What can you do with Hangouts?

Hold impromptu meetings on the go, virtual training classes around the world, remote interviews, and much more. With Google Hangouts, you can exchange chat messages or hold video meetings with multiple people across the globe at once. All you need is a computer, tablet, or phone that has a camera, speaker, and microphone.

What you’ll need:

G Suite account

10 minutes

What can you do with Hangouts
1

Start chats or video calls

There are many different ways to start a group conversation using video calls and chats. With G Suite, you can hold a video call with up to 25 participants at once (the 10 most active participants are shown at the bottom of the screen), or you can start a Hangouts chat with up to 150 people.

Note: Before you can start having video calls, make sure that your computer is ready to make video calls.

In this section, you'll learn how to:

1.1

Start a Hangout from Gmail

To set up Hangouts:

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the bottom-left corner of your inbox, click Hangouts to open Hangouts.

Note: If you don’t see Hangouts , you may need to turn on Hangouts first.

To start a Hangout:

If you see the name of someone you’re trying to reach:

  1. Hover over the name.

  2. Click Chat to send a chat message, or click Video call to start a video call.

If the person you’re trying to reach isn’t on the list, or if you want to contact several people at once:

  1. Click Search and type people’s names.

  2. Check the box next to each person you’d like to reach.

  3. When you finish adding everyone, click Message or Video call.

Start a Hangout from Gmail
1.2

Start a Hangout from Inbox

To start a Hangout:

  1. Click Hangouts .
  2. Click in the Search box and type people’s names.
  3. Hover over the person’s icon and check the box to include them.
  4. When you finish adding everyone, click Message or Video call.
None
1.3

Start a Hangout from your Chrome toolbar

To set up Hangouts:

  1. Go to the Hangouts Chrome extension.

  2. Click + ADD TO CHROME.

  3. Click Add.

To start a Hangout:

  1. In the Chrome toolbar, click Hangouts .

  2. Click Search box and type people’s names.

  3. Check the box next to each person you’d like to reach.

  4. When you’ve finished adding everyone, click Message or Video call.

Start a Hangout from your Chrome toolbar
1.4

Start a Hangout from your desktop

You can answer Hangouts chats right from your desktop by installing the Hangouts desktop app. Now you won’t miss incoming chats and video calls if your Gmail window isn’t open or if your Chrome browser window is minimized.

To set up Hangouts:

  1. Go to the Hangouts desktop app.

  2. Click + ADD TO CHROME.

  3. Click Add.

To start a Hangout:

  1. Click Hangouts in your computer’s taskbar to launch Hangouts on your desktop.

  2. Click the Search box and type people’s names

  3. Check the box next to each person you’d like to reach.

  4. When you’ve finished adding everyone, click Message or Video call.

Start a Hangout from your desktop
1.5

Schedule a Hangout in Calendar

By default for G Suite users, a video call is added to all new events in Google Calendar.

If an existing event doesn’t already have one, on the Event details page, click Add a video call.

You can change the video call’s name at any time by clicking Change name, or remove a video call from your event by clicking Remove.

Schedule a Hangout in Google Calendar
1.6

Start Hangouts from your mobile devices

Now that you’ve set up Hangouts for your computer, download the app for your mobile devices so you can chat and make video calls on the go.

  1. Go to hangouts.google.com on your mobile devices.

  2. Download the app for Android or iOS®.

For more details, see the Hangouts Help Center.

Schedule a Hangout in Google Calendar
2

Join a video call

Joining a video call is easy, and there are many ways you can do it.

Note: Sometimes people have trouble joining video calls because they’re signed in to a different account in their browsers. So make sure you’re signed in to the account your Hangouts invitations were sent to.

In this section, you'll learn how to:

2.1

Answer a video call in Gmail or Inbox

If someone starts a one-on-one Hangout with you, a chat window appears in the bottom corner of your screen. Click Answer and a new window opens with your Hangout.

Answer a video call in Gmail
2.2

Join a call from Calendar

To join a Hangout from Calendar:

  1. Go to Calendar and click the event you want to join.

  2. Click the link next to Video call.

  3. In the Hangouts window that opens, click Join.

Join a call from Calendar
2.3

Join a call from your browser

To join a video call from your browser:

  1. Open a tab in your browser.

  2. Copy the video call URL that the event organizer provided and paste it in your browser. If your video call is with someone in your organization, you can also go to hangouts.google.com and enter the video call name.

Note: If you have the URL of the video call, you don't need a Google account to join the call.

Join a call from your browswer
3

Share your screen and add more people

While you’re in a Hangout, whether you’re holding a meeting or conducting a class, you can share your screen with other people on the call. You can also add more people during the video call. Both of these can be done with one click.

In this section, you'll learn how to:

3.1

Share your screen

  1. Join or start a video call.

  2. On the left side of the screen, click Share screen .

  3. Select to share your whole screen, or just a browser window, and click Share.

Note: If you have the Hangouts Chrome extension installed so that your chats pop up on your desktop, you might want to disable it or snooze your notifications before you present your whole screen.

Share your screen
3.2

Add more people to video calls in progress

After you’re in a chat or video call, you can easily invite other people to join.

To add people to a video call that’s already in progress:

  1. After you are in the video call, click Invite people at the top of the screen.

  2. Enter email addresses or open up your video call to a circle or organization.

  3. Click Invite.

Add more people to video calls in progress

Next steps

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