Start a video call

You can connect with family, friends or coworkers vis face-to-face video calls. For 1:1 calls, you can use classic Hangouts calling or Google Meet. For group video calls, use Google Meet. 

Tip: If you use classic Hangouts to start a Google Meet video call, the number of participants depends on your account type. Learn more about participant limits for Google Meet.

Before you make your first video call

  • Check classic Hangouts system requirements.
  • Connect a camera, microphone and speakers to your computer, and make sure that they have the latest software. 
  • When asked to use your computer's camera and microphone, click Allow.

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.

Allow camera and microphone access

  1. Open
  2. Click Video call Video call.
  3. A message appears at the top of the video call window.
  4. Click Allow. You only need to do this once. You can allow:
    • Recording Recording: The video call uses your camera and microphone.
    • Video camera Start a video meeting: The video call uses 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. At the top right, click Camera error Disallowed media.
  4. Click Always allow to access your camera and microphone.
  5. Click Done. The video call should automatically connect. If it doesn’t, exit and re-enter the call.

Start a video call

Important: When you block someone on classic Hangouts, they can’t message you in classic Hangouts, but they can join Google Meet calls that you organise or join through the Hangouts app. Users blocked on Hangouts aren’t blocked on Google Meet.

Start a one-to-one video call

  1. Go to or 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 that you want to call, click their name.  
  3. On the top left, click Video call  and choose one: 
    • Share a meet video call link : A link to the Google Meet video call is added to your chat. Click send  to share the link. You both need to click the Meet video link to join the video call.
    • Call with video Start a video meeting: 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. At the top left of the group message window, click Video call .
    • Hangouts automatically adds a Meet link to your message. Click Send  to share the link and invite the group to the Google Meet video call.

Other settings for classic Hangouts video calls


Add people by name or email address

Anyone in a video call can add 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. At the top, click Add people 
  3. Type the name or email address of the person that 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 can join the call once they sign in.

Change video call options

You can change your video call options during the call. To find the 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 on your camera, microphone and speakers.
  • Share screen: To share your screen with others in the video call, click More options More and then Share screen.
  • Fullscreen: To make the video full size, click More options 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 time.

  1. Click the video call screen
  2. At 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 previous messages.

Related resources  

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