About bots

Bots are special accounts you can chat with, just as you would with people. Bots provide a conversational way for you to connect to services in Hangouts Chat, such as looking up information, scheduling meetings, performing tasks, and so on. Bots can be created by Google, users in your domain, or third parties.

Note: When starting a message with or talking to third party bots, your user’s basic info, the message sent to or @ mentioning the bot, and other contextual data will be sent to the third party. Review each bot developer’s terms of service and privacy policy for more information about third party use of your data.

Controlling bot usage

The Google Admin console provides settings for you to control the usage of bots in your domain or organizational unit. The setting to allow or disallow bots entirely is in the Bot Options section. Other settings that provide more detailed control are in the G Suite Marketplace Apps section. You have the following options:

  • Disallow all bots
  • Allow users to install and use any bots from G Suite Marketplace, including bots created by Google (such as @meet and @drive); they can also use bots created by users in your domain
  • Don't allow users to install any bots from G Suite Marketplace or created by Google; they can only use bots created by users in your domain
  • Allow users to install and use only the bots you choose and place in a whitelist; they can also use any bots created by users in your domain, which aren't controllable by the whitelist

To disallow all bots:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Go to Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chat.
  3. Click Bot Options.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox Allow users to install and use bots.

To allow users to install and use any bots from G Suite Marketplace, including bots created by Google:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Go to Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chat.
  3. Click Bot Options.
  4. Check the checkbox Allow users to install and use bots.
  5. In the Google Admin console, go to Apps > Marketplace apps.
  6. Select Manage Apps, and click Manage Access to apps.
  7. Select Allow users to install any application from G Suite Marketplace.

To allow users to use only bots created by users in your domain:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Go to Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chat.
  3. Click Bot Options.
  4. Check the checkbox Allow users to install and use bots.
  5. In the Google Admin console, go to Apps > Marketplace apps.
  6. Select Manage Apps, and click Manage Access to apps.
  7. Select Do not allow users to install any application from G Suite Marketplace.

To allow users to install and use whitelisted bots and bots created by users in your domain only:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Go to Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chat.
  3. Click Bot Options.
  4. Check the checkbox Allow users to install and use bots.
  5. In the Google Admin console, go to Apps > Marketplace apps.
  6. Select Manage Apps, and click Manage Access to apps.
  7. Select Allow users to install only whitelisted applications from G Suite Marketplace.
  8. To add bots to the whitelist, click Manage whitelist
  9. Click Add to display a list of available bots and apps.
  10. Search for the bot you want to add.
  11. Check the box next to the bots you want to add, then click Whitelist.
  12. Click Confirm.

For information on creating custom bots for your organization, see the Hangouts Chat API documentation.

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