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Manage chats & spaces


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Turn chat history on or off


When you message a person or group in Google Chat, you can choose to save your conversation or have it automatically deleted after 24 hours.

When anyone in the chat turns history on or off:

  • A note appears in the message stream that says history was turned on or off.
  • A prompt appears in the compose box that says “History is on” or “History is off.”

Turn history on or off

If you don't see this option with your work or school account, your organization may have turned it off.

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. At the top, next to the contact or conversation name, click the Down arrow "" or More options .
  4. Select Turn on history or Turn off history.
Turn conversation history on or off.

Learn more at the Google Chat Help Center

Set your availability status


To let others know when you're available, you can change your status in chats or spaces.

Status icon Status text Status meaning
"" Active Gmail or Google Chat is open.
"" Do not disturb

Google Chat notifications are muted.

*For workspace accounts this is visible at the domain level only

"" Away
  • You aren't connected to the internet.
  • You’ve been idle for more than 10 minutes.
  • You're in "Set as away" status.
Idle You've been inactive in Gmail or Google Chat for the last 5 minutes.

Change your status

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, next to your status indicator, click the Down arrow .
  3. Choose: Automatic, Do not disturb, or Set as away.

Set a custom status

  1. Go to Chat or Gmail.
  2. From your status indicator at the top, click the Down arrow .
  3. Click Add a status.
  4. Follow the prompt to choose an emoji, write a status message, or end or clear a status.
  5. Click Done.

Delete a custom status

  1. Go to Chat or Gmail.
  2. From your status indicator at the top, click the Down arrow .
  3. Click the status to delete.
  4. Click X.
  5. Click Done.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Search in chats and spaces


  1. On your computer, go to Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. At the top, click the search box.

  3. Enter search text.
    • For Gmail: You can also use the search operator in:chats.
  4. Click Enter.
    • For Gmail: Under the search box, click Conversations or Spaces.
  5. To open a result, click it.


Learn more at the Google Chat Help Center

Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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