How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

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Whether you’re a casual user or an independent contractor who spends hours sending and reading email, you probably do it through Gmail. As Google’s premier email service, hundreds of millions of Gmail customers send billions of emails every day.

One of the advantages of being an official Google subsidiary is that it has integrated many other services of the technology giant, including meeting places. Meeting places are not popular with the majority of Gmail users, who find them intrusive. To learn how to remove or at least hide meeting places, read our handy guide.

What is Hangouts?

Google Hangouts is officially “communication software” – in layman’s terms, a chat application for businesses, similar to Microsoft’s teams. For many users, especially those who use Gmail for personal rather than business purposes, “Hangouts” are quite irritating. They take valuable email messages without really bringing anything to the user. It is therefore understandable that many want to get rid of them.

When it appears in Gmail’s sidebar, you can see why it might be in the way. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to hide it, so that reading or writing email isn’t too much of a hindrance.

Sign Out of Google Hangouts in Gmail Sidebar

There are actually several different things you can do. If you just don’t want to see or receive meeting invitations, click the down arrow next to your photo in the meetings area on the left side of your Gmail screen. Scroll to the bottom of the box that opens and select ‘Sign out’.

Your screen will then have a blank area with only the Contacts, Chat and Call buttons at the bottom.

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At some point, you may want to sign in again. It’s easy: go to this empty box and you’ll see a light grey line just below the labels on your emails. If you move your mouse over it, you’ll see the cursor turn into two small lines that indicate that you can drag something. If you drag the line slightly up or down, a box will appear asking if you want to log in again.

Turn off Google Hangouts/Chat

You probably don’t need to see a record of all your recent chats every time you open your Gmail. Follow these steps to remove the dialog box from your Gmail sidebar;

  • Sign in to your Gmail,
  • Click on the icon for settings. This is the gear in the upper right corner, just below your profile picture.
  • Select Settings from the drop-down menu,
  • Click on the Chat tab and select the Chat option,
  • Click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

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