Google Chat

Core App

Google ChatChat

A messaging platform built for teams


Chat lets you easily send a text, send a file, share a document from Google Drive, or start a Meet session. Chat is available via a web browser or stand alone apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.

Direct Message

  • A direct message is a private conversation among designated individual(s). Messages between multiple individuals are called “group messages.”
  • Members of newly created Group conversations can be added or changed.
    • Group conversations created before December 3, 2020 will not allow changes to membership without first requiring the creation of a new conversation.
  • History will be enabled by default for group conversations and messages will be retained in Vault for 18 months.
  • External (non accounts can be direct messaged by an individual, but cannot be added to a group message.
  • For a full comparison of features, visit: Google Support: About rooms and  group conversations.


  • Rooms are persistent collaboration spaces where people can share files, assign tasks, and stay connected..
  • History is always on and messages are retained in Vault for 18 months.
  • Newly created rooms will be unthreaded by default. Room creators can enable threaded conversations upon creation.
    • Threaded conversations can make it easier for members to follow and participate in multiple conversations. 
    • This selection cannot be changed later.
  • Room membership can be changed at any time.
  • Google Groups can be members of rooms. Each group member will have the option to join the room.
  • External (non accounts can be members of a room.
  • For a full comparison of features, visit: Google Support: About rooms and  group conversations

Data Security

In Chat, users should avoid discussing the following topics:

  • Personnel topics
  • Red or Purple data. See Data Management Framework.
  • Conversations that need to be archived or retained for longer than 18 months.
  • Meeting minutes, which should be archived in permanent format such as Google Doc.
  • Process documentation.

Chat History Settings and Retention

  • With Chat room history enabled, members can search for specific chats and direct messages.
    Search by document type, user, images, PDFs, etc.
  • Chat rooms and group messages have an 18-month retention for business continuity.
  • Message retention is calculated based on the time of its original post.
    For example, a message posted on 10/1/2020 would be available until 4/1/2022.
  • If requested by the Office of General Counsel, Google Admins can search Chat room history. 

Getting Started with Chat

To learn more about Chat and how to get started collaborating and managing Chat, visit the Google workspace Learning Center

Chat on your mobile device


Support links


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