How To Delete All Messages in Telegram

It’s reader question time again and this time it’s about Telegram. The full question is ‘I heard that messages are stored on Telegram servers and I don’t want that. How can I delete all of my messages in Telegram?’

Telegram is a secure messaging app for mobile and desktop. It has millions of users and the company prides the service for its simple to use and encrypted messaging service. That means those who use it use it a lot which means housekeeping may be in order. That’s why today we are going to review your deletion options within Telegram. I’ll also share a few Telegram tricks I have learned since using the app too.

One of the reasons Telegram is so popular is because of the end to end encryption. This service means you can message another person anything you’d like while protecting your content from unintended readers. Even if you have nothing to hide, privacy is a right that is cherished in today’s digital society. If you live in a region where freedom of speech is restricted or you’re concerned about your own privacy, you will especially like Telegram.

Is it possible to delete all messages in Telegram?

Fortunately, Telegram has finally given users to expand their privacy options over the past two years. You can recall any messages at any time, for any reason. Before the newer updates became available, users could only delete messages if they were younger than 48 hours.

To delete all messages in Telegram:

  1. Select a message that you’ve sent.
  2. Select the trash can icon in the top right of the chat screen.
  3. You have the option to delete the message on your contact side as well. Just tap on the “Also delete for [Contact]” before selecting Delete.

Depending on the option you choose, your chat history will disappear from the other user’s chats as well.

If you’d like to delete an entire thread with another user simply swipe slowly on the thread (from the message list) and tap the red ‘Delete’ option on an iPhone. Android users can long-press the thread to remove all content.

Group Chats

Before you go responding to Group messages it’s important to understand that you may not have the option to delete those. According to Telegram, only Group admins can remove and delete chat history.

If you do join a group chat, take care with what you say as that information may be out of your control once you hit ‘Send’.

Telegram takes online messaging a bit further than simply deleting chats. You can create ‘Secret Chats’ within the app.

Secret Chats in Telegram

Secret chats work differently than normal chats in Telegram. Normal chat keeps a copy on the server so you can sync between devices and always maintain a conversation. Secret chat is peer to peer, so copies are only maintained on the devices you and the person you’re talking to are using.

Secret chats also self-destruct. You have the option to set a destruct timer within Telegram so the messages will disappear once both parties have read it. To start a secret chat in Telegram, select ‘New secret chat’ from the menu.

Change Your Phone Number in Telegram

If you have a couple of phones or change your number when you switch contracts, you can change it in Telegram so you can keep all your chats.

  1. Select Settings in Telegram and then Change Number.
  2. Add your new number in the box and select Save.
  3. All your chats will be transferred and downloaded to your new device (if you have one).

Use Multiple Telegram Accounts

I’m sure there are reasons why you might want to use multiple Telegram accounts. I just have the one account but if you want more than that, you can.

  1. Tap on the Menu icon (three stacked lines) in Telegram.
  2. Select the down arrow by your name.
  3. Select Add Account from the list.
  4. Add your number and follow the account setup wizard.

Once added, you use the same down arrow to switch between accounts. You can do this as many times as you need.

Lock Your Chats

Security is a big selling point for Telegram. End to end encryption is a serious benefit but the ability to lock chats is even better. It adds another level of security that keeps your conversations about as secret as they can be.

  1. Select Settings in the Telegram app.
  2. Select Privacy and Security.
  3. Select Passcode Lock and enable it.
  4. Add a PIN and you’re good to go.

Telegram has gotten a lot of bad press over the past year or so. Some of it warranted and some of it not. Either way, it remains a very good chat app that secures your conversations in multiple ways. For that alone it is worth using.

Preventing Messages from Forwarding

To further protect your privacy you can change the settings to prevent anyone from forwarding your messages. Visit the privacy settings and tap the option for ‘Forwarded Messages’ to ensure that no one but the intended recipient gains access.

To prevent forwarding:

  1. Open the Telegram app and tap ‘Settings’ in the bottom left-hand corner
  2. Tap on ‘Privacy and Security’
  3. Scroll down and tap ‘Forwarded Messages’
  4. Change from ‘Everyone’ (which is the default) to either ‘My Contacts’ or ‘Nobody’

The app even allows you to set forwarding capabilities to select contacts. Depending on your messaging needs, the app is fairly customizable.

Delete Your Telegram Account

Interestingly, if you delete your Telegram account, all of your chat histories goes with it. If you no longer feel the need to keep your Telegram account, or you have issues with the deletion process, deleting your account is a drastic but effective solution for maintaining anonymity.

To completely delete your account follow these instructions:

  1. Visit the Telegram website and input your phone number – You will have to use your country code plus the standard 10-digits of your phone number so for the U.S. that would be +1 (area code) – (last 7 digits of your phone number)
  2. Follow the verification steps
  3. Confirm the deletion of your account.

Your Telegram account will be automatically deleted after a period of time with no activity.

  1. You can travel to the ‘Settings’ in the app and tap on ‘Privacy and Security’.
  2. Once there locate the ‘Delete My Account’ header.
  3. Tap on the ‘If Away For’ option and set your account to delete after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year.

If you have difficulty deleting your account or using other features you can always contact the Telegram Support team.

Although the support team is full of volunteers the FAQ page located in the ‘Settings’ menu of the app is actually really helpful too.

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