August 9, 2022

10 Telegram features everyone should know about

Read messages without notifying sender

Works on mobile

As soon as you read a message, the sender sees that it was read on his end. But using this trick you can read messages privately. Don’t open the chat when you receive a message. Turn on flight mode and only then open Telegram. Read the message and shut down Telegram. Turn off flight mode and open the application again. If done right, the message will be marked ad read only on your device but not on the sender’s.

Telegram for iOS supports a more elegant and reliable method. After receiving a message, long-tap on the chat without opening it. It will open a chat preview where you can see the messages without marking them as read.

Create reminders

Works on mobile

Telegram can send reminders about scheduled events. They are sent as regular messages.

To create a reminder, open “Saved messages” chat and type reminder’s text. Long-top on the send button and select “Set reminder”, and select time and date. Telegram will send the message to you at a specified time.

Send GIFs and video

Works on any client

You can search for GIFs from a Giphy catalog or YouTube videos from Telegram itself and send them without leaving the chat. To find a GIF, type @gif and a search query after a space. For example, @gif smile — to find GIFs with a smile. Tap on the GIF you like to send it.

To find a video, type @youtube and a search query after a space. Tap on the video to send it to the chat.

Copy only parts of a message

Works on mobile

You can copy only a part of the message on a desktop by simply selecting the part with a mouse cursor.

It’s different on mobile – if you tap on a message, it will be selected as a whole. But you can copy only a part of it with a long-tapping on the message, releasing a finger and then selecting the text.

Create your own color scheme

Works on all clients

Telegram has a ton of customization options. Not only, you can select a preinstalled theme, but create your own for every interface element.

To open theme editor in iOS, go to “Settings” -> “Appearance” -> “Chat themes” -> “Create a New Theme”.

Send self-destructing files

Works on mobile.

If you want to send confidential photo or video, you can make use of additional security measures. Telegram can automatically delete such files from recipient’s device after a defined delay. Moreover, the recipient cannot forward this self-destructing photo or video anywhere. And even if the recipient makes a screenshot, Telegram notifies the sender about it.

To send self-destructing content, select photo or video, tap on it, and log-tap on the blue send button and select “Send with timer”. This will open a timer widget where you set a delay. Send the file after setting it up.

You may also create a separate secure chat with any of the contacts. Telegram will automatically delete messages from this chat after some time and forbid to forward them. To create such a chat, open a contact, tap three dots and select “Start secret chat”

Set visibility

Works everywhere

Telegram allows everyone set the visibility of their online status and “last seen” timer. You can set it up so noone will see when you are online or make this information available only to your contacts.

Go to “Settings” -> “Privacy and Security” -> “Last Seen & Online” and set it up to your taste.

Watch video above all windows

Works in iOS

You can watch YouTube video in Telegram with picture-in-picture mode. You can continue using Telegram while the video is playing.

Start a video and tap P-i-P icon in the upper right corner.

Password protected chats

Works on mobile

This feature protects chats from anyone who get access to your device. This might be useful if you left your device unlocked accidentally. You may trust your environment but want to keep chats confidential.

“Passcode” function is available in “Settings” -> “Privacy and Security”. Set a code and select auto-lock timer. After this time Telegram won’t show any chats and prompts for a passcode. This feature also support FaceId.

Choose starting time for a video

Works on mobile

If you want the recipient to watch a video starting from a certain timestamp, send the time stamp in the message with a link. Use mm:ss format, where first two digits is minutes, and second pair is seconds. You may add multiple timestamps.


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© Alex Smirnov 2022