How to use Google Chat to message friends and colleagues right from your Gmail inbox

GoogleIt’s easy to use Google Chat, once you know where to find it.


If you have a Google account, you have access to an instant messaging app that doesn’t require a screen name: Google Chat.

You don’t even need to go far to find it – Google Chat is built right into your Gmail inbox.

Here’s how to use Google Chat in any internet browser on your Mac or PC.

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How to use Google Chat

First, you need to make sure that Google Chat is enabled.

1. In any internet browser, open your Gmail inbox.

2. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then click “See all settings.”

3. Click the “Chat and Meet” tab.

4. Select “Chat on.” If it’s already selected, then Google Chat’s already enabled. If you later want to disable Google Chat, switch this to “Chat off.”

5. Click “Save Changes,” or if you didn’t make any changes, head back to your inbox.

Use google chat 1Abigail Abesamis/Business InsiderYou’ll need to make sure that Google Chat is enabled.

If you turn off Google Chat, you won’t be able to send messages or receive notifications, but you won’t be logged out of Chat. This means that any Chat extensions you have will still work.

How to start a Google Chat

1. Under the “Hangouts” tab on the left side of your Gmail inbox, click the plus (+) icon.

2. Type in the name, email address, or phone number of the person you want to chat with. If you just want to enter a name, they will have to be in your contacts. To start a group chat, click “New group” and enter in each person you’d like to include. You can name your group as you’re creating it. If you select someone that isn’t already using Google Chat, you’ll be prompted to invite them to the app.

3. Once you’ve started a chat or created a group, you can start the conversation by typing into the message field.

Use google chat 2Abigail Abesamis/Business InsiderYour active chats will appear on the right side of the screen.

4. You can add an emoji or sticker by clicking the smiley face icon in the chat, then clicking the emoji or sticker you’d like to use.

5. Add a photo by clicking the photo icon in the chat. Select a photo stored on your Google Drive, in Google Photos, or upload a new photo from your computer or the internet.

Use google chat 6Abigail Abesamis/Business InsiderThere are several ways to add photos.

6. Hit the Enter or Return key to send your message.

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