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Hangouts call & chat history

Google Hangouts messenger is one of the favorite means of the real-time communication. It allows people exchanging instant text messages in personal and group chats and supports unlimited voice and video calls, which are free of charge between the Hangouts users. This service also supports VoIP, and you can use it for calls to the usual landline and mobile phone numbers from the app installed on the smartphone/tablet or from the desktop browser version.

The information about past text conversations and calls (both the internal voice and video sessions and phone calls) is saved by the service, and users can access it directly in the messenger.

History of the text chats in the Hangouts messenger

If you need to find something in the previous texts of your chats, it could be problematic, as the service does not support a proper search option (though it is one of the Google's products, and Google is the giant which made its monopoly by searching for the information in the Web).

However, there is another way to search for some details in the chat history. The thing is that all chats transcripts which you participated in are saved in your Gmail account and include all the texts messages, smileys, stickers, and images attachments. They are located in the Chats section of the inbox, which is available in the desktop version of Gmail.

To get to Chats in Gmail you need to log in to the service under the same Google account you used during that conversation and then navigate to Chats in the left column menu, or simply enter in:chats into the search field of the mail inbox:

Note that each transcript starts from the moment of your joining the chat. Thus, the previous Hangouts history for the group chats won't be available to you in these logs, they will include the recent data only, and you will need to scroll the messenger window up to read the messages placed before your entering.

As for the chats logs already present in your Gmail account, you can perform the same search in them as you do with any other email message, using the means of the browser. Also you can print these chats history transcripts additionally and save somewhere in a file.

If you delete some of these logs in Gmail, the data will still be present in the Hangouts application.

How to delete chats history in Hangouts

In case you need to clear your chats records saved in the messenger, there are several ways to do this:

  1. You can disable the option to keep the text messages in the chats.
  2. You can archive the existing conversation and start a new one with the same contact — in this case, the previous records are kept in the messenger and in Gmail inbox.
  3. You can delete the conversation permanently, and this will erase all the previous text messages in all messenger clients and in Gmail.

Turn off history recording

If you turn off this option in Hangouts, the messages remain in the application for some time, and then they will be automatically erased. Besides, these “expired” text data are not synchronized with Gmail — you won't find them in transcripts. Some other instant messengers also offer similar functionality to support the safety of communication.

To disable saving the history of text chats, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the chat where you want to clear the conversation history and go to “Options” in the chat's menu (this path is the same in all Hangouts clients).

  2. Remove the checkmark from “Conversation history”and click “OK” (in the desktop version).

  3. Move the toggle to the “Off” status (in the mobile versions).

After that, the chat history will be cleared automatically in the Hangouts window after some time.

Deleting the conversation permanently in Hangouts

  1. In the desktop Hangouts version, choose that session you want to remove permanently and click the three-dots menu next to it. Choose Delete.

  2. In the app for Android select the chat, tap it and hold. The option to delete it will be activated.

  3. Or, you can delete the chat with all its history from the menu in both Android and iPhone apps:
    • Launch the chat's menu and choose “Options”.

    • Select “Delete conversation” in the “Options” menu.

If you want to delete the Hangouts conversation history for a group, this will be impossible. You can only leave that group, and then you will lose access to the previous messages.

The procedure of leaving the group is the same for Google Hangouts on the desktop PC and on the mobile devices:

  • Go to the group and open the chat menu. Choose “Options”.

  • In the new menu click/tap “Leave group”/”Leave conversation”.

Note that when you delete history of chats in this messenger, you do this on your side only. Your counterparts will keep their copies of your conversation. Besides, if you become the member of that group again, you will see the previous messages too.

Archiving the history of conversations in Hangouts

You've seen the “Archive conversation” option in the menu above. It is useful if you want to keep some previous chats, but not in the “active” list, and start a new communication with someone. Later you will be able to get back to those past chats and re-enable them.

Besides, you can move the chats to archives directly from the list:

  • Click the three-dots menu next to the conversation in the browser version or use the item in the “Options” menu of the desktop app.

  • Tap and hold the necessary chat in the list in the Android app.

  • Swipe the chat, like you do with other apps on iPhone, and choose the archive icon.

This way you can clear the past Google Hangouts conversation records and start a new conversation from scratch.

If you use this messenger for phone calls, too, you know that the service also keeps your calls history. However, you can clear these data as well.

How to delete calls history on Hangouts

First of all, there are two types of calls supported by the service:

  • Internal voice and video calls between the users of the service. The history of such calls is saved by the messenger in the same chat window together with the text messages if you exchanged them, too.
  • Phone calls from the Hangouts app. The history of such calls is present in the “Calls” section of the mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and in the user's personal Google Voice account.

If you need to delete the data, this can be done both in the application and in the Voice account interface available in the browser.

In the mobile apps for Android and iPhone, navigate to the “caller” section — you will see the list of your recent calls there.

To delete the calls records from Hangouts on the Android smartphone, you can either tap and hold one of the entries and choose to delete it, or to tap “Clear recent” to delete full calls history.

To clear calls history on Hangouts if you use this application on iPhone, swipe the entry and tap the trash bin icon.

You can also delete the Hangouts history of phone calls from your Google Voice account. Log in to the official page and navigate to the “Calls” section. There you will see the list of all your recent calls.

If you want to erase just one entry, choose it from the list and then select the necessary task from the main menu.

To delete several records at once, select them all by clicking on each one with the Shift button and then click the trash bin icon.

This is how you can clear the history of your conversation in Google Hangouts. As you see, it is possible to clear the entire window of the chat if you turn off the option to keep the past messages, or you can simply delete the whole chat.

You might need to save some transcripts separately before deleting the past conversations from the messenger — as this task will erase the data in Gmail as well, and there won't be any way to restore them. This way you can be sure that no important data will be lost, and at the same time you can manage your chats according to your needs.

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