Google Hangouts has been replaced by Google Chat.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 and 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 composing 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 that 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 organisation, enter their email address.
    • Select the person that 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 and 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 who you want to add.
    • Enter Bots or Google Groups that you want to invite.
    • Pick from the list of suggested contacts. 
  6. Choose an access level for your organisation:
    • 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 organisation'.
    • All of your organisation: All members in your organisation 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, tick Allow people outside of your organisation to join.

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

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

Tip: Learn more about how to organise a space.

Important: Once you select how to organise 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 and 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 and emoji to your messages

Learn how to add formatting to your Google Chat messages.

To select an emoji: 

  1. Click Emoji "".
  2. Select the emoji that 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 and 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’ll be 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 that 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, tick 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 and 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 and feedback and then Send feedback to Google.
    • Optional: If a screenshot would help to explain your feedback to our support team, leave the box next to “Include screenshot' ticked. If you don’t want to include a screenshot, untick 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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