Get started with Hangouts
You can use Hangouts to:
- Start a chat conversation or video call.
- Make phone calls using Wi-Fi or data.
- Send text messages with your Google Voice or Project Fi phone number.
Hangouts sync automatically across devices. If you start a Hangout on your computer, you can continue your chat on another device, like your phone.
Watch how Hangouts works
What you need to use Hangouts
- A Google Account.
- A computer or phone with a camera and microphone. Learn how to use your camera and microphone when you start a video call for the first time.
- An internet or data connection.
System and browser requirements
Before you use Hangouts, check if your computer has these:
Operating systems that work with Hangouts
Hangouts works with the current version and 2 previous major releases of the operating systems listed below.
- Mac OS X
- Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions
Web browsers that work with Hangouts
Hangouts works with the current version and 1 previous major release of the browsers listed below.
- Google Chrome: Download
- Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE): Download
- Safari: Download
- Firefox: Download
On Internet Explorer, and Safari, download and install the latest version of the Hangouts plugin.Currently, Firefox compatibility is experimental and may change without notice.
- Broadband connection to the Internet.
- USB web camera. Other devices, like virtual cameras, may not work.
- Any quad core processor.
How much bandwidth you need
Hangouts changes how much bandwidth is used based on your network.
Minimum bandwidth required
- Outbound: 300 kbps
- Inbound: 300 kbps
Ideal bandwidth for two-person video calls
- Outbound: 3.2 mbps
- Inbound: 2.6 mbps
Ideal bandwidth for group video calls
- Outbound: 3.2 mbps
- Inbound (with 5 participants): 3.2 mbps
- Inbound (with 10+ participants): 4.0 mbps
Hangouts can be used in:
Once you choose an app, learn how to sign in to Hangouts.
Brenna is a Hangouts expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.