Google Chat launched to Google Workspace accounts in 2017 and is now available for free on personal accounts.
When you switch from classic Hangouts to Google Chat on your personal account, you can:
- Do more with your messages
- React to messages with emojis
- Use Smart replies to save time
Google Chat limitations
- Video call ringing isn’t available on Google Chat. If you use classic Hangouts for direct video calls that ring, don’t switch to Google Chat. To start a video call in Google Chat, you can drop a Google Meet chip into the conversation and dial in.
- Classic Hangouts message history after June 2020 appears in Google Chat. Message history from before June 2020 will be available in Google Chat later.
- Children under 13, or the applicable age in their country/region:
- Don’t have access to Google Chat yet. They can continue to use classic Hangouts.
- Can’t send messages from classic Hangouts to Google Chat.
- If you have active conversations with accounts for children, don’t switch to Google Chat.
- Google Chat supports blocking people across all Google.com services. If you previously blocked people in classic Hangouts through a third-party product (such as an XMPP client), these block settings won't carry over to Google Chat. Review your list of blocked people.
How Google Chat & classic Hangouts work together
You can message a person or group with Google Chat even if they use classic Hangouts. You get the message in Google Chat, and your contacts get the message in the product they use: Google Chat or classic Hangouts. Learn how Google Chat and classic Hangouts work together.
Turn on Google Chat from Gmail
- On your computer, open Gmail.
- At the top right, click Settings View all settings.
- At the top, click Chat and Meet.
- Next to “Chat,” to turn Chat on or off in Gmail, select Google Chat or Off.
- Click Save Changes.
Determine if you use classic Hangouts or Google Chat
- If this logo appears, you have classic Hangouts.
- To use classic Hangouts, go to hangouts.google.com or use classic Hangouts apps for iOS and Android.
- If you use a Google Workspace account at work or school, you may already use Google Chat. If you’re not sure which you should use, check with your administrator. Who is my administrator?
- “Hangouts Chat” was the previous name for Google Chat. It doesn't refer to classic Hangouts.