Learn how to use Google Chat

In Google Chat, you can ask quick questions, send direct messages (DMs), collaborate in group chats, create virtual spaces for team projects, and more.

In this article

Learn about enhancements to Google Chat

Previous Chat experience

Current Chat experience

In Gmail, DMs and spaces are split into the “Chat” and “Spaces” tabs. In Gmail, DMs and spaces are included in the “Chat” tab. The “Space” tab is no longer available in Gmail.
There are no shortcuts to find recent conversations, messages that mention you, or starred messages in one place. Use these new shortcuts in Chat to find what you need faster: Home, Mentions, and Starred.
On mobile, you can navigate between “Chat” and “Spaces.” On mobile, a navigation bar appears at the bottom when you go to the “Chat” tab. You can switch between home, DMs, spaces, mentions, and starred, or start a new chat.
There are different ways to start a new chat in Chat and Chat in Gmail. Start a conversation or space with the New chat button.

Navigate around Chat

In the main menu, you can:

  • Start a new chat, which can be a DM to one or more people or a space to collaborate on projects.
  • Catch up on your conversations using various shortcuts.
  • Find all your DMs and spaces.

An image of the new Home shortcut in Google Chat

In the left-hand menu, you can choose from:


Get quick access to:

  • Home: Find all your conversations and toggle between all or unread conversations.
  • Mentions: Find all messages where someone directly mentions you.
  • Starred: Track important messages that you've starred.

Direct messages

Find all DMs between you and others. You can send a DM to one or more people.

Spaces Find all spaces that you’ve created or joined.

Create a DM or space

When you click New chat, you can add one or more people to start a DM, or select another option in the menu:

Create a space

Create a focused conversation around a topic, project, or shared interest. You can give your space a unique name and avatar.

Browse spaces

Find spaces that your organization has created. If you use Chat for work, school, or another organization, you can find spaces that others in your organization create.

Find apps

Look for Chat apps that can help automate your work.

Message requests

Find pending message requests from people outside your organization. If you use Chat for work, school, or another organization, these may also be people outside your organization.

Send & reply to messages

When you send or reply to a message, use the reply area in Chat. There are multiple ways to reply to messages in Chat.

An image of a space in Google Chat

When you reply, you can:

Send a message

Send the message you wrote.

Share files and more

Share Google Drive files, set up a Calendar invite, or add apps to a message.

Start a meeting Start a video call instantly with another person with Google Meet.
Add a video meeting

Add a Google Meet link to a video meeting.

Edit messages Edit

Edit a sent message.

Delete messages

Delete a sent message.

Format messages

Bold or italicize text, use bullet points, or add color.

React to messages

Add an emoji.

Upload a file

Share a file from your computer.

Share a GIF

React with an animated GIF.

Quote a message

To directly respond, quote a previous message in Chat.

Start a thread In a space with inline threading, create a new thread based on a message.

Search for messages

To locate messages, use the search bar at the top of Chat. When you search, you can filter by messages:

  • Sent from specific people
  • Sent in a specific conversation or space
  • That include documents, spreadsheets, slides, and more
  • Sent during a specific date range
  • That include links
  • That mention you
  • From conversations that you’re a member of

You can also sort your messages by: most recent or relevance to your search criteria.

Related resources

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