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Turn chat on or off for your organization

This article is intended for Google Workspace administrators. If you're looking for user help, visit Get started with Google Chat.

As an administrator, you can choose if chat services are available in your organization using the Service Status page. 

Note that classic Hangouts is deprecated.

Before you begin

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. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Chat.
  3. Click Service Status.
  4. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit or a configuration group.

    Note: When you change settings for a configuration group, you can only turn Chat on or off. Use an organizational unit if you want to choose the Chat preferred option.
  5. Select how you want to use Chat and classic Hangouts in your organization:
    • Chat preferred (recommended for migration)—Chat works in Gmail and everywhere else. Classic Hangouts works on the web at at this time, but classic Hangouts access will be deprecated soon.

      You won't see this option if your space history option is ALWAYS ON or ALWAYS OFF. You can't force space history to be on or off if you use classic Hangouts, so the only service options in this case are "Chat only" or "both turned off."
    • Chat only (default for new customers)—Chat works in Gmail and everywhere else. Classic Hangouts clients are turned off.
    • Both turned off—All Chat and classic Hangouts clients are turned off.
  6. Click Save.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

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.

Classic Hangouts is deprecated, so "Chat only" is the default and recommended setting for new customers.

  • Choosing "Chat preferred" provides the best migration experience if your goal is to upgrade existing classic Hangouts users to Google Chat. This status ensures that your users can talk to people outside your domain who still use classic Hangouts.

    Because of the way Chat and classic Hangouts interoperate, if you choose “Chat preferred,” your chat history preference can override your default space history in certain situations. Learn more
  • Choosing "Chat only" turns off the classic Hangouts service. Affected users won't be able to talk to classic Hangouts users, and won't see messages directing them to use Google Chat. Messages sent from Chat won't be shown in classic Hangouts, and re-enabling classic Hangouts later won't bring those messages back or restore those conversations.

    Choosing “Chat only” allows you to have separate forced chat history options for direct messages and spaces. The chat history setting will never override the space history setting. Learn more

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