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Get started with Hangouts

Hangouts basics in 1 min.

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 on Wi-Fi or data: 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 Google Voice or Project Fi phone number. On Android devices, you can send texts using Hangouts with your carrier number.
  • Share photos, videos, 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
  • Let Hangouts use your microphone and camera
    • Computers with Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari browsers: Download and install the latest version of the Hangouts plugin.

Open Hangouts on your computer

Brenna is a Hangouts expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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