Is Google Hangouts Down... Or Is It Just You?

For many people who work from home or need to connect with remote co-workers, Google Hangouts is an essential tool, which is why it's particularly frustrating when it seems like Google Hangouts is down.

If you can't connect to Google Hangouts, or use it to chat with other people, it's not always easy to tell if it's Google that's not working properly or if you are having a problem with your own internet connection. But with a few easy checks, you can figure out if Google Hangouts is down, or if it's you.

How to Tell if Google Hangouts is Down

In some ways, finding out that Google Hangouts is down is better news, because that means you don't need to troubleshoot potential problems with your own internet connection. Unfortunately, if Hangouts is offline or experiencing problems, you have no alternative but to wait for it to come back online (or you could convince the other attendees to try an alternative web conferencing tool like Zoom). Here's how to check to see if Google Hangouts is not working:

  1. Check Downdetector's Google Hangouts page. Downdetector monitors many common websites and is a good place to start. It will tell you if the site is has reported problems and may be offline. 

  2. If Downdetector isn't definitive, there are other sites you can try as well, including IsItDownRightNow and Outage.Report.

  3. While users rarely use the Google Hangouts support forum to track outages, you can check it to see if there are any message threads in the community forum regarding outages. 

If you have trouble connecting to any of these sites, or no one else has identified any issues with Google Hangouts, it's likely that Google Hangouts is working normally and the problem is with your own internet connection.

What to Do If Google Hangouts is Not Working for You

If you checked to see if Google Hangouts is down and appears to be working for everyone but you, here are some things you can do to troubleshoot the problem and try to get up and running again:

  1. Make sure you're going to the right location and didn't mistype the URL. You should be trying to visit hangouts.google.com

  2. If Google Hangouts won't open in your web browser, try to log in using a different browser (such as Microsoft Edge instead of Chrome, for example) or log in using your browser's private or incognito mode. Experiment with variations of web browsers you don't usually use to eliminate possible log-in or caching issues. 

  3. If it's an option, try using the mobile Hangouts app on your phone instead. Be sure you're using the official Hangouts app for iPhone or the Hangouts app for Android.

  4. If you were initially trying the mobile app, try to open Hangouts in a browser instead. 

  5. Clear your web browser's cache and then try again. 

  6. Try to clear your browser's cookies and try again.

  7. If none of these options worked, then you probably have an issue with the internet. Contact your ISP's technical support for additional help. 

Other Google Hangout Connection Errors

You might see some other error messages or encounter other issues trying to connect to Hangouts. If the site is down (and broken) in a very major way, you might see errors like 500 Internal Server Error, 403 Forbidden, and 404 Not Found. Aside from those, you might encounter these issues:

  • Hangouts repeatedly reports it is trying to reconnect. This is usually a sign of an intermittent internet connection at your end. You could try to reboot your router, move the computer closer to the Wi-Fi router, or contact your ISP for support. 
  • You can't use Google Hangouts in your Firefox browser. You'll want to use a different browser because Google no longer supports voice and video calls in Firefox. 
  • Hangouts can't connect and reports an Error 212, or 213, or 214. This is a pretty rare issue that's related to a corrupted setting in your installation of GSuite. If you're a GSuite user and see this error, talk to the person who administers your GSuite to delete your Gsuite Organization Unit, create a new group, and assign you to the new group.