Use Vault to search Hangouts Chat
To search your Hangouts Chat messages in Hangouts Chat, go here instead.
You can use Vault to search Hangouts Chat messages.
Before you search, you should understand the following. For more information about searching for data, review the Vault Search FAQ.
When someone uses Hangouts Chat to share Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms, Hangouts Chat inserts a link rather than attaching a copy of the file to the message. Because the original file is stored in Drive, it isn't included when you retain, hold, search, or export chat messages.
For non-Google files that are directly attached to a chat message, Vault indexes most text-based file types (for example, files with .pdf, .xslx, and .docx extensions). These attachments are included when you search and export chat messages, and they are covered by chat retention rules and holds.
While Vault can export as many messages as your search will yield, previews are limited to 1000 messages. If you want to preview a large number of messages, use search terms and other criteria to reduce the results to smaller groups of messages.
Conversations in rooms are always searchable in Vault. However, Vault can search only DMs that were sent with history tuned on. A G Suite admin can control whether history is on or off, or they can allow users to decide.
Search for messages in Hangouts Chat
- Create a matter or click an existing matter.
- Click Search in the left pane.
- Select Hangouts Chat as the type of data to search.
- Choose a Source:
- All data—Search all messages in your organization.
- Held data—Search all messages on hold for the matter.
- Unprocessed data—Search content that we have identified as partially processed.
- Select a search method:
- All accounts—Search in all user accounts in your organization. If your organization uses G Suite Basic, only users who have Vault licenses are included.
- Specific accounts—Enter accounts to search.
- Organizational Unit—Search within a specific organizational unit. If you choose one with suborganizational units, Vault searches the suborganizational units.
- Rooms—Search within one or more rooms.
- (Optional) If you select Specific accounts or Organizational Unit, you can check the box to include results from rooms. Vault searches a room only if a user who is included in the search is a member of the room.
- If you select Rooms, click Find Rooms. To select a room:
- In the dialog, enter a room member and click Next.
- Enter a room and click the room to select it. Repeat to add more rooms.
- After you add all the rooms you want to search, click Done.
- (Optional) Enter a sent date range:
Note: If you enter dates, Vault returns all conversations that have messages within that date range and match your query terms. Results may also include messages that match query terms but occur outside of your date range.
- If you enter a start date, Vault returns all messages sent on or after the date you entered.
- If you enter an end date, Vault returns all messages sent on or before the date you entered.
- (Optional) Choose a time zone, and Vault restricts the search to the time zone you select. However, search results are displayed and exported in GMT.
- (Optional) Use Terms to specify one or more search terms. Use search operators for complex searches.
- Click one of the following:
- Search—to perform a search.
- Export—to skip preview and immediately export the search results.
- (Optional) Click the Search down arrow to:
- Reset—to clear the search form.
- Duplicate search form—to open another search form under the current form, prepopulated with the information you've already entered.
Preview Hangouts Chat search results
Search preview includes the following:
- Snippet—a brief synopsis of the conversation.
- Owner—participants in an exchange of DMs or the room in which a conversation took place.
- Last sent—the date of the last message. If a user edits a message, it can change the last sent date. However, deleting messages has no effect on this date.
When you open a message, the entire conversation is displayed. Only the most recent 1000 messages are included in the preview in very long conversations. You can't preview earlier messages from the thread. However, all messages that match your search criteria are included when you export.
Note: Vault exports only the messages that match your search terms. Go back and modify your search terms if you need to export other messages from Hangouts Chat.
Export Hangouts Chat messages
When your search returns the results you need, you can: