Set a space history option for users

As an administrator, you control the default history setting in in-line threaded Google Chat spaces.

Important: For spaces organized by conversation topic, history is always on. This can never be changed. 

Choose a history setting for in-line threaded spaces

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Chat.
  3. Click History for spaces.
  4. Choose a space history option:
    • History is ON by default (but users can change it)
    • History is OFF by default (but users can change it)
    • History if ALWAYS ON (ON by default and users can’t change it)
    • History is ALWAYS OFF (OFF by default and users can’t change it)
  5. Click Save.

Interaction with the chat history setting

The interaction between chat and space history depends on the Chat service setting for your top-level organizational unit:

My top-level Chat service setting is "Chat only"

You can have separate forced history settings for direct messages and spaces. For example, you can force Chat history off for 1:1 messages and group conversations, and force Chat history on for spaces. 

Note: If you force Chat history to be opposite in chats versus spaces, the history setting will change if users upgrade a group conversation to a space. If you want to avoid this possibility, keep the forced history settings the same. 

My top-level setting is "Chat preferred"

Chat history can override space history

The Admin console has a chat history setting that includes an Allow users to change their history setting option. This can force chat history on or off, which may override the default in-line threaded space history:

  • If Allow users to change their history setting is on, the default space history setting is used for newly created in-line threaded spaces, and users can change the history setting in in-line threaded spaces.
  • If Allow users to change their history setting is off, history is forced on or off. The chat history setting therefore overrides the default space history setting for newly created in-line threaded spaces, and users can't change the history setting.
Space history Chat history Allow users to change their history setting Result (for in-line threaded spaces*)

ON

ON

ON

New spaces have history ON

ON

ON

OFF

New spaces have history ON

ON

OFF

ON

New spaces have history ON

ON

OFF

OFF

New spaces have history OFF
(Chat history is forced OFF, which overrides the Space history default ON setting)

OFF

ON

ON

New spaces have history OFF

OFF

ON

OFF

New spaces have history ON
(Chat history is forced ON, overriding Space history default OFF setting)

OFF

OFF

ON

New spaces have history OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

New spaces have history OFF

* In spaces organized by conversation topic, history is always ON. Users cannot change this, even if Allow users to change their history setting is checked.

Users can be excluded from spaces

If you force chat history on or off by not checking Allow users to change their history setting, there might be times your users can’t join or stay in a space. When someone with a forced chat history setting creates or joins a space, the space's history policy is locked to match that history setting. This means:

  • People with a conflicting forced chat history setting won’t be allowed to join the space.
  • If you change the forced chat history policy, people could be evicted from spaces with a conflicting policy the next time they try to post a message.  

Conflicts are most likely to occur when a space includes external people. They can also happen if you have different forced chat history settings for different sub-organizational units.

Space history and in-line threading

For spaces with in-line threading, the history of the replies depends on the history setting when the thread was created.

  • If the thread was started with history off, all replies will also have history turned off.
  • If the thread was started with history on, all replies will respect the current history setting. (For example, if you turn history off later, future replies will be deleted after 24 hours.)

About history details

  • If history is off, messages are deleted after 24 hours.
  • If you change the space history setting to “Always On” or “Always Off,” this applies to existing spaces as well as new spaces. The history setting for existing spaces might therefore change. 
  • History changes apply to new messages. For example, if a user turns space history on, only new messages are saved. If a user turns space history off, old messages that were previously saved are still saved.
  • Vault can't hold, retain, or search messages that are sent with history turned off. Check with a Vault admin to confirm that these history settings comply with your organization's data retention obligations. Learn more about how Vault works with in-line threading.
Even if history is turned off, it’s possible that a separate copy of the conversation can be saved. For example, messages might be forwarded to Gmail or saved using a 3rd-party client.
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