Using Telegram Messenger for file sharing

Today’s personal electronic communication is all about Instant Messaging. It seems, nobody wants to use email for personal messaging, anymore. Everybody sends text and voice messages, photos and videos via IM.

But when it comes to sharing documents like PDF or Word files, ZIP containers or Excel sheets, most people switch back to email… because most IM apps cannot transfer other file types than images, audio and video.

Some tech-savvy people upload documents to Dropbox, CloudApp or to an FTP server, and then send respective download links to their contacts.

If you and your contacts are lucky enough to use Telegram Messenger as IM service, you don’t need to switch back to email for file transfer, and you won’t need intermediaries like Dropbox, Box, CloudApp or an FTP server, because Telegram is one of the few IM services which support transfer of any file type.

  • No file type restrictions (Share whatever you want, PDF, DOC, ZIP, eBooks, ISO images. You name it, Telegram can handle it.)
  • Files of up to 1.5 GB each (and as much files as you like).
  • Unlimited file archiving (Keep them in the Telegram cloud forever or delete them whenever you want to.)
  • Blazing fast transfer (Check it out for yourself… seeing is believing.)

On the following lines you will find some (hopefully practical) remarks on Telegram’s file sharing capabilities.

File sharing on Telegram Messenger for iPhone

  • In nearly every iOS app which provides you with a sharing option, you’ll find the Telegram icon in the iOS share sheet. Tapping on it will lead you through the file sharing process. (Indeed, there are some prominent exceptions from this rule, like Apple’s iBooks app.)
  • Telegram’s mobile client apps will never automatically download files sent to you. You have to tap on the respective file in the chat timeline to initiate the download. So don’t worry about your mobile flat rate contingency. You can even obviate automatic download of images and audio messages. (Go to SettingsChat Settings).
  • Telegram does understand that your smartphone’s memory is limited. Because of that you can tell Telegram to delete downloaded files from it’s cache after a specific time period. (Go to SettingsCache Settings). And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean the files would be deleted from Telegram’s servers. Instead they will stay in the cloud (from where you could re-download them whenever you want to) until you choose to delete them from your chat timeline (and therefore from Telegram’s servers).
  • You can search for shared files using Telegram’s universal search function. Telegram doesn’t have full-text search capabilities (yet), but you can search for filenames.
  • Telegram provides you with an overview of all files shared in a chat. (In a chat timeline, tap on the chat title, then on InfoShared MediaFiles). In this overview you can select files and delete them from Telegram’s servers.
  • You can also share files from iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Inside a chat timeline, tap on the clipper symbol left beside the text box and tap on Send File. A menu will open, where you can choose the respective file from your personal cloud drive.

File sharing on Telegram for OS X

Sharing files from a Mac is easy as pie:

  • Either drag the respective file to the Telegram Messenger window, or
  • In a chat timeline, place the mouse pointer over the clipper symbol left beside the text box. A menu will appear where you click on File, which will open a Finder window where you can choose the respective file.

Some remarks on file sharing via Telegram on OS X:

  • For choosing which receiving files are downloaded automatically (by file size, file type and chat type), go to SettingsGeneralAdvanced Settings.
  • Like in the iOS app, you can click on a chat title and then on Shared MediaFiles to get an overview of all files shared in a chat.
  • Files downloaded via Telegram will be stored into your default Download folder, from where you can delete them locally. If you want to delete them from Telegram’s servers, use the shared files overview (mentioned in the last bullet point) or delete them directly from the respective chat (by right-clicking them and selecting Delete from the appearing context menu).

And there you have it. Fast, easy and powerful file sharing via Instant Messaging. Try this with Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp!

(For more information on file sharing and other features of Telegram, jump over to Telegram’s F.A.Q.)