Chat and classic Hangouts interoperability

If a colleague uses classic Hangouts, you can directly message them from Google Chat. You get the direct message in Chat, and your colleague gets the message in classic Hangouts. This applies only to direct messages. Group messages can't be sent between Chat and classic Hangouts.


Like classic Hangouts, Chat has both direct messages and group messages.

  • Direct messages – Direct messages sent from classic Hangouts or Chat can be viewed and replied to in the other service.
    Note: Your organisation needs to have both services on at the time that the message is sent for this to be true. If you're chatting with someone in a different  organisation, their organisation must also have both services turned on. 
  • Group conversations – Group conversations in classic Hangouts or Chat can't be viewed or replied to in the other service. Group messages are not compatible between the two services.

    We recommend re-creating any group conversations that users want to continue in Chat.

If you edit or delete a message in Chat, the message isn't edited or deleted for the person using classic Hangouts.

Message attachments

Type Chat > Classic Classic > Chat
Emoji Forwards to Classic Forwards to Chat
Images Sends a link to message Forwards to Chat
Videos Sends a link to message Sends a link to message
Files Sends a link to message N/A – Can’t send files
Stickers N/A – Doesn’t have stickers Forwards to Chat
Locations N/A – Can’t share location Forwards to Chat
Reactions Won’t show up in Classic N/A – Can’t add reactions

Voice calls and text messages

  • If your organisation is set up to use Google Voice for Google Workspace, you can make calls from Chat. Chat opens Voice for Google Workspace to place calls. You can't currently use Chat to send text messages. 
  • If you use classic Hangouts to call or text message a Chat user, it rings the person’s device or goes to their text messaging client.

Video calling

  • Video calls from Chat to a classic Hangouts user – Chat uses Meet for video meetings. Classic users receive a link to the meeting.
  • Video calls from classic Hangouts to a Chat user – Classic Hangouts has built-in video calling and Chat users receive a link to the meeting.

Chat history setting

  • If participants use a mix of classic Hangouts and Chat, the classic Hangouts history on/off settings are used in chats. Learn more


  • 1:1 direct messages – All 1:1 direct messages from both classic Hangouts and Chat are searchable in Gmail.
  • Group messages and rooms – All classic Hangouts group messages are searchable in Gmail. Chat group messages and rooms are searchable in Chat.

If you have Chat retention rules or holds in Google Vault, messages in Gmail, classic Hangouts and Chat are retained according to those settings.

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