How to export Telegram chat history
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram does not allow users to save chats to a cloud service. Indeed, Telegram is a cloud platform in itself that automatically saves all your data (chats, photos, videos, etc.) on its own cloud servers. Therefore, your chats will not be deleted if you change phones without making a backup. But, if you still want to save offline backup or send your chat history to someone, you can export Telegram chats. Let’s check the two methods to do it quickly and efficiently.
To note: You can export Telegram chat history only from Telegram desktop app and not from its mobile apps.
1. Export individual telegram conversations
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’re having trouble installing Telegram on Linux, check out our guide to installing Telegram.
- Open the Telegram app after installation and log into your Telegram account using the one-time code sent to the Telegram app on your mobile.
- In the Telegram desktop app, open the chat you want to export.
- Click the three-dot icon at the top and select “Export chat history” from the menu.
- The chat export settings popup will appear. Select the items that should be exported in addition to text messages. You can choose 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, only files up to 8MB will be saved. Use the size limit slider to expand the file size limit to save larger files.
- Click the address label next to “Path” to change the location of the exported files on your computer. By default, it will be saved in the newly created “Telegram Desktop” folder present in the “Downloads” folder of your PC.
- The app will export all the messages present in the chat history from oldest to current date by default. However, you can customize the period and choose different start and end dates by tapping the “From” and “To” labels.
- Once all this is done, click the “Export” button to start exporting chat history.
- The export process may take some time depending on the size of the chat. Once completed, you will get the completed status popup.
Viewing your data
- Click “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 items exported from the chat, such as voicemails, video files, photos, messages, etc.
- You may find several “messages.html” files depending on the size of the chat. These are your text messages in 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 email to send to someone else.
Similarly, you can export group chat or channel history.
Point: Also find out how to create or manage Telegram channels.
2. Export All Telegram Chats
Telegram allows you to export all of your Telegram data. This includes the messaging history of all chat threads (personal chats, groups, channels), photos, videos, account information, stickers, animated files, active sessions, etc. You can use this method to create an offline backup of your Telegram account data.
- Open the Telegram desktop app on your computer.
- Click the three-bar icon at the top.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Advanced”.
- Swipe down and click “Export Telegram Data”.
- Now select the items you want to export, such as account information, personal chats, channels, video messages, photos, files, active sessions, etc. Simply click the checkboxes before the desired items to select them and uncheck the rest.
To note: You can export all chats or just one chat (using the first method). You cannot 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 to change the download path and format of exported files. Finally, click “Export”.
The exported files will be saved in the “Downloads” folder of your PC.
Bonus: How to Export Telegram Chat to PDF
Telegram does not offer a native way to export chats to PDF. However, you can use the following two workarounds to convert Telegram chats to PDF.
1. Using the 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 the drop-down list next to “Destination” and select “Save as PDF”.
- Press the “Save” button to download the Telegram chat PDF file.
- Similarly, convert other HTML files to PDF.
2. Use of online tools
You can also use online tools to convert HTML files to PDF. Some of the tools you can try are:
Just upload the “message.html” file to one of these websites and they will do the rest of the PDF conversion work automatically.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you merge or re-import exported chats into Telegram?
Can you export secret chats?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Secret chats cannot be exported as they are only available on mobile devices.
How to save Telegram chats to Google Drive?
This is not done automatically like in the case of WhatsApp. You need to export Telegram chats to your computer first, then upload the files manually to Google Drive.
All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq
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