Get started with Hangouts

Hangouts basics in 1 min.

With Hangouts, you can send messages and make video calls on multiple devices to multiple people. You can also share photos and your location with others.

You can keep in touch with family and friends at home or when you're on the go through Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, the Chrome extension, Inbox by Gmail, Hangouts Chrome desktop app, or on your iOS or Android device.

What you can do with Hangouts

  • Send SMS and Hangouts messages: You can start a Hangout with just one person or multiple people. You can also send text messages using Hangouts and your mobile phone number.
  • Use with multiple devices: Hangouts conversations are synced automatically across devices, so you can start a Hangout on your computer and continue on another device, like your phone.
  • Make video calls: Have face-to-face conversations with up to 9 other people using video calls from Hangouts. It's easy to invite specific friends or circles.
  • Make phone calls: Almost all calls you make to the U.S. and Canada are free. A few U.S. and Canadian destinations will cost USD 1 cent per minute depending on the specific phone number. The 1-cent rate may vary depending on the local currency. Calls to destinations outside of the U.S. are at low rates, but calling isn't available to all locations.
  • Share photos, locations, and stickers: You can share photos, stickers, and emoji in conversations. On mobile devices, you can also share your location with others.

What you need to get started on Hangouts

  • To use Hangouts, you'll need a Google Account.
  • Download and install the latest version of the Hangouts plugin. The plugin will allow you to use Hangouts with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

You can sign in to Hangouts on more than one device:

On a computer

Gmail
You'll need to turn on Hangouts in Gmail from your Google Chat menu. At the top of your Chat list, click your profile photo, and click Try the new Hangouts.
Inbox by Gmail
Hangouts is automatically turned on in Inbox by Gmail.
Google+
Hangouts is automatically turned on in Google+.
Chrome browser extension
Download the Hangouts Chrome extension to see your Hangouts windows outside of your browser window. A Chrome browser or Chrome OS device is required. Windows 8 Metro Mode is not supported.
Chrome desktop app
Download the Hangouts Chrome desktop app. The app is supported on Windows and ChromeOS, but it isn't supported on Mac or Linux.

On a mobile device

Android devices
Download the Hangouts app for Android devices. If you want to make phone calls, you'll need to download the Hangouts Dialer to turn on calling in the Hangouts app.
iOS devices
Download the Hangouts app for iOS devices.

Sign up for Google+ for more features in Hangouts

To access more advanced features of Hangouts, like starting Hangouts with Google+ circles or sharing your Google+ photos, you'll need a Google+ account.