How to Access Google Hangouts Chat Logs in Gmail

Group of friends enjoying tea at cool teashop

 MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Google Hangouts is set neatly to the side of your Gmail messages so that you can quickly open current Google Hangouts messages without leaving your ​email.

To use Google Hangouts from Gmail, you have to enable the Chat feature. You can do that from the settings in Gmail.

Group of friends enjoying tea at cool teashop
MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Google used to use Google Chats in Gmail but that service was discontinued in 2017. Google Hangouts is its closest replacement and can be used in Gmail in much the same way you could use Google Chats.

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Enable the Chat Feature in Gmail

Google Hangouts is fully supported in Gmail, so long as the correct setting is toggled on.

  1. Open Gmail's chat settings by clicking Settings from the gear icon on the upper right-hand side of your mail.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. Select the bubble next to Chat on.
  4. Click Save Changes.
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Open Google Hangouts Messages

With the Google chat feature turned on, you can view Google Hangouts conversations under your email folders on the left side of Gmail.

  1. Locate three small buttons under your email folders on the left pane in Gmail.
    1. There's an icon of a person, of a chat bubble, and of a phone.
  2. Click the chat bubble in the middle of the menu.
    1. If after clicking it, the conversations immediately disappear, click it once more to bring them back.
  3. Just above the menu buttons are your most recent conversations from Google Hangouts. When you click one, the message box will pop up on the right side of Gmail.

To send a new message from Google Hangouts without leaving the Gmail window, use the plus icon next to your name (directly above the messages).

The chat messages you see in Gmail are the exact same ones found on the Google Hangouts website, so you can start or continue conversations on either site and they'll also be visible on the other.