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Home / Tips and Tricks / Automatically delete messages for everyone in regular Telegram chats – not just secret chats «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

Automatically delete messages for everyone in regular Telegram chats – not just secret chats «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



Do you have sensitive information that you need to share with someone on Telegram, but worried it could fall into the wrong hands? You don’t have to worry anymore as Telegram now offers a way to automatically delete all new messages in any chat of your choice, not just end-to-end encrypted messages.

Telegram’s “Secret Chats” already have a “self-destruct” option that can erase messages from both sides of the chat after a specified amount of time. While that feature is no doubt great, it’s limited as it won’t work for your regular threads. Sometimes, if not most of the time, you just want a somewhat normal conversation, and that̵

7;s where auto delete comes in handy.

Introduced in Telegram 7.5.0 for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows, auto delete – as the name implies – automatically erases messages from any selected chat. Unlike the self-destruct option of the secret chats, auto delete works on all messages sent after the setting is turned on, not just individual texts. So if you choose auto-delete, any message sent by every member of the chat will be deleted after the specified length of time – until the feature is turned off or changed.

Enable automatic deletion

  • Android: Tap the vertical ellipse in the top right corner and choose ‘Clear History’.
  • iOS: Long press a message in a conversation, tap ‘Select’, then ‘Clear Chat’ in the top left.
  • Desktop: Right-click on the thread in the chat list and choose ‘Clear History’.

Now you will see three options:

  • Never or From: This is the default setting and means that automatic deletion is disabled.
  • After 1 day or 24 hours: This means that Telegram will delete all new messages after 24 hours.
  • After 1 week or 7 days: This means that Telegram will delete all new messages after 7 days.

You can choose any option at any time. Once you do that, the entire chat will see a line stating that you have changed the auto delete timeframe. Anyone in the chat can tap or click the notification to get faster access to the auto-delete settings, and anyone can change them at any time.

Any message sent after this setting is enabled will be deleted after the specified time. Messages sent before auto delete activation is not affected. If you turn on auto-delete within 24 hours or 7 days and someone else turns it off, all messages from when you turned it on to when it was turned off will still be automatically deleted.

You can check the remaining time of an auto-deleting message by long pressing (iOS) or tapping (Android) on it on mobile devices.

Let’s say you have a running thread that has never triggered auto delete before. You decide to enable automatic deletion and set it to 24 hours. Any message you or anyone else sends after that will be deleted when the 24 hours are up, but no of the messages that came before are affected. So after 24 hours you will see those later messages disappear and you will find the previously sent messages alive and well.

For another scenario, let’s say you set auto-delete to 24 hours, send a message, and then turn off auto-delete. Any message sent from here will be kept forever, but that message sent during the “24 hour” automatic deletion period will still be deleted. Everything that comes after switching on and before switching off is automatically deleted, but everything before switching on and after switching off is retained.

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a way to turn off the auto delete time for an individual message, so use this feature with some caution.

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Cover image and GIFs by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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