How to Delete Your Telegram Account Permanently

Telegram App Icon, delete icon and broken phone with chat app on the screen
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How to Delete Your Telegram Account: A Quick Guide

Do you hardly use Telegram? Do you feel your privacy is better off without it? Whatever your reason, it is easy to delete Telegram! Just follow these steps!

  1. Open your browser and go to the Telegram deactivation page.
  2. Fill in your phone number with your country code.
  3. Type in the code sent to your Telegram app.
  4. On the next page, click on “Delete My Account.”
  5. Confirm your decision by clicking, “Yes, delete my account.”

Deleting your Telegram account is permanent, and you’ll lose all your messages and media. We recommend creating a backup of your data before you go through with it.

Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to back up your data and delete your Telegram account.

Telegram is one of the top messaging apps today, with over 700 million monthly users.

Despite its popularity and its privacy-first reputation, Telegram isn’t the top choice for many people. The app has had its fair share of controversies, and with so many similar apps to choose from, it can be difficult to keep track of conversations on different platforms.

Whether you want to delete Telegram for privacy reasons or simply because you don’t use it as much as you used to, this article will show you how to go about deleting Telegram step-by-step.

Note: Unfortunately, it’s impossible to deactivate your Telegram account temporarily. The only option is to delete Telegram permanently.

If you do not want to engage with the app for some time, however, you can choose to uninstall Telegram rather than delete your account. Your data will remain on Telegram’s cloud, and your account will remain dormant until you re-install and use the app again.

First Things First: Make a Telegram Backup!

Before you delete Telegram and lose all your data, we recommend making a backup of your Telegram account. After all, deleting your account is permanent and, as Telegram puts it, “all your messages and contacts will be deleted beyond retrieval.”

Follow the steps down below to make a backup of your account.

Note: You can only do this from Telegram’s desktop app.

1. Click on the three lines in the top left corner of the app. Now, click on “Settings” and then “Advanced.”

Screenshot of Telegram App, account settings

2. Click on “Export Telegram data.”

Screenshot of Telegram App, Advanced settings

3. You’ll need to select what messages and media to export. You can also set a storage limit for the export. Finally, you need to decide where to save the exported data on your device, and in which format—either HTML (readable by humans) or JSON (readable by machines).

Screenshot of Telegram App, Export your data window

4. Click on “Export,” and you’re all set to check out your Telegram data offline whenever you want.

How to Delete Your Telegram Account

There are two ways to delete your Telegram account: using the app’s self-destruct feature or doing so manually. We’ll discuss both options below.

Note: As far as we can tell, the browser version of Telegram doesn’t allow you to delete your account. Also, there are slight differences between the layout and features of Telegram’s desktop and smartphone apps. However, don’t let this throw you off; the steps are the same.

Delete Telegram account using self-destruction

Telegram allows you to specify a period of inactivity, after which your account will be deleted automatically. This is useful if, for instance, you’re not in a hurry to delete your account.

The standard time period is six months, but you can change this by following the steps below:

1. Open your Telegram app. Click on the three lines in the top left corner and go to “Settings.”

2. Click on “Privacy and Security.”

Screenshot of Telegram App, Android app settings

3. Scroll down and click on “Delete my account.”

Screenshot of Telegram App, Privacy and Security window

4. Now, click on “If away for.”

5. You can now choose to have your account automatically deleted after one, three, six, or 12 months of inactivity. All you have to do is wait until the specified time elapses and your account will be automatically deleted.

Delete Telegram manually

If you don’t want to wait for your Telegram account to be deleted automatically, you can choose to delete it manually.

Note: There is no way to do this from the Telegram app. You can only delete your Telegram account from your web browser.

Follow the steps down below to delete your Telegram account:

1. Go to the Telegram deactivation page and enter your phone number with your country code. If you’re unsure about your country code, you can easily Google it.

Screenshot of Telegram App, Deactivation page

2. Fill in the confirmation code sent to your Telegram app.

Screenshot of Telegram App, Deactivation page, confirmation code

3. You’ll be directed to a page explaining the consequences of deleting your account. We recommend reading this information carefully. You can provide a reason for deleting your Telegram account if you want to. When you’re done, click on the blue “Delete My Account” button.

Screenshot of Telegram App, Deactivation page, reason for leaving

4. You have to confirm you want to delete your Telegram account by clicking “Yes, delete my account.” This is the final step. Once you click on this button, your account will be deleted permanently.

Screenshot of Telegram App, Delete account, final confirmation window

5. You have now deleted your Telegram account permanently. If you want to sign up for another account with the same phone number, you’ll have to wait a few days before you can do so.

Why Delete Telegram?

Telegram was launched in 2013, but its popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years as millions of people seek alternatives to WhatsApp and Facebook. There are many reasons to choose Telegram over WhatsApp, but there are also reasons to stop using Telegram. Here are the main ones.

No end-to-end encryption by default

While it has some unique features, critics have since lamented the fact that Telegram doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption by default. You need to activate “Secret Chat” before you get this level of encryption. This is different from other messaging apps, like WhatsApp, which has standard end-to-end encryption on all chats.

There’s also the fact that Telegram uses its own, relatively unknown encryption protocol—MTProto—rather than a well-recognized one.

Extremism and conspiracy theorists

Due to its lax approach to content moderation, Telegram has become a meeting place for right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists.

At the height of the COVID pandemic, while social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram took measures to stop the spread of misinformation, Telegram didn’t. This made the messaging app a fertile ground for the growth of extremist ideologies.

A study published in 2021 by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue revealed that far-right groups spread COVID-19 conspiracy theories on Telegram as a way to radicalize and recruit new members. The study also found that these groups peddle extreme misogyny, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia on the messaging app.

Data collection practices

To provide its service and further its “legitimate interests,” Telegram may collect and store metadata from users’ devices for up to a year. The company collects some personal information about users, including your name, username, phone number, email address, contact list, and location data (when you share your location).

Telegram also stores users’ chat messages, photos, videos, and shared documents. According to the company, this data is “stored heavily encrypted.” Nonetheless, Telegram may be compelled to turn over user data by the government.

Telegram claims it has never had to release user information to the authorities. However, in June 2022, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that Telegram had presented user data to the German police as part of a criminal investigation into terrorism and child abuse.

How to Keep Your Data Safe on Telegram

If you’re concerned about your privacy, deleting your Telegram account is not your only option. You can hang on to your Telegram account and secure your data by using a VPN. A VPN is a useful privacy solution that encrypts your internet traffic and routes your traffic through a server.

The top VPNs offer military-grade encryption. So, if you don’t trust Telegram’s encryption protocol, you can take matters into your hands and use a VPN to encrypt your traffic.

A VPN also changes your IP address and hides your real IP. This allows you to access geo-restricted content and bypass censorship blocks without any difficulties.

NordVPN is one of the top VPNs we recommend. It has a wide server network, excellent security and privacy tools, and it doesn’t store any user data.

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Deleting Your Socials

If you’ve just deleted Telegram, and you’re looking for a great, privacy-oriented messaging app to replace it, there are several options to choose from. Check out our article on the best encrypted messaging apps.

If you’re interested in deleting your social media accounts, we have articles on how to delete your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and LinkedIn accounts.

How to Delete Your Telegram Account: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a specific question about deleting Telegram? Check out our FAQ down below to see if we’ve answered your question. If you can’t find your question below, read the full article above or leave us a comment, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

You can delete Telegram automatically using the self-destruct option, or manually. To delete your account manually, go to the Telegram deactivation page, fill in your full phone number (with your country code) and follow the steps. Our article on how to delete your Telegram account contains step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.

Deleting your Telegram account is permanent and irreversible. You will lose all of your chat messages and media if you haven’t saved them elsewhere. That’s why we strongly recommend making a backup of your data beforehand.

Deleting your Telegram account from your iPhone is easy. You’ve got two options: using the app’s self-destruct feature, or deleting your account manually. For more information, check out our article on deleting Telegram.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.