Telegram is a popular messaging app that places an emphasis on privacy, although not as much as Signal. By default, Telegram shows everyone the last time you were online. Here’s how to hide that.
Change the way “Last Seen Online” is displayed
Telegram is available for iPhone and iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Because the developers took a similar approach with each application, the instructions for changing these settings are the same.
To find this option, tap or click the Settings gear at the bottom of the screen or window.
In the menu that appears, select “Privacy and Security”.
Tap “Last Seen and Online” under the Privacy heading.
On the next screen, you can specify exactly who can see your “Last Seen Online” time: Everyone (including users you didn’t add), My Contacts, and Nobody.
Depending on the settings you choose, you can add exceptions to this rule.
For example, if you choose “No one”, you will see the option “Always share with …” appear. Touch to add contacts who can always see when you were last online. This is useful for close friends or family. If you choose “Everyone”, you will be able to add users to a block list.
While checking the privacy settings of Telegram, check that everything else is in order. You can specify other preferences, such as who can and cannot add you to group chats, who can receive calls from, and who can forward your messages to other accounts.
What contacts see when you change these settings
By default, this setting will show the exact date you last appeared online. If it has been less than 24 hours since then, the exact time you were last online will also be included in this information. More than that and only the date will be displayed.
Telegram grades that there are four possible approximate time windows:
- Recently– Last seen in the last zero to three days.
- Within a week: last seen between three and seven days.
- Within a month: last seen in seven days to a month.
- A long time ago: last seen more than a month ago.
Users who have been blocked will always see “A long time ago”, even if you have been chatting with them recently.
Do more with Telegram
Telegram is one of many private messaging services that has exploded in popularity since WhatsApp updated its terms and conditions in early 2021 to share more information with parent company Facebook.
But there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re new to the service, like chats aren’t end-to-end encrypted by default.