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.

 

In orkut
  1. Beneath your profile photo, click the arrow next to your current status.
  2. Select the status you'd like to appear next to your name in your friends' chat lists.
or
  1. Under Online friends, click the arrow next to Set status here.
  2. Select the status you'd like to appear next to your name in your friends' chat lists.
In Google+
  1. Click the arrow immediately beneath the Chat search box
  2. Select the status you'd like to appear next to your name in your friends' chat lists.

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

If you also use the downloadable Google Talk client, your status will be shared by the applications, as long as you're signed in to all of them. Please note however, that if you've set your status to 'Invisible,' and sign in to the Google Talk client, you will not be kept 'Invisible,' as the Google Talk client doesn't currently have the 'Invisible' status feature. Keep in mind that you can sign out of chat in Gmail, and still be online through Google Talk and vice versa.

More information: