Telegram is a solid messaging app that keeps your chats encrypted and is rich with features. But if you’re switching to a new messaging app, it’s best to delete your Telegram account before you go.
Unfortunately, Telegram doesn’t offer a direct switch you can flick in the app’s settings. So, here are step-by-step guides showing you how to deactivate your Telegram account and how to delete your Telegram account.
How to Export Your Data Before Leaving Telegram
Telegram doesn’t let you temporarily shut your Telegram account. Once you delete Telegram, you can’t undo the action and revive your account or read your old texts by just logging back in.
Thankfully, Telegram offers an export option on its desktop clients in case there are any conversations you’d like to save for future reference.
To use it, install the Telegram app on your PC and sign in. Click the three bars in the top-right corner to reveal the navigation menu and select Settings.
Now, click on Advanced and scroll all the way down until you find the Export Telegram Data option. Enter that and choose the type of data you’d like to export.
You can specifically pick which chats are extracted, whether to exclude public channels, whether the archive should include videos or GIFs, the export format, and more. You even have the ability to download only the stickers you’ve sent on Telegram in the past.
Click Export and, depending on the size of your data, Telegram will complete the extraction in a few minutes. Tap Show My Data to view the file.
How to Delete Your Telegram Account Using the Mobile App
By default, Telegram erases your account if it’s inactive for six months. However, you can edit that setting and adjust how long Telegram should wait before deleting your profile. Besides six months, you can set it to a month, three months, or a full year.
You’ll find the self-destruct option in the Telegram Android and iOS apps’ settings. On the app, tap the three-bar menu button in the top-left corner and select Settings. Next, go into the Privacy & Security page and scroll until you reach the Delete my account section.
Here, select the If away for entry and define the new inactivity duration after which your account should self-destruct.
You can’t deactivate your Telegram account temporarily. The only choice you have is to simply leave your Telegram profile inactive. If it helps, you can uninstall the Telegram apps from your computer and phone.
For those who can’t wait a month, Telegram allows you to immediately kill your account and data as well. The tool is not present on any of the native apps and is only accessible on the web. This works on desktop as well as on any mobile browser.
To deactivate your Telegram account, head over to the My Telegram web portal, enter your Telegram phone number using the international number format, then click Next.
A confirmation code will be sent to you via Telegram and not by SMS, so ensure that you can access your Telegram account to retrieve the code.
Enter the code in the “Confirmation code” box and click Sign In.
On the next screen, click the Delete Account link. In the available text box, write your reason for leaving. Hit the Delete My Account button when you’re ready.
Select the red Yes, Delete My Account option in the prompt and that’s it. Telegram will delete your account and data permanently.
What Happens When You Delete Your Telegram Account
Before deleting your Telegram profile forever, it’s best to understand the consequences of doing so.
When you delete your account, Telegram says it gets rid of all of your chats and data. Your account is terminated permanently and your messages, as well as contacts, are deleted beyond retrieval.
As for the channels and groups you built, they will continue to function normally even when you delete Telegram, and the existing admins will retain their privileges. In case you’re the sole admin, Telegram will randomly assign an active member as the new admin.
On top of that, Telegram won’t let you set up a new account with the same phone number again for at least a couple of days. In addition, deleting an account that has been limited due to spam-related activity will not remove the ban.
Why You May Want to Delete Your Telegram Account
Even though Telegram boasts some useful features, there are still several reasons why you may want to deactivate your Telegram account. Here are just a few reasons why you may want to delete Telegram:
1. Telegram Is No Longer the Best App for You
With so many instant messaging apps available, there’s a chance Telegram is not the best messaging app for your needs anymore. Maybe there’s a new IM app in town, and you want to shift your conversations there, or you’re worried about Telegram features that may be exposing your location.
2. Your Friends Are Leaving Telegram
Perhaps, some of your friends or family members are no longer on Telegram. Hence, you’re following them away from Telegram to new pastures in order to stay connected.
3. Telegram’s Policies Worry You
Popular messaging apps often know a lot about you. It’s also possible you are not comfortable with Telegram’s open policies and its broad range of communities. Multiple reports claim Telegram is a hotbed for illegal activity and hosts channels where users can easily download new movies or music tracks for free.
4. You Don’t Trust Telegram
Telegram doesn’t encrypt chats by default and its security model has been criticized by some. In comparison, its competitor Signal is generally viewed with more trust around security and privacy.
Is It Time to Delete Telegram?
Telegram is a very competent messaging platform that’s available across a host of platforms. However, if you’ve decided to quit Telegram, these methods will help you delete your Telegram account and preserve your chat data locally on your computer.
If you’re still looking for a new home for your digital conversations, there are a number of Telegram alternatives you can try.