Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat program integrated into Gmail. You can use chat in your Chrome browser, on your mobile phone, or simply within Gmail itself.
How do invite people to chat with me?
Unless a user has restricted their "auto-add suggested contacts" they will show up in your chat list after an email is sent and responded to between you and your contact. In the case that they have restricted their chat accessibility, click the "search people..." search field in the chat window and start typing a name. The name will auto-complete and then you will see an option to invite them to chat. Once they accept your chat invite their contact name will appear in you chat list.
How do I hide people from my chat list?
Hover over the contact's name from the chat list, click Video & More, then select how you would like them displayed. Options are Auto, Always Show, Never Show, and Block.
How do I adjust the size of my chat list?
Your chat list has an options menu that can be found by clicking on the down arrow that is to the right of the word Chat. Click this arrow and you will see a variety of list lengths that can applied. Experiment to see which option fits you best.
If chat contacts are automatically added based upon who I correspond with, how can I control who chat me?
If you would like to restrict who can automatically chat with you go to email settings -> chat and adjust your settings under "auto-add suggested contacts". The second option forces all invites to be approved by you before someone can send you an IM. The contact will not be notified if you reject their invitation, they just will not be able to chat with you.
What is "off the record"?
Off the record prevents Google saving and indexing any of your chat history. This means it is not searchable and is not retained in any way, shape, or form. Keep in mind that this only applies to Gmail users. If your contact is using another chat client, the conversation may still be logged.
How do I enable "off the record"?
From within chat, click the Actions button and select Off the Record. Any conversations with this person will be Off the Reord from here on forward until you disable Off the Record.
I have not enabled "off the record", how can I search what I've chatted about?
If you have not enabled Off the Record or disabled chat history, you may search for chat conversations using the Gmail search bar. Search results will include any chats, emails, sites, or docs that contain your search criteria. Use the search term label: chats to lists all chats you've participated in.
Can I chat with groups of people?
Yes. Once a chat is started you may click the button showing a person with a plus sign. This is a group invite bar that turns you chat box into a private chat area.
How many people can participate in a group chat?
There is not a limit to the number of people that may participate in group chat.
When does a group chat session end?
A group chat ends when the last participant quits the chat. This means that the person who started the chat can leave at any point without ending the chat session.
Why am I getting a warning message about chatting outside of your domain?
Your domain administrator has allowed you to use chat to communicate with people outside of your domain. This messages serves as warning so that you are aware that you may be talking to someone outside of your company. See your administrator for any policy implication this may have.
How do I change the name people see when I chat with them?
Google Chat nicknames are tied directly to your Google Apps account name. To change your name open your email settings and click Accounts -> send mail as -> edit info. From there you will be able to select another name that others will see when communicating with you via Google Apps.
I have recently been married/divorced so my email address has changed to reflect this. What happened to all of my chat contacts? Why do I show offline to my contacts even when I'm online?
Google Chat is the only service that suffers any loss when an account is renamed. All chat contacts will need to be re-invited in order to see your online status or to chat with you. Chat mail also be unavailable for up to three days after your account rename.
How do I start a voice chat in Google Chat?
Start a chat with your contact and then click on the phone icon within the chat window. As long as both you and your contact have functional microphones and speakers the application will configure itself automatically.
How do I start a video chat in Google Chat?
Start a chat with your contact and the click on the camera icon within the chat window. As long as both parties have functional cameras, mics, and speakers, the application will configure itself automatically. If one of the individuals does not have a camera it simply become a one-way video chat as long as mics and headphones are operating for both users.
What status options are available through Chat?
In Google chat you may be Green and active, Red and busy, Yellow and idle, or Gray and invisible/offline. Custom message can be set along with your color status which may be helpful for saying that you are busy in a meeting or simply available. There is also a lab that will show if your contacts are on a regular workstation or Android devices which help identify a contacts's status. Along with these colors, a camera symbol is also displayed if your contact supports video chat.
How do I sign out of chat?
You may either go invisible or sign out entirely. Going invisible can be done and undone by setting your status to invisible which makes you appear offline. Signing out is done from the chat menu found in upper right corner of the chat list. Selecting Sign out will completely sign you out of chat.
Can I disable chat entirely?
Yes. Open your email settings, open the chat menu and the first option is to enable or disable chat.
How do I disable notification sounds for Google Chat?
Open your email settings, open the chat menu and adjust your notification sounds settings.
Is there a Google translate for Google Chat?
You may invite chatbots as group members who automatically translate from one language to another. This list can be found at http://support.google.com/chat/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=172257
What is Google Talk?
Google Talk is a PC program that integrates with your Google Apps account. It provides all of the same chat functionality found in the web version via Gmail plus it supports file transfers. With Talk, you do not need to be logged into your Gmail inbox to send and receive chats but you still need and internet connection.
Is there a limit on type, number, or size of a file I may transfer using Google Talk?
No, you may transfer any file of any size as many times as you would like. You may also continue chatting while the transfer occurs which could be awhile for larger files.
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