How to Setup a Google Hangout Through Your Web Browser

Hangout with friends on Windows, Mac, or Linux

Female college student waving, video chatting with laptop in dorm room
Hero Images / Getty Images

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, on Android and iOS, you can download the app from your app store and just as easily create a Google Hangout.

How to Setup a Google Hangout

  1. On PC, Mac, or Linux

    Open Chrome and select the three vertical dots in the top right corner. Mouse over More tools, then select Extensions.

    On Mobile

    Search for Google Hangouts in your app store, then download the app. After you have it, launch the app and skip ahead to Step 7.

    Launch The Chrome Extensions Tab
  2. Select the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Open Chrome Web Store towards the bottom.

    Google Chrome Extensions Menu
  3. Search for Google Hangouts in the Chrome Store. The first result will likely be the correct one.

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

    Search For Google Hangouts
  5. Select your new Google Hangouts icon in Chrome to launch it, then select Sign In.

    Launch Google Hangouts
  6. Enter the login info for your Google account.

    Sign In To Google

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

  7. On PC, Mac, and Linux

    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.

    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.

    Start A New Conversation On Google Hangouts
  8. 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.

  9. To start up 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.

    Google Hangouts Group Conversation
  10. Your new group will start up, and you can chat with all of the friends you invited to the chat. If you want to change to a video call:

    • In Chrome — select the video camera icon at the top of the Hangouts window to convert the conversation to a video call.
    • 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.
  11. When you're done, you can close the window or exit the app to leave at any time. If you're on a video call, select the red phone toward the bottom of the window to hand up.

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.