5 tips to help you manage Google Chat on your computer

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How to instal Chat, acceptable it to autostart connected your system, instrumentality power of your Chat presumption and notifications, arsenic good arsenic however to crook Chats into Spaces to negociate files and tasks.

 Install, Autostart, Set Status, Manage Notifications, Switch to a space

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

For radical who usage Gmail oregon Google Workspace, there's nary amended chat instrumentality than Google Chat. You whitethorn usage Chat alongside Gmail connected Android, iPhone, iPad and connected the web. Or, if you prefer, you besides tin instal the abstracted Google Chat app connected Android and Apple mobile devices.

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Yet Google Chat connected the web besides present delivers much features than ever before–including the quality to autostart Chat erstwhile you motion successful to your Windows, macOS oregon Linux system. Of course, you tin acceptable your presumption and set notifications. For teams, Chat spaces (formerly Rooms) assistance radical find files and way tasks wrong Chat.

For each of the examples below, I urge that you usage Chat connected a machine with the Chrome browser installed. Also marque definite you're signed successful to Chat with your Google account. And delight enactment that a Workspace head whitethorn negociate however definite Chat features work. Check with your head if you person questions astir your enactment oregon schoolhouse Workspace account.

How to instal Google Chat arsenic a PWA

You whitethorn instal Google Chat arsenic a progressive web app, which allows Chat to relation much similar a modular installed app connected a Windows, macOS, Linux oregon Chrome OS system. To bash this, spell to Google Chat. If it's the precise archetypal clip you've arrived astatine this site, the strategy whitethorn show a punctual with the connection to "Try the Google Chat desktop app" on with an instal fastener (Figure A, left). Otherwise, aft the tract afloat loads, a machine icon whitethorn show (to the near of the bookmark/read aboriginal star): Select the icon past take Install (Figure A, right).

Figure A

 (left) "Try the Chat desktop app" punctual  with an Install button, and (right) Computer icon successful  omnibox selected, with "Install app?" punctual  and Install button.

The archetypal clip you entree Google Chat successful Chrome, the strategy whitethorn punctual you to instal the desktop app (left). Or, you whitethorn bash truthful aboriginal (right).

How to commencement Chat connected sign-in

Once you person the Chat progressive web app installed, acceptable it to start erstwhile you motion in. Open Chrome, spell to chrome://apps to show installed PWAs. On the Chat app, right-click (Note: connected macOS, ctrl-click) to entree options, past prime "Start App When You Sign In," arsenic shown successful Figure B. Now, erstwhile you commencement your machine and motion in, Chat automatically starts, too. 

Figure B

//apps with Google Chat with Start app erstwhile   you motion   successful  and Open arsenic  model   options some  selected.

Once you person the Chat progressive web app installed, unfastened Chrome and spell to chrome://apps. Right-click connected Google Chat and prime the enactment to "Start app erstwhile you motion in."

How to set your Chat status

Chat offers 3 default presumption options: Automatic, Do Not Disturb, and Set As Away (Figure C). The past 2 fto you bespeak your privation not to beryllium bothered (Do Not Disturb) oregon awesome that you whitethorn not adjacent beryllium online (Set As Away) astatine all. Automatic adjusts your presumption based connected your activity. If you're progressive successful Chat, it sets your presumption arsenic Available. If not, it indicates you're Away.

Figure C

Screenshot with the 3  Chat options (Automatic, Do not disturb and Set arsenic  away) displayed.

Google Chat offers 3 default presumption options: Automatic, Do Not Disturb and Set As Away.

You besides whitethorn prime the "Add A Status" paper enactment to acceptable your ain Chat status (Figure D). When you prime this option, 4 further options display: Be Right Back (30 minutes), Commuting (one hour), Out Sick (today), arsenic good arsenic Vacationing (this week). Or, adhd your ain presumption successful the substance container above. Importantly, consciousness escaped to prime the emoji indicator successful the container and take the emoji that champion represents what you privation to convey to your Chat colleagues. Then take erstwhile to wide that presumption (30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, Today, This Week, oregon a customized time) and prime Done.

Figure D

 (left) Status paper   selected, arrow pointing to "Add a status", (middle) Screen with 4 further  options (Be close    back-30 minutes, Commuting-1 hour, Out sick-Today, Vacationing-This week) and blank container  for presumption    and emoji selection, (right) Manually entered "Busy writing" presumption    with manus  with pencil emoji selected, with Clear presumption    aft  4 hours selected.

You whitethorn adhd your ain Chat presumption and emoji, arsenic good arsenic acceptable the duration of that presumption indicator.

How to negociate notifications

To person Chat notifications successful Chrome, archetypal cheque that you've allowed notifications from Google Chat. Go to Google Chat successful Chrome, prime the fastener icon (to the near of the tract name), past marque definite Notifications are acceptable to Allow, arsenic shown successful Figure E. (If the Notifications enactment doesn't display, prime Site Settings, past reappraisal the database of options shown.)

Figure E

Screenshot of fastener  icon (to the near  of the URL successful  the omnibox), with Notification enactment    displayed and Allow selected.

Chrome volition request support to let notifications for the Google Chat site.

Next, wrong Google Chat you whitethorn adjust settings either for each notifications oregon for idiosyncratic chats and spaces. To entree wide Chat notification settings, prime the sprocket (in the precocious right). From there, you whitethorn take whether oregon not to Allow Chat Notifications, arsenic good arsenic prime a antithetic notification dependable (as shown successful Figure F). Make your changes, past scroll to the bottommost of the settings container and prime Done.

Figure F

Options displayed see  Allow chat notifications checkbox, a notification sounds drop-down (with assorted  sounds to take  from), and email notifications option.

In Chat connected the web, prime the sprocket (upper right) to entree Chat Notification options.

To set notifications for one-on-one, radical chats oregon spaces, prime the chat from the left-side of the screen. Then, prime the sanction of the individual, the radical oregon the abstraction successful the precocious near area, beneath the hunt container (Figure G, right). This gives you entree to respective settings, which whitethorn alteration by the quality of the radical and roles of the radical involved. Alternatively, you whitethorn prime the 3 vertical dots to the close of a chat to set notifications (Figure G, left).

Figure G

 showing idiosyncratic  chat enactment    (left) enactment    to crook   notifications on/off, and however  to entree  the longer database  of options, which besides  includes notification settings (right).

Adjust notifications for chats and spaces (formerly Rooms) either by selecting the 3 vertical dots paper to the close of a chat, past choosing Notifications (left), oregon by selecting the sanction of a chat oregon abstraction portion active, past selecting Notifications (right).

Notification options vary. The simplest are either "Turn Off Notifications" oregon "Turn On Notifications." For immoderate interior groups, the strategy offers 3 Notification options (shown successful Figure H): "Notify Always" (all messages), "Notify Less" (only @mentions oregon erstwhile idiosyncratic starts a caller thread successful a space), oregon "Notifications Off," which prevents each notifications unless you oregon @all are specifically @mentioned.

Figure H

 "Notify ever  (for each  caller   messages)", "Notify little  (For lone  @mentions)", and "Notifications disconnected  (You'll inactive  spot    a notification dot if you're @mentioned)".

Notification options whitethorn vary, based connected the quality of the radical and members. 

How to crook a radical Chat into a Space

Spaces are utile erstwhile you enactment with a acceptable of radical connected tasks and files frequently. If you consistently chat with a acceptable of people, the strategy mightiness show a punctual to promote you to crook your chat into a space. You're escaped to disregard the punctual and proceed chatting away. But if you bash take to person from a modular chat to a space, participants successful the chat volition summation the quality to delegate tasks to people, arsenic good arsenic the quality to much easy entree each files shared wrong the group, arsenic shown successful Figure I. (Note: Spaces successful Google Chat were originally named Rooms.)

Figure I

Screenshot of rubric  of a chat selected, with paper   enactment    "Turn this chat into a room" circled successful  red.

Turn a Chat into a Space (formerly a Room) to marque it easier to find files and way tasks.

To alteration from a Chat to a Space, prime the chat rubric (in the precocious near area, beneath the Chat icon and hunt box), past take "Turn This Chat into a Space" from the paper options, arsenic shown successful Figure J. The strategy volition punctual you to sanction the abstraction and (optionally) prime an emoji for the space. Alternatively, you whitethorn create a caller space and invitation radical to join.

Figure J

Screenshot of an illustration  chat space, with the task   tab selected and a task, "Create an illustration  task   for Google Spaces" with a owed  day  (Sept 21) and assigned idiosyncratic   (the author).

Unlike a modular radical chat, a abstraction (formerly a Room) provides 3 tabs: Chat, Files and Tasks.

What's your acquisition with Google Chat?

If you usage Google Chat, person you installed the PWA and acceptable Chat to autostart? Do you trust connected Chat's Automatic presumption settings, oregon bash you similar to acceptable your ain customized status? Do you permission each notifications connected oregon bash you crook astir notifications off? And, if you collaborate with a squad of people, what bash you deliberation of Spaces (formerly Rooms)? Let maine cognize however you usage Google Chat, either with a remark beneath oregon connected Twitter (@awolber).

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