Knowledge Base

Using Google Hangouts

Using Google Hangouts

Step one is knowing how what every icon does so you can use them most effectively during hangouts. Get to know the icons below.


  1. Chat - Opens a sidebar that lets you chat with other participants. The chat function comes in handy when you want to share pictures, links, or written messages with the group. Note: if a person joins after you share something in chat, they will not have access to it, and you will need to send it again. Also, Google does not save chat conversations in the video function after the call ends.
  2. Screenshare - Click on the icon, then choose whether to share your desktop, browser window, or an app. Click on your choice, and then the other users will be able to see what is on your screen.
  3. Draw- This icon allows you to draw on your screen. Click the icon and choose your color.
  4. YouTube - Watch YouTube videos with other hangout participants by clicking on the app then click "add videos to playlist" towards the right side of your screen. 
  5. Google Effects - Hangouts app to let the other participant control your computer remotely (with permission of course, Google states)
  6. Add Google Apps - This icon gives you the ability to access other apps within Google hangouts. Click on the icon, then click on "add apps". A window with app options comes up in the center of the screen with three tabs to explore. Once you find the app you want to download within these three tabs, click on it. Next, click allow and you now have access to the app.
  7. Invite People - Click to add participants
  8. Mute Microphone - Click to mute your microphone
  9. Turn Camera Off - Click to turn your camera off
  10. Limit Bandwidth - Click to change the quality of your video chat.
  11. Settings - Change settings for your camera, microphone and speakers using this icon.
  12. Leave Call - When you finish your call, click this icon to exit.
  13. Hangout Participants
  14. You
  15. Help, Keyboard Shortcuts and Send Feedback

Every icon mentioned above can be used during a hangout. It is important to note that these apps are not the only possible applications to use  during a Google Hangout. Also, not all applications are available for download at all times.

If you are using Google Hangouts in a presentation setting, be sure to mute your microphone and consider turning off your webcam. Every time a microphone senses sound, all other participants will see the image on the main portion of the Google hangout screen from the webcam of the participant that made noise. Thus, if the microphones of observers during a presentation do not have their microphones turned off, the main screen will potentially turn to the observer's faces, rather than the presenter.

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