How to set up and use Google Hangouts, Google's free phone call and video chat service, on desktop or mobile
- Once you figure out how to set up a Google Hangout, you can easily use it to connect with colleagues, clients, or friends and family over the computer.
- You can use Google Hangouts for voice calls, video calls, or text-based chat, and you can connect with multiple people at the same time.
- When you create a group in Google Hangouts, you can quickly reconnect with the same people later when you click on the group again.
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There are so many different ways to communicate with people these days, it can be hard to decide which is the best choice at hand.
Should you do a video call to liaise with your coworker who's based in another city? Should you text your friend to confirm plans or just go ahead and call? Or should you get all your buddies on one video conference to make sure you're all still on the same page for the weekend outing details?
Why choose a phone call, video call, or text message when you can do all three using Google Hangouts? Google Hangouts makes it easy to connect with people via talk, text, or video, and the app allows you to create groups that can be connected again and again.
It also stores your past chats so you can pick up the text conversation any time and can refer back to past messages as convenient.
Google Hangouts can even save you money, allowing you to make phone or video calls via Wi-Fi instead of cutting into your phone plan.
Here's how to set it up and use it on your computer or mobile device.
How to set up and use Google Hangouts on a computer
1. Log into your Google account, then type: "hangouts.google.com" into the browser bar at the top of the screen.
2. Click through the intro screen until you land on your Hangouts homepage, which will have a list of any ongoing chats on the left and will offer you three options in the center of the page, "Video Call," "Phone Call," and "Message."
3. Click the option you want, then type the phone number to call, or the contact you want to video chat or message into the search bar that pops up on the top left corner of the screen (if you are reaching out to someone who is not yet a contact, type in their email address).
4. If you want to message several people at once, instead of entering the contact to text, click "New group" and then enter a series of contact names, emails, or phone numbers.
How to set up and use Google Hangouts on mobile
1. Download the Google Hangouts app and open it on your phone.
2. Allow the app to access your Google account.
3. Tap the "+" symbol in the green circle at the bottom right corner of the screen.
4. Type in contact you wish to reach, or hit "New group" and enter multiple people.
5. Start a text chat, or hit the camera icon for a video call, or the phone icon for a phone call.
And just like that, you'll be (Google) hanging out.
Related coverage from Tech Reference:
How to Use Google Hangouts on a Smartphone
The Google Hangouts chat service is being phased out in favor of Google Chat, which is also integrated into the Google Workspace framework that's free to all users with Google account. Chats will fully replace Hangouts by the end of 2021, so be sure to migrate your Hangouts data. The information here applies to users who are still working with Hangouts.
The Google Hangouts app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and mobile devices. It's easy to install and use for free voice and video calling and video conferencing. It's available for Windows and Mac desktop and laptop computers as well, so it synchronizes across all your devices. You can even use Hangouts for texting.
What You Need For Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts runs on all modern iOS and Android smartphones.
You need an internet connection on your device. The video call feature requires a speed of at least 1 Mbps for a one-to-one conversation. Be sure, too, that your phone has a great camera so others can see you clearly.
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You can use a cellular connection. However, you can run up data charges if you don't have an unlimited data plan on your smartphone.
Using the Hangouts App
After you download the Hangouts app, log in to your Google account to use the app at any time without logging in again.
Starting a Hangout is easy:
Open the app and tap +.
Select New Video Call to initiate a one-to-one or group video call, or select New Conversation to start a chat.
Select thecontacts you want to invite to your Hangout. If your contacts are sorted into groups, you can choose a group.
About Google Hangouts
Hangouts replaced Google Talk, integrating with Google Voice in an interface that's accessible from Gmail on computers and tablets, and through dedicated apps on smartphones.
Unlike the Apple Messages app, Hangouts is platform-agnostic and is supported by most devices. Fans of the smartphone app particularly appreciate its ability to provide voice and video calling free of charge. For these reasons, Google Hangouts has been popular, particularly among users who are part of the Google ecosystem, with their contacts and email addresses set up in Gmail.
Google is replacing Hangouts with Google Chat, which is tied to Google Workspace for businesses and consumers. When you enable Chat in your Gmail settings, you'll immediately enter the Google Workspace integrated framework of email, cloud storage, productivity software, calendars, and more.
Once you're using Google Workspace, Chat will act as a Google Workspace hub; for example, if you start a chat "Room" to collaborate with others, you can share a Google Doc or other product via Chat, and your collaborators can immediately access it.
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Hangouts for iOS
Hangouts for iOS enables you to connect with a friend or an entire group over message, video, or voice.
Three ways to connect: Hangouts for iOS enables you to connect with contacts over messaging, voice, or video calls. You can switch between these modes at any point within the conversation.
Great for groups: Message up to 150 people at a time or call up to 10 Hangouts users in a group call -- all for free.
Works across your devices: Start a conversation on your mobile device and switch to desktop or vice versa.
Google Voice integration: Add Google Voice for phone number, SMS, and voicemail integration.
More than words: When a picture is worth a thousand words, send a photo. Or use a sticker, an emoji, or an animated GIF.
Quick sign-up process: Just select your Gmail address and enter your phone number, and you're good to go.
Poor call quality: Hangouts for iOS, which routes your calls through Google's servers, doesn't provide great sound quality. Google claims that two-person calls will improve over time.
Hangouts for iOS is a great option for communicating with friends or teams in a variety of ways and for free.
Hangouts for Android review
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Use Hangouts to keep in touch. Message friends, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group. Say more with photos, stickers, and emoji.
• Include all your friends with group chats for up to 150 people.
• Say more with status messages, photos, emoji, stickers, and animated GIFs.
• Turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 friends.
• Keep in touch with friends across all your devices.
• Message friends anytime, even if they're offline.
• Manage mobile app remotely with Google Cloud.
Ratings and Reviews
4.2 out of 5
Hangouts is cool and you can add a lot of people to chat with! But there is a just a teeny little problem, we can call each other but still chat in the call not go into the hangouts app just staying at the call and not leaving to go chat in the normal place. You have to go try on the computer to do it and sometimes you can't hear your friends voice sometimes. But I love it still no matter how good or bad it is! And you can log into any account but at the beginning you have to use gmail. But my friends at school have been sending invites in my school account and i didn't know i could make another account and that i didn't know my school email would work! That's why hangouts is still good and it will always be forever! At least it is bad and PLEASE DON'T GET RID OF THIS. I say that because i don't have every friend i can talk to on messages and that's why i also use hangouts so i can talk with other friends! So if you do get rid of this i am going to help raise this level. (i love is so l'm still giving it a 5 star rating because even with teeny problems, you have to ignore then to help go do the right thing and don't do the bad !)
Google has ruined Hangouts
Before the most recent update, there were occasional bugs. Enough to make me give them a four star. From various things such as when you join a call, it would act as if you were receiving a call for over five seconds and you couldn’t hear nor talk. Other bugs included some inducing whence sending photos and videos, as well as the extremely poor quality in all videos (though this is not a bug, just the way that the app is.) What has further lowered my rating on Hangouts is their most recent update. The update now requires you to set a google meet in order to call or FaceTime. This is most infuriating in group chats, because it sends a message with a link, but most people do not suspect a call unless they actually hear a REAL CALL. Google meet (just use it and you’ll see) is not at all practical for casual conversation, nor official meetings, and is still very clunky and even MORE BUGGY. Much of this you have to use to understand. I’m still going to use the app. I have to. Hangouts is strong in the area of connecting more people than ever, because all you need is a Gmail or some school emails (though school emails are a bit limited, they can’t send photos or videos, but that is understandable.) I’m just disappointed that Google is valuing Google meet over the people. I hope this review was helpful, and congrats for reaching the end!
Hangouts - College Buds from all parts of the Country- still best friends
So... I graduated college in 2009 from University of Oklahoma. I had a group of 8 guys that were best of friends. We all moved to various parts of the country afterwards for jobs, girls, etc. We were out of touch for a few years - except for the occasional Fantasy Football trash talking during 4 months/yr.
We joined Hangouts in 2012 and have been chatting on this daily (yes... daily) since then. Marriages, kids & all of life’s struggles & achievements have been chronicled since. There may only be a few short chats a day or entire pages & pages of back & forth. Google Hangouts has been the one place that has kept us guys connected and best of friends since college. Also, probably the reason we could never run for office one day if we wanted...lol... but that’s neither here nor there.
Highly recommend this chatting app and hope it never goes away. Lastly, one of the only apps I know that offers Video Chat for up to 10 people at once. We’ve played fantasy football bets & drinking games on more than a few occasions with all 8 of us on the video chat. Super Cool.
Data Linked to You
The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:
- Contact Info
- User Content
- Search History
- Usage Data
- Other Data
Data Not Linked to You
The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Google LLC
- 132.3 MB
- Social Networking
- Requires iOS 12.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 12.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 12.0 or later.
English, Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Korean, Laotian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Singhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu
- Age Rating
- © Google Inc. 2016
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
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The most streamlined access was achieved utilizing an official Chrome extension application, which integrates with users browsers and allows quick and easy access to not only text and audio callsfeature, but also high-quality video conferencing, sending messages to offline friends, infusing chats with pictures/emojis/animated GIFs, manage notifications, browser chat histories, and much more.
Some of the advanced features include the ability to keep your privacy secureby temporarily pausing history records, transform group chats (of up to 10 people) into a free video-conferencingcall, enjoy a text chat with a group of 149 other people, and directly manage phone calls, SMS messaging and voicemail via Google Voice. Users should be aware that this free chat service does not allow its users to set their profile to the “invisible” online status.
The official Hangouts for Chromebrowser allows users to very quickly handle their chat notifications and access a Google Hangoutsinterface window even when the Chrome browser is not even open. It is important to note that Googleutilizes a unified notification system where the user can see them on a single device, and when acknowledged or dismissed they will be automatically removed from all other devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
The apps' simple messagingwindow features traditional user lists and the large chatlog area with all the user conversations with an advanced option to pop out the important conversations in their standalone window. All the chat windows can be set in the desired place and size anywhere on the desktop, with full support for multi-monitor PC setups. Since the vast functionality of this app is processed at distant Google servers, the local client that is installed on user PCs is quite small, clocking at less than half a megabyte.
Hangoutsis 100% FREE and can be quickly installed on to Chrome browserthat receives regular online updates.
Also Available: Download Hangouts for Mac
Download Hangouts Latest Version
Download the latest version of Google Hangouts on Windows 10
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of his age, the Internet was an... Read more
- If you're looking to download the Google Hangouts app for Windows 10, know that it won't be needed anymore.
- You no longer need to download a third-party program for your PC. You can simply use the web-browser version.
- If you really want a more accessible way of using Hangouts on your PC, you can also download the Chrome extension.
- Both the web-based version and the extension receive constant updates so you don't have to worry about those.
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Google doesn’t seem to be too much in love with Microsoft’s Windows Store idea and that’s why there aren’t too many Google apps there.
Today we’ll be discussing how to use Google Hangouts on Windows 10 about the future of an app made for touch devices.
We will briefly explain what Google Hangouts is all about and whether or not you can use it on your Windows 10 device.
The short answer is – definitely, but not on the modern user interface, as Google has to officially submit the app, certify it and then make it available for Windows 10 and Windows RT users.
This isn’t the single software affected by this, so we’ve decided to take a new approach here.
How can I use Google Hangouts on Windows 10?
Despite the fact that Google has somewhat offered Chrome for the touch version of Windows 8, Hangouts won’t work, and that hasn’t changed with the release of Windows 8.1, 10 neither.
So, just make sure that you use the Chrome desktop application to run Hangouts without any problems. For those who are new to Google Hangouts, here’s a simple and useful description of the service:
Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform developed by Google, which launched on May 15, 2013 during the keynote of its I/O development conference. It replaces three messaging products that Google had implemented concurrently within its services, including Talk, Google+ Messenger, and Hangouts, a video chat system present within Google+. Google has also stated that Hangouts is designed to be “the future” of its telephony product, Google Voice, and integrated some of the capabilities of Google Voice into Hangouts.
Google+ Hangouts is one of the best services when it comes to group conversations tools as it adds photos, emoji, and video calls for free.
A video call with up to 10 friends can be made completely for free. There are over 850 emojis to make sure your conversion has some real style.
To be able to use Hangouts Windows 10 and I guess on all the upcoming Windows versions, you will have to download and install the Chrome browser and use Hangouts as a plugin, or as a Chrome extension.
The extension and plugin don’t get frequent updates, so we will be sure to cover them only when they are worthy and come with some important upgrades.
Use the web version of the app
We’re resuming the update of this article in order to provide a helpful page for our readers and to provide some form of insight into what the most recent versions are bringing.
Thankfully, for the people who prefer not to install extra software into their devices, you can use Google+ Hangouts in your browser.
Simply go to this site and make sure you are logged in on the account you want then you can start chatting and talking to your acquaintances right away.
The web-based version is constantly updated, and since it’s not software that you need to download, you will always use the latest version.
Download the Google+ Hangouts Chrome extension
The latest version of Google Hangouts for Windows brought more fixes for sending and receiving MMS, bugs preventing some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters.
If you weren’t aware, there is a Hangouts extension for Google Chrome. It has all the features of the web-version and it’s working great, while also being accessible.
As with the web version, the extension gets constant updates and fixes so you won’t have to worry about incompatibility.
Moreover, if you’re on mobile, you should know that it is available for Android as well, and you can find it in the Android store.
⇒ Get Google+ Hangouts
There you have it. We’ve included both ways of using Google Hangouts. You can opt for the accessible Google Chrome extension, or the web-based version. You can use both ones since they get constantly updated.
We strongly encourage you to give us some feedback regarding the approach of this article in the comment section below.
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Hangouts is an official Google application with the objective to facilitate direct and immediate communication between two users. The application replaces the venerable 'Google Talk', adding...
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