Telegram Messenger, which started off as a capable WhatsApp competitor in 2013 has been growing at a steady pace. The company recently announced a landmark of 100 million active monthly users, which is good but still way behind WhatsApp’s one billion mark. However, there are people who use it religiously because of its security features and its availability on most platforms. As it’s noticeable, the instant messenger is adding plenty of new users everyday. So, if you are one of them, here are 15 cool Telegram Messenger tricks you should definitely know:
1. Turn off message preview
While message previews on the notification shade or lockscreen are pretty useful, they also let anyone see your personal messages if they are near you or using your phone. Thankfully, Telegram includes an option to turn off message previews in the app.
To do it, go to Telegram’s Settings->Notification and Sounds and turn off “Message Preview”. Unlike WhatsApp, which only includes this option on iOS and Windows Phone, Telegram features it in all its mobile apps with the exception of the desktop & web client.
2. Set custom notifications and LED color (Android only)
Telegram not only lets you select a custom notification for each of your contacts, you can even set an individual notification LED color. Your device will need to have a notification LED for this to work of course.
To set a custom notification, go to a contact’s info and tap “Notifications and Sounds”, where you will find options to change notifications, vibrate pattern, sound, priority and LED color.
3. Manage media downloads
Telegram lets you send any file along with the usual media files and you can send files up to 1.5 GB, which means you might receive a fair share of big files. In that case, you will have to choose when to automatically download media (photos, voice messages, music, GIF) in Telegram because you wouldn’t want your mobile data to get exhausted downloading a huge file, would you?
You can set the media files you want to download when using mobile data, WiFi or roaming. You can also enable or disable “Autoplay GIFs” and “Save to Gallery”. You will find these options in Settings->Automatic media download.
4. Enable pop-up notifications to reply directly from the homescreen (Android only)
While pop-up notifications can be annoying at times, they come in handy if you are an avid texter, as they let you reply to messages directly from the homescreen. You can enable pop-up notifications in Settings->Notifications and Sounds->Popup Notifications and set it to “Always show” or only when the screen is on or off. Once you have enabled it and selected “Always show”, you will get a chat popup even when your device is locked.
5. Set self-destruct timer in Secret chats
Telegram’s “Secret chats” is quite a popular feature, as it brings end-to-end encryption, screenshot notifications along with other security features. But what we like the most is the ability to set a self-destruct timer on messages sent in the secret chat. To set the timer, hit the three dot button in a secret chat and tap “Set self-destruct timer”. Then, select the time after which you want the messages to destruct. Once set, the messages you send along with the ones you received will self-destruct in the time set.
6. Hide last seen for particular users
The ability to hide last seen is very similar to WhatsApp but Telegram adds a much needed option to that. In Telegram, you can add exceptions to it, which means you can block a particular contact from seeing your last seen time. Instead, they will get an approximate last time like “recently, within a week or within a month”.
You can find this option in Telegram’s Settings->Privacy and Security->Last Seen. Here, you can set your last seen to be seen by “Everybody”, “Contacts”, “Nobody” and add exceptions for the same.
7. Search messages
Ever wanted to read an old message of yours but don’t want to scroll all the way back? Well, Telegram makes it easy, as it lets you search within chat messages. To search for a message, go to any individual or group chat and tap the three dot button and select “Search”. Then, enter the text you want to search for and tap the search button. You will see messages highlighted that feature the text you searched for.
8. Lock your chats
For the likes of WhatsApp and other messaging apps, we are prone to using various app locker apps to make sure that anyone else does not get a hand on our personal messages. Thankfully, Telegram includes an option to natively lock the chats with a passcode.
To set a passcode lock, go to Telegram’s Settings->Privacy and Security->Passcode Lock and enable it. Then, enter the passcode you want. You can then set an auto-lock time, which will automatically lock your chats if you are away for a certain amount of time. You can also manually lock your chats by tapping the lock button on the homepage of the app.
9. Check active sessions
The good thing with Telegram is that it supports multiple device sessions, which means you can access your chats on multiple devices. So, you can start chatting on your smartphone and continue it on your computer. Pretty cool, right?
Thus, Telegram lets you check your active sessions on different devices in Settings->Privacy and Security->Active Sessions. Here, you can terminate other sessions and even log out of other devices.
10. Preview and add stickers
Telegram lets you add full sticker packs and you can even create your very own stickers and add them through the @Stickers bot. While there’s no in-app way to add stickers, you can add them through third party websites, Reddit threads or even a third party app. To add a sticker, just click the link and it will take you to the Telegram app with the option to “Add Sticker”. Once a sticker is added, you can preview them by press holding on the sticker.
11. Send mute message and edit messages in Channels
Telegram recently brought a very cool option to send mute messages and the ability to edit sent messages through public or private channels. The mute message will let you send messages that don’t make the notification sound on the recipient’s device and it should come in handy when you want to send a not so urgent message without disturbing the recipient.
To send a mute message in channels, tap the mute/unmute button besides the text space. And you can edit a message by tapping on a message and selecting “Edit”.
12. Use Telegram Bots
Bots are Telegram accounts that can be coded to do certain things and bring more functionality to the user experience. For instance, the @Stickers bot lets you use various commands to create a sticker, add one, remove and more. There are various cool boots like @Imagebot (brings relevant pictures for a keyword), @Pollbot (create polls), @Storebot (to find new bots) and more. You can find new bots through the Telegram Bot Store or you can tap New Message and search for a bot. Bots can be added to a group and even be shared.
13. Read a message without going online
You can read a few messages on Telegram without going online through the message preview in notifications but not if it’s a long message. Well, you can even read a long message without going online and it’s very easy. When you receive a message on Telegram, turn off your mobile data/WiFi connection or turn on airplane mode. Then, open Telegram and read the message. After you are done, close the app and turn on the network. That’s it, your contact won’t even know that you have seen the message.
14. Hide Telegram media from Gallery
Don’t want to see photos & videos shared on Telegram in your device Gallery? Well, you can easily hide them. On Android devices, you can go to Settings and disable “Save to Gallery”. On iPhone, you can go to Phone Settings->Privacy->Photos and disable Telegram. Yes, it’s that simple!
15. Delete or Self-Destruct Telegram Account
Telegram includes an option to self-destruct your account in case you haven’t been using it for quite some time. You will find the option in Telegram’s Settings->Privacy and Security. You can set the away time after which you want the account to be deleted.
If you want to go ahead and delete your account at the very moment, you will have to do it at the deactivation page, where you will have to enter the number you registered on Telegram with. Keep in mind though that deleting your Telegram account will permanently delete all messages, groups and contacts.
Bonus: Turn any Group to a Supergroup
Want to turn your small group on Telegram into a Supergroup? You got it! Supergroups are essentially larger groups with the capacity of holding 1000 members. It has a few of its own super features like new members having the ability to see all previous messages, deleted messages disappear from every member’s device and more.
Well, you can easily convert a group to a supergroup but you will have to do it on Telegram’s desktop client (Windows, OS X or Linux). Just go to the Group info and type “tosupergroup” and voila! You will see the option to “Upgrade to Supergroup”. It’s important to note that once you upgrade to a Supergroup, you cannot roll back.
Ready to try these Telegram tricks?
These tricks show that Telegram is definitely no slouch when it comes to competing against WhatsApp. Some of these tricks unlock features that pleasantly surprised us and they surely enhance the Telegram experience. So, give these tricks a shot and let us know how you like them. Sound off in the comments section below