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

Chatting off the record

Chat history only works for users with a Gmail username.

If you don't want your chat history with someone to be saved, you can take the chat off the record. Chats that have been taken off the record aren't stored in your Gmail chat history, or in the Gmail chat history of the person you're chatting with. Your off the record settings will apply whenever you chat with this person, until one of you changes the setting. If the setting is changed, a notification will be displayed in the Chat window.

To take a chat off the record in Gmail:

  1. Open a chat window.
  2. Click More at the top of the chat window.
  3. Select Go off the record.

You can turn chat history on at any time by clicking More and selecting Stop chatting off the record.

Keep in mind that if you're chatting with someone who is using a desktop chat client, it's possible that his or her software is keeping a separate copy of the chat history.

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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