Google Chat is the successor of Hangouts. Besides regular users, Google is also targeting businesses and enterprises with Chat. The Spaces feature is for having productive conversations from which you can assign tasks, share files, and create new calendar events.

If you haven’t used Google’s latest messaging service, go through our primer on how to use Google Chat to get an overview of its features. And after that, check out these simple Google Chat tips and tricks to get started with the service. These tips are enough to earn Google Chat a space on the homescreen of the best Android tablets and phones.


1. Receive email notifications for unread messages

You can set Google Chat to email you for unread direct messages or @mentions. This ensures you don’t miss any meaningful conversation that you should have seen in the first place.

You can enable (or disable) email notifications for unread Google Chat messages from the web.

  1. Open Google Chat on the web.
  2. Click the Settings cog in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select the appropriate option under Email notifications from the dialog box that pops up.
    Email notifications in Google Chat

2. Switch to Dark mode

Do you prefer using Gmail with the light theme on the web or on your phone? You don’t have to use Google Chat with the light theme as well. You can set the messaging service to dark mode if you wish.

On Google Chat for the web, you’ll find the option to switch to a dark theme under the Settings menu. In the Android app, tap Settings from the hamburger menu. Then tap Theme and select Dark.

3. Quickly switch between multiple accounts

Using a simple gesture, you can easily switch between multiple accounts on the Google Chat app for Android and iOS. Swipe down using one finger on your profile photo in the app’s upper-right corner. The same gesture is also available on Gmail and Drive mobile apps.

4. Mute chat notifications using Do not disturb

Are you busy in a meeting, but your phone or PC constantly buzzes with messages in Google Chat? Or do you want to work in peace on your laptop for some time without new notifications coming in? You can temporarily mute incoming notifications in such situations using Google Chat’s Do not disturb feature.

  1. Open the Google Chat app on your Android phone.
  2. Open the hamburger menu.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Select Do Not Disturb.
  5. Select the duration until which you want to mute the chat notifications.

  6. You also have the option to mute the chats until a specific time.
  7. Tap your desired time to select it.

When you use Google Chat for the web, you’ll find the Do not disturb options in the Settings menu.

5. Create a space

If you use Google Chat in your organization, consider creating a space for group conversations. You can thread conversations, assign tasks, and share files inside a space. A space is like a group chat on steroids where you can do much more.

On mobile, you can create a new space by tapping the New chat button and selecting the Create a space option. Proceed to name the space and add an emoji as its display picture if you wish. You can then invite people to join the space.

6. Add to Tasks

When you’re having an important conversation in Google Chat, you can add any message as a task if it is something you need to get back to later on. Simply long press on a message and select the Add to Tasks option. On the web, you’ll find this option by clicking the three-dot menu button beside the message. The message then appears in your Google Tasks to-do list.

7. Auto delete old messages

When having a private conversation in Google Chat and you don’t want to leave a trace to it, turn off the message history for that conversation. Chat automatically clears the chat log after 24 hours. Open the conversation for which you want to turn off the history. Then select the recipient’s name and click Turn off history.


8. Pin conversations

Is there a Google Chat conversation that you frequently access? You can pin it to the top for quick and easy access instead of struggling to find it from your list of conversations. On mobile, long-press on a chat and select the Pin option. On the web, click the three-dot menu beside a chat and select Pin.

Similar to Gmail, Google Chat offers advanced search chips and suggestions to help you easily find the content you are looking for. When you search in Google Chats, you can narrow down the results based on the type of attachment, conversations, the date, links, and more.

If you are a heavy Chat user, the advanced search functionality makes it a breeze to find what you’re searching for in no time.

10. Open chats in windowed mode

If you use Google Chat to talk to multiple people at once on your PC or laptop, open the chat window in a windowed mode. This way, you can have multiple conversations at the same time without constantly switching between chat tabs.

  1. Open Google Chat in Chrome or a browser of your choice on your PC.
  2. Open the chat that you want to open in a windowed form.
  3. Click Exit full screen in the upper-right corner of the chat box to minimize the chat window in a pop-up box at the bottom of the screen. You can have multiple chat windows open in this minimized form.

Google Chat is a worthy Slack alternative

Google Chat is not as feature-rich as other messaging apps for your Android phone. Still, it trumps them with its deep integration with Gmail and other Google services. Spaces is another helpful feature for businesses that rely on Google Tasks, Calendar, and Meet. If you haven’t already, consider setting up and using Google Spaces to supercharge your team conversations. And with Google Chat integration, you might end up switching from Slack to Google’s solution in your workplace.

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