Start a video call

You can connect with family, friends, or coworkers through face-to-face video calls. Video calls can include up to:

  • 10 people for Gmail and Google Workspace Basics
  • 25 people for Business and Education

Tip: If you use Hangouts to start a Google Meet video call, the number of participants you can have may change. Learn more about participant limits for Google Meet. 

Before you make your first video call

Important: You might need to turn on permissions for your camera and microphone in your computer's settings. 

Allow Hangouts to use your camera and microphone


Hangouts video calls use your computer's camera and microphone.

Important: For Internet Explorer, get the latest version of the Hangouts plugin.

Allow camera & microphone access

  1. Open
  2. Click Video call Video call. A message will appear at the top of the video call window.
  3. Click Allow. You only need to do this once. You can allow:
    • Recording Recording: The video call is using your camera and microphone.
    • Video camera Video camera: The video call is using your camera and microphone.

Change setting to allow access

If you aren’t asked to allow access or if you blocked access before, you can change your settings.

  1. Open
  2. Click Video call Video call.
  3. In the top right, click Camera error Disallowed media.
  4. Click "Always allow to access your camera and microphone."
  5. Click Done. The video call will automatically connect. If the call doesn't refresh, exit and re-enter the call.

Start a video call

Important: When you block a user on Google Hangouts, they can’t message you in Hangouts but they can still join Google Meet calls you organize or join through the Hangouts app. This is because users blocked on Hangouts aren’t blocked on Google Meet.

Start a one-on-one video call

  1. Go to open the app from the sidebar in Gmail.
  2. Select a person from the Hangouts list or search for their name or email address. When you find the person you want to call, click their name.  
  3. On the top left, click Video call  and chose one: 
    • Share a meet video call link : A link to the Google Meet video call will be added to your chat. Click send  to share the link. You'll both need to click the Meet video link to join the video call.
    • Call with video Video camera: You’ll ring the other person to start a video call in the Hangout. They may or may not be available to answer.

Start a video call in a group message

  1. Go to or open the app from the sidebar in Gmail.
  2. Select a group to call from the Hangouts list or create a new group. 
  3. In the top left of the group message window, click Video call .
    • Hangouts automatically adds a Meet link to your message. Click Send  to share it and invite the group to the Google Meet video call. 

Other settings for video calls


Add people by name or email address

Anyone in a video call can add more people after the call starts. Everyone invited to join the video call must have a Google Account.

  1. In the video call window, click the screen.
  2. On the top, click Add people  
  3. Type the name or email address of the person you want to add.
  4. Click Invite.

Share a link to add people

  1. In the video call window, click the screen.
  2. On the top, click Add people and then Copy link to share Link.
  3. To invite people to the call, click the link to copy it. Then, paste the link into emails, chats, or somewhere else. Anyone with the link is able to join the call once they sign in.

Change video call options

You can change your video call options during the call. To see options, click the screen.

  • Turn off camera or mute microphone: Click the icons to turn off your camera or mute your microphone.
  • Settings: At the top, click Settings Settings. You can change settings like your camera, microphone, and speakers.
  • Share screen: To share your screen with other people in the video call, click More More and then Share screen.
  • Fullscreen: To make the video full-size, click More More and then Fullscreen.

Send and receive messages in the video call

You can send messages to people in the video call. Messages will appear for a short period.

  1. Click the video call screen
  2. On the bottom, click Chat Chat.

You can only see the message history while you’re on the call. If you leave and rejoin the call, you can't see the previous messages.

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