Chat settings

The new Google+ Hangouts—a solution that replaces all other chat experiences, including Google Chat and Google Talk—is now available. Google Apps Admins can decide whether or not to opt in to this new messaging experience for their users. For more information, see the The new Google+ Hangouts article.

Users can install the video chat plug-in for Google Talk and then sign in with their assigned user names and passwords. By signing in to the Google Talk network, your users can chat with anyone who has a Gmail or Google Apps account.

The plug-in Talk service is called Chat in Gmail. If you'd like to prevent users at your domain from signing in to the Google Talk network, follow the steps to disable a service that you no longer want, or continue reading about sharing options.

To manage your domain's chat settings:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Google Apps > Talk/Hangouts.
    Where is it?
  3. Adjust the settings as described below.
Sharing options

The Google network referred to in these options is comprised of Google Apps and Gmail users.

Within the Google network
User status
  • Display users' chat status outside your domain
    Each user's status is automatically shown within your domain. Check this box to show the custom status messages of your users to other users in the Google network.

  • Warn users when chatting outside this domain
    Check this to warn users when they're chatting in the Google network, but outside your domain if you've allowed that option. This applies to chat in Gmail, but not the desktop Google Talk client.

  • Users can chat with other users outside this domain
    Uncheck this option to restrict chat to users within your domain.

    This option is available only in Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government editions.
Outside the Google network
User ability
  • To enable your users to chat in a larger federated network, update your domain's Service (SRV) records. Learn more

It isn't possible to transfer viruses within a chat window or through a call, but warn your users to beware of links that are sent to them. They should not click links unless they can verify the source, as viruses and Trojans are sometimes contained in web pages.
Chat history

If you check the box to Disable chat history by forcing all future chats to be "Off the record", any future chat discussions your users have won't be archived in their email accounts. If chat history was enabled in the past, your users may still have some chat conversations archived after you disable the feature.

If you don't disable chat history for your domain, your users will be able to control their own chat history settings. See Chat history to learn more.

Chats that have been taken off the record aren't stored in Gmail chat history. However, if users chat with someone who is connected to the Google Talk service with a third-party chat client, it's possible that person's software is keeping a separate copy of the chat history.
Chat invitations

Check Automatically accept chat invitations between users within your domain if you want chat invitations to be accepted among users in your domain without users having to manually accept invitations. This is a default setting; users will be able to override this setting and change it in their accounts.

Additional services

Use these settings to control whether your users can initiate voice or video chats from within the chat service (e.g. in Gmail or Google+, and on Chrome OS devices), and whether they can transfer files through chat.

  • Allow users to place phone calls to landline and mobile phones from chat: This option to make computer-to-phone calls is not available if your declared country is in the blocked list found here.

    Within chat, this option is called Call phone.

  • Allow users to place voice calls from chat to other chat users

    These options enable computer-to-computer voice chats and video chats. Both options are required to enable Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts in Gmail.

    To disable Hangouts and video chats, deselect Allow users to place video calls from chat to other chat users.

  • Allow users to transfer files to other chat users: This option controls whether users can transfer files within the chat service.