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G Suite admins can now migrate their contacts fully to Google Chat on Gmail with Chat Preferred option

Google classic Hangouts will get replaced by Google Chat by late 2020. Admins can now migrate users to Google Chat on Gmail.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | June 4, 2020 | Updated 17:12 IST
(Source: Google)


  • Google has announced that Admins can shift users from Classic Hangouts to Google Chat.
  • This can be enabled by going to the Chat preferred option on the admin console.
  • Enabling Google Chat will disable all other messaging options on Gmail.

Google Chat is set to become one integrated app for all Google chat-related purposes. Google, in a blog post stated with the help of Chat Preferred option in the Admin console, admins can shift or migrate their users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat.

The change will automatically move users or members to the Chats domain and a hangouts bot will notify them in case of unread messages.

"If some people use classic Hangouts and others use Chat, it can lead to missed messages and become burdensome for admins. And if you have a remote or distributed workforce, unifying your users onto a single chat network can help everyone communicate successfully," Google said.

Thus, for a unified and seamless experience, Google has enabled this migration to Google Chats.

Once this setting on the Chat preferred is enabled, Google Chat will replace all classic Hangout apps appearing on the web. This is an integration of sorts that will allow users to communicate without switching tabs.

"Google Chat provides an integrated platform that makes team communication easy and efficient. This highly-anticipated integration will allow your users to communicate seamlessly, without the disruption of switching tabs," Google's blog read.

Admins or users must note that the Chat preferred setting is OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level. To enable Chat preferred and migrate users away from classic Hangouts, users must have Google Chat turned on for their domain.

Previously, the Chat Preferred option was available to a small group of users, the blog noted.

Google, in its blogpost suggested that users have both Hangouts and Google Chats enabled while making the transfer. This step is important because it lets your users chat with the most external people and gives them new features, such as Chat in Gmail.

The Chat experience will act as an alternative to classic Google Hangouts and will move all users to the Chat domain once it is enabled. To enable Chat preferred and migrate users away from classic Hangouts, users must have Google Chat turned on for their domain. Enabling Chat preferred will migrate all users in the admin's domain at once.

The admins who are ready to move to Google Chat can do so by heading to the admin console and navigate to Apps. Go to GSuite followed by Hangouts Chat and Chats Client. Users can then select the Chat Preferred option and click on Save.

Google also listed some chat features within Gmail. These include 1:1 and group direct messages, Full-screen rooms, Bot integrations, Forward to inbox, Emoji reactions, and Message edit and delete options.

As per the blog, all remaining classic Hangouts users will be upgraded to Chat and will no longer be able to use classic Hangouts by late 2020.

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