Get started with Google Chat

2. Create direct messages and rooms

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Chat

In Chat, you can send a direct message to individuals or groups. Direct messages are private conversations between you and other people. Once you create a direct message, you can't add people, so the conversation remains private.
 

2.1 Send a direct message

You can send a direct message in Chat to one or more people in your business, work, or school or to someone outside of your organization. However, you can't include external people in a group message. (To chat with external guests in a group, create a room).

Send a direct message to a person

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. If the name isn’t already under "Chat," click Start a chat "".
  3. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    • To send a 1:1 message to someone outside of your organization, enter their email address.
  4. Click the person you want to message.
  5. Enter a message, then click Send "".

Send a direct message to a group

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under "Chat," click on an existing group conversation, enter a message and then click Send "".
  3. If the group conversation isn’t under "Chat,” click Start a chat ""and then Start group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
  5. Click Done "".
  6. Enter a message, then click Send "".

Note: To hide a direct message to a group, click More ""and thenHide conversation Remove.

Message someone directly

2.2 Edit conversations

You can edit text in your conversation or add an emoji.

You can add these options to your message:

  • To add a person to the conversation or mention them, click and then enter a name.
  • To add emojis to your message, click Emoji "".
  • To share files from your device, click Upload file "". Everyone in a room can view shared files.
  • To share files from Google Drive, click Add Google Drive file "". Everyone in a room can view shared Drive files.
  • To start a video call, click Add video meeting "".
2.3 Create a room

With Chat, you can meet and brainstorm ideas with your team in rooms. Chat with your co-workers, share files and other online resources, and work together on team projects.

You can chat in a room with people outside your organization if they have a Google Workspace or personal Google (Gmail) Account. Guests from outside your organization are labelled as external, and the room must be designated as external when you create it. If you created a room for people within your organization only, you won't be able to add external guests later. 

Conversations are organized into different conversation threads in rooms, so you and your team can discuss multiple subjects at the same time.

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Next to “Rooms,” click Create or find a room "" and then Create room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. Optional: At the top left, click Choose an emoji "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used.
  5. Enter names or email addresses of people and groups you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. If you use a Google Workspace account, suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Google Chat.
  6. Optional: To allow threaded replies, select Use threaded replies.
    Important: 
    • You can’t change this setting.
    • Threaded rooms can only be created by Google Workspace accounts.
  7. Optional: To allow external people to join the room, select Allow people outside your organization to join. If your administrator doesn’t allow this feature, you may not have this option.
    Important: 
    • You can’t change this setting.
    • The option to create rooms that allow guests is only available on Google Workspace accounts.
  8. Click Create.
  9. Optional: To add more people and bots to the room, click Add people & bots. Enter names or emails. Click Send.
2.4 Add or remove people in a room

Individuals are added to rooms automatically, whereas groups have the option to join a room. You can add up to 8,000 people to a room.

You can add people to a room in 2 ways:

  • Invite people to a room—Invite people to join a room by email.
  • Mention someone in a conversation—Enter @johns to automatically add them to the room.

If you @mention someone in a conversation, for example, @cassy, they're immediately added to the room. They can join the discussion, view the room in their room list, and receive notifications for the room.

Invite people to a room

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, select a room.
  3. At the top, click the room nameand thenAdd people & bots.
  4. Enter a name, group, or email address or select from the suggestions.
    If you have Directory turned on, suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
    If the room allows external participants, you must enter the full email address for each external person. You can't add a group in Google Groups that was created by an external organization.  
  5. (Optional) To skip sending notifications to the people that you add, uncheck the Notify people via email box.
  6. Click Send or Add.

See members of a room

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, select the room.
  3. At the top, click the room nameand thenView members.
  4. (Optional) To add more members to the room, click Add "".
2.5 Join or leave a room

If you are no longer interested in a room, you can leave it. When you leave a room:

  • Your content stays unless you delete it.
  • You won't get any notifications from the room except for @mentions.
  • No one in the room is notified that you have left.

Join a room from Chat

  1. Open Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. At the top left, click Start a chat "".
  3. Click Browse rooms.

    The rooms that you're directly invited to appear at the top of the list. To find a room, enter its name.

  4. Optional: To preview a room, point to the room name and click Preview.
    When you preview a room, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications.
  5. Click Add "" or Join in the preview to join the room.
  6. Click Open to open the room.

Join a room from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Next to Rooms, click Add ""and thenBrowse rooms.
  3. The rooms that you're invited to appear at the top of the list. Enter a room name to quickly find a room. 

  4. (Optional) To preview a room, point to the room name and click Preview.
    When you preview a room, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications. 
  5. Click Add "" or Join in the preview to join the room.
  6. Click Open to open the room.

Leave a room

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Next to a room name, click More options""and then Leave.
  3. Click Leave room.

Rejoin a room

  1. Open Chat
  2. At the top left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Click Browse rooms.
  4. Next to the room name, click Add "".
 
2.6 Start multiple conversations in a room

If you’re collaborating on a large project with your team, you might need to chat about different topics. Having multiple ongoing conversations helps everyone share information and ideas faster.

Start a different conversation in a room:

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under Rooms, select a room.
  3. At the bottom, click New thread in room name.
  4. Enter the message and click Send "".

Discuss different topics and converse with different people

Send a direct message to someone in a room:

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, under Rooms, click a room to open it.
  3. At the top, click the room nameand thenView members.
  4. Point to the person's name and click More""and thenMessage.
  5. Enter your message and then click Send "".
2.7 Block a room

If you find a room abusive in Google Chat, you can block and report the room. For more details, see Block a room.

Block a room

Important: You can only report rooms as spam or abuse that include external members.
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Choose one:
    • On the left, under “Rooms,” next to the room name, click More options "" and then Block room.
    • Select the room you want to block and then Click the room details drop-down and then Block room.
  3. Click Block.

Tips:

  • To report the room as spam or abuse, check the box next to Report this room as spam or abuse
  • If you report a room for abuse, a copy of the last 50 messages in the room is sent to Google for review.

Unblock a room in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the top right, click Settings "" and then Settings.
  3. Under “Blocked Rooms,” click Manage blocked rooms.
  4. Point to the room you want to unblock to select it and then Click Unblock.

Tip: When you unblock a room, it becomes browsable. You can search for it in “Browse rooms."

Unblock a room in Gmail

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. In the top right, click Settings "" and then See all settings.
  3. On the top, click Chat and Meet.
  4. Next to “Chat notification settings,” click Manage chat settings.
  5. Under “Blocked Rooms,” click Manage blocked rooms.
  6. Point to the room you want to unblock to select it and then Unblock.

Block a room marked as spam in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left, click inside the search bar for “Find people, rooms, bots” and then Browse rooms and then Browse rooms menu items "" and thenSpam Invites and then Preview.
    Tip: For your protection, you can't download links or view images when you preview the room.
  3. Click Block to block the room and future invitations.

Optional: To report the room, click the box next to "Report this room as spam or abuseand then Block.

Block a room marked as spam in Gmail

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, next to “Rooms,” click Create or find a room Add and then Browse rooms and then More options ""  and then Spam invites and then Preview

    Tip: For your protection, you can't download links or view images when you preview the room.

  3. Click Block to block the room and future invitations.

Optional: To report the room, click the box next to “Report this room as spam or abuse” and then Block.

Join a room marked as spam in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left, click inside the search bar for Find people, rooms, bots and then Browse rooms and then Browse rooms menu items "" and then Spam invites and then Preview.
    Tip: For your protection, you can't download links or view images when you preview the room.
  3. Click Join.
Tip: When you join a room marked as spam, the spam label is removed and the room is added to your list of joined rooms.

Join a room marked as spam in Gmail

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, next to “Rooms,” click Create or find a room Add and then Browse rooms and then Browse rooms menu items "" and then Spam invites and then Preview.
    Tip: For your protection, you can't download links or view images when you preview the room.
  3. Click Join.

Tip: When you join a room marked as spam, the spam label is removed and the room is added to your list of joined rooms.

2.8 Inactivate a room

While you can't delete a room, you can ask its participants to leave and indicate that the room is no longer used. If you’re the room owner, update its name. For example, add No longer used to it. Or, reply to the last conversation in the room with Final Conversation. This room is no longer active.

 
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