Telegram is one of the popular cross-platform instant messaging and VoIP services out there. It is open-source and based on the freeware model. You can use it as an app on Android and iOS, on mobile, and on Linux, macOS, and Windows on the computer side of things. In addition, you can also use it on the web using a web browser on any device, irrespective of its platform. As for what you get, the service offers a wide range of features and functionalities — including those missing on WhatsApp. And, with the concerns raised over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, Telegram seemingly appears as a potential alternative to WhatsApp.

telegram tips and tricks

So, if you are new to Telegram (or have been a long-time user), here is a compilation of some of the best Telegram tips and tricks to help you get familiar with the platform and get more out of it.

Best Telegram Tips and Tricks

1. Chat folders

Managing chats and keeping a tab on all the different conversations you have with your friends and contacts can be troublesome and can even sometimes cause you to miss out on important messages. Telegram aims to simplify chat management using chat folders. Chat folders allow you to group conversations from different Telegram channels, groups, or individual chats in an organized manner, all in one place. That way, you can categorize and sort your conversations on the messaging app effectively and have a decluttered home interface.

telegram chat folders

To create a chat folder, open Telegram and head to Settings. Here, select Chat Folders (on iOS) and Folders (on Android). On the next screen, tap on Create New Folder. Now, give a name to the folder and add chats by clicking on the Add Chats button. [You can add chats under Included Chats and Excluded Chats section. Included chats will be added to your folder, while excluded will be eliminated.] Finally, click on Create (on iOS) and Save (on Android) to create a chat folder.

2. Edit sent messages

Sending messages with typographical errors is a nightmare people often succumb to on most messaging apps — leaving them wanting an edit option. If you are on Telegram and you happen to find yourself in such a scenario, the platform, luckily, has an edit option that allows you to edit your sent messages and fix errors.

edit sent messages telegram

To edit a sent message, select it and click on the Edit button. Now, edit the message and click on the tick button to apply changes. [Do note that edited messages have an edited label on them to inform members in the conversation of the same.]

3. Send silent messages

A lot of the time, you end up in a situation where you have to send a message to your friend or contact them without alerting them. In such a situation, if you send a regular message, the recipient gets notified of the same. However, if you use Telegram’s Silent Messages functionality, you can avoid this and get your message across without disturbing the other person. That way, their phone does not ring or vibrate for an incoming message.

send telegram messages without sound

For sending a silent message, open the chat you want to send the message in and type in your text. Once typed in, instead of pressing the send button like you usually do, tap and hold on to it until you get a pop-up with a couple of options. From here, select the one that says Send Without Sound.

4. Schedule messages

For times when you need to send messages at a specific time, scheduling your messages is a safe bet and comes in handy to ensure you do not forget about sending the message in the first place. To schedule a message on Telegram, open the chat where you need to send the message and type in your message. Now, tap and hold on the send button until you get a pop-up with a couple of options. From here, select Schedule Message and select the date and time for when you want to send the message.

schedule messages telegram

5. Send disappearing (aka self-destructing) media

When you usually send messages and media in normal chat mode on Telegram, they continue to live in conversations perpetually. While this is not a point of concern most of the time, those who do not want the other person in the conversation to have access to their media forever (kind of) can take advantage of Telegram’s self-destructing feature. However, do note that even though you send a disappearing message, the recipient can take a screenshot to save your media files.

seld-destructing media

To send self-destructing (disappearing) media, go to the chat you want to send disappearing media to and click on the attachment button. Next, select the media (photos and videos) from your gallery and tap and hold on to the send button. When you do that, you are presented with a few options. From this list, select Send with Timer. Now, set the timeout time using the self-destruct timer. And finally, hit the Send with Timer button to send the media across.

6. Use slow mode

Useful for group admins, in particular, Telegram’s slow mode is a neat little feature that allows admins to limit the number of messages that the members of their groups can send at a time to prevent mass forwarding. For this, what Telegram essentially does is it gives admins the option to set an interval between consecutive messages. This interval is the time that the members have to wait before they can send a message (once they have already sent one). If you are a group admin, you should enable slow mode to curb mass forwarding.

telegram slow mode

To do this, head over to your Telegram group and click on the Edit button (on iOS) or pen icon (on Android). Now, click on Permissions. On the next page, you will see a Slow Mode slider with different time intervals up to 1 hour. Drag the slider as per your preference to set the slow mode time.

7. Connect with nearby people and groups

One of the best features of Telegram is the ability to connect with nearby Telegram users and groups without having to share your contact number. Much like the nearby feature on Facebook that lets you find people in your vicinity and add them, Telegram’s nearby functionality also lets you connect with nearby people who use the Telegram app. So, when you are out and about at public events and want to connect with people, you can use this feature and interact with them without sharing your phone number.

find nearby people and groups

To use the feature, open the Telegram app, head over to the Contacts section, and select Find People Nearby. When prompted, allow the app access to your location. Once done, you get a list of all the people and groups nearby, with an approximate distance marking. From here, click on any of these contacts or groups to connect.

8. Select and copy a part of the text in a message

The ability to copy only some part of a text in a message is something that you do not get on a lot of messaging apps. Consider WhatsApp, for instance, which does not allow you to select a specific part of a message and, instead, requires you to go the tedious route of first selecting the entire text and then pasting it in the tiny compose window to edit out the unrequired part. Luckily though, Telegram supports selective text copying to simplify your text selection and copying experience on the app.

copy a part of message

To select a part of the text in a message, tap and hold on to a message to select it, and again, tap and hold on to it to select the part you need. Once done, copy the text and paste it to your desired location.

9. Send uncompressed media

Besides text messages, a lot of us use messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram to share media and files with other people. However, a hurdle that we often run into in the process is that not all services offer the option to send uncompressed media readily and require some kind of a workaround to get it to work. Fortunately, in the case of Telegram (on Android), that is not the case, as it allows you to easily send media across to your contacts without running into compression issues.

send uncompressed media on telegram

For this, go to the chat you want to share media in and click on the attachment button. Next, choose the media (photos and videos) from your gallery that you want to share and tap and hold the send button until you see an option that says Send without compression. Click on it to send your media in an uncompressed format.

If you are on iOS, though, you have to select the media (photos and videos) as files to send them in an uncompressed form.

10. Prevent people from adding you into groups

Groups on messaging platforms offer a convenient way to share information with multiple people at once. However, much like how most features have their set of advantages and disadvantages, the group chat functionality is one that is not spared either, and oftentimes, you will find it being used by marketing companies (and even acquaintances) to get a lot of (unwilling) people on board to spread their message. Luckily, a lot of apps these days offer the option to restrict people from adding you to random groups, and Telegram happens to be one of them.

prevent people from adding into random groups

To prevent people from adding you to random Telegram groups, head over to Settings > Privacy and Security. From here, click on Groups. On the next page, select My Contacts under Who can add me to group chats. In addition, select Never Allow under Add exceptions and add the contact of the person (you want to block from adding you to their group) here.

11. Start a secret chat

By default, all your chats happen in normal conversation mode, which stores these chats on Telegram’s servers. While this happens, all conversations between the cloud server and the users are encrypted. However, what you should know is that this is not user-to-user encryption and, therefore, poses a risk of a potential breach. So if you want a way that ensures your conversations with another Telegram user are encrypted, you need to use what Telegram calls Secret Chat. Conversations taking place in secret chat are user-to-user encrypted and not saved on the company’s servers. Moreover, these conversations can not be forwarded to another user and also prohibit screenshots. You can also self-destruct secret chat messages, photos, videos, and files by setting a self-destruction timer — the time after which they get deleted once the recipient reads or opens them.

telegram secret chat

To start a secret chat on Android, click on the pencil icon on the home page and select New Secret Chat. On the next page, pick the contact you want to have a secret chat with and start your conversation. Alternatively, if you already have a chat with that user, you can tap on their profile and on the three-dot menu, and from here, select Start Secret Chat.

On the other hand, if you are an iOS user, you need to select the user with whom you want to have a secret chat and go into their profile. Here, you need to click on the three-dot button that says More and select Start Secret Chat from the options.

12. Search for YouTube or GIF

Quick search is probably one of the most useful features on Telegram that can come in handy during conversations. Basically, it is a part of Telegram’s inline bots, which let you look up a GIF or a YouTube video right inside a chat without having to leave the app. A lot of the time, when you need to find and share a video (or a GIF) with someone on an app, you have to go back and forth between apps to get the link for the video you want to share. However, with these inline Telegram bots, you do not have to follow that tedious process.

search for youtube video or gif

To search for a GIF or a YouTube video, type in @gif or @youtube, respectively, followed by your search term in the chat window. As soon as you do that, you will get a list of all the different suggestions for the GIF or video you requested. Select the one you want to share and hit the send button. Besides these inline bots, there is a wide variety of other Telegram bots on the platform that let you perform different functions. Moreover, you can also create custom Telegram bots to help you with your specific use cases and even automate certain tasks.

13. Change your phone number

Changing phone numbers has to be one of the most annoying experiences. After all, all you are required to do — in the days after you change your number — is to message all your contacts to share your new number. If you are on Telegram, though, changing your phone numbers is quite easy, as the platform has a pretty neat utility that simplifies all the hassle and makes changing your phone number an easy process.

change phone number on telegram

To change your number on Android, open the app and click on the hamburger menu. From here, tap on the mobile number under Account, and on the next screen, click on the Change Number button. Now, follow the on-screen instructions, and your phone number should be changed.

On the other hand, if you are on iOS, open Telegram and click on the Settings button at the bottom. Now, on the next screen, click on the Edit button and tap on Change Number. Finally, click on Change Number, add your new number, and follow the on-screen instructions.

14. Use multiple accounts

If you use two phone numbers to keep your personal and professional life isolated, Telegram allows you to add multiple accounts on a single device and use them simultaneously. That way, you can manage them in one place without having to carry two devices.

use multiple accounts

To add a new account on Android, click on the hamburger menu and tap on Add Account. On the next screen, choose your country and add a phone number to register it as your second account.

If you are on iOS, open the app and click on Settings on the bottom left of the screen. Now, click on the Edit button and tap on Add Another Account. Here, fill in the details of the second account and hit Done. Once you have multiple accounts linked, you can then switch between them with a single click and access all your Telegram chats and groups associated with that account.

15. Lock chats

Your device (Android or iOS) probably has some sort of screen lock in place that requires authentication each time you unlock it to prevent anyone other than you from accessing your phone. However, that protection only applies to the lock screen and not the various apps you have on your device. Even though you can use a third-party app (on Android) to lock these apps, you do not really need one for apps that offer such utility themselves. And Telegram happens to be one of them.

lock chats

To lock your chats, click on Settings and go to Privacy and Security. Here, click on Passcode Lock under Security, choose the kind of lock you want in place, and set it up.

16. Organize and find messages using hashtags

Hashtags are a common sight on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. For those unaware, a hashtag is basically a user-generated tag that allows for cross-referencing of content with keywords such that people can click on it and get all the related information in one place. Telegram also happens to support hashtags to allow its users to search for messages and all related media on a topic globally. So you can use these hashtags to add structure to your Telegram channels and groups and have all the related messages available at a click. To take advantage of hashtags on Telegram, you can get started by adding the # key followed by the keyword and then looking for it in the search box to find all the related data.

organize and find messages using hashtags

The aforementioned are some of the best Telegram tips and tricks to help you improve your experience and get more out of the platform. So, no matter if you are new to Telegram or have been using it all this time, you can take advantage of these tricks and all the different Telegram features and use them to your advantage.

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