Even though WhatsApp reigns supreme when it comes to user numbers, Telegram has a very strong and loyal following. Seen as a more secure messenger app, Telegram has a host of innovative and useful features that might not be as evident for everyone. We've compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most out of Telegram.
Telegram Tips and Tricks
When setting up Telegram, you'll have to enter your phone number and add your first name. If you don't want to appear under your real name or phone number, or just want to be more creative and use a custom username, go into the Settings and tap on Username.
The only snag with using a custom username is that every username is only available once. Chances are if you're going to pick a very common name or something of the sort, it'll already be taken. There is a last alternative if you do really want to use that special username: you can get in touch with the support team. The prerequisite though is that you've been using this username on at least 2 other services as well. To get in touch with the Telegram support team, go into Settings and tap on Ask a question.
Lock screen notifications and message previews are normally super useful features, but sometimes you don't want to let everyone close to your phone see who's writing to you (and what they're writing). To disable message preview in Telegram, go into Settings -> Notification and Sounds and turn off Message Preview.
Not only can you set custom notifications in Telegram for your contacts, you can also set custom LED notifications colors. Seeing as we're talking about notification LEDs, you'll need and Android smartphone to do this and it will need to have a notification LED for this to work.
Custom notifications can be set if you tap on Contact info, tap on Notifications and sounds, and then you'll be presented with the options to change notifications, vibration patterns, sound, priority and LED color.
Speaking of notifications, ever wanted to (temporarily) mute a contact on Telegram who just sends too many messages? Easy! Just like setting up a custom notification, select your Contact, tap on Info then go to Notifications and tap Deactivate.
While you might have just deactivated notifications for a spammy user, being able to reply directly from your home screen is super useful. You can enable home screen pop-up notifications when you go into Settings > Notifications and Sounds and then tap on Popup notifications.
While it doesn't happen too often, you might end up changing your phone number somewhere along the line. Even though you are registered with your old phone number, you can easily swap out your old number with a new one. Just go into Settings and tap on Phone number.
For one reason or another, you've got a contact in Telegram who's getting on your nerves, or you can't remember why you added them in the first place. Don't stress - you can easily block people on Telegram. Just go into Contacts then tap on the contact > tap on the profile image > tap on the 3 dots icon in the upper right corner and hit Block.
Do you want to customize your Telegram experience? Bored of seeing the same old standard background? Well, it's super easy to change the chat background in Telegram. Go into Settings > Chat Background and then pick one of the preset images or a photo out of your own gallery.
Telegram allows you to send files up to the size of 1.5 GB. While that's awesome, it can quickly fill up all the free space on your phone and eat up your data! The easiest way to control this is to configure how, when and what files you want Telegram to download. If you're on the go, you might not want Telegram to download that massive video someone sent you. To control your data and media settings, go into Settings > Data and Storage and then tap on When using mobile data or When connected on Wi-Fi. Both settings will let you toggle which files you can download on the selected data settings.
Don't want to see photos and videos that have been shared with you on Telegram in your photo gallery? Just go into Settings and toggle Save to gallery off.
Don't feel like sharing with others when you last used Telegram? Thankfully, you can customize the "Last seen" settings on Telegram. You can toggle who can and can't see your "Last seen" and even add exceptions to your rules. To deactivate or customize "Last seen" on Telegram, go into Settings > Privacy and Security > Last seen.
Ever wanted to read a message without the sender seeing that you read it? Well, here's a little trick. When you receive a message, turn on airplane mode. Open Telegram and read the message. Once you've read it, close the app and turn your data back on. The sender will never know that you read their message.
Similar to Snapchat, Telegram also has a feature where your chats or pictures will self destruct. Telegram decided to innovate a bit on this feature and lets you set self-destruct timer on your messages. This feature is currently only available in secret chats, but it's easy to activate. Hit the 3 buttons in the top right corner and pick Set self-destruct timer. You'll have the option between 1 second and 1 week.
There's a similar self-destruct feature for images, which doesn't have to be used in a secret chat. Just choose the photo you want to send from your gallery, then tap the clock icon to set the timer.
One of the reasons why people like Telegram so much is because of its multiple built-in security features. One of them lets you lock your chats so if someone accesses your phone, they won't be able to read your chat logs. To set a passcode, go into Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Passcode lock and then enter your 4 digit code. You can even choose to unlock the chats with your fingerprint. Now that you've set a passcode, you can click on the lock in the top right corner of your chats and lock the chat.
If you've got a lot going on in a group chat, you've always got the option to directly reply to the message in the chat. Just long press on the message and select reply.
Looking for that one message you sent months ago? Don't feel like scrolling for hours just to find it again? Just use the built-in search function. Go into the chat where you sent the message, tap on the 3 dots in the top right corner and tap on Search. You can then enter the text or keyword that you're looking for and Telegram will filter out the messages for you.
Like Twitter, Telegram also allows you to use the hashtag (#) to create virtual sections in which all messages relating to a subject are regrouped. To use this function, simply type # and write the theme to create a new hashtag, or select a pre-existing one from those that appear in the preview (right after you enter the #).
All hashtags are grouped into each user's directory, so you can find them by doing a search within the conversation history.
Similar to WhatsApp you can use on Telegram on your PC, Mac and Linux computers. Rather than a web client, Telegram is available as a PC app, which you can easily download here: https://desktop.telegram.org/
Telegram supports multiple device sessions, meaning that you can access your chats on multiple devices at the same time. Sometimes it's useful to have an overview on which devices you've still got an active session going on. If you go into Settings -> Privacy and security > Active sessions, you can see where you're currently logged in. If you want, you can log out and terminate certain sessions.
I am not talking here of simple emoji, but of real images that can be used to express the most diverse feelings, distinguished by the most elaborate graphics. Stickers are a kind of figures in drawings, which can be downloaded in complete packages with different themes or individually. You can even make your own with the @stickers bot, which will walk you through the process.
Animated GIFs can be searched and sent between Telegram contacts through a directory within the app itself. So you do not have to search Google and send a still image to play with a contact, just attach an animated GIF provided by Telegram itself.
The Android Telegram mobile app received an update recently and, as the main thing, added support for themes. With the feature, the user can customize the app's interface with one of the pre-configured themes or use creativity and create their own content. You can choose the color of each button, text, tab and background of the app screens.
For now, the novelty only works on smartphones with the Google operating system. However, the app developer said that Telegram for iPhone (iOS) version will be updated soon and will gain support for themes. It's worth remembering that the tool is not yet available in the main competitor of the messenger, WhatsApp. Check out, in this tutorial, the step-by-step guide to changing the Telegram theme:
- Step 1. Open Telegram and touch the button located in the upper left corner of the screen. In the app menu, tap Settings.
- Step 2. In the app settings, tap "Theme". Now just choose one of the themes listed - Blue or Dark.
- Step 3. If you want to create a custom theme, touch "Create New Theme". Then enter a name for the theme and confirm with "OK".
- Step 4. Tap on the drawing palette icon to the right of "Create New Theme" and choose the item you want to change the color of.
- Step 5. Now just choose the colors for each of the listed items and touch "Save". Finally, select "Save theme."
With this tip, you can customize the Telegram interface with one of the pre-configured themes or use creativity to create your own color combination.
Telegram, one of the main rivals of WhatsApp, stands out for its set of image-editing tools. One of the funniest features to make mounts are the masks, which personalize with pictures or adornments the photos taken with the camera or stored in the gallery of the cell phone. Like stickers, you can also create a package with in-app masks.
Check out this tutorial on how the interaction works with bots or automated profiling and to create masks in the messenger.
Step 1. Telegram has an automatic profile to assist users in creating personalized stickers and masks. Search for "@Stickers" in the search for contacts and select the indicated result.
Step 2. The messenger will display a conversation with the "@Stickers" button. Press "Start" to activate it and check out the list with the basic commands to create your own stickers and masks.
Step 3. Then send the "/newmask" command to create a custom masking package and complete the operation choosing a name.
Step 4. Press the attachment button to send the pictures in "File" format. Note: Images must be in PNG format, have 512 x 512 pixels of resolution and be up to 350 KB in size. If the submission is accepted, the bot will send a message with four mask types to configure the image. Choose one of the options.
Step 5. The next step is the mask calibration. Orient the figure according to the previously chosen classification and press "Ready" to complete. Continue repeating these steps to send more prop figures to the created package.
Step 6. Finish creating the masquerade package by typing "/publish" in the message box. The auto profile will prompt you for a name to set the address for the new mask group.
Step 7. The bot will respond by displaying the publication and its link to the created masquerade package. Open it and click "Add masks" to download them to your Telegram image editing menu.
Step 8. The new masks will be available to be used in quick mounts within the messenger and can still be shared with your contacts.
Had enough of Telegram? Finally caved to WhatsApp? Or just ditching messaging apps in general? Telegram lets you easily nuke your account. Go into Settings -> Privacy and Security and then tap Account self-destructs. The only caveat here is that the self-destruct won't happen instantly. You can select between 1 and 6 months. If you want to delete your Telegram account right away, you'll need to go to the deactivation page: https://my.telegram.org/auth?to=deactivate and then enter your phone number.
You can customize the images you send back and forth with friends in several different ways on Telegram. You can draw on images, plus add stickers or text. There is also a small in-app image editor that comes with the ability to adjust the brightness, contrast, and other aspects of the image. It's quite practical. Select an image or video to upload as you normally would, and click the edit icon to begin customizing.
Telegram has been using bots for some time, but now they are much more useful and easy to access. To activate and use a bot, simply enter @ and the name of the bot you want. Make a space and type in what you need. Some bots that can be used are: @gif (to search for GIFs), @vid (to search for videos), @imdb (to search for information about movies), @bing (general search), @wiki and @bold (text formatting). There are a ton more third-party bots, but with these you can start playing.
You can even create your own bots and set them up to do what you need. To get started, you just need a little help from daddy, a.k.a. @botfather. This one bot to rule them all will guide you through the steps of creating a bot and setting up its tasks. You can also manage existing bots through chatting with botfather.
One of the biggest complaints about Telegram is that it's impossible to hide away conversations you don't use often. Eventually, your inbox just becomes cluttered with groups and conversations you don't want to see. To make this a bit easier to deal with, you can pin conversations to the top of the list. This way, at least you can see the ones you want to see, even if you still have to bear those you don't.
To pin a conversation, channel or group, long tap the chat until a menu appears, then select Pin to top. You can do this for up to 5 conversations.
Telegram allows you to edit sent messages so you can correct awkward spelling mistakes and other such errors. Just select a sent message by long tapping it, then tap the pencil icon at the top. After you've fixed the mistake, the modified message will appear in the chat with a tiny pencil next to it to indicate that content has been edited.
Just like in WhatsApp, you can share your location with a contact via Telegram. Tap the paperclip icon in a chat and then select Location. You can either send your current location, or share your location from that moment forward until 15 minutes to 8 hours from then.
Most social media and messaging services compress your images when you send them. This saves on data, and storage and generally makes the uploads faster, but at the cost of image quality. Telegram, however, lets you decide whether to compress your images or upload them at full quality. It depends on where you save your image: in the Gallery or in File sections.
When you get a file from the gallery, the image counts as a media file, and is uploaded in a compressed format - fast and convenient. However, you also have the option to upload the uncompressed image file at full quality, from the File section. Telegram's file picker will allow you to browse your device's storage to pick which one you want.
Get a message that you know you want to show to someone else later, or just keep for reference? Select the message in question and tap Forward > Saved Messages. You can even send messages that contain files like pictures and videos. Saved messages are marked with the name of the original sender for convenience, ready for when you need to check or share them again.
A single user on Telegram can still have multiple accounts. Great, for example, if you want to have separate accounts for work and personal life. To add a new account, tap on the down arrow next to your name and then you should see a + Add Account option appear.
Then enter the new number for your next account and follow the on-screen prompts. Once the new account is created, you can switch accounts by hitting the down arrow and selecting the account from the new options.
Oops! We've all send something we've come to regret, haven't we? Fortunately, Telegram allows you to delete a sent message. Just long press the message to select it and tap on the trashcan icon that appears on the top right. You'll get a prompt with options, so select "delete the messages for receiving party" and then and hit delete.
Note that you only a 48 hour grace period to delete a sent message this way. After 48 hours, the message is out there, for good or ill, so act fast!
No tips and tricks list is ever truly complete. If you've got a trick for Telegram which isn't listed here, let us know in the comments and we'll update our list.