Transition from classic Hangouts to Chat: Deployment guide

Are you ready to transition your users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat? Follow these steps to create a successful experience for your users.

Step 1. Develop a plan

The most successful migrations start with a clear plan. Define your plan using these recommended steps, in the order listed. To start, schedule a migration date. Depending on the size of your organization, we recommend scheduling at least several weeks in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to communicate the upcoming changes to your users. When choosing a date, be aware it can take up to 24 hours for all changes to propagate to all your users.

Step 2. Prepare your support team or help desk

Prepare your internal support team or help desk for the upcoming migration date. They need to be ready to handle a higher volume of support tickets. Creating a room in Chat dedicated to support-related questions can be helpful in the first few weeks.

Step 3. Review the list of known limitations

Before you migrate to Chat, make sure you and your internal support teams review the Google Chat known limitations.  

Step 4. Test the migration experience

If you have a test domain, you can preview the migration experience in your test domain before the migration date. Using your test account, sign in to the Admin console. In Chat, turn on the Chat preferred setting, as shown in Step 8. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with Chat to learn how to best implement its features in your organization. 

You can also turn on Chat preferred for a small number of users in an organizational unit, but we recommend you migrate everyone at the same time to avoid splitting capabilities across your network.

Step 5. Communicate to your users

Communicate the upcoming transition to your users when you confirm your migration date. Clearly outline any actions users should take before the migration, such as those in steps 6 and 7. You might want to share these items:

Establish a Q&A forum for user questions before and after the migration. To discuss the upcoming change, some of our customers have found it helpful to create a room in Chat.

Remind users again as the migration date approaches. Frequent communication with users is important.

Step 6. Install the standalone Chat app

To minimize the chance of missed notifications before the migration date, Chrome extension users should download and sign in to the Chat standalone app. Alternatively, you can use Chrome policy settings to deploy the app to your users.  To learn more, visit Chat standalone app.

Note that if your service setting is Classic Hangouts only, we recommend you switch to Chat and classic Hangouts before the migration date so that your users can set up the Chat app to get ready for migration.   

Step 7. Turn on video and voice services

  • Video calling—Users can join ad-hoc meetings in Chat via our integration with Google Meet. Users who want to join meetings from their phones need to download the Meet app to their mobile devices (Android, iOS) and sign in to their Google Workspace account. The Meet app is also useful for joining scheduled calendar meetings. Turn on Meet in the Admin console for users in your organization .
  • Voice calling—Users can access phone calls and text messages by using Google Voice at, from the App Launcher, or by downloading the Google Voice app (Android, iOS) on their mobile phones. Turn on Google Voice in the Admin console for users in your organization. To learn more, visit Google Voice.

Note: Chat doesn't integrate with Google Fi. Google Fi users who chose classic Hangouts as their default text messaging app can still send and receive text messages from the classic Hangouts app on their Google Fi mobile device.

Step 8. Select "Chat preferred" on migration day

After you do steps 1 through 7, you’re ready to transition your organization to Chat. On migration day:

  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 and classic Hangouts.
  3. Click Service Status.
    You can choose to apply this setting to your entire organization or to selected organizational units only. However, we recommend you migrate everyone at the same time to avoid splitting capabilities across your network.
  4. Select Chat preferred.
  5. Click Save.

It can take up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect, including turning off classic Hangouts apps and turning on new features. For more information, go to Choose a chat service for your organization.

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