It can be frustrating when you try to sign up for Telegram but keep getting errors that your phone number cannot be verified or accepted.
Don’t worry – in most cases this issue can be easily resolved with a few troubleshooting steps.
Here is a comprehensive guide on why Telegram may not be accepting your phone number and how to troubleshoot it.
Reasons Why Telegram Is Not Accepting Your Phone Number
There are a few common reasons why Telegram may fail to verify or accept your phone number during signup:
Weak Cellular Signal
If you are trying to sign up for Telegram on your mobile device but have a weak cellular signal or limited data connectivity, Telegram may not be able to deliver the verification SMS code or call to your device.
Always ensure you have at least 3-4 bars of cellular signal strength and a strong data connection before attempting to verify your phone number. If possible, connect to a reliable WiFi network as well.
You Entered a Wrong Phone Number
One obvious but easy-to-make mistake is entering your phone number incorrectly while signing up. Double-check that you have the right country code and area code, if applicable, and that you did not make any typos when entering your phone digits.
For mobile numbers, always enter your number in an international format, like: +1XXXXXXXXXX.
Your Phone Number Cannot Receive SMS
Some pre-paid SIM cards and mobile plans have restrictions on receiving SMS messages, which will prevent Telegram verification codes from being delivered. Temporary or Virtual phone numbers that are not attached to a device will also not work.
Make sure incoming SMS and calls are enabled on the phone number you are trying to verify. Consider using a different number if your current one has restrictions.
You Already Logged In On Another Device
An important but not widely known fact is that if your phone number is already registered on Telegram through another device, verification codes will be sent only to those existing devices by default.
So if you previously signed up for Telegram on another smartphone for example, you would need to first check that device for the SMS or call with the verification code.
During periods of heavy server load or maintenance downtimes, Telegram may be slow or fail in sending out call and SMS verifications globally.
If you are certain everything else is configured correctly on your end, wait 5-10 minutes and retry phone number verification. Chances are the Telegram servers are just temporarily congested.
Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot Telegram not accepting phone number issues:
1. Check Network Strength
As mentioned before, a weak mobile signal is one of the most common reasons for phone verification failures on Telegram.
Follow these steps to test and improve your internet connection:
Speed Check: Run a speed test using online tools like Ookla Speedtest or Fast.com. Aim for a download speed of at least 5 Mbps for a smooth Telegram experience. Low speeds could delay receiving verification codes.
Switch Networks: Test on both Wi-Fi and mobile data. If one network isn’t working, the other might be your savior. Remember, public Wi-Fi might have restrictions that hinder Telegram.
Restart Devices: Give your router and device a quick reboot. This can refresh connections and clear temporary glitches.
Also, ensure your data connectivity is strong – either through cellular data or a WiFi connection. Try disabling WiFi and using just the mobile data network if you face issues.
Restart your phone once as well to refresh all network connectivity components.
2. Check Telegram Server Status
One simple method to try if Telegram is not accepting your phone number is to check if there are any issues with Telegram’s servers.
A useful website for this is Down Detector. Go to the Down Detector website and search for Telegram.
This will show a status page specifically for the Telegram app. Here you can see a timeline of any recent outage reports, as well as a map showing where issues are happening.
If you see a spike in outage reports that correlates with when you tried to sign up, chances are Telegram is having broader server troubles, not just with your number.
In that case, the best move is to just wait a bit and try again later. The server issues are likely temporary, and your number should be accepted once things clear up on Telegram’s end.
3. Re-enter Phone Number Correctly
Carefully re-enter your phone number, double checking that you have the proper country code and area code, if applicable. Refer to an existing phone bill or confirmation message to cross-verify your number if needed.
For mobile numbers, remember to always enter in international format with +. For example, a typical US number would be: +1XXXXXXXXXX.
This prevents any ambiguity for Telegram in determining your country and number range.
4. Verify SMS Capabilities of Number
Some mobile plans and prepaid phone lines have restrictions on receiving text messages or calls. Since Telegram relies on either SMS or calls for verification, such numbers will not work.
Check if the phone number you are trying to sign up with has active incoming SMS and calling services. Consider using a different number if needed where you can directly confirm these capabilities.
Virtual temporary numbers will also likely not have these capabilities enabled, so avoid using them for Telegram.
5. Check Existing Devices First
Remember that if you had signed up for Telegram previously through another smartphone, tablet or computer with the same phone number, any verification codes will be sent to those existing signed in devices first by default.
So you want to open the Telegram app on those other devices and check for a 6-digit confirmation code under Settings > Devices. Enter this code on your new device to complete the verification process.
Only when no other existing devices are signed in will Telegram send verification to your new device directly.
6. Request Via Call Instead of SMS
In some countries, Telegram also provides the option of requesting your verification code through an automated call instead of a text message.
If you are not receiving the SMS on your device even after the earlier steps, open Telegram, click on ‘Have an activation code?’ on the confirmation screen, and select ‘Call’ instead of SMS when prompted.
Answer the call when it comes through and follow the verbal instructions to get your activation code.
7. Retry After Some Time
As noted before, there may be temporary delays when Telegram’s servers are facing heavy loads or maintenance downtimes globally.
If you have double checked all other steps, wait for 5-10 minutes and attempt phone number verification again in Telegram. Chances are it will go through on the 2nd or 3rd attempt as server connectivity improves.
8. Restart App & Device
An app crash or glitch on your mobile device could also sometimes lead to the verification process failing. As a first troubleshooting step, force close the Telegram app fully and clear it from your device’s app drawer.
Then restart your Android or iOS device completely.
Once the device reboots and you reopen Telegram, attempt phone verification again. This will flush out any app crashes or temporary OS glitches.
9. Update the Telegram App
Not being on the latest version of Telegram could also lead to problems if that version still has bugs that affect phone verification.
Go to your device’s Play Store or App Store and install any available updates for the Telegram app. Doing the same for your Android or iOS operating system is also recommended.
Signing up on the latest Telegram & OS versions eliminates any known issues that may have affected verification.
10. Clear Cache & App Data
Corrupted cache and app data is another potential culprit that could interfere with the verification process and code validation on Telegram.
To clear the Telegram app cache:
- Open the Telegram app.
- Tap the three horizontal lines in the top left corner to open the hamburger menu.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Data and Storage.”
- Tap on “Storage Usage.”
- Here, you’ll see how much space the Telegram cache is taking up. To clear it, tap on “Clear Telegram Cache.”
- Confirm by tapping “Clear Cache” again in the pop-up window.
Retrying verification after clearing app data often resolves issues if corrupted files were causing it to fail.
11. Reinstall the App
If no other troubleshooting steps work, completely uninstalling and reinstalling the Telegram app will give you a clean slate ensuring no long standing app issues on your device interfere with verification.
On reinstalling Telegram and attempting to verify during signup, there is a strong chance it will now go through without errors.
12. Request Via Call Instead of SMS
If you are routed through a VPN service currently active on your device or network, there is a chance it may be interfering with Telegram’s verification SMS reaching your phone number.
VPN encryption routes your data through virtual tunnels, and SMS messages often fail to get delivered through such channels properly.
Before attempting the verification process again, toggle your VPN connection OFF if enabled. Reboot your mobile device after this for good measure as well.
With the VPN disabled, open Telegram and try phone number verification again with the SMS code request method.
In the majority of cases where a VPN was causing SMS routing issues, the verification texts should now deliver to your phone just fine allowing sign up to proceed.
In case disabling the VPN does not resolve matters, you can turn it back on again and continue investigating other potential issues covered in sections above.
13. Restart App & Device
Smartphones today come bundled with call management and spam protection apps that have various call & SMS blocking functionalities meant to protect users from scams and fraud.
While useful in general, such apps can inadvertently interfere with legitimate verification codes and texts from services like Telegram during signup.
Open your device settings and browse through all installed apps looking specifically at messaging and call manager/blocking apps. Check their permissions and disable any options that prevent legitimate SMS or calls from reaching you.
Temporary deactivate such apps entirely and reboot your device for good measure.
Now restart the Telegram app and try phone number verification again. If a rogue blocking app was preventing Telegram’s verification texts and calls previously, the process has a good chance of completing successfully this time round.
14. Contact Telegram Support
If no troubleshooting tips work, contacting Telegram support should provide resolution but you need to prepare relevant information upfront for the fastest response:
- Note your device make & model, Android/iOS version, Telegram app version that you are trying verification from.
- Document each troubleshooting step you have attempted and the outcome after each attempt.
- Take screenshots showing the error messages you get during phone number verification failures and be ready to attach them.
- Send these details through the Telegram support contact form at telegram.org/support or to their Twitter account. Structured information will help resolve your case faster!
With Telegram gaining popularity as a secure messaging platform, the inability to get past phone number verification during sign-up can be seriously annoying.
However, in most cases by methodically following troubleshooting techniques like checking your network strength, correcting your entered number, retrying after some time, or reinstalling the app, you should be able to complete the verification process allowing full access to Telegram.