Send a direct message

You can send a direct message in Google Chat to one or more people within your business or school. You can also send a 1:1 direct message to someone outside your organization, but you can't include external people in a group message. When you chat with someone outside your organization, a badge by their name shows that they're external.   

You can message people who use either Chat or classic Hangouts, as long as they have a G Suite account or a personal Google Account. You can only chat with an external G Suite user if their organization allows it.

When you send a direct message outside your organization, the message appears as a “request” to the recipient. (This might also happen within your organization.) The recipient needs to accept your request in order to message you back or going forward.

  1. Open Chat.
  2. At the top left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Enter someone's name or email address, or select them from the suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Google Chat turned on. To send a direct message to someone outside your organization, enter the full email address. 
    To send a direct message to 2 or more people within your organization, click Group Message.
  4. Enter your message and press Return. Your message can include any text, including a link (URL).

Add or remove people in a group message

You can't change the people in an existing chat, but you can quickly start a new group message with a modified roster.  

  1. Open Chat.
  2. Select an existing direct message.
  3. At the top, click the name of the messageand thenStart a new chat
  4. Add or remove people from the message.
  5. Click Create

Other options

You can add these options to your message:

  • Type Mention to add a person to the conversation.
  • Click Upload Upload to share files from your device. Everyone in a room can view shared files.
  • Click Add a Drive file "" to share files from Google Drive. Everyone in a room can view shared Drive files.
  • Click Add video meeting Add video meeting to start a video call.
  • Click Emoji to add emojis to your message.

Chat with a bot

You can chat with a bot in a direct message to have a private conversation.

  1. Open Chat.
  2. At the top left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Click Message a bot.
  4. Enter the name of a bot, or select it from the suggestions.
  5. Next to the bot, click Message.
  6. Enter your message and press Enter.

You can remove a bot from a direct message conversation.

  1. At the top of the window, next to the bot name, click the Down arrow "".
  2. Click Remove.

Out of office status

Google Chat shows the out of office status people set up in Google Calendar. If someone is away from the office, Chat shows their out of office status when you open a chat with them. You can still send the person a message but they might not reply until they're back.

If a person doesn't have permission to view your out of office event, Chat won't show you're out of office.

To show your status, you need to share your calendar and create an out of office event. The event needs to span all day or extend past your working hours. Setting up your out of office status in Calendar doesn't mute messages or notifications in Google Chat.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?