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questions and answers
This FAQ answers the most frequently asked questions about Telegram. Our technical FAQs provide more technical information.
Q: What is Telegram? What can you do here?
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it's super fast, easy to use, and free. You can use Telegram on all of your devices at the same time use, your messages will be seamlessly synced across any number of your phones, tablets or computers.
Via Telegram you can send text messages, pictures, videos and Files Send any kind of message to friends and acquaintances who also use Telegram. At Telegram you can also have groups with up to 200.000 Members create and channels with unlimited many subscribers.
You can write to phone contacts or users via the optional Username Find. So Telegram is like texting and emailing together - and you can exchange ideas with all your contacts in just one app. We also support end-to-end encrypted voice calls.
Q: Who is Telegram for?
Telegram is for everyone who wants to use fast, reliable and, above all, secure messaging and calls. The generous group size, the desktop apps and the ability to send any file type via chat are particularly useful for business users and small teams.
If you'd like it to be clearer, Telegram has an animated GIF search, image processing and an open sticker platform.
There is an extra dose of secrecy with our secret chats, which are limited to one device and support an optional self-destruct timer for messages, photos and videos - as well as an additional pin code for your app.
We are constantly developing - follow us on Twitter and our blog to stay up to date.
Q: How is Telegram different from WhatsApp?
In contrast to WhatsApp and other messengers, Telegram is a synchronized cloud messenger. That means: You can access all chat messages from different devices (including PC desktop and web browser) and send and receive an unlimited number of photos, videos and other files. Each file can each 2 GB in size. If you don't have that much free space on your phone, you can just keep the data in the cloud and clear the cache. If you need them again later, you can conveniently download them in the chat.
Thanks to our infrastructure and encryption, Telegram is faster and more secure. In addition, Telegram is free and will remain free. You read that right. No advertising in private chats, no subscription fees and that permanently.
Our API (access for developers) is public. We welcome developers who want to create their own apps for Telegram. We also have a bot API. This is a platform for developers that allows anyone to integrate any service and even accept payments from users.
That is not enough? There's more here.
Q: How old is Telegram?
Telegram was released for the iPhone on August 14, 2013, an alpha version of Telegram for Android on October 20, 2013. More and more Telegram clients are appearing, from independent developers who use Telegram's open platform.
Q: What devices are supported?
You can use Telegram on smartphones, tablets and even on a computer. We have apps for iOS (iOS 9 and higher), Android (Android 4.1 and higher) and Windows Phone. Telegram is also available as an installation-free web version and in a desktop version.
You can use Telegram on as many of your devices as you want at the same time to use. Just use your main mobile number to log in anywhere.
Our API is open to developers if you want to create your own apps for other platforms.
Q: Who are the people behind Telegram?
Telegram is supported by Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai. Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically, while Nikolai contributes his technical knowledge. To make Telegram possible, Nikolai has developed a unique data protocol that is open and secure and has also been optimized for use on several data centers. As a result, Telegram offers security, reliability and speed on any network.
See also: Article on Telegram
Q: Where is Telegram's location?
Telegram's development team is based in Dubai.
Most of the developers at Telegram are originally from St. Petersburg. Saint Petersburg is known for its highly skilled programmers. The Telegram team had to leave Russia due to local IT regulations and tried a number of locations including Berlin, London and Singapore. We are currently satisfied with Dubai, but ready to move again at any time if the regulations there should change.
Q: Will there be ads in my private chats or groups? Will you sell my data or break in and kidnap my cat and comic book collection?
No, more about that here.
Q: How will Telegram make money?
We believe in fast and secure messaging that is 100% free.
Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov, who financed Telegram most of the time, has a strategy developed to secure Telegram in the long term.
Telegram will start monetization in 2021 in order to be able to finance the infrastructure and salaries of the developers. However, making profits like never will be the ultimate goal of Telegram.
Q: What do you think about internet privacy?
Large companies on the Internet, such as Facebook or Google, have massively restricted the privacy of users in recent years. Huge marketing departments are still trying to convince users that superficial privacy settings, such as hiding public posts from people in the vicinity, are sufficient. Unfortunately, such functions only serve to appease. In the background, user data is eagerly shared with marketing companies and other companies.
Here at Telegram we think that real privacy is a precious and, above all, worthy of protection, and that the following two points should be given top priority instead:
- Protection of private conversations from third parties, e.g. authorities, employers, etc.
- Protection of private data from third-party companies, e.g. marketing agencies, advertising companies, etc.
These are what everyone should be concerned about, and these are some of our top priorities. The goal of Telegram is to offer an absolutely free messenger for everyone, without the usual restrictions. We focus on real privacy opportunities and don't want to distract users with nonsensical settings that ultimately don't provide security.
Q: What about the GDPR / GDPR?
From May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, also known as GDPR in German-speaking countries) will apply throughout the EU. Since Telegram has stood for the right to privacy from the very beginning, we didn't have to change much. We do not use your data to target advertising and we do not sell it to others.
Telegram only stores the information it needs to act as a feature-rich cloud service. For example, your cloud chats (so that you can access them from any device without having to rely on third-party backups) or your contacts (so that it is easier for you to switch from other messaging apps and access your social network to keep). Detailed information can be found in our data protection declaration.
You can @GDPRbot to use:
- To request a copy of all your data stored with Telegram.
- To ask us questions about data protection.
Android users received the GDPR update version 4.8.9, which allowed more control over synchronized contacts and added other privacy settings. On June 1st, Apple approved Telegram v.4.8.2 for iOS with these features.
Q: I found illegal content on Telegram. How can I have this deleted?
All telegram and group chats are the private matter of the respective user. We do not process any inquiries in this regard.
Sticker packages, channels and Bots are public. If you find any content that you consider illegal, please contact us by email at [email protected] or report it directly through the profile. Our chat support cannot accept such requests.
Note: If a scammer pretends to be you, contact @NoToScam.
Q: A bot or channel infringes my copyright. What can I do?
If you discover a bot, channel, or sticker package that violates your copyright, please send a complaint to [email protected] Please note that such requests should only be made by the copyright owner or an agent acting on behalf of the owner.
Q: Wait a minute. 0_o You delete something at the request of a third party?
Our mission is to create a secure, global means of communication. In order to guarantee this where it is needed most (as well as the distribution of Telegram via the App Store and Google Play), we have to make legitimate inquiries regarding illegal, public Follow up content on Telegram (e.g. sticker packs, channels and bots) and remove such things. For example, we can take stickers that infringe intellectual property rights or take porn bots offline.
Sticker packages from users, channels and third-party bots are not part of the core Telegram UI. So if we receive a complaint from a third party about the legality of this public content to [email protected] or [email protected], we will carry out the necessary legal controls and, if necessary, take the content offline.
That means Notthat this is done in the context of local restrictions on freedom of speech. For example, if government criticism is banned in any country, Telegram is by no means part of such politically motivated censorship. This violates the principles of our founders. While we are blocking terrorist (e.g. ISIS-related) bots and channels, we will in no way prevent users from peacefully expressing alternative opinions.
Q: My bot / sticker package was banned unjustifiably, what should I do?
If your bot, channel or sticker package has been banned for no apparent reason, please email us at [email protected]
Q: Do you respond to data requests?
Secret chats use end-to-end encryption, thanks to which we have no data to disclose.
To protect the data that is not covered by the end-to-end encryption, Telegram uses a branched infrastructure. Data from cloud chats is stored in multiple data centers around the globe, which are controlled by different legal entities in multiple jurisdictions. The corresponding keys are broken down and never stored in the same place as the data they are supposed to protect. Because of this, several court orders from different countries are required to force us to surrender data.
Thanks to this structure, we can ensure that no single government or group of like-minded countries can undermine privacy and freedom of expression. Only when different legal systems from several countries around the world make a decision on a particularly serious and globally recognized issue can Telegram release data and relinquish control over it.
To date, we've given 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including all governments.
Q: Who can I write to?
You can write to people who are in your cell phone address book and use Telegram, or to users who you know the username of. You can also reply to anyone who contacts you on Telegram / who you are in a group with, even if you don't know their phone number.
Q: Who can write to me?
People can contact you on Telegram if they have yours Know phone number or if you give them one first Write message.
If they don't know your phone number, they can find you in these cases:
- If you two are in the same group are.
- If you have a public username have set up. You can then be found using the global search using your username.
- When you are in the people around areamanually make visible (this is by default switched off).
Q: How do I know which contacts are already using Telegram?
You can see your contacts who are already using Telegram in the Telegram contacts above with a picture.
Q: How do I invite friends to join Telegram?
iOS: The standard invitations are simple SMS messages. Like any SMS, they are billed by your network operator, unless you send them via iMessage. But of course you also have other options for inviting friends to Telegram. How about if you just send them the direct download address via an existing program? Via email, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. The download address: https://telegram.org/dl/
Android: Swipe the chat list to the right → Invite friends. You will then be asked to choose an app through which you would like to send your invitation.
- Windows Phone: Go to “Contacts” → “Invite friends”. Now select an app that you want to use to send your invitation.
It's faster if you send your friends your public username. So you don't even need your number.
Q: What do the hooks mean?
One catch (✓) - The message has been delivered to the Telegram cloud and the chat recipient has been informed of a new message, provided that they have activated notifications. However, the chat with you has not yet been opened.
Two hooks (✓✓) - message read. The recipient has opened Telegram and the conversation in which the message is located.
If you only see a check mark, the chat partner has not yet opened the chat with you.
Telegram does not have an extra “message delivered” status, as you can use Telegram on as many devices as you want and it would not be clear to which device the message is now “delivered”.
Q: Can I hide my “last seen” ad?
Under Telegram Settings → Security and Privacy you can choose who sees your exact “last seen” status.
To be fair, you can only see the exact “last online” ad of others if you share your ad with them. If you do not approve the ad, others will only see an approximate value. There are four different displays:
- recently: all within a second and 2-3 days
- within a week: between 2-3 days and 7 days
- within a month: between 6-7 days and a month
- a long time ago: more than a month (is also displayed for blocked people)
This keeps stalkers away, but makes it possible to understand whether someone can be reached via Telegram.
Q: Who can see me online?
Your online status will only be shown to those who can see your “last seen” status. There are a few exceptions because sometimes it's just obvious that you're online. Regardless of the settings you last viewed, friends will see you online for a short period of time (around 30 seconds) if you do the following:
- You send them a message in a one-on-one chat or in a group where you are both members.
- You are reading a message they sent you in a private chat.
- You send the “typing” status to a shared chat.
So if you don't share your last seen timestamp with anyone and don't do any of the above, you won't be seen online. You can of course block people at any time.
Q: What are 'Nearby People'?
People around is one optional Function that enables Telegram users local groups to explore, Friends to find chat in your area or quickly contacts to exchange with people who are nearby.
The function can be found in the area Contacts → people nearby, with Android also in the side menu.
As long as you have the 'people around' area on your screen opened, can you people who very close are, see there. If you don't open the area, others will you No way in the 'People Nearby' section.
You can also permanently add your profile to the list by clicking Make myself visible typing. After you have become visible, you can remove yourself from the list at any time by clicking on Don't show me again typing.
Note: 'People around' is never active by default - Users really have to activate it manually. If you receive messages from strangers, be sure to check it out Q: Who can write to me? at.
Q: Can I delete my messages?
Yes. Previously, you could withdraw your messages within 48 hours of sending them. From Telegram 5.5 you can delete all messages at any time that you have sent or received in a one-on-one conversation (in groups it is only your own messages). You can also delete all chat history from both sides. At Telegram, deleted messages leave no trace in the chat.
Together with the privacy settings for forwarded messages, this enables the exchange of Telegram messages similar to a personal conversation (without a tape recorder). As a result, our users no longer have to worry about the data that has accumulated in their chats over the years. Both interlocutors now have complete control over what belongs to their online identity and what does not.
Q: Can I make phone calls through Telegram?
It's clear. Voice calls and video calls are available to all users.
Q: How can I use emoji on iPhone?
On iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) you can find emoji by pressing the small globe on the keyboard. If you can't see the icon yet, please visit Apple's help page directly. There you will find an excellent quick guide.
Groups and channels
Q: Why are groups so great on Telegram?
With Telegram, groups can have up to 200,000 participants and are extremely powerful communication tools. Here are some key features that make them stand out in the messaging world:
After sending them, edit your messages, delete them so that they disappear for everyone.
Access your messages at any time, regardless of whether it is a third-party mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer.
Lightning-fast search function
Find the message you are looking for very quickly, even if thousands of messages have been exchanged in the chat. Filter by sender to make it easier to find.
Answers, mentions, hashtags
Keep track of conversations even easier and keep your communication efficient, regardless of the group size.
Mute groups to only receive notifications when someone has explicitly mentioned you or someone replies to your message (s).
Pin any message to the top. This is displayed to everyone and members receive a notification - even if they have muted the group.
Appoint admins who can delete many messages, control memberships, and pin important messages.
Permissions for groups
Set default permissions to prevent all members from sending certain types of content, or even completely restrict certain members from sending messages.
Send and receive files of any type, up to 2GB each, and instantly access them on all of your other devices.
Get a short link for your group and make it public, such as @publictestgroup. This way, anyone can see all of the group's chat history and join the group to send messages.
Customization with bots
Use our bot API and inline bots to create tailor-made solutions for your personal needs.
Q: What is the difference between groups and channels?
groups are ideal for exchanging messages with friends and family or working in small teams. Groups allow up to 200,000 members, they can be made public if desired, offer a common history or you can explicitly specify that new members have no access to previous messages. Administrators are given extended rights, so they can pin important messages to the top of the screen or temporarily or permanently withdraw certain rights from members.
channels are great for sending public messages to an unlimited number of people, e.g. important information or just funny things. There is no subscription limit. In contrast to a group, members cannot see who has subscribed to the channel. Only channel creators and the administrators of the channel have write permission. So everything stays nice and clear.
You can find out more about channels in the channel Q&A.
Q: How can I create a group?
- iOS: Chat list → button at the top right → new group.
- Android: Chat list → pencil icon → new group.
- WP: Chat list → “+” → New group.
- Telegram Desktop: Three-line menu at the top left → Create new group.
Q: How can I add more members and what is an invite link?
You can add your contacts or invite them via the global search by username.
It is very easy to migrate existing groups to Telegram by sending an invitation link. To create such a link, you tap on the Group picture → Add member → Invite to group via link. Anyone who has Telegram installed can join your group. If you revoke the link, it will stop working immediately.
Q: What are usernames? How do i get one?
You can get one public Select Telegram username. This is how other users can find you - this username appears when searching for contacts under "global search". Please note that users can now also send you messages even though they do not know your number. If you do not want to do this, simply do not set up a username .
Q: How does t.me work?
As soon as you have set up a user name on Telegram, you will automatically receive a kind of business card at t.me/YourTelegramUsername. You can give this address to friends or acquaintances. If someone opens this address on their mobile phone, the Telegram app will automatically start and a chat with you will open. So you no longer have to pass on your phone number.
Insider tip: You can also be reached at telegram.me/DeinTelegramBusername and the unique address telegram.dog/DeinTelegramBusername.
Q: What can I set as my username?
You can use a-z, 0-9 and underscores. The username is case-insensitive, but your spelling is saved (e.g. Telegram and TeleGram are the same user). The username must be at least 5 characters long.
Usernames are assigned according to the “first come” principle.
Q: Do I have to set a username?
No. Remember that Telegram username public and make it possible for people to find you and send you messages even if they don't have your phone number. If you don't want that, just don't set up a username.
Q: If someone finds me by my username, texts me and I answer, does they know my number?
No. Neither you nor the chat partner can see the respective phone number. It's similar to sending a personal message to someone in a group.
Please also note the new privacy settings here.
Q: How can I delete my username?
In the Telegram settings, where you have specified the user name, simply delete your user name and save it. This is how you delete your username and can no longer be found using the global search. This does not affect existing chats.
Q: My preferred username is already taken. What should I do?
Usernames are assigned according to the “first come” principle. We understand very well that usernames have become part of online identity for some. If your desired username is already in use, we look forward to working on a solution together. The prerequisite for this is that you have the same username at at least two owns the following services: Twitter + Facebook, Facebook + Instagram or Instagram + Twitter.
Since you can register several bot and channel names with one account, we reserve the right to revoke a username from unused bots and channels at any time, as well as if a username is simply occupied.
To request a username, contact our @Username_bot. Unfortunately, our chat support cannot help you and will only be able to refer you to the bot.
Q: What if someone pretends to be me?
If a scammer pretends to be you, please contact @NoToScam.
Q: How do I get verification?
Telegram does not currently verify user accounts. If you own a public channel, group, or bot, you can find more details here.
Users with advanced technical knowledge will find our technical FAQs particularly interesting.
Q: How secure is Telegram?
Telegram is significantly more secure than conventional mass market messengers, such as WhatsApp or Line. We are based on the MTProto protocol (see description and extended technical FAQ), which uses tried and tested algorithms to guarantee security, speed and reliability. We are constantly working with the internet community to improve the security of our protocol and our clients. By the way, our apps are open source, so everyone can see for themselves how secure they are.
Q: What if I'm more paranoid than normal users?
We offer a solution for everyone. Telegram offers particularly secret chats, which are based on end-to-end encryption and do not leave any traces on our servers. Secret chats support the self-destruction of messages and prohibit forwarding. The only thing that Secret Chats don't offer is cloud-based storage. Secret chats can therefore only be used on the end devices on which they were started.
Q: How do you encrypt data exactly?
We support two levels of secure encryption. Server-client encryption is used in cloud chats (private chats and group chats), secret chats rely on one additional Client-client encryption level. All data - whether text, media or files - are encrypted in the same way.
Our encryption is based on 256-bit symmetrical AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and the secure Diffie-Hellman key exchange method. More information on this in our extended FAQ.
Q: Why should I trust you guys?
We have nothing to hide. Telegram is open, everyone can check the source code, the protocol and the developer access (API) to see how everything works exactly and form their own opinion accordingly. We are happy to accept suggestions and look forward to independent safety checks. The contact address: [email protected]
In addition, Telegram is not a messenger to make a profit. Commercial interests will therefore never get in the way of our aim of offering a messenger for everyone.
See also: international press articles about Telegram
Q: Do I have to blindly trust Telegram to chat securely?
When it comes to secret chats, you don't need to trust us - just make sure that the visualization key in the secret chats matches that of your chat partner. More information on this further down in the text.
Q: What if my hacker friend claims he can decrypt your messages?
Anyone who claims he or she can decipher messages is welcome to prove it. We started a competition where you can win $ 300,000. More information about this competition.
Please address other suggestions that have nothing to do with the competition directly to [email protected] All submissions that result in a change in codes or configuration are eligible for rewards ranging from $ 100 to $ 100,000 or more, depending on the severity of the problem. Please note that we cannot offer rewards for reports that are made available to the public before we can resolve them.
Q: Can Telegram protect me against anything?
Telegram can help you with data transmission and secure communication. All of your data (including media and files) that you send and receive via Telegram - if intercepted - cannot be decrypted by your internet access provider, network administrator or other third parties.
Unfortunately, it cannot protect your data from your parents or other people if they have your phone in their hand. Or in front of the IT department in your office that has access to your work computer. Or someone else who has direct or root access to your devices.
If you have serious reasons to be concerned about your personal safety, we strongly recommend that you only use our secret chats (in connection with the self-destruct timer function) in our official clients or from verifiably open source apps for confidential information. And prefer not to use “root” or “jailbreak”.
Q: How does two-step verification work?
Logging in to a messenger using an SMS code is the industry standard, but if security is particularly important to you or you have reasons to mistrust your wireless service provider or official bodies (e.g. your government), we recommend you to use your cloud chats with an additional password protect.
You can find that in the Settings - Privacy and Security - Two-step verification.
As soon as you have activated this, you have to enter both an SMS code and a password to log in. You can also set up an email address that you can use to regain access to your account if you forget your password. Please remember to protect your e-mail account with a particularly secure password and, if possible, a two-step confirmation.
Here you will find tips on how to get yourself a good password.
Q: Why can jailbroken or rooted devices be dangerous?
If you are using a jailbroken or rooted device, you make it easier for a potential attacker to take complete administrative control of your device - i.e. root access.
A user with root access can easily bypass security mechanisms that the device manufacturer has built into the operating system, but also access the process memory or internal memory. Once an attacker has root access to your device, efforts to ward off attacks are in vain. No program is safe under these circumstances; no matter how strong the encryption is.
Q: How are Secret Chats different?
Secret chats are intended for users who need end-to-end encryption. This means that only the sender and only the recipient can read the messages. Nobody else is able to decrypt or even intercept messages, not even we at Telegram.
Another advantage of the secret chats: Thanks to the self-destruction mode, messages can be automatically destroyed after a while. The messages then disappear from the sender's phone and the recipient's phone after the recipient has read the message.
As mentioned above, there is one last difference between normal cloud chats and secret chats: Secret chats do not use the Telegram cloud. The secret chats can therefore only be viewed from the end devices from where they were started and they are deleted from the mobile phone by briefly logging out of Telegram (e.g. when changing the phone number temporarily).
Q: How can I start a secret chat?
For iOS and Android, tap on the profile picture in the cloud chat → “…” → “Start secret chat”.
Don't forget that Secret Chats are only available on one device. So if you start a secret chat on your mobile phone, you cannot continue it on a tablet, PC or second mobile phone. If you log out, all secret chats will be destroyed. You can create any number of secret chats with the same contact.
Q: How does message self-destruct work?
The self-destruct timer is available in Secret Chats for all messages:
- iOS: In the secret chat, tap on the small stopwatch in the text entry field.
- Android: In the Secret Chat, tap on the profile picture above.
The timer for videos and pictures is available in Cloud Chats:
- iOS and Android: → Select picture or video → Hold down the send button → Send with timer.
After the selected time, messages will then appear both Devices deleted in chat. Of course, the countdown only begins as soon as the other person has read the message (two ticks in the chat) and only applies to new messages from activation of the timer. Both chat participants should use the latest Telegram version.
Q: Can I be sure that my chat partner cannot take screenshots?
Unfortunately, there is not a perfect solution for recognizing screenshots for every system, especially some Android and Windows Phone devices are affected. We're doing everything possible to let you know about screenshots in Secret Chats, but it may be possible to take screenshots without notifications. We recommend exchanging sensitive information only with trustworthy chat partners. Ultimately, nobody can stop your chat partner from simply taking a photo of your conversation with another device (e.g. a second cell phone or a real camera).
Q: What is the “secret key” for?
When a secret chat is created, the two end devices (sender end device and recipient end device) exchange a pair of keys using the so-called Diffie-Hellman key exchange method. After the secure end-to-end connection has been established, we create a graphic that visually represents the encryption key for the chat. You should now compare this key with that of the chat partner, ideally you meet in person. If both keys are identical, it can be assumed that the secret chat is absolutely secure and that no man-in-the-middle attack can take place.
Q: Why not all chats 'secret' by default?
All messages at Telegram are always securely encrypted. Secret chat messages use the Client-clientEncryption while Cloud Chats use the Client-server / server-client-Use encryption and are stored encrypted in the Telegram Cloud (more on this here). Cloud chats are secure and accessible from any of your devices at any time - even if you should lose one.
Unfortunately, there is no elegant solution for end-to-end encryption when it comes to restoring access to your chat history in the event of a new device (e.g. if you lose a device). Reliable backups are a necessity for any mass market messenger. To solve the problem, some apps (such as Whatsapp or Viber) rely on unencrypted data backups - which ultimately exposes users to high data protection risks - even if they do not activate the data backups themselves. Other apps completely ignore data backups and disappear into oblivion before they could even reach a million users.
We decided to take a different approach: we simply offer two different types of chat. Telegram deactivates standard system data backups and offers all users an integrated and, above all, security-oriented data backup in the form of cloud chats. Our secret chats give you full control over the data that should not be saved.
This enables Telegram to be widely used, not just by activists and dissidents, as its use does not make one the target of increased surveillance in certain countries. We are convinced that the separation between cloud chats and secret chats is currently the most secure solution in the field of mass market messaging.
See also: Why Telegram does not use end-to-end encryption by default
Q: Can I get the server source code?
All Telegram clients are completely open source. We offer verifiable builds for iOS and Android. This technology makes it possible to independently verify that the app downloaded from the app stores is using the exact same code which we publish.
In contrast, the publication of the server codes offers no security guarantee, neither for secret chats nor for cloud chats. That's because (unlike with client-side code) there is no way to verify that the same code running on the servers.
As for the secret chats, you don't need the server-side code to check their integrity. The point of end-to-end encryption is that it has to be solid no matter how the servers are working.
In his channel contribution, Pavel Durov explained why Telegram did not even publish the server code as a PR gag.
The encryption and API used on Telegram's servers are fully documented and can be verified by security experts. We welcome any reference below [email protected].
Q: How can I use Telegram on my own server?
Our system architecture currently does not allow federations. Telegram is a unified cloud service. The creation of separate development branches (“forks”), where users would be present in different Telegram clouds, is not acceptable to us. It is also a task in itself to guarantee speed and security on your own server. At the moment we are also not sure whether we should go in this direction at all.
Q: Can I use the Telegram API?
Definitely yes! Developers of all platforms are welcome to use our protocol, our API and also our source code. For more information, see the Getting Started page in our help section.
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Q: Why do you have two apps in the Mac Store?
Telegram is our native macOS app. Telegram Lite, on the other hand, is the macOS variant of our multi-platform client Telegram Desktop. Both were initially unofficial apps from two different developers and decide on the look and the range of functions.
Telegram supports many platform-specific functions, such as “TouchBar” (MacBook Pro), gesture navigation, integration into the macOS share menu and much more. Telegram has all the functions of the iOS variant, including secret chats.
Telegram Lite is a lightning-fast desktop version, perfect for work and has also been specially optimized for dealing with large communities. Telegram Lite offers a three-column user interface suitable for multitasking and quick access to media, files and links in your chats. The lite version can also be used to export your Telegram data and chats.
Q: Can I translate Telegram?
Telegram is officially available in English, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Korean, German, Dutch, French, Ukrainian and Arabic. We are gradually expanding the language support of our official apps.
If you do not like a particular translation or if you just want to help us with new translations, the best thing to do is to take a look at our translation platform and note the translation guide. If your desired language is not yet available, you can simply create a new one.
Q: Is there anything else I can do to help?
With pleasure! Since all of the support at Telegram is provided by volunteers, we are always looking for other all-rounders who will actively support our support chat. If you understand English and regularly have time to answer questions from other users, please be sure to read through the Telegram Support Initiative and simply apply to our application team. Not that much time for a new hobby? You also help Telegram a lot if you send our chat support new suggestions or help with the public translation platform.
Q: Who can see my number?
With Telegram you can send messages in private chats and groups without having to make your phone number visible. By default, your number is only visible to people you have added as contacts in your address book. You can change it under Settings → Privacy and security → Phone number.
Please note that people can always see your number if they already know it and have it saved in their address book.
Q: I have a new number. What should I do?
Each phone number is a separate account with Telegram. If you have multiple phone numbers, you can:
- If you have the Do not use the old number anymore want (e.g. because you have moved to a new country), have a look here.
- If you have the new number for a limited time want to use (e.g. because of a trip or because you are on vacation), you usually do not need to do anything. Please note, however, that if you log out, Telegram will have to send you a new login code in the app. You must then be able to receive this.
- On the other hand do you want use both numbersso you can create a second account. But that would also mean that there will be separate chats with your contacts and that might be a bit confusing.
If you are unsure, please get in touch before at our chat support.
Q: Can I change my number?
You can change your number on Telegram and keep everything, including all your contacts, messages and media from the Telegram cloud, as well as all secret chats on all devices.
How to change your number: insert new SIM → start Telegram as usual (you are active under the old number at Telegram) → settings → tap on the phone number → change number → enter new one. Now you have your chats under the new number and the empty account with the old number will be automatically deleted.
You have to start the process while you are logged into Telegram with the old number. You must therefore under no circumstances log out of the old number beforehand or delete the app, otherwise you risk losing access to your account. In addition, the number change only works if there is no account with the new number.
Q: How do I log out?
- iOS: Telegram settings → Edit → Log out (below).
- Android: Telegram settings → “…” → Log off.
- Windows Phone: Telegram settings → Log out.
- Telegram Desktop: Settings → Logout (below).
Just a reminder: You can use Telegram on different devices (even at the same time). If you log out, all of your cloud chats will not be lost. But: All your secret chats and all messages within your secret chats will be deleted when you log out of your device. The chat remains with your chat partner as long as he does not also log out or delete the messages.
Q: Can I delete my account?
If you want to delete your account, you can do this on our deactivation page. Deleting the account means all of your news, groups and also contacts removed. The deletion must be confirmed via your Telegram account and cannot be reversed.
We recommend that you do it from a computer.
The code will be sent to you by Telegram sent, not by SMS.
There are illustrated instructions in German here.
Q: What if I delete my account?
As previously mentioned, all of your data will be removed from our system: all chat messages, groups and contacts associated with your account will be removed deleted. Contacts can still chat in groups that you have created and will continue to see them your Copy of your messages that you wrote there once. So if you want to send messages that also disappear from the recipient's phone, simply use our secret chats with self-destruct mode.
The deletion of Telegram accounts is irrevocable. If you register again later, you will appear as a new user and will not get your chat history and your contacts again. Contacts who have saved your number will be informed that you are a new user. If you write to contacts, another conversation will appear. The old conversation still contains your chats, because that's the copy of your contact after all.
Q: How does the self-deletion of the account work?
Telegram is not a commercial organization and storage space is a valuable asset. If you no longer use Telegram and have not registered for at least 6 months, your account with all messages, media, contacts and all data that you have saved in the Telegram cloud will be deleted. You can set the time after which the account is deleted in the event of inactivity in the settings.
This feature was introduced on November 19, 2014. The default setting is 6 months, so accounts that were last active on Telegram before November 19, 2014 will be saved on 19th May 2015 deleted.
Q: My cell phone was stolen. What now?
First of all, we're really sorry. Unfortunately, the phone number is currently the only way for us to identify a Telegram user. Since we have no other data from you, that means: Whoever has the number, owns the account. This also means that we cannot delete any data as long as you do not have access to your Telegram account from at least one device.
I am still registered with Telegram on another device
- Go to Telegram Settings - Privacy and Security and activate the two-step confirmation. Now, in addition to the number, you also need the password for the two-stage confirmation to log in.
- Go to Telegram Settings - Privacy and Security - Sessions and log off the corresponding session (the other device). If someone has your phone, they will no longer be able to sign in to your account without knowing your password.
- Contact your cellular network operator. They can block your old SIM and send you a replacement card.
- If you should decide on a new number, please don't forget to save your number in the Telegram settings: Tap on your current number there and change the number.
I am not registered with Telegram on any other device
- First of all, you have to let your mobile network operator know so that they can block the old SIM and create a new SIM for you with your old number.
- Wait until you get the replacement card with the old number. Then simply log in to Telegram, switch to the settings, Privacy and data protection - Sessions - End all other sessions.
Remove sensitive data
Typically, most thieves will immediately throw away the SIM card (as the phone is more difficult to locate), do a factory reset, and sell it. So your data is usually not at great risk. However, if you have reasons to worry about the data on your device, the best thing to do is to delete it from another device. You can find more about this here: Apple iOS and Android. Unfortunately, you have to be prepared for this scenario in advance. You can also delete your Telegram account if you are logged into at least one other device (mobile or desktop).
Telegram Passport is a uniform authorization method for services that require identification. With Telegram Passport you can upload your documents once and share them with services that require real identification (financial services, ICOs, etc.).
Your ID documents and personal data are stored in the Telegram Cloud with end-to-end encryption. To Telegram, this data appears as random gibberish and we have no access to the information stored in the Telegram Passport. If you share data, it goes directly to the recipient.
More information about Telegram Passport can be found on our blog.
If you are a developer or owner of a service that requires identification, simply take a look at our instructions. You can also request Telegram Passport data through this page.
Bot developers find our bot FAQs particularly interesting.
Q: How do I create my own bots?
Even if it is relatively easy to create your own bots, you should already have knowledge of programming. Do you dare to do that? Great. You can find more information in the introduction for bot developers. If you have developer questions about your bot, please contact our English-speaking @BotSupport.
Unfortunately, there is no one-click solution to creating a functioning bot if you are not a developer yourself. But we are sure that over time there will be more and more interesting bots from other people with whom you can have fun.
Q: A bot sends me unsolicited messages, how can I prevent this?
If you don't want a bot to send you messages, you can block it at any time - just like a “real” user. Some Telegram versions have a “Stop Bot” button on the right side of the bot info.
By the way, most bot developers have built in commands that silence the bot. try / help as a bot command, you will definitely find something there.
Q: Are bots safe?
Bots are no different from human users, with whom you chat in groups, for example. They can see your public name and profile photos, and messages you send them, nothing else. They'll see your phone number Not (unless you share them using the “Share Phone Number” function). Of course, every bot should be like one Stranger treated - that's why you are not allowed to give them passwords, Telegram codes or account numbers, even if bots ask nicely for them. Please also be careful when opening files sent to you by bots, just like a real human would. For example: if you get a file named virus.exe you shouldn't open it.
Q: If I invite a bot to my group, can they read my messages?
Bots can work in 2 ways when you add them to a group. By default, bots only see messages that are meant for them. In this case you will see “No access to messages” next to the bot in the list of group members.
However, some bots need more information in order to work, which is why the developer deactivated the privacy mode. In this case, the bot will see all the messages that are being sent to the group, and you will see “Access to messages” next to the bot in the list of group members.
You can find out more about the privacy mode for bots here.
If your group contains sensitive information, it would be better not to invite bots that you don't trust 100%.
Q: Where can I find more bots?
There is currently no official bot overview. Ask your friends if they know new bots or search for Telegram bots on the internet. We're pretty sure you'll find it.
Please check whether you are really using the latest version of Telegram
Registration, login and SMS
Please make sure you enter your mobile number in international format. For example, if your number was 01721234 in Germany.
If you have registration or login problems, please write to [email protected] Don't forget your cell phone number and the name of your cellular operator.
Receive code by phone call
For security reasons, the login codes that are read out over a phone call are only available for accounts that have two-step verification enabled (Settings → Privacy & Security → Two-step verification).
Please note that Telegram accounts can only be linked to a mobile phone number. We currently do not support landline numbers.
Receive code by telegram
If you recently Telegram on a other device we can give you the login code by telegram instead of sending SMS. To get such a code, just look for the chat message from Telegram. You can recognize this by a verified profile with a blue tick:
WARNING! Receiving codes via Telegram should not be used as an alternative to a current mobile number be seen. If your number changes, always make sure that you also change it in the Telegram settings update. Otherwise you risk irrevocably losing access to your account.
Where are my secret chats now?
Secret chats are limited to the two devices they were created from. This means that all messages in the secret chats are not available in the Telegram cloud and therefore cannot be viewed from other end devices. Furthermore, secret chats are tied to the current session. If you log out briefly and log back in, all secret chats are lost.
The voicemail icon has disappeared
You seem to have only briefly tapped the microphone symbol once and have switched to the video messages. It is enough if you now briefly tap the small video camera once.
Voice messages sound like Mickey Mouse
If you tap the small 2x in the bar above while voice or video messages are being played back, the playback is accelerated. Tap again when you need a break from Mickey.
Do you have an Android device?
Android: My friends are using Telegram, but I don't see any contacts
Please check whether you are really using the latest version of Telegram. You can find the latest version here
- Have you allowed Telegram to access the contacts?
- As a test, change the name of the person in your address book entries and then restart the app.
If that doesn't help, please have a look here. That should solve the problem. Sometimes Android is too slow to transfer contacts.
Android: I only see the number, but not the name of my contact
Please check whether you are really using the latest version of Telegram. You can find the latest version here
- Have you also saved the contact in the phone book?
- Please pay attention to the international phone number format when entering, i.e. not 0172123456, but +49172123456.
- By the way, you can change the name of your contacts at any time later by tapping on their profile photo and then clicking on “Edit”.
Android: How can I delete a Telegram contact?
The deletion on Android consists of several steps:
- Open a chat with a contact → tap profile image → on the top right of the next page, click “…” → Delete.
- Then please delete it from the mobile phone directory, otherwise Telegram will synchronize your contacts again.
- Finally, tap in the Telegram settings, then security and 1x briefly on “Delete synchronized contacts”.
Android: Screenshots do not work (anymore)
If you get an error message in a Secret Chat, it is because your version of Android is preventing screenshots. Secret chats are for anyone who wants the highest level of secrecy. For this reason, you cannot forward messages from Secret Chats either.
If, on the other hand, it also appears in the chat list, it may have something to do with a change by us. Before a few updates, screenshots were deactivated by default if the PIN code lock was activated. You can change the setting as follows: Settings> Privacy and security> PIN code lock, then “Allow screenshots” and restart the app.
If you activate this function, you can take screenshots in the app. However, the system would show your chats in the “List of open apps”. Please also note that you must have enough free space on your device to take screenshots.
Android: I am not getting any notifications
With Android, energy-saving programs trigger notification problems. Such programs do nothing but shut down services and apps in the background. Result: Apps can no longer inform you about the arrival of a new message and you first have to open the app manually to see whether someone has written something. It is therefore very important that Telegram is put on the ignore list of such apps or, even better, all energy-saving services complete deactivate. Here you will find a detailed explanation and many tips which third-party programs are known to end background services.
Android: The battery consumption is too high
Please check whether you are really using the latest version of Telegram. You can find the latest version here
Please check the following points:
- If you have installed a battery optimizer / task manager / task killer or something like that: Please put Telegram on the list of allowed apps. If Telegram is not in the ignore list, Telegram is terminated. Telegram then automatically restarts, ends again and the result is extreme battery consumption.
- Telegram uses Google Cloud Notifications (GCM) to wake up the app and to inform you about new messages. Please make sure that the Google Play services are installed on your mobile phone.
- Since GCM is not particularly reliable, we have built in our own messaging service to notify you of new messages. You can find this in Telegram Settings> Messages and Tones> 'Keep Alive Service' and 'Background Connection'.
Both of these settings could affect your battery life. If you disable both and only use Google Cloud notifications, this could result in unreliable notifications. Here you will find a detailed explanation and many tips which third-party programs are known to end background services.
Android: The notification is always silent
Switch to the Telegram settings, then “Notifications and sounds”. Check that all tones are turned on there. “Service for notifications” must be active under “Notifications and sounds”, otherwise Google Play services must be installed and permanently active.
Do you have an Apple device?
iOS: My friends are using Telegram, but I don't see any contacts
As a test, change the contact name in your iPhone contacts (add a few characters and save the contact as a test. You can change the name later at any time).
iOS: I only see the number, but not the name of my contact
- Have you also saved the contact in the cell phone address book?
- When entering, please pay attention to the international phone number format, as not 0172123456, but +49172123456, since the “international telephone number” is the user name at Telegram.
- By the way, you can change the display name of your contacts yourself at any time by tapping on their profile photo and then tapping on “Edit”.
iOS: I don't get any notifications
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