Telegram tips and tricks for masterful messaging

Telegram tips and tricks for masterful messaging

Seen as a more secure messenger app than WhatsApp, 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 messenger.

Telegram Tips and Tricks

Pick a username Hide Telegram media Animated stickers and GIFs
Custom username  Hide "Last seen" on Telegram Change the theme and color
Turn off message preview Read messages secretly Create custom masks
Custom notifications and LED colors Self-destruct timer for images and secret chats How to delete your account
Mute individual notifications Lock your chats Customize and edit images
Reply from your home screen Directly reply to messages in group chats Using bots
Change your phone number Search your message history Pin conversations to the top
Block someone on Telegram Hashtags Edit sent messages
Customizing chat background Use Telegram on PC Share your location
Manage media downloads Check active Telegram sessions Control image compression
Save messages for later Use multiple accounts Delete sent messages

Pick a username

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.  

Claim custom username in Telegram

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 two other services as well. To get in touch with the Telegram support team, go into Settings and tap on Ask a question.

Turn off message preview

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 In-App Preview.

Custom notifications and LED colors

Not only can you set custom notifications in Telegram for your contacts, but you can also set custom LED notifications colors. Seeing as we're talking about notification LEDs, you'll need an 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 then Customize. You'll be presented with the options to change notifications, vibration patterns, sound, priority and LED color.

Turning off notifications for individual contacts

Speaking of notifications, ever wanted to (temporarily) mute a contact on Telegram who just sends too many messages? Just like setting up a custom notification, select your Contact, tap on Info then go to Notifications and tap Deactivate.

Reply from your home screen with pop-up notifications

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.

Change your phone number on Telegram

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.

androidpit telegram review 5
Changing your number on Telegram is easy. / © NextPit

How to block someone on Telegram

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.

Customizing chat background

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.

Manage media downloads in Telegram

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.

Hide Telegram media from your gallery

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.

Hide "Last seen" on Telegram

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.

Read messages secretly

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.

Self-destruct timer for images and secret chats

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.

This message will self-destruct in 3, 2, 1... / © NextPit

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.

Lock your chats

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.

Directly reply to messages in group chats

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.

Search your message history

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.

Use Telegram on PC

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:

Check active Telegram sessions

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.

Animated stickers and GIFs

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. 

telegram sticker love
Stickers on Telegram / © NextPit

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.

Change the theme and color

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.

Create custom masks

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.

Delete and/or self-destruct your Telegram account

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: and then enter your phone number.

Customize and edit images

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.

Using bots

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.

telegram bots
Of course, some bots are just plain silly. / © NextPit

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 by chatting with botfather.

Pin conversations to the top

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. 

Edit sent messages

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.

Share your location

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.

Control image compression

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.

Save messages for later

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.

Use multiple accounts

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.

Delete sent messages

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.

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  • Is there a way to emoticon on each comment like in Messenger??? I have to hit reply to every comment to emoticon it. It was so easy in Messenger. I see this as a major fail in Telegram and I can’t find any answers to this anywhere. Thanks.

  • mario 6 months ago Link to comment

    The best thing on telegram is bots.

    One of the useful bots: transfermusicbot
    copy playlist and music library between music services (spotify, deezer, apple music, amazon music)

    I am an author of bot - not a spamer)

  • kunke Oct 21, 2019 Link to comment

    im a big fan of telegram but they need to do one thing. like fb messenger to be able to create conversation popup on display. i know you can create a shortcut display with a conversation but has not the same function like the messenger conversation. its not overlay conversation or i think its called chat heads

  • I am using Samsung Note 4, sadly there is no option to "delete" messages. The only icon I see after selecting a message is copy and forward. Again, no one is talking about it. Seen similar behavior on Xiaomi phones as well. Any ideas?

  • I am glad to thank who make the telegram. It is not only the just communication method but the best communication for us. It really made our life fast with its features.

  • In deed my brother was escorted and interrogated by UK Police waiting on the Tarmac at Heathrow, he had to surrender his 2 phones and 2 NoteBooks under (anti Terrorist act7). Cutting it short; they focus on our Whats-app transmission and of course his gmail emails, but the whats-app was mainly what was -should I say discussed.We had to pay the hotel expenses , Oh he was in transit for 2 hours and the phones and NB was returned days later.Truly Whats-App is nasty

  • Sorin Jan 30, 2019 Link to comment

    More recently, with the announced meeting of the three major social platforms, that is, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, a kind of Brexit but vice versa, we've taken more seriously Telegram. Because with the reunion of 3 different protection systems, it does not mean that their meeting will be so safe, I considered the Telegram alternative to be good for use, and that's why for a while I will use both WhatsApp and Telegram , and I will only stay on the Telegram, and my friends will choose the Telegram.

  • Kushal Apr 26, 2017 Link to comment

    I'm sure you are not a regular Telegram user. You've missed the best features it offers.
    1. You can share images and songs with or without compression. When you are compressing media there is an option to control compression level and you'll be able to see what compressed image will look like.
    2. Smart group notifications.
    3. I can control who can add me to group or who can call me on Telegram.
    4. I can pin important chats at top.
    5. I can delete message from receiver's​ phone.
    6. I can edit sent messages.
    7. There is a jump to date option when you are searching in chat.
    8. You've not mentioned bots.
    9. You've not mentioned super groups.
    10. Shared files are never deleted. I can see files sent back in 2012!
    And I can go on and on..

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Apr 26, 2017 Link to comment

      Thanks for the input! feel free give us more feedback on things that you think we missed. As mentioned at the end of the article - a list is never complete.

    • Actually the article did mention number 4, number 6, and number 8. What article were you reading??

      Deactivated Account

  •   10
    Deactivated Account Apr 25, 2017 Link to comment

    telegram exceeded since long time the "messaging" app status for myself. it has become a hub to and from which i am sending and receiving files, communicate, track, list, remind etc myself and others about everything.

    • Agree. Telegram is easily the best at this. Also is very fast; allows any file type, which WA doesn't; provides both Channels and # tags - together they make indexing a doddle!
      Thanks Telegram, life would

      Deactivated Account

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