Get started: Chat setup guide for admins

Chat service consolidation

To ease the transition to Google Chat, the chat services and settings for classic Hangouts and Google Chat have been combined and simplified in the Google Admin console. The changes are rolling out now and will be generally available over the next few weeks. Now there's one place where you can control which chat services and settings apply to your organization.

What’s changed?

Previously, admins had to go to settings pages for both Chat and classic Hangouts to manage service status and settings for their domain. Now, both the service status control and the settings have been combined into a single page labeled “Google Chat and classic Hangouts”. The previous page for classic Hangouts has been removed. 

We have mapped your previous selections to these new settings. Your prior chat service settings will continue to work as before. See table below for details:

Chat Preferred Google Chat service Classic Hangouts service New Service status
ON ON ON Chat preferred
ON ON OFF Chat only
ON OFF ON Classic only
ON OFF OFF Both turned off
OFF ON ON Chat and classic Hangouts
OFF ON OFF Chat only
OFF OFF ON Classic only
OFF OFF OFF Both turned off

Chat service status control

You can choose which chat services to turn on for your organization, as well as decide whether Google Chat should be included in Gmail, by navigating to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Google Chat and classic Hangouts > Service Status and choosing one of the settings below. You can apply these settings to your entire organization or to specific organizational units.

Service status

Google Chat service

Classic Hangouts service

Chat Clients

Classic Hangouts Clients

Gmail

Web

Desktop (PWA)

Mobile

Gmail

Web

Chrome extension

Mobile

Chat preferred

ON

ON

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Chat and classic Hangouts

ON

ON

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Chat only

ON

OFF

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Classic Hangouts only

OFF

ON

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Both turned off

OFF

OFF

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

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

  • The “Chat preferred” service status setting provides the best migration experience if your goal is to upgrade users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat. It also ensures that your users can still talk to people outside your domain who still use classic Hangouts
  • The “Chat only” service status setting turns off the classic Hangouts service. Affected users will not be able to talk to Classic users.

Chat settings

All Google Chat and classic Hangouts settings can be found on the “Google Chat and classic Hangouts” setting page. Unless specified, these settings apply to both classic Hangouts and Google Chat.” For more information, see Google Chat and classic Hangouts settings.
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