Make a computer-to-computer voice or video call

To start a voice and video chat you'll need to:

  • Download the voice and video call plug-in, quit all open browser windows, and install the plug-in.
  • Sign in to Gmail, Google+, orkut, or your Chrome OS device.

Voice Calls

If your contact has a camera icon next to their name in your Chat list, you can start a voice call with them. Simply select your contact from the chat list and in the Chat window that appears click the phone icon.

Hangouts and 1:1 video chat

If you’re using Chat in Gmail, orkut, Chrome OS, or Google+ you can start Hangouts directly from the Chat window.

If you don’t have a Google+ account you can start or join a limited hangout, which only includes the option to hang out with 1 other person. If you’d like access to all Hangouts’ features including the ability to hang out with up to 9 people, share your screen, and use cool Hangouts’ apps, you can upgrade to a free Google+ account at plus.google.com.

Google+ Hangouts lets you video call with one person or have a multiway video call with up to 9 other people. To start a hangout from Gmail, Google+, orkut, or Chrome OS simply:

  1. Select the contact you want to chat with in your Chat list.
  2. Click the Hangouts icon  at the top of the Chat window.
  3. Your contact will receive a Hangouts invite in their Chat window. Once they accept your invite, you both can start hanging out and even invite up to 8 more people to join you!
When you start a hangout a post will appear in your stream but, the post will only be shared with the people who were invited to the hangout.

In addition to starting a hangout from the Chat window, you can also start a hangout in Gmail by:

  • Hovering over a contact in your chat list and selecting the Hangouts icon  on the profile card that appears.
  • Clicking the Hangouts button  at the top of your Chat list.