With nearly 161 million new accounts created in the first quarter of 2021, Telegram’s versatile messaging app is now soaring in popularity and its developers claim to now have more than 500 million active users worldwide.
Telegram security is undoubtedly one of its big selling points, but it has one drawback: you can’t back up your secret chats, or transfer them to a new device. Unless you have a rooted Android phone, you can. Let’s see how.
Why Does Telegram Not Transfer Secret Chats Automatically?
While Telegram markets itself as more secure than WhatsApp, its enhanced privacy feature will only come into play if you use the end-to-end encryption feature of secret conversations.
Unlike regular messages, secret chats are not stored on Telegram servers. Instead, your message is encrypted on your device before being sent to your contact device where it is decrypted using a shared key. In theory, this means your messages are safe from online spies, including Telegram Messenger Inc. Forwarding and taking screenshots are also disabled for your secret chats.
This is all well and good until it’s time to upgrade or reset your phone. While Telegram will easily transfer all unencrypted messages and media from your cloud, end-to-end encryption means your secret chats can’t be included in the process.
This is great for privacy, but moving to a new phone doesn’t mean losing months or years of personal correspondence that may have very large sentimental, legal, or business interests.
Fortunately for Android users, secret chats can be transferred along with all your other Telegram data using the powerful Titanium Backup app.
What Do You Need to Move or Back Up Telegram Secret Chats?
You need the Pro version of Titanium Backup. The app is priced at $ 5.99 and comes with embarrassing features, but we don’t have to worry about most of them for the task at hand.
You’ll also need to root on your old phone and new device for this process as the app requires access to parts of the Android file system that are normally prohibited.
Once your phone is rooted, the next step is to download Titanium Backup from the Play Store and purchase a license key either through the Play Store or directly from the developer via Paypal.
Download: Titanium Recommendations (Free)
Download: Titanium Backup Pro ($ 5.99)
How to Set Up Titanium Backup to Copy Telegram Secret Chat
Tap the Titanium Backup icon to get started. Some users have reported issues on Android 10 and higher, so if an app crashes while starting, restart your phone and you should be ready.
On the first run, you need to give Titanium Backup permission to access photos, media, files, make and manage phone calls, and to access your contacts.
The application will then request the root rights that need to work. Giving the root for 10 or 15 minutes should be enough time to complete the task.
Next, allow the Titanium Backup add-on permission to send and view SMS messages and then wait a few seconds while scanning your phone for installed applications.
Set up Encryption
Now we just need to change some settings before we back up your Telegram and secret chats.
In Titanium Backup, tap the menu button in the top right to open it again. From the type menu Priority.
Since we will be transferring sensitive data in your secret chats from your device, you may want to take advantage of Titanium Backup Pro’s encryption feature. If so, tap Enable encryption.
New entry called Backup protection settings must appear. This tap brings up three options.
Type Symmetric-lock strength and choose which option you like. The higher the number, the stronger the encryption. If you have a lot of data in your Telegram account you may need some time to encrypt it all so you may want to choose a lower value.
Tap next Create a master key. Again you are offered a choice of encryption strength and the same exchange between speed and security takes place.
Once you’ve selected your key strength enter a good passphrase and enter it again to confirm it, then tap Generate a key.
Set Backup Settings
Now return to the previous menu screen and scroll down to the next menu entry: Backup settings.
By default, the app and its data will be exported to a folder named “TitaniumBackup” in your device’s main folder but you can tap Location of the backup folder to change this destination if you want.
The next step is to knock Backup application external data and select Activated (Always).
Now tap on Compression options. You can choose from three different compression levels or none at all. Here the exchange is between faster compression and a smaller file size. Choose LZO if you’re not worried about the size of your backup, GZIP for the best of both worlds, or BZIP2 if you want to make the backup file as small as possible.
The last option that interests us is Backup settings. Tap this and on the next screen check the box marked Backup application cache.
Finally, tap your back button to return to the main Titanium Backup Overview screen.
How to Back Up Your Secret Telegram Chat
Tap on Backup / Restore button in the top center of the screen. Here you will see a list of all Titanium Backup applications and elements available on your device. Scroll down until you see “Telegram” or tap it into the search bar at the top of the screen, then select.
In the dialog box that appears tap Back up!.
A notification will appear telling you which program is backing up your application. Upon completion, the notification will disappear and under the Telegram entry, it should state “backup 1. Latest:” followed by the date and time.
Now you should have three files in the TitaniumBackup folder to begin with org.telegram and ends with .apk.lzop, .own, day .tar.lzop.
Copy the TitaniumBackup folder that contains these files to the main folder of your new device.
Restore Your Secret Telegram Chat on a New Phone
Your new device must also be rooted before you can recover your Telegram and secret chats.
Install Titanium Backup and the Pro add-on or copy your license key to the main directory. As before, you need to grant the application root access along with the various permissions it needs. Now you are ready to restore your secret chat.
Open Titanium Backup and tap the menu button in the top right, then tap Priority.
Scroll down to Recovery settings section.
Select Recover external application data then type Recovery settings.
Make sure Always associate with the selected account and Switch to the active data profile marked.
Tap back, and back again to return to the main screen.
Tap on Backup / Restore button at the top of the main screen. Search for Telegram from the search bar or scroll down until you find it as a cross -sectional entry at the very bottom of the list and tap on it.
Type Restore in the dialog box.
A message will appear asking if you want to restore Applications only or Applications + Data. Select Applications + Data. The recovery process will begin.
You will be asked to enter your passphrase if you choose to encrypt your backup. Android may also warn you that installing apps from unknown sources is risky and ask your permission to allow Titanium Backup to install apps. Type Settings, then tap the toggle next to Allow from this source to continue the recovery process.
Once the recovery dialog box is gone, your recovery will be complete.
Go to your launcher app drawer and open Telegram. If all goes well, Telegram will not ask you to register your number again, but only with permission to read your contacts. Type Proceed and then confirm when requesting access to your contacts, photos, media, and files.
Congratulations, now you should find all your Telegram secret messages, media, and chats ready and waiting for you! One thing to keep in mind: while your old secret chat will be there to read, you’ll need to start a new secret chat with your contacts in order to send a new message.
Preserving Secret Telegram Chats for Descendants
Secret chats are at the core of Telegram’s claim to be a more secure and privacy-friendly alternative than Whatsapp and offer peace of mind whether you’re exchanging intimate messages with loved ones or discussing sensitive business information. So it’s good that you know that you don’t have to lose it when it’s time to upgrade your phone.
Here are the best Telegram features you should use to take full advantage of this app.
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