Create and Use a Google Hangout

Hangouts allow you to video chat and screenshare with up to 15 participants. Are hangouts the right tool for you to use? For a comparison of video chat tools, see our article: Choose a Service for Video and Web Conferencing.

Briefly, Google Hangouts are best to use if your participants are already signed up for Google+ and you are looking for a collaborative environment in which everyone is a presenter.

Before You Get Started

  • Install the Google Hangout plugin.
  • If you haven't already, sign up for Google+.
  • If several participants are in the same room, turn off everyone's sound except one; mute microphones whenever possible. Even better, just connect to the Hangout from one computer.

Create a Hangout

  • In a calendar event: click the "Add a hangout" link.  With this method, invitees can simply open the event on their calendar and click 'join hangout'
  • From chat: click the video camera icon after starting a chat.  If you invite people individually from chat, they will each get a notice.
  • In Google+: click the menu on the top left (it usually says 'Home') and then choose Hangouts. Click a person on the right-hand list to start a Hangout with them.

Invite Participants

In the invite list, you can type individual email addresses, Google+ circles, or phone numbers.

If you invite ONE person, they get a pop-up notification. If you invite a Google+ circle, they get no notice. They have to look for the hangout or access it from a calendar event, if that's where it was created.

Additional Resources

Google's Guide to Hangouts

Video tutorial: a beginner guide to Google hangouts

See video

Video tutorial: Step by step setup for google hangouts

See video

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