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Free Hangouts users will be moved to Chat starting today (Updated)
- The free versions of Google Hangouts will begin to transition to Chat today.
- You can still use some versions of Hangouts until October 2022.
- By the end of this year, Hangouts will be completely gone.
Updated, June 27, 2022 (01:52 PM ET): We originally published this article with some information that Google later altered. We have changed the article to accommodate those changes. The information you’ll see below now represents the most up-to-date info directly from Google.
Original article, June 27, 2022 (12:27 PM ET): Earlier this year, Google started to transition folks away from the Workspace version of Hangouts. That long, semi-messy process finished up only recently. Now, non-Workspace users are next.
Starting today, people using the free version of Google Hangouts will see prompts asking them to switch to Chat. The speed with which you’ll need to switch will vary depending on the platform. Here’s how that looks:
Google Hangouts wind-down
- Mobile apps: You will see a prompt starting today. Upon acknowledgment of the prompt, you will switch to Chat and the Hangouts app will stop working.
- Chrome extension: You will see a prompt today and the extension will stop working. Google will suggest you install the Chat progressive web app (PWA) or use the web interface at chat.google.com. However, the usual hangouts.google.com site will work until October 2022.
- Hangouts in Gmail: The new Chat sidebar will roll out in July.
- Web interface: The usual hangouts.google.com site will work until October 2022.
Similarly, you have until October 2022 to export your data from Google Hangouts using the Google Takeout tool. Thankfully, your data will automatically move to Chat so you can easily pick up where you left off if you don’t care to export. If you don’t want to use Chat, though, you’ll have until the end of October to download your data from Hangouts.
If you’re confused about the differences between Hangouts and Chat, Google has a helpful page for that. Also, Chat will soon get features Hangouts never had, including direct calling and the ability to send and receive multiple images at once.