Send a direct message

You can send a direct message (DM) to a person or group in Google Chat.

Learn how DMs work

  • DMs can be from you to another person or include multiple people.
  • When one or more people read your message, their avatar displays next to their last read message.
  • To focus conversation around a topic, project, or shared interest with multiple people, create a space instead. Learn the differences between spaces and DMs.

Find your DMs

  1. On your computer, open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  1. On the left, click Direct messages.

Tip: To search for DMs, use the search bar at the top. Learn how to search for messages.

Send a DM

Important: If this is your first time sending a message to someone else, they need to accept your message request before you can chat with them.

  1. On your computer, open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  1. Click New chat.
  2. Enter a name or an email addres.
  3. Click Start chat.
    • When you enter a name or email address, you can get suggestions.
    • To start a group DM, add more names or email addresses.
  4. In the reply area, enter a message.
  5. Click Send .

Tip: To start a new DM easily, next to a person’s name:

  • Click Start chat .
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Enter / ⌘ + Enter.
Message options

In the reply area, you can add more content to your message before you send it. You can:

For more options, click Google Workspace tools to:

Turn a DM into a space

Important: If there are 2 or more people in the DM, you can turn a DM into a space.

  1. On your computer, open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  1. Open a DM.
  2. At the top, click the conversation name.
  3. Click Turn this chat into a space.

Learn how DMs work in Google Workspace

If your work or school uses Chat, your administrator allows you to send messages to people in and out of your organization.

  • You can chat with someone outside of your organization if:
    • They use their personal Google Account.
    • Both organizations allow it.
  • When you chat with someone outside of your organization, an “External” badge displays next to their name.
  • You can’t add people outside of your organization to group DMs.
  • When you add people to a DM, you can find suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don’t have Google Chat.

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