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Telegram FAQ
Telegram FAQ
Tweets by @telegram
Tweets by @telegram
This FAQ provides answers to basic questions about Telegram.
This FAQ provides answers to basic questions about Telegram.
Check out our Advanced FAQ for more technical infomation.
Check out our Advanced FAQ for more technical infomation.
General
General
What is Telegram?
What is Telegram?
How is it different from WhatsApp?
How is it different from WhatsApp?
Which country is Telegram from?
Which country is Telegram from?
Who are the people behind Telegram?
Who are the people behind Telegram?
How do you make money?
How do you make money?
What are your thoughts on internet privacy?
What are your thoughts on internet privacy?
How old is Telegram?
How old is Telegram?
Is it available on my device?
Is it available on my device?
What happened to Telegram HD?
What about iOS8 and iPhone 6?
Telegram Basics
Telegram Basics
Who can I message?
Who can I message?
Who has Telegram?
Who has Telegram?
Inviting friends
Inviting friends
Hide ‘last seen’ or ‘online’
Hiding ‘last seen’
What do the green checks mean in Telegram?
What do the green checks mean in Telegram?
Creating a group
Creating a group
What's a broadcast?
What's a broadcast?
Calls and video calls
Using emoticons on iPhones
Usernames
Usernames and telegram.me
What are usernames? How do I get one?
What are usernames? How do I get one?
How does telegram.me work?
What can I use as my username?
What can I use as my username?
Do I need a username?
Do I need a username?
Will people know my number?
Will people know my number?
How do I delete my username?
How do I delete my username?
What do I do if my username is taken?
What do I do if my username is taken?
Security
Security
How secure is Telegram?
How secure is Telegram?
What kinds of encryption do you use?
What kinds of encryption do you use?
Why should I trust you?
Why should I trust you?
Do I need to trust Telegram for it to be secure?
Do I need to trust Telegram for it to be secure?
What if my hacker friend doubts you?
What if my hacker friend doubts you?
Can Telegram protect me against everything?
Can Telegram protect me against everything?
Secret Chats
Secret Chats
What is a secret chat?
What is a secret chat?
Starting a secret chat
Starting a secret chat
Using the self-destruct timer
Using the self-destruct timer
Encryption key picture
Encryption key picture
Why not make all chats ‘secret’?
Why not make all chats ‘secret’?
Deeper questions
Deeper Questions
Why not open source everything?
Why not open source everything?
Can I use my own server?
Can I use my own server?
Can I use the Telegram API?
Can I use the Telegram API?
Do you have a Privacy Policy?
Do you have a Privacy Policy?
Can I translate Telegram?
Can I translate Telegram?
Can I help?
Can I help?
Other
Your Account
Using emoticons on iPhones
Logging out
Calls and video calls
Changing your phone number
Changing your phone number
Log out
Deleting a Telegram account
Deleting a Telegram account
How does account self-destruction work?
My phone was stolen. What do I do?
My phone was stolen. What do I do?
Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting
SMS, login, register
SMS, login, register
Notification problems
Notification problems
Problems with contacts
Problems with contacts
Secret Chats
Secret Chats
Other issues
Other issues
Contact Telegram Support
Contact Telegram Support
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter
Facebook
Facebook
Advanced FAQ
Advanced FAQ
General Questions
General Questions
Q: What is Telegram? What do I do here?
Q: What is Telegram? What do I do here?
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s superfast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any of your phones, tablets or computers.
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s superfast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any of your phones, tablets or computers.
With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc) to people who are in your phone contacts and have Telegram. You can also create groups for up to 200 people or send broadcasts to up to 100 contacts. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs.
With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc) to people who are in your phone contacts and have Telegram. You can also create groups for up to 200 people or send broadcasts to up to 100 contacts. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs.
Q: How is Telegram different from WhatsApp?
Q: How is Telegram different from WhatsApp?
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is cloud-based and heavily encrypted. As a result, you can access your messages from several devices at once, including tablets and computers, and share an unlimited number of photos, videos and files (doc, zip, mp3, etc) of any size. Thanks to our multi-data center infrastructure and encryption, Telegram is also faster and way more secure. On top of that, Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever.
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is cloud-based and heavily encrypted. As a result, you can access your messages from several devices at once, including tablets and computers, and share an unlimited number of photos, videos and files (doc, zip, mp3, etc) of up to 1,5 GB. Thanks to our multi-data center infrastructure and encryption, Telegram is also faster and way more secure. On top of that, Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever.
Q: Which country is Telegram from?
Q: Which country is Telegram from?
Telegram does not belong to any country in particular. It is a global non-commercial project with contributors from all over the world.
Telegram does not belong to any country in particular. It is a global non-commercial project with contributors from all over the world.
Telegram‘s goal is to allow everyone to get back their right to privacy. We’ve built a free non-commercial service to achieve this. The project is distributed — Telegram servers, companies and people are spread all around the planet.
Telegram‘s goal is to allow everyone to get back their right to privacy. We’ve built a free non-commercial service to achieve this. The project is distributed — Telegram servers, companies and people are spread all around the planet.
Q: Who are the people behind Telegram?
Q: Who are the people behind Telegram?
Telegram is supported by Pavel and Nikolai Durov. Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically, while Nikolai's input is technological. To make Telegram possible, Nikolai developed a unique custom data protocol, which is open, secure and optimized for work with multiple data-centers. As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability and speed on any network.
Telegram is supported by Pavel and Nikolai Durov. Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically, while Nikolai's input is technological. To make Telegram possible, Nikolai developed a unique custom data protocol, which is open, secure and optimized for work with multiple data-centers. As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability and speed on any network.
While the Durov brothers were born in Russia, as were some of the key developers, Telegram is not connected to Russia – legally or physically. Telegram's HQ is in Berlin.
While the Durov brothers were born in Russia, as were some of the key developers, Telegram is not connected to Russia – legally or physically. Telegram's HQ is in Berlin.
See also: articles about Telegram
See also: articles about Telegram
Q: Will you have ads? Or sell my data? Or steal my wife and enslave my children?
Q: Will you have ads? Or sell my data? Or steal my wife and enslave my children?
No.
No.
Q: How are you going to make money out of this?
Q: How are you going to make money out of this?
We believe in fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.
We believe in fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.
Commercial companies frequently face the need to compromise their values for financial gain. This is why we made Telegram a non-commercial project. Telegram is not intended to bring revenue, it will never sell ads or accept outside investment. It also cannot be sold. We're not building a “user base”, we are building a messenger for the people.
Commercial companies frequently face the need to compromise their values for financial gain. This is why we made Telegram a non-commercial project. Telegram is not intended to bring revenue, it will never sell ads or accept outside investment. It also cannot be sold. We're not building a “user base”, we are building a messenger for the people.
Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation through his Digital Fortress fund, so we have quite enough money for the time being. If Telegram runs out, we'll invite our users to donate or add non-essential paid options.
Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation through his Digital Fortress fund, so we have quite enough money for the time being. If Telegram runs out, we'll invite our users to donate or add non-essential paid options.
Q: What are your thoughts on internet privacy?
Q: What are your thoughts on internet privacy?
Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years. Their marketers managed to convince the public that the most important things about privacy are superficial tools that allow hiding your online status, your public posts or your profile pictures from the people around you. Adding these superficial tools allows companies to calm down the public and change nothing in how they are turning over private data to marketers and other third parties.
Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years. Their marketers managed to convince the public that the most important things about privacy are superficial tools that allow hiding your online status, your public posts or your profile pictures from the people around you. Adding these superficial tools allows companies to calm down the public and change nothing in how they are turning over private data to marketers and other third parties.
At Telegram we think that the two most important components of internet privacy should be instead:
At Telegram we think that the two most important components of internet privacy should be instead:
Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc.
Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc.
Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc.
Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc.
This is what everybody should care about, and these are some of our top priorities. Telegram is a non-commercial project with an aim to create a truly free messenger, without the usual caveats. This means that instead of diverting attention with low-impact settings, we can afford to focus on the real privacy issues that exist in the modern world.
This is what everybody should care about, and these are some of our top priorities. Telegram is a non-commercial project with an aim to create a truly free messenger, without the usual caveats. This means that instead of diverting attention with low-impact settings, we can afford to focus on the real privacy issues that exist in the modern world.
Q: How old is Telegram?
Q: How old is Telegram?
Telegram for iPhone was launched on August 14, 2013. The alpha version of Telegram for Android was officially launched on October 20, 2013. More and more Telegram clients appear, built by independent developers using Telegram's open platform.
Telegram for iPhone was launched on August 14, 2013. The alpha version of Telegram for Android was officially launched on October 20, 2013. More and more Telegram clients appear, built by independent developers using Telegram's open platform.
Q: Which devices are supported?
Q: Which devices are supported?
You can log in to Telegram from as many of your devices as you like — all at the same time.
You can log in to Telegram from as many of your devices as you like — all at the same time.
Telegram is officially available for iOS (6 and above) and Android (2.2 and up) devices. We support tablets, smartphones and even computers. Telegram Messenger was designed for the iPhone and iPad — and works on iPods too. We also have an official web client for mobile and desktop browsers, as well as several unofficial desktop apps and a version for Windows Phone devices.
Telegram is officially available for iOS (6 and above) and Android (2.2 and up) devices. We support tablets, smartphones and even computers. Telegram Messenger was designed for the iPhone and iPad — and works on iPods too. We also have an official web client for mobile and desktop browsers, as well as several unofficial desktop apps and a version for Windows Phone devices.
Our API is open for developers, should you want to build your own applications for other platforms.
Our API is open for developers, should you want to build your own applications for other platforms.
Q: What happened to Telegram HD?
Telegram HD was released as a separate app due to organizational issues that have now been resolved with Apple. The app has therefore been removed from the store. So if you are still using it, please upgrade to Telegram Messenger instead. The HD app will not be getting any more updates. Sorry about the confusion.
Q: What about iOS8 and iPhone 6?
We've completely rewritten our apps to work well on iOS8 and iPhones 6, check out the latest version of Telegram Messenger in the AppStore. Now that this internal base is established, we will be of course adding new features to the app. Stay tuned for the next updates.
Telegram Basics
Telegram Basics
Q: Who can I write to?
Q: Who can I write to?
You can write to people, who are in your phone contacts and have Telegram. You can also write to whoever sends you a message and to people with whom you are in the same group, even if you don't know their numbers.
You can write to people, who are in your phone contacts and have Telegram.
You can also select a public username for your Telegram account. Other people will be able to search and find you by that username — and send messages to you even if they don't know your number. You can learn more about usernames here.
You can also select a public username for your Telegram account. Other people will be able to search and find you by that username — and send messages to you even if they don't know your number. You can learn more about usernames here.
Q: How do I know, who in my contacts has Telegram?
Q: How do I know, who in my contacts has Telegram?
Your contacts, who have Telegram, are shown at the top of your Contacts. They also have pictures.
Your contacts, who have Telegram, are shown at the top of your Contacts. They also have pictures.
Q: How do I invite my friends?
Q: How do I invite my friends?
iPhone: The basic invitations are simple SMS messages. They will be charged as standard outgoing SMS by your carrier (unless sent via iMessage). Naturally, you have other options to bring your friends here. Try sending them a download link via any other messaging service: email, Facebook, WhatsApp, an actual telegram — you name it. The link: http:/telegram.org/dl/
iPhone: The basic invitations are simple SMS messages. They will be charged as standard outgoing SMS by your carrier (unless sent via iMessage). Naturally, you have other options to bring your friends here. Try sending them a download link via any other messaging service: email, Facebook, WhatsApp, an actual telegram — you name it. The link: http:/telegram.org/dl/
Android: Open the app menu (swipe right in chats list) — Invite Friends. Then choose an application via which you would like to send out invitations.
Android: Open the app menu (swipe right in chats list) — Invite Friends. Then choose an application via which you would like to send out invitations.
Windows Phone: Go to Contacts — Invite Friends. Then choose an application via which you would like to send out invitations.
Windows Phone: Go to Contacts — Invite Friends. Then choose an application via which you would like to send out invitations.
You can also give your friends a telegram.me link with your username, so that they can easily find you on Telegram even if they don't have your phone number.
Q: Can I hide my ‘last seen’ time?
Q: Can I hide my ‘last seen’ time?
You can choose who sees this info in Privacy and Security settings (introduced in Telegram for Android 2.0, and iOS version 2.7.2).
You can choose who sees this info in Privacy and Security settings (introduced in Telegram for Android 2.0, and iOS version 2.7.2).
Remember that you won‘t see Last Seen timestamps for people with whom you don’t share your own. You will, however, see an approximate last seen value. This keeps stalkers away, but makes it possible to understand whether a person is reachable over Telegram. There are four possible approximate values:
Remember that you won‘t see Last Seen timestamps for people with whom you don’t share your own. You will, however, see an approximate last seen value. This keeps stalkers away, but makes it possible to understand whether a person is reachable over Telegram. There are four possible approximate values:
Last seen recently — covers anything between 1 second and 2-3 days
Last seen recently — covers anything between 1 second and 2-3 days
Last seen within a week — between 2-3 and 7 days
Last seen within a week — between 2-3 and 7 days
Last seen within a month — between 6-7 days and a month
Last seen within a month — between 6-7 days and a month
Last seen long time ago — more than a month (this is also always shown to blocked users)
Last seen long time ago — more than a month (this is also always shown to blocked users)
As you can see, these stages are not clearly separated, so you cannot calculate much from this data.
Q: What do the green checks mean?
Q: What do the green checks mean?
One check — message delivered to the Telegram cloud and your friend has been notified, if he allows notifications.
One check — message delivered to the Telegram cloud and your friend has been notified, if he allows notifications.
Two checks — message read (your friend opened Telegram and opened the conversation with the message).
Two checks — message read (your friend opened Telegram and opened the conversation with the message).
We don‘t have a ’delivered to device' status for messages, because Telegram can run on as many devices as you want. So which particular one would that check mean?
We don‘t have a ’delivered to device' status for messages, because Telegram can run on as many devices as you want. So which particular one would that check mean?
Q: How do I create a group?
Q: How do I create a group?
iPhone: Start a new message (tap the icon in the top right corner in Chats). Then ‘New Group’.
iPhone: Start a new message (tap the icon in the top right corner in Chats). Then ‘New Group’.
Android: Tap the circular pencil icon in the chats list. Then ‘New Group’.
Android: Tap the circular pencil icon in the chats list. Then ‘New Group’.
Windows Phone: Tap the “+” button on the bottom bar. Then ‘New Group’.
Windows Phone: Tap the “+” button on the bottom bar. Then ‘New Group’.
Q: What's a broadcast?
Q: What's a broadcast?
Broadcasts allow you to send the same message to up to 100 of your contacts at once. Unlike in a group, the recipients won't know about each other and will receive the broadcast as an ordinary message from you. Once a broadcast list has been created, it can be re-used to message the same set of contacts again.
Broadcasts allow you to send the same message to up to 100 of your contacts at once. Unlike in a group, the recipients won't know about each other and will receive the broadcast as an ordinary message from you. Once a broadcast list has been created, it can be re-used to message the same set of contacts again.
To create a broadcast list:
To create a broadcast list:
iPhone: Start a new message (tap the icon in the top-right corner in Chats). Then ‘New Broadcast’.
iPhone: Start a new message (tap the icon in the top-right corner in Chats). Then ‘New Broadcast’.
Android: Tap the circular pencil icon in the chats list. Then ‘New Broadcast’.
Android: Tap the circular pencil icon in the chats list. Then ‘New Broadcast’.
Windows Phone: Tap the “+” button on the bottom bar. Then ‘New Broadcast’.
Windows Phone: Tap the “+” button on the bottom bar. Then ‘New Broadcast’.
Usernames
Q: Can I make calls or video calls via Telegram?
We are not working on these features at the moment.
Q: How can I use emoticons in Telegram on my iPhone?
We support emoji emoticons. Simply enable the emoji keyboard in your iOS device‘s Settings (General – Keyboards – Add New Keyboard… – Emoji). Then switch to that keyboard whenever you’re out of words.
Usernames and telegram.me
Q: What are usernames? How do I get one?
Q: What are usernames? How do I get one?
You can set up a public username on Telegram. It then becomes possible for other users to find you by that username — you will appear in contacts search under ‘global results’. Please note that people who find you will be able to send you messages, even if they don't know your number. If you are not comfortable with this, we advise against setting up a username in Telegram.
You can set up a public username on Telegram. It then becomes possible for other users to find you by that username — you will appear in contacts search under ‘global results’. Please note that people who find you will be able to send you messages, even if they don't know your number. If you are not comfortable with this, we advise against setting up a username in Telegram.
Usernames and search by username are supported in most of the official apps — you can set up a username in Settings.
Usernames and search by username are supported in most of the official apps — you can set up a username in Settings.
Q: How does telegram.me work?
Once you've set up a username, you can give people a telegram.me/YourUsername link. Opening that link on their phone will automatically fire up their Telegram app and open a chat with you. You can share username links with friends, write them on business cards or put them up on your website.
This way people can contact you on Telegram without knowing your phone number.
Q: What can I use as my username?
Q: What can I use as my username?
You can use a-z, 0-9 and underscores. Usernames are case-insensitive, but Telegram will store your capitalization preferences (e.g. Telegram and TeleGram is the same user). The username must be at least 5 characters long.
You can use a-z, 0-9 and underscores. Usernames are case-insensitive, but Telegram will store your capitalization preferences (e.g. Telegram and TeleGram is the same user). The username must be at least 5 characters long.
Q: Do I need a username?
Q: Do I need a username?
You don‘t have to get one. Remember that Telegram usernames are public and choosing a username on Telegram makes it possible for people to find you and send you messages even if they don’t have your number. If you are not comfortable with this, we advise against setting up a username.
You don‘t have to get one. Remember that Telegram usernames are public and choosing a username on Telegram makes it possible for people to find you in global search and send you messages even if they don’t have your number. If you are not comfortable with this, we advise against setting up a username.
Q: If someone finds me by username, messages and I reply — will they know my number?
Q: If someone finds me by username, messages and I reply — will they know my number?
No. Neither party will see another‘s phone number. This is similar to the case when you message a person who you’ve met in a Telegram group.
No. Neither party will see another‘s phone number. This is similar to the case when you message a person who you’ve met in a Telegram group.
There is one exception for the moment: just as in case of all Telegram messages, if you have somebody‘s number saved as a contact and you send them a message, your number also becomes visible to them. Just like with SMS. This happens regardless of how you open the conversation with that person — via the contacts menu, global search by username or from a group’s members page.
There is one exception to this: just as in case of all Telegram messages, if you have somebody‘s number saved as a contact and you send them a message, your number also becomes visible to them. Just like with SMS. This happens regardless of how you open the conversation with that person — via the contacts menu, global search by username, telegram.me link, or from a group’s members page.
Q: How do I delete my username?
Q: How do I delete my username?
Go to Settings and save an empty username. This will remove your username, people will no longer be able to find you via search. This will not affect existing conversations.
Go to Settings and save an empty username. This will remove your username, people will no longer be able to find you via search. This will not affect existing conversations.
Q: What do I do if my username is taken?
Q: What do I do if my username is taken?
Telegram usernames are distributed on a first come — first serve basis.
Telegram usernames are distributed on a first come — first serve basis.
We understand that certain usernames are part of an online identity for some of us. If your desired username is already taken, we will be happy to help you acquire it, provided that you have that same username on at least two of these services: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
We understand that certain usernames are part of an online identity for some of us. If your desired username is already taken, we will be happy to help you acquire it, provided that you have that same username on at least two of these services: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Please contact our in-app Support if you have more questions (Settings — Ask a question). Notice that Telegram support is done by volunteers (so please be nice).
Please contact our in-app Support if you have more questions (Settings — Ask a question). Notice that Telegram support is done by volunteers (so please be nice).
Security
Security
If you are an advanced user, you may find our FAQ for the Technically Inclined useful as well.
If you are an advanced user, you may find our FAQ for the Technically Inclined useful as well.
Q: How secure is Telegram?
Q: How secure is Telegram?
Telegram is more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line. We are based on the MTProto protocol (see description and advanced FAQ), built upon time-tested algorithms to make security compatible with high speed delivery and reliability on weak connections. We are continuously working with the community to improve the security of our protocol and clients.
Telegram is more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line. We are based on the MTProto protocol (see description and advanced FAQ), built upon time-tested algorithms to make security compatible with high speed delivery and reliability on weak connections. We are continuously working with the community to improve the security of our protocol and clients.
Q: What if I’m more paranoid than your regular user?
Q: What if I’m more paranoid than your regular user?
We've got you covered. Telegram’s special secret chats use end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on our servers, support self-destructing messages and don’t allow forwarding. About the only thing secret chats don’t have is cloud storage — they can only be accessed on their devices of origin.
We've got you covered. Telegram’s special secret chats use end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on our servers, support self-destructing messages and don’t allow forwarding. About the only thing secret chats don’t have is cloud storage — they can only be accessed on their devices of origin.
Q: Get technical already!
Q: Get technical already!
Ok, you asked for it. We support two layers of secure encryption (server-client and client-client). Our encryption is based on 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. You can find more info in the Advanced FAQ.
Ok, you asked for it. We support two layers of secure encryption (server-client and client-client). Our encryption is based on 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. You can find more info in the Advanced FAQ.
Q: Why should I trust you?
Q: Why should I trust you?
Telegram is open, anyone can check our source code, protocol and API, see how everything works and make an informed decision. In fact, we welcome security experts to audit our system and would appreciate any feedback (security@telegram.org).
Telegram is open, anyone can check our source code, protocol and API, see how everything works and make an informed decision. In fact, we welcome security experts to audit our system and would appreciate any feedback (security@telegram.org).
On top of that, Telegram is a nonprofit messenger, so commercial interests will never interfere with our mission.
On top of that, Telegram is a nonprofit messenger, so commercial interests will never interfere with our mission.
See also: articles about Telegram
See also: articles about Telegram
Q: Do I need to trust Telegram for this to be secure?
Q: Do I need to trust Telegram for this to be secure?
When it comes to secret chats, you don‘t — just make sure that the visualized key of your secret chat matches the one in your friend’s secret chat settings. More about this below.
When it comes to secret chats, you don‘t — just make sure that the visualized key of your secret chat matches the one in your friend’s secret chat settings. More about this below.
Q: What if my hacker friend says they could decipher Telegram messages?
Q: What if my hacker friend says they could decipher Telegram messages?
Anyone who claims that Telegram messages can be deciphered is welcome to prove that claim in our competition and win $300,000. You can check out the Cracking Contest Description to learn more.
Anyone who claims that Telegram messages can be deciphered is welcome to prove that claim in our competition and win $300,000. You can check out the Cracking Contest Description to learn more.
Comments on Telegram's security outside the scope of the contest are welcome at security@telegram.org
Comments on Telegram's security outside the scope of the contest are welcome at security@telegram.org
Q: Can Telegram protect me against everything?
Q: Can Telegram protect me against everything?
Telegram can help when it comes to data transfer and secure communication. But please remember that we cannot protect you from your own mother — or any other people that get physical access to your phone.
Telegram can help when it comes to data transfer and secure communication. But please remember that we cannot protect you from your own mother — or any other people that get physical access to your phone.
If you have serious reasons to worry about your personal security, we strongly recommend using only Secret Chats in official or at least verifiable open-source apps for sensitive information.
If you have reasons to worry about your personal security, we strongly recommend using only Secret Chats in official or at least verifiable open-source apps for sensitive information.
Secret Chats
Secret Chats
Q: How are secret chats different?
Q: How are secret chats different?
Secret chats are meant for people who want more security than the average fella. All messages in secret chats use end-to-end encryption. This means only you and the recipient can read those messages — nobody else can decipher them, including us here at Telegram. Messages cannot be forwarded from secret chats. You can also order your messages to self-destruct in a set amount of time after they have been read by the recipient. The message will then disappear from both your and your friend's devices.
Secret chats are meant for people who want more security than the average fella. All messages in secret chats use end-to-end encryption. This means only you and the recipient can read those messages — nobody else can decipher them, including us here at Telegram. Messages cannot be forwarded from secret chats. You can also order your messages to self-destruct in a set amount of time after they have been read by the recipient. The message will then disappear from both your and your friend's devices.
One last difference between secret and ordinary chats in Telegram is that secret chats are not stored in our cloud. You can only access messages in a secret chat from their device of origin.
One last difference between secret and ordinary chats in Telegram is that secret chats are not stored in our cloud. You can only access messages in a secret chat from their device of origin.
Q: How do I start a secret chat?
Q: How do I start a secret chat?
Start a new message (tap the icon in the top-right corner in Messages). Then ‘New secret chat’.
Start a new message (tap the icon in the top-right corner in Messages). Then ‘New secret chat’.
Remember that secret chats are device-specific. If you start a secret chat with a friend on one of your devices, this chat will only be available on that device. If you log out, you will lose all your secret chats. You can create as many different secret chats with the same contact as you like.
Remember that secret chats are device-specific. If you start a secret chat with a friend on one of your devices, this chat will only be available on that device. If you log out, you will lose all your secret chats. You can create as many different secret chats with the same contact as you like.
Q: How do self-destructing messages work?
Q: How do self-destructing messages work?
The Self-Destruct Timer is available for Secret Сhats. To set the timer, simply tap the clock icon (in the input field on iOS, in the top bar on Android), then Set Self-Destruct Timer to a desired time limit. The timer is applied to a message the moment it is displayed on the recipient's screen (two green checks). As soon as the time runs out, the message disappears from both devices and leaves no trace.
The Self-Destruct Timer is available for Secret Сhats. To set the timer, simply tap the clock icon (in the input field on iOS, in the top bar on Android), then Set Self-Destruct Timer to a desired time limit. The timer is applied to a message the moment it is displayed on the recipient's screen (two green checks). As soon as the time runs out, the message disappears from both devices and leaves no trace.
Please note that the timer only applies to messages that are sent after the timer was set. It has no effect on earlier messages.
Please note that the timer only applies to messages that are sent after the timer was set. It has no effect on earlier messages.
Q: What‘s this ’Encryption Key' thing?
Q: What‘s this ’Encryption Key' thing?
When a secret chat is created, the participating devices exchange encryption keys using the so called Diffie-Hellman key exchange. After the secure end-to-end connection has been established, we generate a picture that visualizes the encryption key for your chat. You can then compare this image with the one your friend has — if the two images are the same, you can be sure that the secret chat is secure and no man-in-the-middle attack can possibly succeed.
When a secret chat is created, the participating devices exchange encryption keys using the so called Diffie-Hellman key exchange. After the secure end-to-end connection has been established, we generate a picture that visualizes the encryption key for your chat. You can then compare this image with the one your friend has — if the two images are the same, you can be sure that the secret chat is secure and no man-in-the-middle attack can possibly succeed.
Q: Why not just make all chats ‘secret’?
Q: Why not just make all chats ‘secret’?
While all Telegram messages are always securely encrypted, messages in Secret Chats use client-client encryption, while ordinary chats use client-server/server-client encryption and are stored securely encrypted on our servers (more here). This enables your ordinary Telegram messages to be both secure and quickly accessible from any of your devices, you can also easily find them using server search — which is very useful at times.
While all Telegram messages are always securely encrypted, messages in Secret Chats use client-client encryption, while ordinary chats use client-server/server-client encryption and are stored securely encrypted on our servers (more here). This enables your ordinary Telegram messages to be both secure and quickly accessible from any of your devices, you can also easily find them using server search — which is very useful at times.
The idea behind Telegram is to bring something more secure to the masses, who understand nothing about security and want none of it. Being merely secure is not enough to achieve this — you also need to be fast, powerful and user friendly. This allows Telegram to be widely adopted by in broad circles, not just by activists and dissidents, so that the simple fact of using Telegram does not mark users as targets for heightened surveillance in certain countries.
The idea behind Telegram is to bring something more secure to the masses, who understand nothing about security and want none of it. Being merely secure is not enough to achieve this — you also need to be fast, powerful and user friendly. This allows Telegram to be widely adopted by in broad circles, not just by activists and dissidents, so that the simple fact of using Telegram does not mark users as targets for heightened surveillance in certain countries.
Deeper questions
Deeper questions
Q: Why not open source everything?
Q: Why not open source everything?
All code will be released eventually. We started with the most useful parts — a well-documented API that allows developers to build new Telegram apps, and open source clients that can be verified by security specialists.
All code will be released eventually. We started with the most useful parts — a well-documented API that allows developers to build new Telegram apps, and open source clients that can be verified by security specialists.
Q: Can I run Telegram using my own server?
Q: Can I run Telegram using my own server?
Our architecture does not support federation yet. Telegram is a unified cloud service, so creating forks where two users might end up on two different Telegram clouds is unacceptable. To enable you to run your own Telegram server while retaining both speed and security is a task in itself. At the moment we are undecided on whether or not Telegram should go in this direction.
Our architecture does not support federation yet. Telegram is a unified cloud service, so creating forks where two users might end up on two different Telegram clouds is unacceptable. To enable you to run your own Telegram server while retaining both speed and security is a task in itself. At the moment we are undecided on whether or not Telegram should go in this direction.
Q: Can I use the Telegram API?
Q: Can I use the Telegram API?
Yes. Developers for all platforms are welcome to use our protocol, API and even source code. Check out the Getting started section of the docs.
Yes. Developers for all platforms are welcome to use our protocol, API and even source code. Check out the Getting started section of the docs.
Q: Do you have a Privacy Policy?
Q: Do you have a Privacy Policy?
Sure. Check this out.
Sure. Check this out.
Q: Can I translate Telegram?
Q: Can I translate Telegram?
Telegram is officially available in English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Arabic and Portuguese on all platforms.
Telegram is officially available in English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Arabic and Portuguese on all platforms.
We are gradually expanding the list of official languages built into the apps, but there are other options as well. Telegram apps support external language packs. The .xml files for the Android app and Localizable.strings files for iOS can be downloaded from this Transifex page. Of course, you can also change the language files in any way you like and thus create your own personal Telegram localization.
We are gradually expanding the list of official languages built into the apps, but there are other options as well. Telegram apps support external language packs. The .xml files for the Android app and Localizable.strings files for iOS can be downloaded from this Transifex page. Of course, you can also change the language files in any way you like and thus create your own personal Telegram localization.
To apply an external language pack, send (or receive) the file as a document via Telegram, download it, then tap on it to see the menu (on Android: tap on … in the upper right corner of the doc bubble) then select ‘Apply localization file’. You will see a language selection menu with the language from the file as one of the options. Yes, this is damn tricky, we'll simplify the process in the next versions.
To apply an external language pack, send (or receive) the file as a document via Telegram, download it, then tap on it to see the menu (on Android: tap on … in the upper right corner of the doc bubble) then select ‘Apply localization file’. You will see a language selection menu with the language from the file as one of the options. Yes, this is damn tricky, we'll simplify the process in the next versions.
If you want to join our translation teams, please check out this page first:
If you want to join our translation teams, please check out this page first:
Style guide for Telegram translators
Style guide for Telegram translators
Q: Can I help?
Q: Can I help?
Yes, we are always looking for volunteers to help us with user support, since we are not a commercial organization. If you would be interested in answering questions about Telegram to users from your country, contact Markus Ra on Telegram (just add the number +4242 to your phone contacts and you should be able to see me).
Yes, we are always looking for volunteers to help us with user support, since we are not a commercial organization. If you would be interested in answering questions about Telegram to users from your country, contact Markus Ra on Telegram (just add the number +4242 to your phone contacts and you should be able to see me).
Before you write to Markus, please check out the Telegram Support Initiative.
Before you write to Markus, please check out the Telegram Support Initiative.
And no — he didn't create Telegram. He just wrote this FAQ.
And no — he didn't create Telegram. He just wrote this FAQ.
Other Features
Your Account
Q: How can I use emoticons in Telegram on my iPhone?
We support emoji emoticons. Simply enable the emoji keyboard in your iOS device‘s Settings (General – Keyboards – Add New Keyboard… – Emoji). Then switch to that keyboard whenever you’re out of words.
Q: Can I make calls or video calls via Telegram?
We are not working on these features at the moment.
Q: What happens if I change my phone number?
Each new phone number is a new Telegram account. So if you change your phone number, you won't be able to access your messages until you re-login. We may add some features later that would let you use multiple numbers, but for now it is not possible.
Q: How do I log out?
Q: How do I log out?
Remember, that you can use Telegram on multiple devices. If you log out, you don't lose your ordinary messages. However, you will lose all your Secret Chats and all messages inside them when you log out. Note that logging out doesn‘t trigger remote deletion of your secret chat messages on your partner’s device — to do that, choose ‘clear history’ first.
Remember, that you can use Telegram on as many devices at the same time, as you like. If you log out, you don't lose your cloud messages. However, you will lose all your Secret Chats and all messages inside them when you log out. Note that logging out doesn‘t trigger remote deletion of your secret chat messages on your partner’s device — to do that, choose ‘clear history’ first.
iPhone: Go to Settings, then Edit, then Log out.
iPhone: Go to Settings, then Edit, then Log out.
Android, Windows Phone: Go to Settings, then Log out.
Android, Windows Phone: Go to Settings, then Log out.
Q: Can I delete my account?
Q: How do I change my phone number?
You can change your number in Telegram and keep everything, including all your contacts, messages and media from the Telegram cloud, as well as all your Secret Chats on all devices.
Your mutual contacts (people in your contacts, who also have your number) will get your new number added to your contact in their address book unless you have blocked them in Telegram. This makes changing numbers even easier.
To change your number, go to Settings, then tap on your phone number (just above the username), then ‘Change Number’. If you already have a different Telegram account on the target number, you'll need to delete that account first.
Q: How do I delete my account?
If you would like to delete your account, you can do this on the deactivation page. Deleting your account permanently removes all your messages, groups and contacts. This action must be confirmed via your Telegram account and cannot be undone.
If you would like to delete your account, you can do this on the deactivation page. Deleting your account permanently removes all your messages, groups and contacts. This action must be confirmed via your Telegram account and cannot be undone.
We recommend using a non-mobile browser for this process.
We recommend using a non-mobile browser for this process.
Note that you'll receive the code via Telegram and not an SMS.
Note that you'll receive the code via Telegram and not an SMS.
We are still working on our apps and will provide additional migration options in future.
Q: What happens if I delete my account?
Q: What happens if I delete my account?
As was just mentioned above, all your data will be flushed from our system: all messages, groups and contacts associated with your account will be deleted. That said, your contacts will still be able to chat in the groups that you have created and they will still have their copy of the messages you sent them. So if you want to send messages that can vanish without a trace, try using our self-destruct timer instead.
As was just mentioned above, all your data will be flushed from our system: all messages, groups and contacts associated with your account will be deleted. That said, your contacts will still be able to chat in the groups that you have created and they will still have their copy of the messages you sent them. So if you want to send messages that can vanish without a trace, try using our self-destruct timer instead.
Termination of a Telegram account is irreversible. If you sign up again, you will appear as a new user and will not get your history or contacts back. People, who have your phone number in their contacts, will be notified. The new user will be a separate conversation in their messages list and their conversation history with this new user will be empty.
Termination of a Telegram account is irreversible. If you sign up again, you will appear as a new user and will not get your history or contacts back. People, who have your phone number in their contacts, will be notified. The new user will be a separate conversation in their messages list and their conversation history with this new user will be empty.
Q: My phone was stolen. What do I do?
Q: How does account self-destruction work?
First of all, sorry about your phone. Unfortunately, the phone number is the only way for us to identify a Telegram user at the moment. We do
Telegram is not a commercial organization and we value our disk space greatly. I