Telegram User Sending Self Destructive Disappearing Message
Khamosh Pathak

Unlike Signal and WhatsApp, Telegram doesn’t have a dedicated Disappearing Messages mode, but there are two versatile ways of sending disappearing messages in the app. You can send self-destructing media to anyone or use the Secret Chat mode. Here’s how they work.

Send Disappearing Messages Using Secret Chat in Telegram

Secret Chat is Telegram’s full end-to-end encrypted messaging feature (This is one major difference between Signal and Telegram.). It only works for one-on-one chats, and everything that’s sent in a Secret Chat only stays on the device. Once you delete a Secret Chat, all messages are gone.

RELATED: How to Start an Encrypted Secret Chat in Telegram

The Secret Chat has a timer feature that lets you send disappearing messages anywhere between one minute to one week (including text, photos, messages, and other media).

When you’re in Secret Chat mode, the Android app stops users from taking screenshots. iPhone users can still take a screenshot, but you’ll be notified about it in the chat.

Sending Self Destructing Message in Telegram

Start a Secret Chat on Telegram for iPhone

You can start a Secret Chat from a contact’s profile. On your iPhone, open the Telegram app and go to the conversation where you want to start a separate Secret Chat.

Here, tap their profile name from the top.

Select Profile on iPhone

Now, tap the “More” button.

Tap Mode button on Telegram Profile on iPhone

Choose the “Start Secret Chat” option.

Tap Start Secret Chat from Popup on iPhone

From the pop-up, confirm using the “Start” button.

Tap Start from Popup on iPhone

The Secret Chat mode is now active. To enable the self-destruct timer, tap the stopwatch icon in the text box.

Tap Timer from Text Box on iPhone

Here, choose the time period that the message will stay in the Secret Chat. You can choose between one second and one week. Tap the “Done” button after making your selection.

Select Timer and tap Done on iPhone

And that’s it. Now, you can send anything in the chat (photos, videos, text, GIFs) and it will self-destruct after the sent time.

You will see the countdown in the message itself. Once the time is up, the message will just disappear like it was never sent.

Start a Secret Chat on Telegram for Android

If you’re using Android, the process of enabling disappearing messages in Secret Chat is quite different.

First, you need to start a Secret Chat with a contact. To do this, open the Telegram app on your Android smartphone and go to the conversation where you want to start a Secret Chat.

Then, tap their profile name from the top.

Tap Contact Profile from Telegram Chat

Select the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.

Tap Menu Button from Telegram Profile

Now, tap the “Start Secret Chat” option.

Tap Start Secret Chat on Android

From the pop-up, tap the “Start” button to confirm.

Tap Start to Start Secret Chat on Telegram for Android

You now need to enable the self-destruct timer feature to send disappearing messages.

From the Secret Chat, tap the stopwatch icon from the top toolbar.

Tap Timer Button from Toolbar on Telegram on Android
Khamosh Pathak

Choose the time frame for self-destructing messages, then tap the “Done” button.

Select Timer and tap Done on Android
Khamosh Pathak

Any message that is now sent in the Secret Chat will automatically disappear after the set time.

Send Disappearing Photos and Videos to Any Contact in Telegram

Telegram Notification for Self Destructing Photo

Secret Chat is a feature that provides end-to-end encryption, but what if you just want to send a self-destructing photo or video (like you would in Snapchat or Instagram)? You can do this using the self-destructing media feature, which lets you send disappearing messages with a timer of one second to one minute.

This feature only works in one-on-one chats. It’s not available for Telegram groups and channels. Disappearing photos and videos show up with a blurred overlay in the chat, along with the timer.

When the person taps the preview, that’s when the timer starts. If they take a screenshot of the photo, you will be notified about it.

Self Destructing Photo Preview in Telegram

Send Disappearing Photos and Videos in Telegram for iPhone

Telegram’s Send with Timer feature for sharing disappearing photos and videos on iPhone is hidden behind a long-press action. To get started, open the conversation where you want to send the disappearing message.

Then, tap the attach icon next to the text box.

Tap Attach Button in Telegram for iPhone

Here, choose a photo or video.

Select Photo from Attach Screen

Once you’re done, tap and hold the send button.

Tap and hold Send button in Telegram for iPhone

Choose the “Send with Timer” option.

Tap Send with Timer in Telegram for iPhone

Select a time interval and tap the “Send with Timer” button.

Choose Time frame and Select Send with Timer

The photo or video will now be sent in the chat.

Disappearing Photo Sent in Chat

Send Disappearing Photos and Videos in Telegram for Android

The process for sending disappearing photos or videos in the Android app is different.

To get started, open the chat that you want to send the photo or video to. Then, tap the attach icon located next to the text box.

Tap Attach Button in Telegram for Android

Here, add a photo or video.

Choose Photo in Telegram for Android

Tap the stopwatch icon that’s next to the send button.

Tap Timer Button in Telegram for Android

Select the time interval and tap the “Done” button.

Choose Time and tap Done in Telegram for Android

Now, tap the send button to share the message to the chat.

Tap Send Button in Telegram for Android

The photo or video will be available in the chat, with a blurred preview and a timer at the top. Once it’s viewed, and the timer has run out, the message will disappear from the chat.

Disappearing Photo Sent in Telegram for Android


Wondering which WhatsApp alternative is right for you? Read our guide on the best WhatsApp alternatives to learn more.

RELATED: The 5 Best Alternatives to WhatsApp

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.