Google Hangouts Etiquette

Audience: Clubs, Faculty, Guests, Researchers, Staff, Students and Teaching Assistants

This KB Article References: Google Hangouts
This Information is Intended for: Clubs, Faculty, Guests, Researchers, Staff, Students, Teaching Assistants
Last Updated: September 11, 2015

If you've been invited to a Google Hangout or want to learn more about how they work, here are a few tips.

Audio and Video Set up

In Google Hangouts, audio and video are very important. Have a light behind your webcam so your face is well lit, and use a headset with a microphone (instead of built-in computer speakers), especially in shared spaces. 

  1. In Hangout settings  , select your webcam, microphone, and speakers
  2. Test your microphone and speakers/headset before beginning
  3. Save your settings

Google Hangout settings with webcam, microphone, and speakers selected. Showing option to play test sound and save settings

Muting Your Microphone/Video

In some situations, it's best to mute your microphone, for example, when you're

  • in a noisy area
  • using your computer's built-in speakers (instead of a headset)
  • coughing/sneezing a lot

To mute the microphone, select the microphone icon at the top; when muted, the icon will be disabled (red) disabled/muted microphone (appears red)

You can turn off your video by selecting the video camera icon at the top; when off, the video icon will be disabled (red) disabled/muted video camera (appears red)

Using Chat

It can be tricky to know when it’s your turn to speak, but you can use the chat feature to bring attention to your point or question.

  1. If you don’t see chat, open it by clicking the chat icon   near the left top
  2. Type in the chat area on the bottom right and then hit enter or return. 

Google Hangout with 3 people and chat showing

Learn More

Check out this video:

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