delete your Telegram account
Interestingly, if you delete your Telegram account, all of your chat histories will go with it. If you no longer feel the need to keep your Telegram account, or if you’re having trouble with the deletion process, deleting your account is a drastic but effective solution to maintaining anonymity.
To completely delete your account, follow these instructions:
Visit the Telegram website and enter your phone number: you will need to use your country code plus the standard 10 digits of your phone number, so for the US it would be +1 (area code) – (last 7 digits of your phone number ).
Follow the verification steps
Confirm the deletion of your account.
Your Telegram account will be automatically deleted after a period of time with no activity.
You can go to “Settings” in the app and tap “Privacy & Security”.
Once there, look for the “Delete my account” heading.
Tap the “If absent for” option and set your account to be deleted after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year.
If you have trouble deleting your account or using other features, you can always contact the Telegram support team.
While the support team is full of volunteers, the FAQ page located in the “Settings” menu of the app is also very helpful.