Google Hangouts Tip Sheet

Created by: Jennie Magiera and Genevieve Gallagher

If you have a Hangout tip or feedback, please feel free to share via the comments button on the top right of this page!


  1. Tips for First-Time Users
  2. How to Start or Join a Hangout
  3. Important Features to Know
  4. Hangout Apps
  5. Hangouts on Air
  6. Other Tips

Tips for First-time users

Getting ready for your first hangout

  • If you’re on a PC or Mac, install this plug-in before initiating a Google Hangout.
  • Set up your Google Plus profile to access all the goodies and Hangout apps:
  • If you’re in a shared space, have combination headphones/microphone to cut down on noise.
  • Start small. Have a friend or colleague do a trial hangout with you.
  • Optional: Turn off your camera’s “follow me” feature if it has one.


  • Check your downloads folder to see if the plugin downloaded but didn’t install
  • Make sure you’re not already in another hangout or using the camera for another task (photo booth, Skype, etc)

How to Start or Join a Hangout

  • Can be pre-arranged, or spontaneous.
  • From Gmail:
  • You’ll see a speech bubble with a camera in it that you can click on to begin chat or hangout with friends online.
  • People available to hangout have green icons of video cameras next to their name. Click their name to request a hangout.

  • From Google+:
  • Click on the button on the bottom right side of the screen: “Start a video Hangout”

  • From Google Calendar:
  • You can add a hangout when creating an event.

  • If you’re invited to a Calendar event with a hangout, join on the date/time of the hangout by clicking on the embedded link.

Important Features to Know


  • Can be helpful if audio isn’t working properly.
  • Also great for sharing links

Mute microphone

  • Helpful in large hangouts so that ambient noise isn’t distracting.
  • Also note: If you join a hangout that has several people already in it, you’ll come in muted. Unmute to talk!

Hangout Apps

These are a mix of native apps and plug-ins to a hangout to make your experience even more interactive, productive and/or fun! Add them to your hangout and see how much more you can accomplish. To turn off an App in your Hangout, simply click on the App button a second time.

Screenshare (native)

  • Allows you to work on your computer screen and allow anyone in hangout to see what you’re doing.
  • Great for training or showing examples to hangout group.
  • Note that you can choose which window to share (so participant view is limited to that window), or share your entire desktop (so participants can see everything you see).

Drive App (native)

  • Use this to share docs/presentations, etc with your hangout participants. Make sure they have editing rights, then add the Google doc to the hangout. You’ll all be able to edit it in real time from the hangout window.
  • If your participants can’t see it, instruct them to click on their drive icon on the left hand side.

LowerThird (add-on)

  • Allows you to have your name/affiliation/etc. appear at the bottom of the screen.
  • Text appears backwards to you, but correct to those you’re hanging out with.

Symphonical[a] (add-on)

  • Great project management app to create task lists and assign items to hangout participants
  • Project board can be found once logged off the hangout at the Symphnonical site.

Cacoo (add-on)

  • Create collaborative diagrams during a hangout

For More hangout apps:

Hangouts on Air

A Hangout on Air is a Google hangout that is broadcast on YouTube both through your Google+ page and YouTube itself. It’s a great way to have a “public” event or get more people involved in the conversation!

Your First Time

The first time you create a hangout, Google will ask you to verify your YouTube account to record over 15 minutes.  This is because your hangout is automatically recorded in your YouTube account.  Currently this process requires you to provide your phone number and you will receive a text with a code number to verify, so be sure to use your cell phone so you can get that code quickly.

Scheduling a Hangout on the Air

The best way to do this is to create a Google Plus Event, without adding a Google Hangout. Then, at the time of the event, start a Hangout on Air. Then edit the Google Plus event and paste the YouTube link and the hangout link into the YouTube URL and Link URL sections of the event, respectively. Here’s a post with more info on this.

Other Tips


Examples of Use Cases and more support:

  • Great examples of Google Hangouts during Social Media Week
  • An article discussing uses



[a]the fucc is this

[b]Great Tip Sheet

[c]I created a presenation that I discussed many of these topics feel free to use it.