Google Chat upgrade timeline

This article is for Google Workspace administrators. For information about your personal account instead, visit Learn about the switch from classic Hangouts to Google Chat. 

Today, you can try Google Chat by turning on the Chat service independently from the classic Hangouts service. Many customers are already using both Chat and classic Hangouts. You can also use a setting to migrate everyone to Chat and enable Chat in Gmail. In 2021, we started upgrading all classic Hangouts users to Chat.

The Chat upgrade has 5 phases. Subscribe to the Google Workspace Updates blog to get updates.

Phase 1 (complete): Vault consolidation

If you use Google Vault, all chat-related settings for classic Hangouts were migrated to Chat at the end of 2019. Mail holds and retention rules stopped protecting messages in classic Hangouts. All Chat and classic Hangouts messages are now protected by Chat holds and retention rules. Learn more

Phase 2 (complete): Early upgrade

During phase 2, Accelerated Transition Program customers were able to migrate all users to Chat with the “Chat Preferred” setting and preview several Chat features before they were generally available.

Phase 3 (complete): Anyone can upgrade

  • The new "Chat Preferred" setting in the Admin console lets you migrate all users to Chat and enable the new Chat integration in Gmail.
  • Chat and classic Hangouts settings have been simplified in the Admin console.
  • Chat now supports messaging external users.

Phase 4 (complete): Opt-out migration 

Organizations using the "Chat and classic Hangouts" service setting were migrated to "Chat Preferred" by default, but administrators could opt-out of the migration.

Phase 5 (complete): Mandatory upgrade

All remaining classic Hangouts customers were migrated to "Chat Preferred", and classic Hangouts was replaced with Chat. You can learn more about the upgrade in our  blog post

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