Telegram is a secure messaging app that offer end-to-end encryption to keep your communications away from the eyes of unwanted snoopers. As more and more users turn to the privacy side, competition among security-focused messengers is getting tight.
If you’ve decided to leave Telegram because you have too many messenger apps or you’ve found another, deleting your Telegram account might make sense.
If you’ve tried to look for a deactivation button within the app and had no luck – you’ve come to the right place. It takes no time to delete a Telegram account when you know what to do.
Why you might want to delete your Telegram account
Telegram is quite a private and secure messaging app, especially compared to its most popular competitors. In most cases, we'd recommend using it. However, there are still a few reasons why someone could possibly want to delete their Telegram account:
- Telegram has experienced security issues in the past, including hacker attacks, leaks and breaches. In 2017, hackers spread malware to Windows computers via Telegram. Telegram also sometimes leaks metadata. It has been deemed unsafe by organizations like Stiftung Warentest and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Telegram is still quite secure, but users might want to switch to other secure apps;
- Telegram chat participants can delete not only their own messages but also those of the other party without any notification. This gives participants less control over their conversations and can enable manipulation. The person you chat to might alter the chat’s content by removing your messages;
- Telegram uses a proprietary messaging security protocol called MTProto whose security and reliability has not been fully proved. Numerous cryptographists have criticized it as not being secure enough. An open-source version has not been provided. Users may want to find a messaging app with a more transparent structure;
Leaving Telegram is a one-way trip. Here are a few points to consider before you make your account vanish:
- Deactivating your Telegram account will delete all your contact lists, messages, groups, channels completely.
- Deactivation can’t be undone.
- If you sign up for Telegram later again, any of your messages, channels and contact lists from your older account won’t be restored.
Two ways to deactivate Telegram account
As you might have noticed, there is no option to deactivate your account instantly within the Telegram app. This is because the deactivation process involves both visiting a dedicated webpage and taking action in the app. Another way to delete Telegram takes minimal effort from you but takes longer, as you set your account for delayed auto-destruction.
Read on to learn more about both options and choose the one that is better for you.
#1: Adjust account self-destruction settings
As a part of its security features, Telegram accounts are set for self-destruction after a certain time of inactivity. A default period is set to 6 months, meaning that if you don’t log into your Telegram account within that time, it will be deleted and your conversations will be gone forever.
You can’t disable the feature, but you can adjust the time after which your account would be deleted, ranging from 1 to 12 months. One of the ways to get rid of your account is set it to self-destruct after a month and then just wait. Of course, you shouldn’t be using Telegram within that time. You can do so by following these steps:
- Open your Telegram app and go to Settings. Choose Privacy & Security.
- Scroll down and tap If Away For.
- Choose 1 month and that’s it!
If you don’t want to wait by leaving your account for auto-deletion, you can take the initiative yourself. Read on to learn how to deactivate your Telegram account manually.
#2: Delete your Telegram account manually
Follow these steps to delete your Telegram account in no time. As you might have noticed, there is no option to deactivate account within the Telegram app.
- Go to the Telegram Deactivation Page on a web browser of your choice. You can use both mobile and desktop browsers – whichever is more convenient for you.
- Enter a phone number you’ve signed up with to Telegram and click Next. Important: make sure to type your number in the international format: +(country code)(city or carrier code)(your number).
- If you have entered your phone number correctly, you will receive a message in your Telegram app (not SMS) with a confirmation code. Now head back to the Deactivation Page opened in your browser, enter the received code to the respective field, and hit the Sign In button.
- Now the page will ask why you want to leave Telegram. Since this field is optional, you can point out your reasons for quitting and give feedback or proceed by leaving the field blank. Whatever you choose to do, click Done afterwards.
- Now you have to confirm that you haven’t made up your mind and you still want to get rid of your account. If you are sure about your decision, click Yes, delete my account in the popup window.
That’s it! Now your Telegram account is deactivated so can no longer use the app.
In case you decide that you want to use Telegram again, you may not be able to create a new account for several days after deactivation, so you’ll have to wait a bit to get onboard again.