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pyTelegramBotAPI 3.0.0

Python Telegram bot api.

Latest Version: 3.5.1

Getting started.

This API is tested with Python 2.6, Python 2.7, Python 3.4, Pypy and Pypy 3. There are two ways to install the library:

  • Installation using pip (a Python package manager)*:
$ pip install pyTelegramBotAPI
  • Installation from source (requires git):
$ git clone
$ cd pyTelegramBotAPI
$ python install

It is generally recommended to use the first option.

**While the API is production-ready, it is still under development and it has regular updates, do not forget to update it regularly by calling pip install pytelegrambotapi --upgrade*

Writing your first bot


It is presumed that you [have obtained an API token with @BotFather]( We will call this token TOKEN. Furthermore, you have basic knowledge of the Python programming language and more importantly the Telegram Bot API.

A simple echo bot

The TeleBot class (defined in encapsulates all API calls in a single class. It provides functions such as send_xyz (send_message, send_document etc.) and several ways to listen for incoming messages.

Create a file called Then, open the file and create an instance of the TeleBot class.

import telebot

bot = telebot.TeleBot("TOKEN")

Note: Make sure to actually replace TOKEN with your own API token.

After that declaration, we need to register some so-called message handlers. Message handlers define filters which a message must pass. If a message passes the filter, the decorated function is called and the incoming message is passed as an argument.

Let’s define a message handler which handles incoming /start and /help commands.

@bot.message_handler(commands=['start', 'help'])
def send_welcome(message):
    bot.reply_to(message, "Howdy, how are you doing?")

A function which is decorated by a message handler can have an arbitrary name, however, it must have only one parameter (the message).

Let’s add another handler:

@bot.message_handler(func=lambda m: True)
def echo_all(message):
    bot.reply_to(message, message.text)

This one echoes all incoming text messages back to the sender. It uses a lambda function to test a message. If the lambda returns True, the message is handled by the decorated function. Since we want all messages to be handled by this function, we simply always return True.

Note: all handlers are tested in the order in which they were declared

We now have a basic bot which replies a static message to “/start” and “/help” commands and which echoes the rest of the sent messages. To start the bot, add the following to our source file:


Alright, that’s it! Our source file now looks like this:

import telebot

bot = telebot.TeleBot("TOKEN")

@bot.message_handler(commands=['start', 'help'])
def send_welcome(message):
    bot.reply_to(message, "Howdy, how are you doing?")

@bot.message_handler(func=lambda message: True)
def echo_all(message):
    bot.reply_to(message, message.text)


To start the bot, simply open up a terminal and enter python to run the bot! Test it by sending commands (‘/start’ and ‘/help’) and arbitrary text messages.

General API Documentation


All types are defined in They are all completely in line with the Telegram API’s definition of the types, except for the Message’s from field, which is renamed to from_user (because from is a Python reserved token). Thus, attributes such as message_id can be accessed directly with message.message_id. Note that can be either an instance of User or GroupChat (see How can I distinguish a User and a GroupChat in

The Message object also has a content_typeattribute, which defines the type of the Message. content_type can be one of the following strings: ‘text’, ‘audio’, ‘document’, ‘photo’, ‘sticker’, ‘video’, ‘location’, ‘contact’, ‘new_chat_participant’, ‘left_chat_participant’, ‘new_chat_title’, ‘new_chat_photo’, ‘delete_chat_photo’, ‘group_chat_created’.


All API methods are located in the TeleBot class. They are renamed to follow common Python naming conventions. E.g. getMe is renamed to get_me and sendMessage to send_message.

General use of the API

Outlined below are some general use cases of the API.

Message handlers

A message handler is a function which is decorated with the message_handler decorator of a TeleBot instance. The following examples illustrate the possibilities of message handlers:

import telebot
bot = telebot.TeleBot("TOKEN")

# Handles all text messages that contains the commands '/start' or '/help'.
@bot.message_handler(commands=['start', 'help'])
def handle_start_help(message):

# Handles all sent documents and audio files
@bot.message_handler(content_types=['document', 'audio'])
def handle_docs_audio(message):

# Handles all text messages that match the regular expression
def handle_message(message):

#Handles all messages for which the lambda returns True
@bot.message_handler(func=lambda message: message.document.mime_type == 'text/plain', content_types=['document'])
def handle_text_doc(message):

#Which could also be defined as:
def test_message(message):
    return message.document.mime_type == 'text/plan'

@bot.message_handler(func=test_message, content_types=['document'])
def handle_text_doc(message)

Note: all handlers are tested in the order in which they were declared #### TeleBot

import telebot

TOKEN = '<token_string>'
tb = telebot.TeleBot(TOKEN) #create a new Telegram Bot object

# Upon calling this function, TeleBot starts polling the Telegram servers for new messages.
# - none_stop: True/False (default False) - Don't stop polling when receiving an error from the Telegram servers
# - interval: True/False (default False) - The interval between polling requests
#           Note: Editing this parameter harms the bot's response time
# - block: True/False (default True) - Blocks upon calling this function
tb.polling(none_stop=False, interval=0, block=True)

# getMe
user = tb.get_me()

# getUpdates
updates = tb.get_updates()
updates = tb.get_updates(1234,100,20) #get_Updates(offset, limit, timeout):

# sendMessage
tb.send_message(chatid, text)

# forwardMessage
tb.forward_message(to_chat_id, from_chat_id, message_id)

# All send_xyz functions which can take a file as an argument, can also take a file_id instead of a file.
# sendPhoto
photo = open('/tmp/photo.png', 'rb')
tb.send_photo(chat_id, photo)
tb.send_photo(chat_id, "FILEID")

# sendAudio
audio = open('/tmp/audio.mp3', 'rb')
tb.send_audio(chat_id, audio)
tb.send_audio(chat_id, "FILEID")

## sendAudio with duration, performer and title.
tb.send_audio(CHAT_ID, file_data, 1, 'eternnoir', 'pyTelegram')

# sendVoice
voice = open('/tmp/voice.ogg', 'rb')
tb.send_voice(chat_id, voice)
tb.send_voice(chat_id, "FILEID")

# sendDocument
doc = open('/tmp/file.txt', 'rb')
tb.send_document(chat_id, doc)
tb.send_document(chat_id, "FILEID")

# sendSticker
sti = open('/tmp/sti.webp', 'rb')
tb.send_sticker(chat_id, sti)
tb.send_sticker(chat_id, "FILEID")

# sendVideo
video = open('/tmp/video.mp4', 'rb')
tb.send_video(chat_id, video)
tb.send_video(chat_id, "FILEID")

# sendLocation
tb.send_location(chat_id, lat, lon)

# sendChatAction
# action_string can be one of the following strings: 'typing', 'upload_photo', 'record_video', 'upload_video',
# 'record_audio', 'upload_audio', 'upload_document' or 'find_location'.
tb.send_chat_action(chat_id, action_string)

Reply markup

All send_xyz functions of TeleBot take an optional reply_markup argument. This argument must be an instance of ReplyKeyboardMarkup, ReplyKeyboardHide or ForceReply, which are defined in

from telebot import types

# Using the ReplyKeyboardMarkup class
# It's constructor can take the following optional arguments:
# - resize_keyboard: True/False (default False)
# - one_time_keyboard: True/False (default False)
# - selective: True/False (default False)
# - row_width: integer (default 3)
# row_width is used in combination with the add() function.
# It defines how many buttons are fit on each row before continuing on the next row.
markup = types.ReplyKeyboardMarkup(row_width=2)
markup.add('a', 'v', 'd')
tb.send_message(chat_id, "Choose one letter:", reply_markup=markup)

# or add strings one row at a time:
markup = types.ReplyKeyboardMarkup()
markup.row('a', 'v')
markup.row('c', 'd', 'e')
tb.send_message(chat_id, "Choose one letter:", reply_markup=markup)

The last example yields this result:


# ReplyKeyboardHide: hides a previously sent ReplyKeyboardMarkup
# Takes an optional selective argument (True/False, default False)
markup = types.ReplyKeyboardHide(selective=False)
tb.send_message(chat_id, message, reply_markup=markup)
# ForceReply: forces a user to reply to a message
# Takes an optional selective argument (True/False, default False)
markup = types.ForceReply(selective=False)
tb.send_message(chat_id, "Send me another word:", reply_markup=markup)



Advanced use of the API

Asynchronous delivery of messages

There exists an implementation of TeleBot which executes all send_xyz and the get_me functions asynchronously. This can speed up you bot significantly, but it has unwanted side effects if used without caution. To enable this behaviour, create an instance of AsyncTeleBot instead of TeleBot.

tb = telebot.AsyncTeleBot("TOKEN")

Now, every function that calls the Telegram API is executed in a separate Thread. The functions are modified to return an AsyncTask instance (defined in Using AsyncTeleBot allows you to do the following:

import telebot

tb = telebot.AsyncTeleBot("TOKEN")
task = tb.get_me() # Execute an API call
# Do some other operations...
a = 0
for a in range(100):
    a += 10

result = task.wait() # Get the result of the execution

Note: if you execute send_xyz functions after eachother without calling wait(), the order in which messages are delivered might be wrong.

Sending large text messages

Sometimes you must send messages that exceed 5000 characters. The Telegram API can not handle that many characters in one request, so we need to split the message in multiples. Here is how to do that using the API:

from telebot import util
large_text = open("large_text.txt", "rb").read()

# Split the text each 3000 characters.
# split_string returns a list with the splitted text.
splitted_text = util.split_string(large_text, 3000)
for text in splitted_text:
    tb.send_message(chat_id, text)

Controlling the amount of Threads used by TeleBot

The TeleBot constructor takes the following optional arguments:

  • create_threads: True/False (default True). A flag to indicate whether TeleBot should execute message handlers on it’s polling Thread.
  • num_threads: integer (default 4). Controls the amount of WorkerThreads created for the internal thread pool that TeleBot uses to execute message handlers. Is not used when create_threads is False.

The listener mechanism

As an alternative to the message handlers, one can also register a function as a listener to TeleBot. Example:

def handle_messages(messages):
    for message in messsages:
        # Do something with the message
        bot.reply_to(message, 'Hi')


Using web hooks

If you prefer using web hooks to the getUpdates method, you can use the process_new_messages(messages) function in TeleBot to make it process the messages that you supply. It takes a list of Message objects. This function is still incubating.


You can use the Telebot module logger to log debug info about Telebot. Use telebot.logger to get the logger of the TeleBot module.

logger = telebot.logger
formatter = logging.Formatter('[%(asctime)s] %(thread)d {%(pathname)s:%(lineno)d} %(levelname)s - %(message)s',
                                  '%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
ch = logging.StreamHandler(sys.stdout)
logger.setLevel(logging.DEBUG)  # or use logging.INFO


How can I distinguish a User and a GroupChat in

There are two ways to do this:

  • Checking the instance of with isinstance: “`python def is_user(chat): return isinstance(chat, types.User)

print is_user( # True or False - Checking whether the chat id is negative or positive. If the chat id is negative, the chat is a GroupChat, if it is positive, it is a User. Example:python def is_user(chat): return > 0

print is_user( # True or False “`

The Telegram Chat Group

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