Manage Hangouts contacts
Hangouts contacts are the Gmail addresses. As Hangouts belongs to the Google's line of products and services tied to one general account, all users can work with this messenger, they already have access to the service and their accounts are already created and registered to the Gmail addresses.
Thus, the user's contacts list in Gmail is shared with Hangouts to make it easier to search for friends.
Here we'll find out how to manage contacts in the Hangouts messenger: you can search for people, add them to the conversation directly or invite them to join you in the chat, hide them from the list and block contacts to prevent them from addressing you.
Let's research these actions, step by step.
Searching for someone in Hangouts
To start communication in this messenger, you need first of all to find the person to address. Unfortunately, unlike some other instant messengers, Google Hangouts does not import the existing list of contacts from the account into its own interface, though it has access to the Gmail data. Thanks to this, the search for people can be performed faster, but one has to start each new conversation and add the addressee manually.
If you need to know how to find someone on Hangouts for the text chat, then follow the general procedure — it is the same in all versions of this instant messenger. There are only some differences in the interface design.
Log in to your Google Hangouts account in the browser from the Gmail interface or go directly to official webpage.
Click the plus icon and search for someone: enter the Gmail address (this is the best option to find the contact), the name or the phone number.
Google Hangouts user search process will be launched. Taking into consideration the huge resources of such an Internet giant as Google, the search is usually performed quickly, especially in case you want to contact a friend you already communicated with via email.
Do the same in the analogue of the desktop app produced by the Chrome browser extension. Click the big plus icon and search for a user.
For the mobile app installed on Android devices or iPhones and iPads, you also need to start a new conversation, and the rest will be exactly the same.
On iPhone the necessary window is open right after clicking on the plus in the interface of the app. On Android smartphones, you will need first to choose the “New conversation” option.
When you find the necessary person, click or tap the name, and the new chat window will be activated. You can write the message to start your communication. If your addressee does not use this messenger separately, the requests will be delivered to Gmail, and it will be possible to open the chat menu there.
Adding people to the contacts list in Hangouts
It is not enough to just send a message to add people to Hangouts contacts. The thing is, when you are going to have a text chat with a new contact for the first time, the service will first send the invitation to that person to join you on Hangouts. The contact will be saved on your side, and when the addressee accepts that invitation, the connection will be established.
In the web version, you see the list of chats by default. You can open any existing text chat and continue your conversation, or start a brand new one.
- Click the people icon on the left side, and you'll see the list of your saved contacts. Click the one you want to talk to, and the chat window will be open.
- In case you want to start a group chat, choose that option — you will be able to add participants by picking them up from the list and also run the search for more people directly in that window, the application will find the necessary person for you.
- If you use the plugin for Chrome to work with Hangouts on the desktop computer in the separate window and not in the browser, the saved contacts list will be produced when you start a new conversation.
- Same path to the contacts list is offered in the mobile app for Android: you need to start a new text conversation to see people whose accounts are already present in the settings.
- As for the iPhone app, there is a separate section for contacts in the interface — you will find there both those contacts of Hangouts users registered to the Gmail addresses and the list of people retrieved from the address book of the smartphone (you will be able to invite them to this messenger if you wish).
As we already mentioned, the Hangouts communication starts with the invitation. Unfortunately, this can cause inconveniences, too: if your addressee does not accept the invitation, your message won't be delivered. One can't control other people, however, you can resolve this issue for yourself.
If you use this messenger in your work and personal communication constantly and need to get the information via this channel, you risk losing time because of the necessity to process the invitation before the main conversation starts.
That's why you can let other Hangouts users add you to their contacts and send you messages directly, skipping the invitation step.
Below we describe how to configure these settings in different versions of Google Hangouts:
It is set by default that only people having your email address or phone number in their own contact lists can address you directly. The rest can send you invitation. However, it could be better to adjust these settings and let everyone send you messages without sending invitation first. It happens time after time that even people knowing your exact contact details are required to invite you first and wait until their invitations are accepted.
The interface will be the same in the Chrome add-on version, and the main menu is launched by clicking the icon in the top-left corner:
If you use the Google Hangouts messenger on mobile devices, this is how to adjust the necessary settings there:
- On Android device open the side menu > Settings > tap your account > Customize invites
- Here you can configure permissions for other users to add you:
- In the iOS version also launch the side menu > Settings > Invitations
- In the “Invitations” section tap “Invitation preferences”:
Then you can configure your permissions for other users in absolutely the same way as described above.
You can organize the list of contacts and keep some of them on top for quick access (usually those are your “favorites”). This possibility is present in the full web version only: click the three-dots menu next to the necessary contact in the list and choose “Pin to top”:
Letting other people add themselves to your contacts on Hangouts
There is one more method how to add someone on Hangouts: you can let other people join you from their side. This way works for group chats, where you can add participants yourself and also invite other users to the chat via special link. One group chat can have up to 150 participants.
Do the following:
- Create a group chat — choose this option when you open a usual text conversation in any version of the service. Give this group a name and add at least one participant (the procedure is the same in all applications).
- Or, you can add more participants to any existing personal text chat and thus turn it into a group. In the web version click the people icon and then add users.
- In the Chrome plugin version the option to create a group with the current counterpart and more users is present in the chat's menu.
- And the same options are given in the personal chat's menu of the mobile apps:
In any case, when you have your group chat with even only one participant except yourself, you can enable the possibility for other users to join it.
- For this, go to the settings of the group and activate this option:
- In the mobile apps you will need to refer to the “People” section of the group chat settings menu:
And there you can enable joining the group via link.
- As soon as you activate this option, the join link will be generated, and you can share it with people whom you wish to invite to take part in your group conversation.
This way you add contacts in Hangouts and save them in your list of chats and users. The data are fully synchronized between all versions of the messenger on all devices.
Removing people from the contacts list in Hangouts
You can delete Hangouts contacts temporarily or permanently. In the first case you can just hide someone and restore later, or you can remove the person from your contacts for good and block that user to forbid reaching you.
If you only need to hide the contact, you can do this in the web version only — other apps do not offer this option.
These contacts are not deleted, and you can restore them when needed.
- Just refer again to the main “Settings” menu and navigate to the “Hidden contacts” section:
- Click “Unhide” to get the contact back into the list.
And if you need to know how to delete a contact on Hangouts — you should block that person. After that, you can simply delete the existing conversations and remove that user from the group chat (or leave it yourself).
- Refer to the “Options” menu of the chat with the person you want to delete from the list in the desktop version and choose “Block”:
- In the mobile apps, you need to go to the menu of the exact contact. It can be a little bit tricky to find it.
For example, it can be launched from the “People” section of the chat menu for both the personal conversation and the group one.
Tap the three-dots icon next to the name of the contact and choose the option to block it.
Note that this action can be reversed. It you want to unblock the person — go to the “Blocked contacts” section in the main “Settings” menu, find the user and perform the required steps to allow contacting you again.
The same path is in the desktop version: Options > Blocked people
This is how you can manage your contacts in Hangouts. The process should not cause any difficulties: you can search for users to add them for the conversation, save these contacts, hide, and block them. Note that any Gmail account is a separate Hangouts user, thus, you can have different contacts lists if you log in to Hangouts under different users. If you hide or block someone in one account, this action will not affect your different account.