As for why you’d want to auto-delete your chat history, well, as Telegram’s changelog puts it, “[s]ome conversations aren’t meant to last forever.” Whether you’re avoiding a nagging partner, dodging the authorities, or just looking to declutter your chat history, the auto-delete timer lets you set it and forget it.
Telegram self-destruct in five steps
The person you’re chatting with might not forget as easily though. Both parties are notified when changes are made to the chat’s auto-delete timer settings. If you’re using this to cover your tracks, you’d best hope your chat partner is okay with it. They can disable it as easily as you enabled it. Unless you’re in a group chat. Then only admins have that privilege.
Something else that’s important to note, messages sent while auto-delete is enabled will still be deleted even if you disable the feature immediately afterward. You can see how long each message has with a single tap on the message to show its timer.
It takes slightly fewer taps to enable Telegram’s feature, so that’s nice. It’s also pretty straightforward to turn on. Here’s how to go about it.
- Open the app (obviously). You’re not limited to just your mobile like before. Laptops are fine too.
- Head to the chat you want to enable the auto-delete feature in and tap the kebab menu icon (the three vertical dots). This is in the top right corner if you’re on Android or the meatball menu icon (horizontal dots) if you’re on iOS.
- There, you should see an option to enable auto-delete for one day, one week, one month or a slightly more customisable timeframe.
- Once you’ve selected the timeframe, the other person in the chat will receive a notification that you’ve done so.
- Now, all messages that either party sends from this point on will remove themselves from existence after the allotted time has passed. Whether you keep the feature enabled after trying it out remains to be seen. Depends how much you have to hide, really. Do you have anything to hide?
No matter your reason for wanting to delete your Telegram chat history, remember one thing. Chat messages are temporary. Screenshots are forever.