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Google Chat will be replaced by Hangouts on June 26, 2017. Learn how to use Hangouts.

Changing your status

In Gmail
  1. Click the down arrow next to your picture in the Chat list.
  2. Select the status you'd like to appear next to your name in your friends' chat lists. To create a new status message, select 'Custom message...'.
Your status message can be anything you want - something funny, your favorite quote, a cool web link, or just a note to say you're hard at work or away from the computer. To clear your custom message, click the text under your name in Chat and delete it, or select another message from the status drop-down menu.


Your status controls your availability to chat with your friends. Here's what the different statuses mean:

  • Green: Available. You are online and ready to chat.
  • Yellow: Idle. Your status automatically changes to idle when you're away from your computer for 15 minutes. You can't manually select to appear idle
  • Red: Busy. This lets your contacts know you're busy and don't want to be interrupted
  • Grey: Signed out of chat, or Invisible. If you set your status to Invisible, you'll appear to be signed out of chat even when you're actually signed in. Learn more

More information:

Megan is a Google Chat expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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