Chat FAQs

Starting June 26, 2017, Google has switched from Google Chat to Google Hangouts

Tip: If you like the look of Google Talk, try the "dense roster" setting in Hangouts. This can be found by clicking on your name on the left side of Gmail, scrolling to the bottom, then check "Use dense roster" under "General".


Get started with Hangouts

You can use Hangouts to:

  • Start a chat conversation or video call.
  • Make phone calls using Wi-Fi or data.
  • Send text messages with your Google Voice or Project Fi phone number.

Hangouts sync automatically across devices. If you start a Hangout on your computer, you can continue your chat on another device, like your phone.


What you need to use Hangouts

  • A Google Account.
  • A computer or phone with a camera and microphone.
  • An internet or data connection.


Inviting others to chat

The Google chat gadget shows a list of people you've recently communicated with in the chat panel of your email. You can also find anyone else in your contacts by starting to type the user ID in the Search People field by clicking the New Conversation (Plus) button. If you haven’t chatted with them before, click on their name. The Chat window will open for you to start the Chat and they will be notified.


Start a Chat from email

To start a chat session from an email you are reading, hover over the sender’s name. Their contact card will appear.
Click on the middle icon that says "Hangout with this person" it will open the Chat window.