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Google Chat will be replaced by Hangouts on June 26, 2017. Learn how to use Hangouts.

Off the record

Chats that have been taken off the record aren't stored in your Gmail chat history, or in the Gmail chat history of your contact. You and the person you're talking to can both see when a chat is taken off the record, and you'll be notified if off the record mode is disabled. Your off the record settings will apply whenever you chat with this person, until one of you makes a change.

To take a chat off the record:

  1. Click the down arrow at the top-right corner of the chat window.
  2. Select Go off the record.

When you take a chat off the record, a message will appear confirming that future chats with this particular contact won't be saved, unless one of you changes the setting. If you decide at any time that your chats no longer need to be off the record, click down arrow at the top-right corner of the chat window and select Stop chatting off the record.

Keep in mind that if you're talking to someone who is connected to the Google Chat service with a third-party chat client, it's possible that his or her software is keeping a separate copy of the chat history.


Megan is a Google Chat expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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