Telegram is a globally accessible, free instant messaging service that you can use either on your desktop, browser or as an application on your phone or tablet.
You can use Telegram to keep in touch with friends, family or workmates.
While messaging on Telegram, you may experience obstacles now and then, one of them being the ‘user does not exist’ error.
In this article, I will take you through some possible reasons why Telegram may display the “user does not exist” error.
Then look into some steps you can take to fix the problem, and lastly, look at some related questions that you may have or may experience with Telegram users and usernames.
While the “user does not exist” error can be puzzling, it’s typically caused by straightforward reasons like account deletion, wrong username, privacy settings or Telegram ban.
By double-checking usernames, ascertaining account status and your internet, you can effectively deal with this error.
Why Telegram may display ‘User does not exist’
When you get the “user does not exist” error on your Telegram, it may imply a couple of things including;
1. No user with the username
Telegram picks up on phone numbers in your contact list. But users can also set a username which should be unique to only one user.
When you set a username with Telegram, you make it possible for anyone to find you using that username, even if they do not have your number.
If you send a text to that username and you get the ‘does not exist’ error, it may mean that there is no Telegram user with that username, or the user may not be on Telegram anymore.
That also means that that name is free and can be used by anyone else.
2. You are blocked by the user
Telegram offers privacy and security options that allow account holders to limit calls, messages or other engagements. Under the security and privacy settings is an option to block users.
The user you are trying to message may have blocked you. If you are a blocked user, you can not send messages to the account that has blocked you.
3. User may have deleted their account
If someone deletes their Telegram account, all messages and contacts are flushed out, and you are not able to send any more messages to this account. The only option you have is to delete the conversation/chat.
4. The user may have been banned from Telegram
Telegram respects its users and is justified to take actions like banning users who violate rules and privacy, such as sharing nudity, hate speech, and spreading false information among others.
A Telegram ban can be either for a few minutes or even last for months, depending on the severity of the violation.
If a user is banned, they are blocked out of their account and most features will therefore not be operational. Consequently, you will not be in a position to send messages to this user.
5. There’s an issue on your side
Your messaging may not be successful because of either your internet connection or your app or because you are misspelling the name or sending the message to the wrong number.
If you are getting the ‘user does not exist’ error because of an issue on your side, this is something you can try to fix.
However, if it is because of any of the previous (four reasons), then you can’t do much about it. Here, let’s try to see how you can fix it if the problem is coming from your side.
How to deal with the “user does not exist” error on Telegram
1. Check your internet connection.
Telegram, like all other online services, works with an internet connection.
You can check your internet source and maybe restart the source (router or phone), you can also switch mobile data off and then on again if you are using mobile data. See if this helps with your messaging.
2. Make sure you are sending the text to the correct person.
Be sure to have the right username, it is possible to misspell.
With Telegram, usernames are case-sensitive, it may be that you are missing some letters, or confusing the case for the particular characters in the username.
You can also try and search for the user in the search bar.
Make sure you type the name correctly, do the search and see if you find who you are trying to text.
3. Restart your Telegram app.
If you have checked the internet connection and there is no problem with it, typed the correct name but still can’t get the user, it may be time for you to restart the Telegram app.
To do this;
Close the app, then reopen
To close the Telegram app, depending on your phone, you can swipe up to get the clear all or close all option. Or you will need to tap the recent apps button if you use buttons for navigation. This will display all open and active apps. You can now close individual apps or tap the clear all.
This will allow the active apps to close. Then you can reopen your Telegram and try again.
Force close the Telegram app
Sometimes some apps may still not load properly no matter how many times you close and reopen.
If your Telegram behaves this way, you can try and force it to close. Force closing an app may however mess with the function of the app, and you may have to uninstall and reinstall the app. It is mostly used for troubleshooting. That said, to force close your app;
Tap and hold the Telegram app. This should pop up a menu box with the App info option or simply the information symbol i.
Choose the info option, this will give you a broader menu with the force stop option. You can now force close your Telegram app.
If your phone does not offer the app info with a tap and hold on the app, you can force close through settings. Settings menu options may be different for different phones but you should be able to find it.
To try this way;
Go to settings on your phone, navigate to general settings, find and tap on the Apps & notifications option. Here you will find Apps info in the menu
Tap on the apps and info, then scroll through to find Telegram, a tap on it will give you options with force stop. When you tap on the force stop you will get a confirmation box, go ahead and tap ok if you have decided you need to force stop the app.
Now you can open Telegram again and try your search, again.
4. Report the issue to Telegram support.
You can do this by calling the Telegram support centre or sending an email or a WhatsApp message. They may help you troubleshoot the issue, or offer other options.
Qn. Why can’t I find a username on Telegram?
If you are trying to find someone on Telegram by username and you are having trouble, it may be because of the following, among other reasons;
1. The person has no username. The Telegram service does not obligate users to set up usernames, this is an optional feature and not all users choose to take it. It could be that the person you are trying to find has not set a username in Telegram, or their username has changed recently.
2. You have the wrong name. You may not be searching for the right username. Telegram usernames are case-sensitive, missing a letter or any character in the username will not give you the desired results.
3. The account is private. Users can choose to make their accounts private, hence they may only be found by people in their contact list. You may be having trouble finding the person because of those settings.
4. You have blocked the person. If you have blocked a person in your Telegram settings, their username or account will not appear when you search for them.
Qn. How can I hide my Telegram username?
If you have security and privacy concerns, and you want to hide your username or any other reasons for your consideration, there are steps you can follow to achieve this. You can follow the following;
1. Make sure your profile picture is in a solid colour – you can do this in settings. This will help make sure that only your contacts see your username when they view your profile.
2. Add the extra layer of security by enabling the two-step verification for your account. With this, only people with access to your phone number will be able to get into your account.
3. If you use VPN to hide your IP address and location, it will make it hard for you to be tracked down based on your Telegram activity.
4. You can also go to settings, choose a username and save an empty username. This will remove the username completely from your account.
Qn. What happens if I change my Telegram username?
If for some reason you decide to change your username on Telegram;
First, your previous name will be freed up and availed to any other person willing to use it.
Your new user name will appear for your contacts in their list, and when you send them messages. Your contacts will still be able to receive messages and calls from you.
So, no worries, you will not lose any contacts or communication when you change your Telegram username.
The Telegram platform is under continuous evolution and the addition of new features, these developments may come with inconveniences to the user, but also you may experience these inconveniences as a result of other issues related to privacy, security, and application functionality policies.
Whatever issues you may experience, there is a solution which will help you enjoy the services and end your frustration.
You can try the troubleshooting options available and always remember to report to the Telegram help centre if your concern is not resolved.