Pyrogram FAQ

This FAQ page provides answers to common questions about Pyrogram and, to some extent, Telegram in general.


If you think something interesting could be added here, feel free to propose it by opening a Feature Request.

What is Pyrogram?

Pyrogram is an elegant, easy-to-use Telegram client library and framework written from the ground up in Python and C. It enables you to easily create custom applications for both user and bot identities (bot API alternative) via the MTProto API with the Python programming language.

Where does the name come from?

The name “Pyrogram” is composed by pyro, which comes from the Greek word πῦρ (pyr), meaning fire, and gram, from Telegram. The word pyro itself is built from Python, py for short, and the suffix ro to come up with the word fire, which also inspired the project logo.

How old is Pyrogram?

Pyrogram was first released on December 12, 2017. The actual work on the framework began roughly three months prior the initial public release on GitHub.

Why Pyrogram?

  • Easy: You can install Pyrogram with pip and start building your applications right away.

  • Elegant: Low-level details are abstracted and re-presented in a much nicer and easier way.

  • Fast: Crypto parts are boosted up by TgCrypto, a high-performance library written in pure C.

  • Asynchronous: Allows both synchronous and asynchronous models to fit all usage needs.

  • Documented: API methods, types and public interfaces are all well documented.

  • Type-hinted: Types and methods are all type-hinted, enabling excellent editor support.

  • Updated, to make use of the latest Telegram API version and features.

  • Bot API-like: Similar to the Bot API in its simplicity, but much more powerful and detailed.

  • Pluggable: The Smart Plugin system allows to write components with minimal boilerplate code.

  • Comprehensive: Execute any advanced action an official client is able to do, and even more.

How stable and reliable is Pyrogram?

So far, since its first public release, Pyrogram has always shown itself to be quite reliable in handling client-server interconnections and just as stable when keeping long running applications online. The only annoying issues faced are actually coming from Telegram servers internal errors and down times, from which Pyrogram is able to recover itself automatically.

To challenge the framework, the creator is constantly keeping a public welcome bot online 24/7 on his own, relatively-busy account for well over a year now.

In addition to that, about six months ago, one of the most popular Telegram bot has been rewritten from scratch using Pyrogram and is serving more than 200,000 Monthly Active Users since then, uninterruptedly and without any need for restarting it.

What can MTProto do more than the Bot API?

For a detailed answer, please refer to the MTProto vs. Bot API page.

Why do I need an API key for bots?

Requests against the official bot API endpoint are made via JSON/HTTP, but are handled by an intermediate server application that implements the MTProto protocol – just like Pyrogram – and uses its own API key, which is always required, but hidden to the public.

Using MTProto is the only way to communicate with the actual Telegram servers, and the main API requires developers to identify applications by means of a unique key; the bot token identifies a bot as a user and replaces the user’s phone number only.

Can I use Webhooks?

Lots of people ask this question because they are used to the bot API, but things are different in Pyrogram!

There is no webhook in Pyrogram, simply because there is no HTTP involved, by default. However, a similar technique is being used to make receiving updates efficient.

Pyrogram uses persistent connections via TCP sockets to interact with the server and instead of actively asking for updates every time (polling), Pyrogram will simply sit down and wait for the server to send updates by itself the very moment they are available (server push).

Can I use the same file_id across different accounts?

No, Telegram doesn’t allow this.

File ids are personal and bound to a specific user/bot – and an attempt in using a foreign file id will result in errors such as [400 MEDIA_EMPTY].

The only exception are stickers’ file ids; you can use them across different accounts without any problem, like this one: CAADBAADyg4AAvLQYAEYD4F7vcZ43AI.

Can I use Bot API’s file_id values in Pyrogram?

Definitely! All file ids you might have taken from the Bot API are 100% compatible and re-usable in Pyrogram.


Telegram is slowly changing some server’s internals and it’s doing it in such a way that file ids are going to break inevitably. Not only this, but it seems that the new, hypothetical, file ids could also possibly expire at anytime, thus losing the persistence feature (see What is a file_ref and why do I need it?).

This change will most likely affect the official Bot API too (unless Telegram implements some workarounds server-side to keep backwards compatibility, which Pyrogram could in turn make use of) and we can expect a proper notice from Telegram.

Can I use multiple clients at once on the same account?

Yes, you can. Both user and bot accounts are able to run multiple sessions in parallel (up to 10 per account). However, you must pay attention and not use the same exact session in more than one client at the same time. In other words:

  • Avoid copying your session file: even if you rename the file, the copied sessions will still point to a specific one stored in the server.

  • Make sure that only one instance of your script runs, using your session file.

If you – even accidentally – fail to do so, all the previous session copies will immediately stop receiving updates and eventually the server will start throwing the error [406 AUTH_KEY_DUPLICATED], inviting you to login again.

Why is that so? Because the server has recognized two identical sessions are running in two different locations, and concludes it could possibly be due to a cloned/stolen device. Having the session terminated in such occasions will protect the user’s privacy.

So, the only correct way to run multiple clients on the same account is authorizing your account (either user or bot) from the beginning every time, and use one separate session for each parallel client you are going to use.

I started a client and nothing happens!

If you are connecting from Russia, China or Iran you need a proxy, because Telegram could be partially or totally blocked in those countries. More information about this block can be found at Wikipedia.

Another possible cause might be network issues, either yours or Telegram’s. To confirm this, add the following code on the top of your script and run it again. You should see some error mentioning a socket timeout or an unreachable network in a bunch of seconds:

import logging

Another way to confirm you aren’t able to connect to Telegram is by pinging the IP addresses below and see whether ping fails or not.

What are the IP addresses of Telegram Data Centers?

The Telegram cloud is currently composed by a decentralized, multi-DC infrastructure (currently 5 DCs, each of which can work independently) spread in different locations worldwide. However, some of the less busy DCs have been lately dismissed and their IP addresses are now kept as aliases to the nearest one.

Production Environment






MIA, Miami FL, USA



AMS, Amsterdam, NL



MIA, Miami FL, USA



AMS, Amsterdam, NL



SIN, Singapore, SG


Test Environment






MIA, Miami FL, USA



AMS, Amsterdam, NL



MIA, Miami FL, USA


More info about the Test Environment can be found here.

* Alias DC

Thanks to @FrayxRulez for telling about alias DCs.

I want to migrate my account from DCX to DCY.

This question is often asked by people who find their account(s) always being connected to DC1 - USA (for example), but are connecting from a place far away (e.g DC4 - Europe), thus resulting in slower interactions when using the API because of the great physical distance between the user and its associated DC.

When registering an account for the first time, is up to Telegram to decide which DC the new user is going to be created in, based on the phone number origin.

Even though Telegram documentations state the server might decide to automatically migrate a user in case of prolonged usages from a distant, unusual location and albeit this mechanism is also confirmed to exist by Telegram itself, it’s currently not possible to have your account migrated, in any way, simply because the feature was once planned but not yet implemented.

Thanks to @gabriel for confirming the feature was not implemented yet.

Why is my client reacting slowly in supergroups?

This issue affects only some supergroups or only some members within the same supergroup. Mostly, it affects supergroups whose creator’s account (and thus the supergroup itself) lives inside a different DC, far away from yours, but could also depend on where a member is connecting from.

Because of how Telegram works internally, every single message you receive from and send to other members must pass through the creator’s DC, and in the worst case where you, the creator and another member all belong to three different DCs, the other member messages have to go through from its DC to the creator’s DC and finally to your DC. This process will inevitably take its time.

To confirm this theory and see it by yourself, you can test in a supergroup where you are sure all parties live inside the same DC. In this case the responses will be faster.

Another reason that makes responses come slowly is that messages are dispatched by priority. Depending on the kind of member, some users receive messages faster than others and for big and busy supergroups the delay might become noticeable, especially if you are among the lower end of the priority list:

  1. Creator.

  2. Administrators.

  3. Bots.

  4. Mentioned users.

  5. Recent online users.

  6. Everyone else.

Thanks to @Manuel15 for the priority list.

I keep getting PEER_ID_INVALID error!

The error in question is [400 PEER_ID_INVALID], and could mean several things:

  • The chat id you tried to use is simply wrong, double check it.

  • The chat id refers to a group or channel you are not a member of.

  • The chat id argument you passed is in form of a string; you have to convert it into an integer with int(chat_id).

  • The chat id refers to a user your current session haven’t met yet.

About the last point: in order for you to meet a user and thus communicate with them, you should ask yourself how to contact people using official apps. The answer is the same for Pyrogram too and involves normal usages such as searching for usernames, meeting them in a common group, have their phone contacts saved or getting a message mentioning them, either a forward or a mention in the message text.

What is a file_ref and why do I need it?


This FAQ is currently applicable to user accounts only. Bot accounts are still doing fine without a file_ref (even though this can change anytime since it’s a Telegram’s internal server behaviour).

Similarly to what happens with users and chats which need to first be encountered in order to interact with them, media messages also need to be “seen” recently before downloading or re-sending without uploading as new file.

What is it meant by “they need to be seen recently”?

That means you have to fetch the original media messages prior any action in order to get a valid and up to date value called file reference (file_ref) which, in pair with a file_id, enables you to interact with the media. This file_ref value won’t last forever (usually 24h, but could expire anytime) and in case of errors you have to get a refreshed file_ref by re-fetching the original message (fetching forwarded media messages does also work).

Ok, but what is a file_ref actually needed for?

Nobody knows for sure, but is likely because that’s the correct approach for handling tons of files uploaded by users in Telegram’s cloud. Which means, as soon as the media message still exists, a valid file_ref can be obtained, otherwise, in case there’s no more messages referencing a specific media, Telegram is able to free disk space by deleting old files.

Code hangs when I stop, restart, add/remove_handler

You tried to .stop(), .restart(), .add_handler() or .remove_handler() inside a running handler, but that can’t be done because the way Pyrogram deals with handlers would make it hang.

When calling one of the methods above inside an event handler, Pyrogram needs to wait for all running handlers to finish in order to safely continue. In other words, since your handler is blocking the execution by waiting for the called method to finish and since Pyrogram needs to wait for your handler to finish, you are left with a deadlock.

The solution to this problem is to pass block=False to such methods so that they return immediately and the actual code called asynchronously.

UnicodeEncodeError: ‘<encoding>’ codec can’t encode …

Where <encoding> might be ascii, cp932, charmap or anything else other than utf-8. This error usually shows up when you try to print something and has very little to do with Pyrogram itself as it is strictly related to your own terminal. To fix it, either find a way to change the encoding settings of your terminal to UTF-8 or switch to a better terminal altogether.

Uploading with URLs gives error WEBPAGE_CURL_FAILED

When uploading media files using an URL, the server automatically tries to download the media and uploads it to the Telegram cloud. This error usually happens in case the provided URL is not publicly accessible by Telegram itself or the media exceeds 20 MB in size. In such cases, your only option is to download the media yourself and upload from your local machine.

sqlite3.OperationalError: database is locked

This error occurs when more than one process is using the same session file, that is, when you run two or more clients at the same time using the same session name.

It could also occur when a background script is still running and you forgot about it. In this case, you either restart your system or find and kill the process that is locking the database. On Unix based systems, you can do the following:

  1. cd into your session file directory.

  2. fuser my_account.session to find the process id.

  3. kill 1234 to gracefully stop the process.

  4. If the last command doesn’t help, use kill -9 1234 instead.

If you want to run multiple clients on the same account, you must authorize your account (either user or bot) from the beginning every time, and use different session names for each parallel client you are going to use.

sqlite3.OperationalError: unable to open database file

Stackoverflow to the rescue:

FileNotFoundError when using PyInstaller

Pyrogram uses two files that are not Python files, which are not included automatically in the PyInstaller bundle:

  • pyrogram/mime.types

  • pyrogram/storage/schema.sql

To fix the issue, you have to locate your local Pyrogram installation and pass those files to PyInstaller. More info in their docs

My verification code expires immediately!

That is because you likely shared it across any of your Telegram chats. Yes, that’s right: the server keeps scanning the messages you send and if an active verification code is found it will immediately expire, automatically.

The reason behind this is to protect unaware users from giving their account access to any potential scammer, but if you legitimately want to share your account(s) verification codes, consider scrambling them, e.g. 123451-2-3-4-5.

How can avoid Flood Waits?

Long story short: make less requests, and remember that the API is designed to be used by official apps, by real people; anything above normal usage could be limited.

This question is being asked quite a lot of times, but the bottom line is that nobody knows the exact limits and it’s unlikely that such information will be ever disclosed, because otherwise people could easily circumvent them and defeat their whole purpose.

Do also note that Telegram wants to be a safe and reliable place and that limits exist to protect itself from abuses. Having said that, here’s some insights about limits:

  • They are tuned by Telegram based on real people usage and can change anytime.

  • Some limits are be applied to single sessions, some others apply to the whole account.

  • Limits vary based on methods and the arguments passed to methods. For example: log-ins are expensive and thus have stricter limits; replying to a user command could cause a flood wait in case the user starts flooding, but such limit will only be applied to that particular chat (i.e.: other users are not affected).

  • You can catch Flood Wait exceptions in your code and wait the required seconds before continuing, this way:

    import time
    from pyrogram.errors import FloodWait
        ...  # Your code
    except FloodWait as e:
        time.sleep(e.x)  # Wait "x" seconds before continuing

    More info about error handling can be found here.

My account has been deactivated/limited!

First of all, you should understand that Telegram wants to be a safe place for people to stay in, and to pursue this goal there are automatic protection systems running to prevent flood and spam, as well as a moderation team of humans who review reports.

Pyrogram is a tool at your commands; it only does what you tell it to do, the rest is up to you.

Having said that, here’s a list of what Telegram definitely doesn’t like:

  • Flood, abusing the API.

  • Spam, sending unsolicited messages or adding people to unwanted groups and channels.

  • Virtual/VoIP and cheap real numbers, because they are relatively easy to get and likely used for spam/flood.

And thanks to @koteeq, here’s a good explanation of how, probably, the system works:

However, you might be right, and your account was deactivated/limited without any good reason. This could happen because of mistakes by either the automatic systems or a moderator. In such cases you can kindly email Telegram at, contact @smstelegram on Twitter or use this form.

Are there any secret easter eggs?

Yes. If you found one, let me know!