Send a direct message

You can send a direct message in Google Chat to one or more people in your business, work or school, or to someone outside of your organisation. However, you can't include external people in a group message. When you chat with someone outside of your organisation, they have a badge by their name to show that they're external.

As long as they have a Google Workspace account or a personal Google Account, you can send a message to people who use Chat or classic Hangouts. You can only chat with an external Google Workspace user if their organisation allows it.

Sometimes, when you send a direct message, the recipient might need to accept your request in order to message you back.

Start a direct message

  1. Open the Chat app "" or Gmail app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Chat "".
  3. Tap a name, enter a message and tap Send "".
  4. If the name isn’t there, tap Add "" or New chat.
  5. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text. 
    To send a direct message to someone outside of your organisation, enter their full email address.
  6. Enter your message and tap Send ""
    Suggestions include everyone in your organisation, even if they don't have Chat.

Start a group conversation

  1. Open the Chat app "" or Gmail app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Chat "".
  3. Tap an existing group name, enter a message and tap Send "".
  4. If the group name isn’t there:
    • In Chat, tap Add ""and thenGroup message.
    • In Gmail, tap New chatand thenGroup message.
  5. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text. 
    To send a direct message to someone outside of your organisation, enter their full email address.
  6. Tap Done "".
  7. Enter your message and tap Send "".
    Suggestions include everyone in your organisation, even if they don't have Chat.

Add or remove people in a group conversation

In a group conversation, you can add or remove people to create a new conversation group.

  1. Open the Chat app "" or Gmail app "".
  2. Select an existing group conversation.
  3. At the top, next to the conversation name, tap the Right arrow""and thenStart a new chat
  4. Add or remove people from the existing group:
    • To add people, enter their names or under Frequent, tap a suggestion.
    • To remove people, tap their name and then Delete.
  5. Tap Done "" .

Other options

You can add these options to your message:

  • Tap  and a person's name to mention a person in the conversation.
  • Tap Pick photo "" to add a photo to the message.
  • Tap Take photo "" to take a picture and add it to the message.
  • Tap Add video meeting "" to start a video call.

Chat with a bot

You can chat with a bot in a direct message.

  1. Open the Chat app "" or Gmail app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Chat "".
  3. In Chat, tap Add ""and thenMessage a bot.
  4. In Gmail, tap New chatand thenMessage a bot.
  5. Enter the name of a bot or select it from the suggestions.
  6. Enter your message and tap Send "".

Remove a bot from a direct message

  1.  Open the Chat app "" or Gmail app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Chat "".
  3. Open the direct message that contains the bot.
  4. At the top, tap the name of the botand thenRemove.

Know when someone has read your message

In a 1:1 direct message, you'll see a small picture of the person that you're chatting with to the right of the last message that they've seen. You can't turn these read receipts on or off, and they're not visible in group messages or rooms.

View out-of-office status

Chat shows the out-of-office status that people set up in Google Calendar. 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 status, Chat won't show your status. Setting up your out-of-office status in Calendar doesn't mute messages or notifications in Chat.

To show your status:

  1. Share your calendar with a person or group. See share your calendar with someone.
  2. Create an out-of-office event that spans all day or past your working hours. See Set you working hours and availability.
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