Get started: Chat setup guide for admins

Turn chat history on or off

You can control whether Hangouts Chat keeps chat history for users in your organization. You can set the default and also let users change the default for their history. Chat history is off by default for both Chat and classic Hangouts.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenHangouts Chat.
  3. Click Chat History.
  4. Under Organizational Units, select the domain or organizational unit you want to apply settings to.
  5. Turn history Off or On.
  6. To let users change their history setting, click the Allow users to change their history setting box.
  7. Click Save.


  • History settings apply to direct messages. History is always on in rooms.
  • If history is off, messages are deleted after 24 hours.
  • Vault can't hold, retain, or search direct messages that are sent with history turned off. Check with a Vault admin to confirm that these history settings comply with your organization's data retention obligations.
  • Data is not reported inside the Audit report (Reports > Audit > Hangouts Chat) for direct messages that are sent with history off.
  • History changes apply to new messages. For example, If you turn chat history on, only new messages will be saved. If you turn chat history off, old messages that were previously saved are still saved.
Even if chat history is turned off, it’s possible that a separate copy of the conversation can be saved by another participant using a 3rd-party client.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?