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Create direct messages and spaces

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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.
 

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 space).

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

Edit conversations
  • To add a person to the conversation or mention them: Type , then enter a name.
  • To add emojis to your message: Click Emoji "".
  • To share files from your device: Click Upload file "".
    • Everyone in a space can find shared files.
  • To share files from Google Drive: Click Add Google Drive file "".
    • Everyone in a space can find shared Drive files.
  • To start a video call: Click Add video meeting "".
  • To schedule a calendar meeting: Click Calendar .
  • To send a GIF: Click GIF .
  • To add formatting to text: Click Format "".
Create a space

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

You can chat in a space 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 space must be designated as external when you create it. If you created a space for people within your organization only, you won't be able to add external guests later. 

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

When you use Google Spaces, the creator automatically becomes the Space Manager who can: 

  • Remove and add participants.
  • Assign or remove the Space Manager.
  • Delete a space.
  • Delete messages.
  • Edit the space description.
  • Update space access from Restricted to discoverable or vice versa.

Space Managers have a diamond  next to their name in the message stream and in the member list of the space.

Create a space from Chat or Gmail

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Next to “Spaces,” click Create or find a space "" and then Create space.
  3. Enter a space name.
  4. Optional: Below the space name, you can add a space description.
  5. Optional: At the top left, click Choose an emoji "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used.
  6. 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.
  7. Optional: To allow threaded replies, select Use threaded replies.
    Important: 
    • You can’t change this setting.
    • Threaded spaces can only be created by Google Workspace accounts.
  8. Optional: To allow external people to join the space, 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 spaces that allow guests is only available on Google Workspace accounts.
  9. Click Create.
  10. Optional: To add more people and bots to the space, click Add people & bots. Enter names or emails. Click Send.

Turn a group chat into a space

If you created a group chat, you can turn it into a space. When you use a space, you can name the space, share files, and assign tasks with other people in the space. 
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. From the Chat panel, find and click the group chat you want to change to a space.
  3. At the top, next to the group chat name, click the Down arrow Drop down arrowand then Turn this chat into a space .
  4. Add a space name. To add an optional space icon, click Add "".
  5. Click Done. A notification confirms your chat is now a space, and notifies members in the group of the change.
After you make the change, you can find chat, files, and tasks tabs in your space.
Tip: You can add and remove people from a space at any time.

Delete a space

Important: 

  • You can only delete a space if you’re the space creator. 
  • When you delete a space, all messages and tasks in the space are deleted. Permissions on Drive files are removed, but the file isn’t deleted. 
  • Once a space is deleted, you can’t recover it. 
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Open the space that you want to delete.
  3. At the top, next to the space name, click Down arrow Drop down arrowand then Delete space and then Delete.
Tip: If you didn’t create the space, learn how to leave a space.

Create spaces with different access levels

Important: This feature is currently available in the integrated experience in Google Workspace. To get started with the experience, visit Gmail training and help.
To make it easier for your organization to engage in topics they care about and improve awareness and shareability, you can create dedicated spaces. There are two kinds of spaces: restricted and discoverable.
  • A restricted space needs a user or group in an organization to be invited or added to the space by an existing space member.
  • In addition to the ways listed above, a user can join a discoverable space with a shared link.

Before you create a discoverable space

We recommend doing the following as you prepare to create a discoverable space:
  1. Think about how many people would be included in your space.
    • Note: Currently, up to 8,000 people can be in a space organized by grouped messages.
  2. Choose an access level appropriate for the space. Make it closed (‘Restricted’) for teams, projects, and groups, or open for all of your organization (‘Discoverable’) for topic-based discussions and collaboration.
  3. Create a clear description of what the space is for.
  4. Space managers can edit a space’s name, description, and add or remove users from a space.
    Learn more about space managers.

Create a discoverable space

If you’re using a work or school Google account, you can set who has access to a space when you create it.
Note: After you create the space you currently can’t change the space’s access. You can still add or remove individuals from a restricted space, but you can’t make an open space restricted or open a restricted space at this time.
  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. At the left, click Spaces Rooms and then New Space.
  3. Click Create space.
  4. Enter a space name.
    • Optional: You can also add a description and a space avatar. To add a space avatar, click Choose an emoji and then and then select an emoji. If you don't select an emoji, a default letter avatar will be used instead.
  5. Enter the name or email of the people you want to add, Google Groups you want to invite, or pick from the list of suggested contacts.
  6. Choose a target audience for your organization, either “Restricted” or “All of your organization.” If you have a work or school account with Google, you may see additional target audience options created by your administrator. If you have questions about the audience options available, reach out to your administrator.
    • Restricted—Only directly added and invited users have access to the space. This is the default option. To make your space discoverable, choose “All of your organization.”
    • All of your organization—All members in your organization have access to the space and can join if they have the space’s link.
    • Tip: If you selected “All of your organization,” you won’t be able to allow people outside of your organization to join the space.
  7. Click Create.

Tip: If your administrator deletes the target audience you selected for your space,  """ Deleted Audience" displays in the space history like in the example below and the space access defaults to restricted.

""

 Space Managers are still able to add or invite users to access the space.

Learn how to add or remove people and bots from a space or group conversation

Add new members to a discoverable space

You can add new members to a space by either:
  • Copying a link to the space and sharing with others.
  • Directly adding or inviting them.
Add members with a discoverable space link
  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, select the space.
  3. At the top, click the space name and then Copy link to this space.
  4. Share the link to anyone you’d like to invite or reference the space with.
Add members to your space directly
  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, select the space.
  3. At the top, click the space name and then Add people & bots.
  4. Enter the name, email, Google Groups or select suggested contacts to invite.
  5. Click Send.
Add or remove people in a space

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

You can add people to a space in 2 ways:

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

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

Invite people to a space

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, select a space.
  3. At the top, click the space name and then Add 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 space 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 space

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

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

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

Join a space from Chat

  1. Open Google Chat.
  2. At the top left, click Start a chat "".
  3. Click Browse spaces. The spaces that you're directly invited to appear at the top of the list. To find a space, enter its name.
    • To preview a space, point to the space name and click Preview. When you preview a space, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications.
  4. To join the space, in the preview, click Add "" or Join.
  5. To open the space, click Open.

Join a space from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Next to "Spaces", click Add "" and then Browse spaces.
  3. The spaces that you're invited to appear at the top of the list. Enter a space name to quickly find a space.

  4. Optional: To preview a space, point to the space name and then click Preview.
    When you preview a space, 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 space.
  6. To open a space, click Open.

Leave a space

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

Rejoin a space

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

Send a message to everyone in a space

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under Spaces, select a space.
  3. At the bottom, enter your message and click Send "".

Discuss different topics and converse with different people

Send a direct message to someone in a space

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, under "Spaces," select a space.
  3. At the top, click the space name and then View members.
  4. Point to the person's name and click More ""and then Message.
  5. Enter your message and then click Send "".

Start a new thread in a space

Keep spaces focused by using separate threads for different, or off topic conversations. In Google Chat, the new threads open in a right panel to keep the main chat uncluttered.

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account..
  2. Under Spaces, select a non-threaded space.
  3. On the message that you want to start a new thread, click Reply in thread.
  4. Enter the message and click Send "".
  5. (Optional) To see new messages, at the bottom, click New messages.

For more details, see Create conversation threads in spaces.

Learn more about using spaces.

Block a space

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

Block a space

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

Tips:

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

Unblock a space in Chat

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

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

Unblock a space 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 Spaces,” click Manage blocked spaces.
  6. Point to the space you want to unblock to select it and then Unblock.

Block a space marked as spam in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left, next to "Spaces," click Create or find a space Addand then Browse spaces and then Menu items ""and thenSpam invites and then Preview.
    Tip: For your protection, you can't download links or view images when you preview the space.
  3. To block the space and future invitations, click Block.

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

Block a space marked as spam in Gmail

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, next to “Spaces,” click Create or find a space Addand then Browse spaces and then 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 space.

  3. To block the space and future invitations, click Block.

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

Join a space marked as spam in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left, next to "Spaces," click Create or find a space Addand then Browse spaces and then 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 space.
  3. Click Join.
Tip: When you join a space marked as spam, the spam label is removed and the space is added to your list of joined spaces.

Join a space marked as spam in Gmail

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, next to “Spaces,” click Create or find a space Addand then Browse spaces and then 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 space.
  3. Click Join.

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

Inactivate a space

To inactivate a space, you can ask its participants to leave and indicate that the space is no longer used. If you’re the space owner, update its name. For example, add No longer used to it. Or, reply to the last conversation in the space with Final Conversation. This space is no longer active.

Delete a space

Important: 

  • You can only delete a space if you’re the space creator. 
  • When you delete a space, all messages and tasks in the space are deleted. Permissions on Drive files are removed, but the file isn’t deleted. 
  • Once a space is deleted, you can’t recover it. 
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Open the space that you want to delete.
  3. At the top, next to the space name, click Down arrow Drop down arrowand then Delete space and then Delete.

If you didn't create a space but want to leave it, see Join or leave a space.

 


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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