How to Set Up a Google Hangout Through Your Web Browser

Hangout with friends on Windows, Mac, or Linux

Google Hangouts is one of the most popular ways for teams to meet and speak online. Like most of the Google Suite, Hangouts is a web application, meaning there's no program to download or run locally; everything is done through your browser, and Chrome obviously works best. However, you also can download the app from your app store and just as easily create a Google Hangout. On mobile, the interface is almost identical to the desktop version, save for the green plus sign to add a new conversation, located in the bottom right of the screen.

Here's how to get the app and set it up:

  1. In Chrome, select the three vertical dots in the top right corner.

    Chrome hamburger menu
  2. Mouse over More tools, then select Extensions.

    More Tools > Extensions
  3. Select the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Open Chrome Web Store towards the bottom.

    Open Chrome Web Store
  4. Search for Google Hangouts in the Chrome Store. The first result will likely be the correct one.

    Google Hangouts in Chrome Web Store
  5. Select the app and then Add to Chrome.

    Add to Chrome
  6. Chrome will ask you again to confirm you want to add Hangouts to your browser; select Add extension.

    Add extension
  7. Select your new Google Hangouts icon in Chrome to launch it, then select Sign In.

    Launching Google Hangouts
  8. Enter the login info for your Google account.

    Sign into Google Hangouts

    

    This is a one-time process. After this, the Hangouts extension will remember your account and sign you in automatically.

  9. Once you've successfully signed in to your account, the extension will let you access your controls. There, you'll find your previous text conversations, if any, and you'll be able to start a new conversation or call. To start up a new Hangout, select New Conversation. On mobile, tap the green Plus (+).

    Under the new conversation tab, you'll find a list of people you've added to Hangouts. You can also start typing the name, email address, or phone number of the person you want to start a conversation with.

    Start A New Conversation On Google Hangouts
  10. To start a group conversation, select New group, then add the names, emails, or phone numbers of the people that you'd like to add to your group. Afterward, give your group a name, then select the checkmark to begin the hangout. Your new group will start up, and you can chat with all of the friends you invited to the chat.

    New group
  11. To change to a video call:

    • On your computer, select the video camera icon at the top of the Hangouts window.
    Video icon in Google Hangouts
    • On mobile, tap New video call, then tap the names of people you'd like to add. You can also manually enter their contact info. When you're ready, tap the green camera to begin the call.

Google Hangouts preserves your conversations and groups, so you can keep coming back and adding to your chat. You can always start your video conversations back up, too.

On mobile

The interface is almost identical to the one in Chrome, save for the green plus sign to add a new conversation, located in the bottom right of the screen.