Google Hangouts has been replaced by Google Chat. Learn about the switch from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.

Get started with Google Chat

Use Google Chat to message a person or group:

Sign in to Google Chat

Sign in to Google Chat to send and receive messages.

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account
  2. If prompted, sign in to your Google Account.

Tips:

Understand Google Chat symbols

Symbol Description Learn more
"" Add an emoji
Help & feedback
"" Open other Google apps Use the Google bar
"" Search for people, words, or spaces Search chat messages
"" Set up general notifications Turn notifications on or off
Start a video meeting Start a video meeting
"" Upload a file Attach a file to a message
"" Upload a Google Drive file Attach a file to a message
Schedule a meeting Schedule and share a calendar meeting
Send a GIF
View more compose options
"" Format text Add formatting to your Google Chat messages

Learn how to use Google Chat 

Open Google Chat in a browser
Tip: Google Chat is also available in Gmail. Use Google Chat in Gmail.
Send a message to a person or group

Send a message to a person:

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, under “Chat,” click the name of the person you want to message. 
    • If you can’t find their name, click Start a chat Add.
    • Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
      • Tip: If you’re logged into a work or school account, to send a direct message to someone outside of your organization, enter their email address.
    • Select the person you want to message.
  3. Enter a message. 
  4. Click Send "".

Send a message to a group

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, under "Chat," click a group name.
  3. Enter a message. 
  4. Click Send "".
  5. If the group isn’t under "Chat," click Start a chat Add and then Start group conversation.
  6. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text. 
  7. Click Done "".
  8. Enter a message. 
  9. Click Send "".
Create a space or preview & join a space

Create a new space with in-line threading

  1. Go to Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Spaces Rooms, click  New space. 
  3. Click Create space Group Add.
  4. Enter a space name. 
    • Optional: You can also add a description and a space avatar. To add a space avatar, click Choose an emoji + and then select an emoji. If you don't select an emoji, a default letter avatar is used instead.
  5. You can also:
    • Enter the name or email of the people you want to add.
    • Enter Bots or Google Groups you want to invite.
    • Pick from the list of suggested contacts. 
  6. Choose an access level for your organization:
    • Restricted: Only directly added and invited users have access to the space. This is the default option.* To make your space discoverable, select “All of your organization.”
    • All of your organization: All members in your organization have access to the space and can join if they have the space’s link. Learn more about creating a discoverable space.

Important: If you have a work or school account with Google, you may have additional target audience options created by your administrator. If you have questions about the audience options available, reach out to your administrator.

  1. To invite external people into the space, check Allow people outside of your organization to join.

Important: If you select “All of your organization” in step 6, you won’t be able to allow people outside of your organization to join the space.

  1. Select how you want your space organized: 
    • Space with in-line threading: This is the default option when creating a new space 
    • Space organized by conversation topic: To use a space with messages grouped by conversation topic, select Advanced Arrow Right then click the checkbox marked "Organize the conversation by topic."

Tip: Learn more about how to organize a space.

Important: Once you select how to organize your space, you cannot change this after the space is created.

  1. Click Create.

*Tip: If you use Chat on a work or school account, the default setting may be changed by your administrator. 

Preview & join a space

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Next to “Spaces,” click Start a chat "" and then Browse spaces.
    • The spaces you're invited to are at the top of the list.
    • To find a space, enter its name.
    • Optional: To preview a space, point to the space name and click Preview.
      • When you preview a space, you can read messages, but you can't send messages or get notifications.
  3. In the preview, to block the space, click Block. To join the space, click Join.
Edit or delete text in a conversation
Important: You must use Chat with a Google Workspace account to edit or delete messages.

Point to your chat message, then click:

  • Edit Edit: Make your changes, then click Done "".
  • Delete Delete: To confirm, click Delete.
Add formatting & emojis to your messages

Learn how to add formatting to your Google Chat messages.

To select an emoji: 

  1. Click Emoji "".
  2. Select the emoji you want to add.
Leave a space
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, under “Spaces,” next to the space name, click More More and then Leave and then Leave space.
Delete a conversation or message

Delete a conversation

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. On the left, next to the person's name, click More options More and then Delete conversation and then Delete

Delete a message

Important: You must use Chat with a Google Workspace account to delete a message.

  1. Point to your chat message, then click Delete 
  2. To confirm, click Delete Delete.
Upload & share files
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Enter your message.
  3. Choose an option:
    • To attach a file from your computer, click Upload "".
      • The file isn’t added to Google Drive. Other users get the file directly in the message.
    • To attach a Drive file, click Integration menu  and then Drive "".
      • When you send the file, you’re notified if someone needs access.
      • With edit access, you have an option to grant access.
      • If you grant access to a space, people who join the space later also have access.
      • If people leave the space, they lose access to the file unless they’re given access individually or through a group.
  4. Select the file you want to send.
  5. Click Send "".

Send and share files in Chat messages.

Search your messages
  1. Open Google Chat or the Chat desktop app "".
  2. At the top right, click Search "".
  3. On the left, select a space or click All spaces and direct messages.
  4. In the search box, enter search terms.
    Optional: To narrow your search, click people and content types, such as images or videos. 
  5. To open the result, click Go to thread.
Manage your notifications
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Open settings: 
    • In Chat: Click your status and then Chat notification settings or Settings Settings.
    • In Gmail: Click your status and then Chat notification settings.
  3. Under “Desktop” or “Desktop notifications,” select an option:
  • To play a sound for notifications, check the box next to “Play notification sounds.”
  • To turn email notifications for unread messages on or off, under Email" or “Email notifications,” select Only @mentions & direct messages or Off.
Tip: Email reminders apply to messages that you haven't read after 12 hours.
Change your profile photo or name

Profile photo

Google Chat displays your Google Account's profile photo. If you update your photo for Chat, it's updated for other Google services. Add or change your profile photo.

Profile name

Google Chat displays the name on your Google Account. Change your profile name.

Tip: To change your name on a work or school account, contact your administrator. Who is my administrator?

Send feedback in Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. Go to the area in Chat that you have trouble with.
  3. At the top right, click Support Help & Feedback and then Send feedback to Google.
    • Optional: If a screenshot would help explain your feedback to our support team, leave the box next to “Include screenshot” checked. If you don’t want to include a screenshot, uncheck the box.
    • Optional: You can click the screenshot to edit or hide info.
      • Draw with yellow to highlight issues.
      • Draw with black to hide sensitive info.
      • Click Done.
  4. Enter your comments in the box. 
  5. At the bottom right, click Send.

Tip: In your feedback, share as much detail about the problem or suggestion as you can.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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