How to Make Free Phone Calls With Google Hangouts

Stay in touch with free calls from your mobile phone or web browser

Google Hangouts logo and other IM icons
Joe The Goat/Flickr

You can make free internet calls with Google Hangouts to stay in touch with friends, family, or anyone else, no matter where they live. Since it's a free phone calling service, you don't have to use up all your minutes or incur extra calling charges just to make a simple phone call.

Hangouts is free in the U.S. and Canada and offers low international rates, so you can make voice calls, send text messages, and even have group video chats from your mobile device or computer without paying a dime.

How to Make Free Calls with Google Hangouts 

Google Hangouts works no matter where you need access, from the mobile app and any computer with access to the internet.

Screenshot of Google Hangouts on the web
Jon Fisher 

Access the Google Hangouts website to make a free phone call in your browser to another Hangouts member. Click PHONE CALL in the middle of the screen and then click New conversation to enter a number or contact name for the person you want to call.

Screenshot showing how to call with Google Hangouts via Gmail
Jon Fisher

You can also place a call from Gmail. First, enable chat via the Chat tab in settings, and then click the phone icon at the bottom of the left panel, followed by the plus sign. Select a contact or enter a name or number.

Screenshots of the Google Hangouts iOS app
Jon Fisher 

Google Hangouts also works from the mobile app. You can get it for iOS or on your Android via Google Play.

To make a free call, tap the phone icon on the bottom menu, then the green dial button, and then finally type a number or use the contact button on the top to select a contact.

Other Google Hangouts Features

You can also send instant text messages with Google Hangouts and make video calls. In addition, the text messaging capabilities also let you send your location to recipients, share pictures and videos, and send stickers with the built-in gallery.

From the Google Hangouts app, you're able to disable notifications for specific numbers, favorite conversations for easier access, and archive conversations to hide them without deleting them.

You're also able to block numbers in Google Hangouts and receive voicemail from callers.

For areas outside of the U.S. and Canada, check the international calling rates for calls placed in Hangouts, which are much lower than typical calling plans.

Google Hangouts Background

When it first started, Google Hangouts was a well-received video chatting application. You could video conference with friends or co-workers easily as a group. Since then, Hangouts morphed to include more features, including sharing and text messaging communication and integrating with Gmail so that you could send an instant message while processing your emails.

Google didn't take long to announce that Hangouts users could make free phone calls to other Hangouts users over the web, as well as free voice calls to any number in the U.S. or Canada.