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Get started: Chat setup guide for admins

Turn on external chat options

You can let users chat with people outside your organization. 

Before you turn external chat on or off, learn more about chatting with external users.  

External chat

You can control how users chat with people outside your organization.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Chat and classic Hangouts.
  3. Click External Chat Settings.
  4. Under Organizational Units, select the domain or organizational unit you want to apply settings to.
  5. Next to the setting you want to change, click Edit "".
  6. Select Off or On for the settings shown below.

    Setting Description
    Warn users

    Select On to let users know when they're chatting with someone outside your organization. This setting currently applies only to classic Hangouts. In Chat, external users and spaces are always marked "External."

    Chat externally

    Select On to let users chat with people outside your organization. This setting applies to both classic Hangouts and Google Chat. 

    Check Only allow this for whitelisted domains to restrict external chats to trusted domains.

    Note: External guests can’t be added to group chats created on Chat. However, users who have classic Hangouts enabled can create unnamed group conversations in classic Hangouts if Chat externally is On. The classic Hangouts group conversation can then show up in Chat as a new group chat with external guests.

    Show status

    Select On to show a user's status to people outside your organization who use Google Workspace or Gmail. This setting currently applies only to classic Hangouts. In Chat, status is automatically shown to anyone in your organization and external people that you message.

    Learn more about classic Hangouts status messages and options.

  7. Click Save.

External spaces

Supported editions for this feature: Business Standard and Plus; Enterprise; Education Fundamentals, Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Plus; G Suite Business; Essentials.  Compare your edition

Depending on your edition, you can also control whether users can create or join spaces within your organization that include external people. 

Note: Users with editions that don't support external spaces can't create new external spaces, but they can join existing spaces with external people.

Before you begin

Make sure to turn on the "Chat externally" setting as described earlier in this article. The "External spaces" setting applies only if "Chat externally" is enabled. If "Chat externally" is turned off, your users cannot create external spaces and they cannot join any external spaces inside or outside of your organization, even if the "External spaces" setting is turned On.

Turn external spaces on or off

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Chat and classic Hangouts.
  3. Click External spaces.
    This setting applies to your entire organization.
  4. Select On or Off for the "Allow users to create and join spaces with people outside" setting. 

    Setting Description
    On

    Select On to allow users in your organization to create and join external spaces.

    Check Only allow users to add people from whitelisted domains to restrict external participants to trusted domains.

    Off Select Off to prevent users from creating or joining external spaces within your organization.

    Users can still join external spaces created by people outside of your organization.
  5. Click Save.
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