What can you do with Hangouts Chat?

Chat directly with a co-worker or communicate with your entire team at once.

Whether in a 1:1 chat or a dedicated group workspace, Hangouts Chat makes it easy to collaborate with your team in an organized way. Share and discuss Docs, Sheets, and Slides all in one place.

What you need:

account_circle G Suite account

schedule 10 minutes

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1

Open Chat

Start by opening Hangouts Chat.

In this section, you learn how to:

1.1

Open Chat

Before you open Chat, make sure you sign in to your G Suite account.

On a web browser:

Go to chat.google.com.

On a desktop:

  1. Go to get.google.com/chat.
  2. Install the Desktop app.

On Android devices:

  1. Go to get.google.com/chat.
  2. Install the Chat app for Android.

On iOS devices:

  1. Go to get.google.com/chat.
  2. Install the Chat app for Apple® iPhone® or iPad®.

Note: If you can’t access Chat, contact your G Suite administrator. They might have to turn it on in the Google Admin console first.

2

Create direct messages and rooms

In Chat, you can send a direct message to individuals or groups. Direct messages are private conversations between you and other people. Once you create a direct message, you can't add people, so the conversation remains private.

In this section, you learn how to:

2.1

Send a direct message

Send a direct message to someone:

  1. Open Chat and on the left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  2. Enter a name or email address or select a contact from the suggestions.
  3. Enter your direct message and click Send send.
Send a direct message to a group:
  1. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots > Group Message.
  2. Enter names or email addresses or select contacts from the suggestions.
  3. After you add your contacts, click Start DM.
  4. Enter your direct message and click Send send.
  5. (Optional) To hide a group direct message, on the left sidebar, hover over the direct message and click More more_vert > Hide remove_circle_outline.
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2.2

Edit conversations

You can edit text in your conversation or add an emoji.

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Feature

Description

Feature

Edit text

Description

Hover over your conversation and click Edit mode_edit. Make your change and click Update.

Feature

Delete a conversation

Description

Hover over your conversation and click Delete delete > Delete.

Feature

Add an emoji

Description

Click Emoji insert_emoticon and select the emoji you want to add.

Feature

Bold text

Description

Add an asterisk (*) before and after the text you want to bold.

Feature

Italicize text

Description

Add an underscore (_) before and after the text you want to italicize.

2.3

Create a room

With Chat, you can meet and brainstorm ideas with your team in rooms. Chat with your co-workers, share files and other online resources, and work together on team projects.

Conversations are organized into different conversation threads in rooms, so you and your team can discuss multiple subjects at the same time.

  1. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots > Create Room.

  2. Enter a room name and click Create.
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2.4

Add or remove people in a room

You can add people to a room in 2 ways:

  • Invite people to a room—Invite people to join a room by email.
  • Mention someone in a conversation—Enter @johns to automatically add them to the room.
1  Invite people to a room:
  1. In the room, click Add People & Bots.
  2. Enter a name, email address, or Google Groups address. Or, select a person from one of the suggestions.
    • If you want to notify the people you’re adding, make sure the Notify people via email box is checked and click Send.
    • If you don’t want to notify the people you’re adding, uncheck the Notify people via email box and click Add.
  3. To start a new conversation with the group, scroll to the bottom of the room and click New conversation add_comment.

    Note: Anyone added to the room can see the entire conversation history.

2  Add someone by mentioning them:
  1. To add someone to a room in a conversation, enter @ and then their email alias, for example, @johns.
  2. Select the person and click Send send.
  3. Click Add To Room to confirm.
  4. 3 See members of a room:
    1. On the left, select the room.
    2. At the top, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down > View members view members.
    4 Remove a person from a room:

    You can remove people from a room that you created. If you remove someone, they no longer have access to the room or its conversation history.

    1. Select the room name and at the top, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down > View members view members.
    2. Hover over the person you want to remove and click More more_vert > Remove from room remove_circle_outline.
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2.5

Join or leave a room

Individuals are added to rooms automatically, whereas groups have the option to join a room. Both individuals and group members can leave a room.

Note: You can add up to 8,000 people to a room.

1 Browse your rooms:

All your rooms are listed on the left of the page. To find a room you’re invited to join, click People, rooms, bots > Browse Rooms list.

2 Join a room:

You can preview the room before you join it.

  1. Hover over the room name and click Preview.
  2. At this point, you can read conversations, but you can't participate in the discussion or receive notifications.
  3. Click Join if you decide to join the room.
  4. After joining, you can participate in a discussion, receive notifications, and see the room in your room list.
3 Remove yourself from a room:
  1. Select the room name and at the top, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down > Leave leave a room.
  2. Click Leave room.
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2.6

Start multiple conversations in a room

If you’re collaborating on a large project with your team, you might need to chat about different topics. Having multiple ongoing conversations helps everyone share information and ideas faster.

Start a different conversation in a room:
  1. On the left, select your room name.
  2. Scroll down to the end of the page and click New conversation add_comment.
  3. Under New conversation, enter your message and click Send send.
  4. You can create as many new conversations in the room as you like.
Send a direct message to someone in a room:
  1. Select the room name and at the top, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down > View members view members.
  2. Hover over the person you want to send a direct message to and click More more_vert > Direct Message message.
  3. Enter a message and click Send send.
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3

Collaborate in Chat

With Chat, you can share useful ideas and brainstorm with co-workers in team and project rooms. Need to meet face-to-face? Just start a Hangouts Meet video meeting right in your chat conversation.

In this section, you learn how to:

3.1

Start a video meeting

When you’re collaborating with your team, sometimes it’s better to meet face-to-face. Start an impromptu video meeting with your team members.

  1. In a chat conversation, click Add video meeting > Send send.
  2. To join the video meeting, click Join video meeting > Join meeting.
Note: For more information about video meetings, see Get started with Hangouts Meet.
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3.2

Add files to conversations

Add documents, presentations, images, and more in your conversations. Files you attach in a conversation are automatically shared with all participants who have Comment access.

  1. Reply to an existing conversation or open a new conversation and choose an option:
    • If you want to attach a file on your computer, click File upload file_upload.
    • If you want to attach a file from Google Drive, click Add Google Drive file attach_drive.
  2. Attach the file and click Send send.
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3.3

Search in Chat

Need to search for a specific word or project? With Chat, you can search in direct messages or rooms for @mentions and look for content, such as videos, documents, presentations, and more.

  1. At the top, click Search search and enter your search query.
  2. On the left, under Choose Where To Search, select a contact or room or click All rooms and direct messages and press Enter.
  3. (Optional) To search for a specific contact, image or file, click the profile or service image. If your search query has results, a reference appears.
  4. Click Go To Conversation to see the original conversation.
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4

Manage chats

You can hide chats that you no longer want to see, and you can delete your chat history. You can also set up notifications to receive alerts when new chats appear.

In this section, you learn how to:

4.1

Hide chats

Hide a direct message:

On the left, hover over the direct message and click More more_vert > Hide remove_circle_outline.

If you hide a chat and then chat with that person or group again, your chat history reappears (if it's turned on).

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4.2

Set up notifications

You can choose whether to receive notifications for conversations, or just for @mentions and direct messages. And, if you haven’t read a conversation in 12 hours, you can get an email notification sent to you.

  1. Go to Settings settings > Notification settings.
  2. Next to Web and Mobile, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down and choose an option:
    • New conversations and those I’ve replied to
    • Conversations I’ve replied to
    • Only @mentions & direct messages
    • Off
  3. If you want to be notified by email if you haven't read a conversation in 12 hours, next to Email, click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down and choose an option:
    • Only @mentions & direct messages
    • Off
  4. Click OK.
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4.3

Turn notifications on or off

You can turn notifications on or off for individual direct messages or rooms. If you turn off notifications for a direct message or a room, you’ll still be notified for @mentions.

  • For conversations—On the right of a direct message, click Notifications on notifications or Notifications off notifications_off.
  • For rooms—On the left, hover over the room and click More more_vert > Notifications on notifications_active or Notifications off notifications_off.
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4.4

Manage chat history

You can turn your chat history on and off for conversations with another person or a group. If you turn it off, new conversations are permanently deleted in 24 hours. Currently, you can’t turn the conversation history on or off for a room.

Note: Your G Suite admin might have to turn this feature on in the Admin console before you can use it.

  • Click History off turn history off to turn history on.
  • Click History on turn history on to turn history off.
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