Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram doesn’t allow users to backup chats to a cloud service. That’s because Telegram is a cloud platform in itself that saves all your data (chats, photos, videos, etc.) in its own cloud servers automatically. Therefore, your chats will not be deleted if you change phones without making a backup. But, if you still want to save the backup offline or send your chat history to someone, you can export Telegram chats. Let’s check both methods to do so quickly and efficiently.
Note: You can export Telegram chat history only from the Telegram desktop app and not from its mobile apps.
1. Export Individual Telegram Chats
You can use this method to export chat history from individual Telegram chats, groups, or channels as shown below:
- Install the Telegram desktop app on your computer. If you face any issues while installing Telegram on Linux, check our guide to install Telegram.
- Open the Telegram app after installation and log in to your Telegram account using the one-time code sent to the Telegram app on your mobile.
- In the Telegram desktop app, open the chat that you want to export.
- Click on the three-dot icon at the top and select “Export chat history” from the menu.
- The chat export settings pop-up window will show up. Select the items that should be exported in addition to text messages. You can select from photos, videos, voice messages, video messages, stickers, GIFs, and files.
- From the same screen you can customize various other settings related to chat history. By default, files up to 8MB will be saved only. Use the size limit slider to extend the file size limit to save bigger files.
- Click on the address label next to the “Path” to change the location of exported files on your computer. By default, it will be saved in the newly created “Telegram Desktop” folder present in your PC’s “Downloads” folder.
- The app will export all the messages present in the chat history starting from the oldest to the present date by default. However, you can customize the time period and choose different start and end dates by tapping on the “From” and “To” labels.
- Once all this is done, click on the “Export” button to start exporting the chat history.
- The export process may take some time depending on the size of the chat. When finished, you will get the completed status pop-up.
Viewing Your Data
- Click on “Show my data” to view the chat history on your computer.
- Open the “ChatExport” folder by going to “This PC-> Downloads-> Telegram Desktop” to view the items exported from the chat, such as voice messages, video files, photos, messages, etc.
- You might find multiple “messages.html” files depending on the size of the chat. These are your text messages in the human-readable format.
- Double-click on these HTML files to open them in your default browser where you can read them easily. Or, attach the file to an e-mail to send it to someone else.
Similarly, you can export a group chat or a channel history.
Tip: Also learn how to create or manage Telegram channels.
2. Export All Telegram Chats
Telegram allows you to export your entire Telegram data. That includes messaging history from all chat threads (personal chats, groups, channels), photos, videos, account information, stickers, animated files, active sessions, and more. You can use this method to create an offline backup of your Telegram account data.
- Open the Telegram desktop app on your computer.
- Click on the three-bar icon at the top.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Advanced”.
- Swipe all the way down and click on “Export Telegram data”.
- Now, select the items that you want to export, such as account information, personal chats, channels, video messages, photos, files, active sessions, etc. Just click on the checkboxes before the desired items to select them and uncheck the rest.
Note: You can either export all chats or a single chat (using the first method). You can’t select some chats.
- Scroll down to set the maximum size limit of individual files that should be exported using the “Size limit” slider.
- Scroll down further to change the download path and format for the exported files. Finally, click on “Export”.
The exported files will be saved in the “Downloads” folder of your PC.
Bonus: How to Export Telegram Chat to PDF
Telegram doesn’t offer a native way to export chats to PDF. You can, however, use the following two workarounds to convert Telegram chats to PDF.
1. Using Print Tool
- First, export the Telegram chat history as shown above. Then, open the “Telegram Desktop” folder on your computer to see the exported files. Double-click on the “message.html” file to open it in the default browser.
- Use Ctrl + P command to open the ‘Print” function.
- Click on the drop-down box next to “Destination” and select “Save as PDF”.
- Hit the “Save” button to download the PDF file of the Telegram chat.
- Similarly, convert other HTML files into PDF.
2. Using Online Tools
You can also use online tools to convert HTML files into PDF. Some of the tools that you can try are:
Simply upload the “message.html” file in one of these websites and they will automatically do the rest of the work of converting it into PDF.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you merge or import exported chats back into Telegram?
Unfortunately, you cannot import or merge exported chats back into Telegram. But you can import WhatsApp chats into Telegram.
Can you export secret chats?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Secret chats can’t be exported as these are available on mobile devices only.
How to backup Telegram chats to Google drive?
This is not done automatically like in the case of WhatsApp. You must first export Telegram chats to your computer and then upload the files manually to Google Drive.
All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq
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