How to Add and Import Contacts in Telegram Messenger

Telegram is a popular encrypted messaging app available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PC and Mac. With over 200 million monthly active users, Telegram offers secure chats, group chats, channels, bots and more.

Adding contacts is essential for messaging on Telegram. There are a few ways to find and add new contacts. You can also import contacts from your phone book to quickly get your friends and family set up on Telegram.

Adding Contacts in Telegram

There are three main ways to add contacts on Telegram:

Search for People by Username or Name

  • Tap on the Search icon at the top of the Telegram app
  • Type in the person’s full name, username or phone number
  • Tap on their name when it appears in search results to open their profile
  • Tap “Add” to send a contact request

You can only message people once they accept your contact request.

Add People Nearby via Telegram Links

  • Go to Settings > Add People Nearby
  • Tap “Create Link” to generate a special invitation link
  • Friends nearby can tap the link on their device to instantly add you

This allows you to quickly exchange contacts in-person.

Import Contacts from Your Phone Book

See the next section for details on syncing your phone contacts.

Once you add contacts, you can start messaging them directly from your Telegram contact list.

Importing Device Contacts into Telegram

Importing your phone or device contacts into Telegram makes it easy to find people you already know who use the app.

Here is how to import contacts on iOS and Android devices:

Import Contacts on iPhone

  • Open the Telegram app and tap “Settings”
  • Go to Contacts > Sync Contacts
  • Tap “Import Contacts”
  • Select which contacts you want to import to Telegram
  • Tap “Import” to finish syncing your phone contacts

You will see a list of phone contacts already using Telegram. You can also send invite messages to contacts who haven’t joined Telegram yet.

Import Contacts on Android

  • Open Telegram and tap the hamburger menu icon
  • Go to Settings > Contacts > Sync Contacts
  • Tap “Import Contacts”
  • Select which contacts to import and tap “OK”
  • Open your phone’s Contacts app and enable permission to sync contacts

Telegram will automatically match and sync contacts who also have the app installed.

Creating Telegram Groups & Channels

Once you build up your Telegram contacts, you can organize chats in groups and channels:


  • Tap the pencil icon when viewing your chat list
  • Select New Group
  • Name the group, add members, tap the check mark

Group sizes are limited to 200 members. You can share messages, media, polls and more in group conversations.


  • Tap the pencil icon when viewing your chat list
  • Select New Channel
  • Name the channel, add admins, upload channel photo, etc.
  • Tap the check icon when finished

Channels can have unlimited members. They allow you to broadcast messages to large audiences. Users can subscribe to channels anonymously.

Finding Contacts by Phone Number

If you only know someone’s phone number, you can still try to locate them on Telegram:

  • Open Contacts from the app menu
  • Tap the “+” icon to add a new contact
  • Enter the phone number with country code
  • Select “Find by phone number”

This will display Telegram users linked to that phone number. If no matches are found, you can send an SMS invite to join Telegram.


Adding contacts is the first step towards connecting with friends and family on Telegram. Take advantage of contact import tools to quickly sync your existing phone book. Use search, links and phone numbers to find people not saved in your contacts.