Get started with Hangouts
You can use Hangouts to send messages, make voice and video calls, and share photos.
Hangouts are synced automatically across devices, so you can start a Hangout on your computer and continue on another device, like your phone.
What you can do with Hangouts
- Send Hangouts messages: You can start a Hangout with only one person or have a group chat with several people.
- Make video calls: You can have face-to-face video calls with up to 9 other people.
- Make phone calls: Almost all calls you make to the U.S. and Canada are free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. A few U.S. and Canadian destinations will cost 1 cent per minute (USD), or the listed rate for your local currency. Calling isn't available to all locations.
- Send text messages: You can send text messages using Hangouts with your Android device or your Google Voice phone number.
- Share photos, locations, and stickers: You can share photos, stickers, and emoji in conversations. On mobile devices, you can also share your location with other people.
What you'll need to get started on Hangouts
- A Google Account
- Access your computer's mic and camera
- Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari browsers: Download and install the latest version of the Hangouts plugin.
Open Hangouts on your computer
- hangouts.google.com: Hangouts is available at hangouts.google.com.
- Gmail: Hangouts is automatically turned on in Gmail.
- Inbox by Gmail: Hangouts is automatically turned on in Inbox by Gmail.
- Chrome browser extension: Download the Hangouts Chrome extension. A Chrome browser or Chrome OS device is required.
- Chrome desktop app: Download the Hangouts Chrome desktop app. The app is supported on Windows, Chrome OS, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Megan is a Hangouts expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.