Begin 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 Google Fi phone number.

Hangouts sync automatically across devices. If you begin a Hangout on your computer, you can continue your chat on another device, like your phone.

Notes: 

  • In March 2017, we announced plans to evolve classic Hangouts to focus on two experiences that will help bring teams together: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Both Chat and Meet are available today for G Suite customers and will soon be made available for consumer users too. We're planning on transitioning users from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet after June 2020. We are fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone has been successfully migrated to Chat and Meet.
  • Classic Hangouts isn't available in China.
  • Your Family Link account can use Hangouts on Android but not on iPhones/iPads.

Watch how Hangouts works

What you'll need to use Hangouts

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
  • Windows
  • Chrome
  • Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions

Web browsers that work with Hangouts

Hangouts works with the current version and one previous major release of the browsers listed below.

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Safari
  • Firefox

On Internet Explorer and Safari, download and install the latest version of the Hangouts plug-in.

What you need to make video calls

  • 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

Use Hangouts

Hangouts can be used in:

Once you choose an app, learn how to sign in to Hangouts.

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