Get started: Chat setup guide for admins

Choose a chat service for your organization

You can use the Admin console settings to choose which chat services are available in your organization. The Service Status page lets you control both Google Chat and classic Hangouts availability from the same location. Learn more.

If your organization has been using classic Hangouts and you're ready to migrate everyone to Google Chat, you can select the Chat preferred setting as described below to help with the transition. Before you turn on Chat preferred, we strongly recommend you review the full Deployment Guide. Follow all the deployment steps for the most successful transition to Google Chat.

Turn on your chat preference

Before you begin: To turn a service on or off for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit (to control access by department) or add them to an access group (to allow access for users across or within departments).

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Chat and classic Hangouts.
  3. Click Service Status.
  4. Select how you want to use Chat and classic Hangouts in your organization:
    • Chat preferred (default for new customers, and recommended for migration)—Chat works in Gmail and everywhere else. Classic Hangouts works on the web.
    • Chat and classic Hangouts—Classic Hangouts is included in Gmail and work everywhere. Chat works everywhere except in Gmail.
    • Chat only—Chat works in Gmail and everywhere else. Classic Hangouts clients are turned off.
    • Classic Hangouts only—Classic Hangouts works in Gmail and everywhere else. Chat clients are turned off.
    • Both turned off—All Chat and classic Hangouts clients are turned off.
  5. Click Save.
  6. To turn on or off a service only for users in an organizational unit:

    1. At the left, select the organizational unit.
    2. Select how you want to use Chat and classic Hangouts in the organizational unit.
    3. To use these settings even when the settings for the parent organizational unit are different, click Override.
    4. If the organization's status is already Overridden, choose an option:
      • Inherit—Reverts to the same setting as its parent.
      • Save—Saves your new setting (even if the parent setting changes).

    Learn more about organizational structure.

  7. To turn on a service for a set of users across or within organizational units, select an access group. For details, go to turn on a service for a group.

When you change settings for a group, you can only turn chat services on; you can't choose the Chat preferred option. It can take up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect, including turning on new features.

Learn more about turning chat services on and off.

Choosing between Chat preferred and Chat only

While both the Chat preferred and Chat only service status settings include Google Chat in Gmail, there are important distinctions between the two options:

  • Chat preferred provides the best migration experience if your goal is to upgrade users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat. This status ensures that your users can talk to people outside your domain who still use classic Hangouts.
  • Chat only turns off the classic Hangouts service. Affected users won't be able to talk to Classic users, and won't see messages directing them to use Google Chat.

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