Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Start or Join a Video Hangout

This is a follow up to the introductory Start a Chat using Hangouts post from earlier in the week.

Using Hangouts allows you to have text and video conversations with other Google users around the world. These conversations are not limited to one on one; you can also have text and video conversations with groups of people. Using Hangouts is a great way to increase communication and collaboration among colleagues.
Because Hangouts is a very flexible tool, it can also be a bit confusing. There are MANY ways to start and join a video conversation and each way can vary depending upon what device you are using. For this tutorial, we will look specifically at how to access and start a Hangout video conversation using Google Chrome. You could be using Chrome on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook and this tutorial will apply.

Starting a Video Hangout

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to
  3. Click the "Video Call" button
  4. Check your audio and camera settings by clicking the "Settings" button at the bottom of the window
  5. Select the camera, microphone, and speakers that you would like to use and click "Save"
    TIP: It is HIGHLY recommended to use headphones or earbuds. It helps cut down on feedback and echoing during the Hangout
  6. To start a new Video Hangout, enter a "Hangout Name" and press ENTER on the keyboard
    TIP: You want to make your Hangout name unique, so consider including the date or your initials in the name
  7. At the top of the video window, there is a row of buttons to manage the Hangout, control your microphone, control your webcam, and leave the Hangout
  8. Click "Invite People" to invite others to the Hangout
  9. Choose whether to allow people outside of your domain to join the Hangout

  10. Search for people to invite to a conversation by email or by name
    Note: if the person has never used Hangouts OR you have never chatted with them before, you may need to specifically search for them by email
  11. Click "Invite"
  12. As people accept the invitation and join the Hangout, they will appear at the bottom of window. Up to 25 people can participate in a Hangout at once!
  13. To leave the Hangout, click the "Leave call" button

Joining a video Hangout

  1. If you are logged into your Google email or you have Hangouts already open at, you may see a pop-up window inviting you into a video Hangout. You can click "Answer" in the pop-up window to join the Hangout. If you miss the pop-up, you can also click the green "camera" icon to join the video Hangout
  2. If you are not logged into your Google email or you just miss the invitation, you can go to to see if the video Hangout is listed in your Conversation list. If it is, you can click on it to bring up the pop-up window and click the green "camera" icon to join the Hangout
  3. Once you join the video Hangout, you will see the same options at the top of the window to manage the Hangout, control your microphone, control your webcam, and leave the Hangout


  1. Thanks for this, Paul. My world language teachers are considering Google Hangouts for their students to speak with native language speakers. This post will be a great resource for them.

    1. You're very welcome. I would love to hear about how your teachers use Hangouts with their students. We are always looking for good ideas!

    2. Will do! Hopefully, we will get some good things going next fall in our World Language classes. I am also hoping to get some teachers in Language Arts to consider hangouts with authors.