Our developers and community are always on hand to help. We’ve put together the most asked questions below.
Yes you can! Registering your email address is optional, but setting it will help friends to find you, and will allow you to reset your password if you forget it.
We will use your username to create an ID (Matrix ID) allowing to disambiguate you from others with the same display name. It will allow us to keep your email confidential. 🙂
Not anymore. Sorry!
Just type their name and they will be notified accordingly. You can autocomplete by pressing the tab button, you don’t need any prefix for the mention to work!
By default you’ll be notified if your display name and your user name are mentioned. You can add other names, nicknames or keywords on which you want to be notified from your settings, in the Notifications section.
Simple, just drag the file into Element and it will automatically upload. Alternatively you can click on the paperclip icon in the text input field and browse your filesystem.
Yes you can! on a mobile device simply press the arrow which is pointing upwards (on iOS) and paperclip (on android) while in a chat and select your file.
In every app you can start a chat with people who are already using Element (or another Matrix compliant app) by typing their display name or Matrix ID in the “Invite” box. Otherwise just type their email and they will be invite to use the app.If you authorised Element to access your contact book on mobile, you will be able to see which of your contacts are already using Element, based on their emails.
You can invite a contact by email or by sending them a link to a room: by clicking on the link they will be able to join without even registering, if the room allows it.
Yes! Element shows who has read a message by displaying their avatar to the right of the message. Hovering over these avatars (or clicking on them on mobile) will give you the user’s info and reading time.
Click on the magnifying glass located near the top of the screen. You can then type in a keyword or filename you are searching for. Also you have the ability to select whether you want the search to search the specific chat room you are in or across all conversations.
Click on the drop down menu under your name in the top left corner of the web or desktop app and select. From here you can change all of your account and general Element preferences.
Element allows you to customise your notifications at two levels: across the app and per room.You can configure how you will be notified for given events by default in the Notifications section of your Settings (accessible from the drop down menu under your name in the top left corner of the web/desktop app).
You can configure keywords, default notification settings for group, one-to-one chat rooms, invites and calls. The notifications can be:
– Turned off: you won’t be notified when the selected event happens.
– Turned on: you will get a message popping up when the selected event happens, but no sound.
– “Noisy”: you will get a visual highlight (red badge and/or text highlight), a sound and/or vibration (depending on the device) when the selected event happens.
Then for finer tuning, you can easily configure per room notification setting from the context menu you get by clicking on the [...] icon that appears when hovering over the room name in the room list. This is very handy when you wish to temporarily mute a room, or make sure you’re not missing anything from a given discussion. You can select the following options:
– Mute: you won’t be notified, even if your name or a keyword is mentioned.
– Mentions only: you will only be notified for the items that are meant to be ‘noisy’, i.e. your name and keywords.
– All messages: you will get a (silent) notification for every message happening in the room; your ‘noisy’ events (e.g. your name being mentioned) will still be noisy (red badge and sound).
– All messages (noisy): every message will make a noise on top of the visual notification. Your noisy events will still be differentiated by a red badge.
You can set Element up to email you when you have missed some activity (new messages, new invites…). You can do this in the Notification section of your Settings and turn on the toggle labelled as ‘Enable email notifications’.
You can change your display name in General section of your Settings (accessible from the drop down menu under your name in the top left corner of the web/desktop app).
If you have forgotten your password don’t worry! Just visit element.im/app and click on the link ‘Set a new password’. Next input your email address which is registered to your Element account and choose a new password. You will then be sent an email asking you to confirm your request to reset your password. Please follow the link in the email to complete the process and regain access to your account. Note that if you haven’t set an email address we won’t be able to reset your password. We should emphasise that setting an email is not just useful to notify you but also for these kind of security processes and to make it easier for your contacts to find you.
We strongly recommend that you set an email address in order to be able to reclaim your account if you’ve lost your password. It is also very useful for people to find you, and easier to remember than (yet another) ID. If you haven’t done so at registration don’t worry: you can add as many email addresses as you like, at any point, in the General section of your Settings (accessible from the drop down menu under your name in the top left corner of the web/desktop app). If you have forgotten your password and did not register an email address with us, I’m sorry to say that there is no way to access your account. 🙁
You can change the settings for any one-to-one chat or group room by clicking on the cog icon next to the room name.
You can restrict the access of a room to people who have been nominately invited by selecting the “only people who have been invited” option in the room settings. People knowing the link of the room won’t be able to access it if an invite hasn’t been explicitly sent to their email or id.
You can restrict the access of a room to people with whom you shared a link to the room by selecting the “anyone who knows the room link” option in the room settings. Selecting this option will not make the room publicly visible to the rest of the community.
You can get your room listed into your server’s directory by checking the “list this room in the <your server="" name="">’s directory”. By checking this box anyone making a search on the server will be able to see it. However, they will be able to join only if you haven’t restricted the access to it to people being invited.</your>
If your room is listed in the directory, people will know it exists but they will only be able to join it if you allowed the access to it to anyone knowing the link.
It depends on how you configured the history visibility for the room. By default every member of the room can read its history. But you can decide that new joiners will only see the history they are part of, I.E. Members will only be able to see the history of the room since they were invited (or joined, both options are available.
However it is important to note that these settings are not retroactive and only apply from the time they are selected: if you have a discussion with the history being visible to every member since the start, then change it to discuss an important matter so that people only see the history from the time they joined, new members will have access to all the history before you changed the option.
Making the history visible to anyone means that people can see what is being said in a room before joining it. So typically, if you are browsing the room directory and see a room which might be interesting, you will have the opportunity to “peek” into it, having a view of what has been said without joining it. This gives users the opportunity to gauge a room before joining. It is a useful option for rooms publicly listed and hosting public discussions, or for people you share your room link with, so that they have an idea of what they’re going into before joining.
By default the room has an ugly identifier which is barely human readable. Setting an address for a room allows you to give it a simple reference making it easier to share a link to it. The addresses are linked to the server you are registered (e.G. Matrix.Org if your id is @username:matrix.Org). A room can have different addresses on the same homeserver and addresses on different homeservers. They are just a user friendly entry point, but are required the moment you want to make the room accessible in other ways than by inviting users.
The favourite section allows you to pin and order important rooms which will be displayed at the top of your Element room list.
The low priority section allows you to declutter your room list by moving rooms you consider less important to the bottom.
The “historical” section lists all the rooms you’ve left and allows you to access the history you have there. You won’t see the new activity in these rooms, only what happened before you left.
In the roles and permissions section of the room’s settings you’ll be able to configure the privilege level are required to perform various actions in the room, e.G. Send a message, ban / kick members, redact messages, update the room’s settings, invite new members, etc..
Encryption means scrambling a message in such a way that only those knowing the secret key can unscramble it. We use encryption to keep your messages and files private.
End-to-end encryption means your messages and files are encrypted before they leave your device, and stay encrypted until they reach the other participants' devices. End-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the participants in the conversation.
Thanks to end-to-end encryption, your messages can only be read by the participants in the conversation and nobody else. This means your messages can't be read by anyone at New Vector, or by any other third party. It also means that if you lose your keys, you won't be able to read your messages either.
If you can't read a message it's because your device doesn't have the right key. If your device doesn't have the right key, there are three ways you might be able to get hold of the key:
Restore all of your keys from key backup
Request the specific key from another device via key share
Upload keys from a manual backup (advanced)
When key backup is enabled, your device will maintain a secure copy of its keys on our server. To ensure those keys can only ever be accessed by you, they are encrypted on your device, with a key that you either store yourself, or secure with a passphrase and upload to our server. It is important to understand that to protect your privacy your keys will never touch our systems unencrypted.
Yes. Your keys are encrypted before they are uploaded to our servers, so we never see them unencrypted.
Go to User Settings -> Security & Privacy and click Start using Key Backup.
Go to User Settings -> Security & Privacy and click Restore from Backup.
When Element sees a message it can't decrypt, it automatically asks your other devices if they have a copy of the necessary key. Keys will be shared automatically with trusted devices - if the device with the key hasn't trusted the device requesting the key, the device with the key will pop up a prompt asking you to confirm the key share manually.
For historical reasons, when we say 'device' we don't mean your phone or your laptop - you actually create a new 'device' each time you log in on Matrix (and destroy it again when you log out).
Element uses trust to represent an additional layer of security within the app, over and above username and password authentication.
If somebody is sending messages as Alice, we know that they have access to Alice's account - either they've logged in with Alice's username and password, or they're using a logged in session, perhaps on Alice's phone.
Usually, that somebody is going to be Alice. Unfortunately, in the real world, passwords can be guessed or sniffed and phones can be stolen. Element's trust mechanism is designed to mitigate this.
In Element, you can see every device that has joined an encrypted conversation. If a new and unexpected device joins, you can use device verification to check that it's really Alice. And if you suspect that a trusted device has fallen into the wrong hands, you can revoke that trust and remove its access to the ongoing encrypted conversation.
Verifying every device is, alas, still time-consuming — we’re working hard on a solution to this.
No, messages are only encrypted in rooms with encryption enabled. You can enable encryption by going to Room Settings.
The search feature looks through the database to find matching messages. When the messages are encrypted, we can't read the messages to check whether they match!We're working on a solution to this, but for now searching is not possible in encrypted rooms.
If an encrypted room has a green symbol next to the the room name, it means your device trusts every other device in the room. This is the gold standard.
If instead there is a red symbol next to the room name, it means one or more devices are untrusted.
Verifying every device is, alas, still time-consuming — we’re working hard on a solution to this.