How to delete your Telegram account

Delete Telegram

The market for secure instant messaging services has exploded in recent years and as a result, people are getting far pickier about which service they use.

Any internet privacy and security issues identified can result in users flocking to competitors in their droves and, unfortunately for Telegram, there have been a number of security problems or limitations flagged up over the years.

For many, their Telegram account remains idle. But, there are also those among iOS and Android users who want to delete their apps and data permanently.

However, Telegram does not offer any easy ways to delete Telegram in its app, so a lot of people are not sure how to delete their Telegram account permanently.

In this guide, we will show you a few different methods that you can use if you wish to know how to delete your Telegram account permanently as well as explain in more detail why it is something you might want to consider doing regarding this messaging app.

How to delete your Telegram account

There are two main methods you can use to permanently delete your Telegram account. But beware, these methods are permanent and once your Telegram account has been deleted, there will be no way to recover it.

Do make sure that any information, pictures, or documents that you have stored in old chats on Telegram are safely saved elsewhere before deleting messages or the app with any of these methods:

1. Use Telegram's self-destruct option

One of Telegram messaging app's security features is a self-destruction tool that will automatically delete content after a set period of time when the account has been inactive.

The default setting for this feature is six months but you can change this manually to make it less time if you want to. To do this, all you have to do is:

  1. Log into your Telegram account.
  2. Click on the Settings option.
  3. Click on Privacy and Security
  4. Scroll down to Delete My Account if I'm Away For and change the setting to 1 month (the minimum allowed).
  5. Stop using the Telegram website or app for a certain period – one month.

Telegram delete account option

After this time frame, your account will be deleted and all the data permanently removed.

If you want to be sure of this, set a reminder for yourself and then try to log in again. As long as one month has passed, Telegram should tell you this account no longer exists.

If a few months have passed, then this should surely be the case.

2. Manually delete Telegram

Telegram offers no account deletion option available on the Telegram app. Still, it is possible to permanently delete a Telegram account manually if you log in through a web browser's deactivation page if you have privacy concerns.

The deactivation process can be done on a desktop and both Android and iOS mobile devices as follows:

  1. Open your browser and visit the Telegram deactivation page.
  2. Enter the mobile number associated with your account.
  3. Telegram will send you a confirmation code in a message to the same phone number, which you will be prompted to enter.
  4. You will then be asked why do you want to delete Telegram. You can enter anything you want here.
  5. When you click done, a pop-up will ask you if you are sure you want to delete your account. Click Yes, delete my account button.

Telegram web delete

Your account is now permanently deleted.

If you change your mind, you cannot recover your data but after a short time frame, around a few days you should be able to open a new account via your Android or iOS again.

How to export your data before deleting Telegram

As we have already stressed, deleting your Telegram account is a permanent thing, so you want to ensure you have any data you need safely stored before you go ahead with the deletion.

Exporting data from the Telegram app is a fairly simple process. Just follow these few steps:

  1. Open Telegram Desktop and select Settings.
  2. Click on Export Telegram Data.
  3. Click on Export Chat History and choose which type of data you would like to export and where you want to save it.

Once you have done this, you will be able to view all of this data offline and can go ahead and delete your Telegram account.

Telegram's Security issues

You might be wondering at this stage why you need to consider the delete account option at all.

The fact of the matter is that Telegram has had a number of security problems over the years, all of which are good reasons to deactivate your telegram account.

Not long after its launch back in 2013, it was noted with some concern that Telegram does not use end-to-end encryption communications by default.

It also saves all of your chats by default on its servers. This is apparently to allow you to restore them at a later date if you so wish.

Security experts have questioned why this is the default setting and asked whether it would be better for Telegram not to save chats and to use end-to-end encryption on communications by default and instead let users opt out of these features if they so wish.

There have also been a few security concerns around Telegram.

In 2017, hackers took advantage of what was known as the Unicorn bug to install remote control cryptocurrency miners and malware on vulnerable Windows computers.

There are also question marks about Telegram's use of its own cryptography protocol known as MTProto rather than a more established one that has been independently verified.

Telegram insists that MTProto is secure but have never opened it up to external scrutiny.

Telegram has also been banned in a number of countries and linked with terrorist attacks and other nefarious online activity, which some users simply don't want to be associated with.

How to use Telegram safely

If you are concerned about some of the online security issues around the Telegram app but don't want to go so far as to delete your Telegram account, there are a few steps that you can take to make Telegram safer for file sharing, your own contact list, and more secure to use.

1. Enable the Secret Chat Feature

While Telegram does not encrypt user chats by default, it does if you enable the Secret Chats feature. This feature also prevents user data from being stored on Telegram's servers and accessible to Telegram staff.

Telegram secret chat

When Secret Chat is enabled, Telegram chats are only stored on the devices of the sender and the recipient and no Telegram staff can access the data.

2. Use the Unsend Message Feature

Telegram mobile app also allows users to Unsend Messages up to 48 hours after they have been sent.

The remove messages feature has proved controversial after they chose to expand it to allow users to delete messages sent by others in group chats. Complaints over the impact of this on free speech poured in.

But for individuals, the feature still allows you to remove anything from your Telegram account you want to keep private. Just remember to do it within 48 hours.

3. Use other privacy tools

Your Telegram account also contains a number of other privacy features such as silent messages, which won't cause the recipient's device to beep when received.

It also has features that can let you prevent those outside your contacts list from adding you to groups, block all contacts groups completely. and use more than one Telegram account on the same Android device/phone number.

Summary

Telegram has had several privacy features over the years that have led some privacy-conscious users to reconsider using the service, which is why many now wish to have the app disabled forever.

In this guide, we have shown you the two main ways of leaving Telegram if you want to delete your Telegram account permanently.

You can either use the apps self-destruct feature or use the manual deletion tool which is only available through a web browser.

We have also gone into more detail about the security concerns that have been raised about Telegram to let you make an informed decision about whether to delete your Telegram account and shown you how to download your data before deletion.

If you don't want to kill your account completely, check out the highlighted options to keep your Telegram account safe without going so far as to delete your account earlier in the guide.

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest privacy news, expert VPN guides & TV unblocking how-to’s sent straight to your inbox.

49%
OFF

Our #1 Recommended VPN

Don't leave yet!

Get an exclusive 49% off a yearly
subscription deal using the link below.

Risk-free 30-Day money-back guarantee