Classic Hangouts chat FAQ

We announced a new communications product, Hangouts, in May 2013. Hangouts will replace Google Talk and does not support XMPP.

Once Google Hangouts chat is enabled and your users opt in, refer to the Hangouts Help Center for instructions to start chatting.

Here are some additional things that users in your organization might find important:

Can I use Hangouts with my edition of G Suite?

You can use Hangouts Chat with all G Suite editions. But your administrator must enable this feature, and users must opt in.

How can I tell if co-workers are available?

You can tell that someone is available on Hangouts by the green dot on their profile picture. These people will be notified about new messages or video call invitations immediately. You can also see when someone was last seen on Hangouts if they have the setting turned on. It'll show the timestamp of when they were last seen, like "15m ago," or "yesterday." Learn more at the following links:

Can users add a status message?

Yes, you can add a custom status message that appears next to your name.  Use it to let your co-workers know when you are available, or if you're busy or not in town. Learn more.

What is a presence indicator?

Green presence indicators, like a circle next to a person’s profile picture in the Hangouts list or a green chat icon on mobile, mean that a person is signed in and available to chat. If there isn’t a circle next to their profile picture or their chat icon is gray, the person might be idle, have Snooze Notifications enabled, or not be available to chat.

Do other Talk/Chat settings previously configured in the Admin Console apply to Google chat?

Settings for Talk/Chat do not apply to Hangouts.

Note: Existing G Suite accounts that use Google Talk will soon be automatically switched to Google Hangouts.

Can users in your domain be in a Hangouts chat with people outside of your domain?


About classic Hangouts and users outside your domain:

Chat: As a security best practice, you can turn on warnings that notify users when they chat outside the domain. You can also limit chats to only users within your domain. See classic Hangouts chat settings.

Note: If you enable out-of-domain warnings, and a user from outside the domain is added to an ongoing group conversation, Hangouts starts a new group conversation. This is done to prevent the person from outside the domain from seeing previous (internal) messages in the group. The previous conversation is still available to its users.

Video and voice calls: Your users can invite people outside your domain to video and voice calls. You cannot limit video and voice calls to within your domain. However, you can turn off video and voice calls in classic Hangouts. Users also have options for managing invitations to people outside their domain. 

Is Hangouts required for all users in the chat?

Only for group conversations (more than 2 people).  Anyone who is not using Hangouts will be unable to participate in a Hangouts conversation. If users in a group Hangout invite someone who is using Google Chat, Google Talk, or a third-party chat app, the person will be unable to join.

Users can still have 1:1 conversations between Google Talk and Hangouts.

Are third-party chat clients supported?

Hangouts currently supports 1-on-1 chat with third-party clients. Hangouts does not support the XMPP standard, including XMPP federation. However, third-party chat clients can continue to connect to the Google Talk network and also communicate in 1-on-1 chats with Hangouts through the Google Talk network.

Can multiple devices be used for the same conversation?

Users will receive a notification on all of their devices when an inbound message is received. They can continue the same conversation in Gmail, in Google+, on Android, on iOS, and through a Chrome extension for their desktop.

Can an Admin view which domain users have Hangouts chat enabled?

Not at this time.

How many members can be in a circle that is added to a Hangouts chat?

When inviting circles to a Google chat, the circle must have at least one member (it cannot be empty). In addition, the circle cannot have more than 100 members.

Why do I see the username of someone different than the person I'm chatting with?

If someone leaves an organization, their email address might get assigned to someone else as an alias. When this happens, the alias could appear as the username for the person you are chatting with. If you see this, the system is working the way it's meant to.

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