Element - Secure Messenger: a decentralised, encrypted, free, open source instant messenger using the Matrix protocol

A secure messenger and a productivity team collaboration app based on the matrix protocol that is ideal for group chats while remote working. This chat app uses end-to-end encryption to provide powerful video conferencing, file sharing and voice calls and more.

Category: software, open source, free, net, chat, messenger, encryption, matrix, mobile

Stable Version: Element 1.11.31:web+desktop / 1.10.12:ios / 1.6.0:android

Release Date:

Runs on: ios, android, windows, mac, linux, other

ios android windows mac linux other

 Download Element / Install Binaries: Links on the Official Website
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  Get the Source Code of Element / Software Source Code Download
Element Messenger is also available to install in iOS   AppStore and in Android   GooglePlay.


  • Project Developer: Element Development Team and New Vector Limited
  • License: Apache License 2.0
  • OpenSource, Free: Yes
  • Written in: Javascript, Swift, ObjectiveC, Java, Kotlin
Building from Source: dependencies
  • Android (mobile platform):
    • Matrix SDK Android
    • Java Development Kit (JDK) compiler - OpenJDK
    • Gradle, Maven
    • Ruby, FastLane
  • iOS (mobile platform):
    • MatrixSDK
    • Xcode, XCodeGen, CocoaPods
    • Ruby, Mint, Bundler (optional)
    • LLVM compiler
  • Windows, Mac, Linux (desktop platform)
    • Matrix React SDK
    • NodeJS, Yarn, Electron
    • LLVM or GCC compiler


0 5 4.6
Element Messenger is completely different from other messaging and collaboration apps. It operates on Matrix, an open network for secure messaging and decentralized communication. It allows self-hosting to give users maximum ownership and control of their data and messages.
It can be self-hosted: to allow more control of your sensitive data and conversations or you can choose any Matrix-based host - the standard for open source, decentralized communication. In any scenario it gives you privacy, security compliance and integration flexibility.
Own your data: you decide where to keep your data and messages without the risk of data mining or access from third parties.
Element's developers have focused on security and decentralization aspects: the end-to-end encryption ensures that only authorized users can see your messages, while the choice of servers (including home servers) means more flexibility and ownership when it comes to your data. It's a little bit like Signal and Slack mixed together, with extra security and privacy options.
You can use this application and the Matrix protocol to communicate with other chat platforms, including Slack, SMS, Signal, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, Discord, Jitsi Meet and even iMessage, among others.

Pros +
  • Open messaging and collaboration: You can chat with anyone on the Matrix network, whether they’re using Element, another Matrix app or even if they are using a different messaging app
  • Super secure: Real end-to-end encryption (only those in the conversation can decrypt messages), and cross-signed device verification
  • Complete communication and integration: Messaging, voice and video calls, file sharing, screen sharing and a whole bunch of integrations, bots and widgets. Build rooms, communities, stay in touch and get things done
  • Open source: Android, iOS and Web are all open source projects
  • Strong security features
  • It offers many flexible hosting options
Cons -
  • If you do not setup your own private server or signup with the free public matrix.org it may depend on some non-free (paid) network services
  • Some aspects are more technical for regular users


Element Messenger app is a cross platform, decentralised, encrypted comms app for the Matrix.org ecosystem available for both: mobile and desktop platforms, ideal for group chats while remote working.


  • Advanced online communication tools
  • Decentralized chat based on the Matrix open source framework
  • Fully encrypted messages to allow safer corporate communication, even for remote workers
  • Video chats with Voice over IP and screen sharing
  • Easy integration with your favourite online collaboration tools, project management tools, VoIP services and other team messaging apps
  • File sharing securely with encrypted data while managing projects
  • The end-to-end encryption offered by the platform is based on the Olm, Megolm and Double Ratchet standards, and much of the technology is open source and independently audited
  • You get provided with a secret key when you sign up for the first time, and you need this key to log into new devices
  • The core of this apps is entirely open source and you can use the platform across the web, the desktop and mobile without paying anything: though you will need to either set up your own home server or sign up to the public matrix.org server ; various paid-for servers are available as optional too
  • All the data is encrypted in transit and stored securely encrypted using the first time setup private key

Screenshot: Main Screen
Element Messenger - Main Screen

Changelog Highlights

2023-05-17 : version 1.6.0 Android

notable changes

  • Element Android is now using the Crypto Rust SDK
  • RustCrypto: Verification UX not refreshed after scanning a QR code
  • Upgrade Jitsi SDK from 6.2.2 to 8.1.1. This fixes video call on some Android devices
  • Fix duplicate reactions when using full emoji picker
  • Allow custom push gateway to use non-default port
  • Fix crash when opening "Protect access" screen, and various other issue with repeatOnLifecycle
2023-05-16 : version 1.10.12 iOS

notable changes

  • Add composer suggestions for slash commands
  • Crypto: Deprecate MXLegacyCrypto
  • Timeline: Remove the matrix ID displayed when someone has changed its display name
  • Fix an issue where the Secrets Reset screen would open twice
  • Fix voiceover order of room creation header and message composer
  • Poll: The timeline sometimes displayed closed polls in the wrong order
  • Labs: Rich Text Editor: Fix partial text messages not being saved for each room
2023-05-10 : version 1.11.31 Web + Desktop

notable changes

  • Improve Content-Security-Policy
  • Allow 16 lines of text in the rich text editors
  • Add arrow key controls to emoji and reaction pickers
  • Fix soft crash with Element call widgets
  • Fix all rooms search generating permalinks to wrong room id
  • Many other changes and bug fixes (see the official changelog)
2022-09-23 : version 1.5.0 Android

notable changes

  • Recents carousel now scrolled to first position when new item added to or moved to this position
  • Fixed problem when room list's scroll did jump after rooms placeholders were replaced with rooms summary items
  • Fixes new chat dialog not getting dismissed after selecting its actions
  • Exclude legacy android support annotation library
  • Fixing build cache misses when compiling the vector module
  • Create DM room only on first message - Add a spinner when sending the first message
2022-09-20 : version 1.9.6 iOS

notable changes

  • Fix several crashes: opus audio files, sign out or invite to element
  • New layout: Fixed Low priority rooms titles obscured by bottom bar when side scrolling
  • Fix timeline items text height calculation
  • Device manager: Add other sessions section read only in user sessions overview screen
  • Fix composer expansion on Start DM as you enter the message in deferred mode
  • Fixed incorrect iOS 16 timeline item text height calculations leading to empty gaps
2022-09-13 : version 1.11.5 Web + Desktop

notable changes

  • Device manager: hide unverified security recommendation when only current session is unverified, updated dropdown style in filtered device list, scroll to filtered list from security recommendations
  • Fix description of DM room with more than two other people is now being displayed correctly
  • Fix voice messages with multiple composers
  • Fix plain text export saving
  • Reuse empty string & space string logic for event types in devtools
  • Ignore unreads in low priority rooms in the space panel
  • Fix context menu being opened when clicking message action bar buttons
2022-08-29 : version 1.9.1 iOS

notable changes

  • Added Labs flag for the new App Layout
  • Render the PIN entry screen correctly on landscape
  • Ensure rest client async responses are processed on the main queue
  • Stop waiting for biometric unlock if disabled system wide
  • App Layout: added support for transparent avatar icons in the all chats screen
  • App Layout: fixed reactions background in timeline
  • App Layout: Removed Low Priority Rooms from Filters
  • App Layout: Updated missing image for Onboarding screen page 2
  • App Layout: fixed limited number of invites in the All Chats screen
  • Fix notification issues for threads
2022-08-23 : version 1.4.34 Android

notable changes

  • Handle creation of notification for live location and poll start
  • Fixes onboarding requiring matrix.org to be accessible on the first step, the server can now be manually changed
  • Fixing sign in/up for homeservers that rely on the SSO fallback url
  • Fixes uncaught exceptions in the SyncWorker to cause the worker to become stuck in the failure state
  • Fixes onboarding captcha crashing when no WebView is available by showing an error with information instead
  • Removes ability to continue registration after the app has been destroyed, fixes the next steps crashing due to missing information from the previous steps
  • Fixes crash when exiting the login or registration entry screens whilst they're loading
  • Fixes server selection being unable to trust certificates
  • Ensure SyncThread is started when the app is launched after a Push has been received
  • Fixes missing firebase notifications after logging in when UnifiedPush distributor is installed
  • Other stability improvements, bug fixes and optimizations
2022-08-16 : version 1.11.3 Web + Desktop

notable changes

  • Improve auth aria attributes and semantics
  • Device manager - New device tile info design
  • Device manager generic settings subsection component
  • Migrate the hidden read receipts flag to new "send read receipts" option
  • Live location sharing - share location at most every 5 seconds ; leave maximised map open when beacons expire
  • Increase max length of voice messages to 15m
  • Move pin drop out of labs
  • Start DM on first message
  • Remove "Add Space" button from RoomListHeader when user cannot create spaces
  • The Welcome Home Screen: Dedicated Download Apps Dialog
  • The Welcome Home Screen: "Submit Feedback" pane
  • New User Onboarding Task List
  • Add support for disabling spell checking
  • Other stability improvements, bug fixes and optimizations