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Google integrated Chat with Gmail last year. While the option was initially available for Workspace users, it made its way to Gmail users on iOS, Android, and the web in May 2021. With the pandemic pulling many to switch for remote work, ‘real-time collaborative chat’ from Slack, Microsoft Teams made it convenient to communicate.

To compete with rivals, Google brought the ability to easily access Chat directly from Gmail. However, to use it one needs to activate Google Chat for Gmail. The process is different on browser and mobile device. Here’s a simple guide on how to activate Gmail chat.

Activate Google Chat on mobile

-Tap the three-line icon at the top-left corner. Scroll down and select “Settings.”

-Then select your account and navigate to “General”

-For Android toggle “Show the chat and spaces tabs.” If you’re using an iOS device, turn the “Show the chat and spaces tab” on.

-Following this you will see Chat and Spaces icons at the bottom of the screen.

Activate Google Chat on web browser

-Open your Gmail account and head to Settings

-Then select “See all settings”

– After that select “Chat and Meet” in the top menu

– You will be given the choice of selecting “Google Chat,” “Classic Hangouts,” and “Off”

– You will then see a sidebar for your chats and rooms on the right side of your Gmail inbox.

To begin a chat on mobile just tap the Chat icon and then on the “New chat” popup in the lower-right corner, type in the name of a person here. You can create a space as well. For web, click on the plus sign in the corners of the Chat or Spaces boxes. You’ll see a drop-down menu, much like mobile you need to type a name into the top field to chat with a person following which you will be taken into a small pop-up box.