How to Use Google Hangouts


The Hangouts plugin is free and easy to install. After a few quick steps, you can talk with your friends face-to-face, anywhere in the world.

Also, this is a useful tool for a team who works remotely for meetings.

To use Google Hangouts, you need to have a Gmail, Google Apps for Business or Google Apps for Education account and activate that account’s Google+ profile.

Tips on using Google Hangout video calls

  • Use Chrome as your web browser. See below on how to add the Hangout extension.
  • If on a computer, you can start a Google Hangouts video call from one of two places: your Gmail inbox or Google+. In Gmail, look for the Hangouts icon in the bottom left corner, and on Google+, look in the upper right corner.
  • Have your computer plugged into the internet with a ethernet cable
  • Show up 10 minutes early for your Hangout to make sure everything is working properly and to help troubleshoot any last minute problem that may come up.

How to test Google Hangout Settings

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the following link to join a test Hangout:
  3. Test to make sure your microphone, webcam, and speakers are working properly: Click on the settings gear on the black bar across the top of the Hangout window. Note, you may have to wiggle your mouse around the inside of the Hangout window to get the black bar to show up.
  • Webcam Test: If you can see yourself on screen, your webcam is working. If not, click on the camera drop down, to select a different camera and try again.
  • Microphone Test: While speaking loudly near your mic, check to see if you have smallgreen dots next next to the Microphone drop down (see pic below). If not, click on the microphone drop down list to select a different mic and try again.
  • Speaker test:Click on the Play test sound link. If you can hear the ringing sound, your speakers are working correctly. If not, click on the speakers drop down list to select different speakers and try again

If you were able to get join the video call and verify that your Webcam, Microphone, and speakers are working properly, then you are ready to participate in any Hangout video call going forward.

Adjust Bandwidth or Turn Off Camera to Fix Poor Quality

If your fellow participants are telling you your video is choppy or not coming in, you have two options:

  • Manually adjust your bandwidth by clicking on the icon that resembles mobile phone reception bars.
  • Turn off your camera and only use voice—just click the camera icon on the top toolbar

How to Add Google Hangout extension on Chrome

  1. Visit the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Search for Hangouts on the upper left of the page.

3. Click the FREE button.

4. When a dialog appears, click Add to grant the extension access to the data described and install the extension.

5. You’ll see its icon appear to the right of the address bar. For your future hangouts,  just click the icon to start using it.

What if I Don’t Have Google Account?

Having a google account give you the privilege to use Hangout and have a Google+ (Google’s Social Media). It is impossible to use Google Hangout without a google account.

  1. To create an account you can start here >>> Create Google Account
  2. Once created, you can then view the different google apps, just look for this icon 

3. You can then select Google+ and there, again click this icon and Select Hangout.

4. To go into a little more detail: 2 people (1 on 1) can have a Hangout without having a Google + (G+) account.
5. There are 3 places you can access Hangouts (all require a Google Account :-).  The 3 places are through G+, Gmail and the Chrome Hangouts extension. If you don’t have G+, then the only place to access Hangouts is through Gmail.

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