Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Classic Hangouts will be upgraded to Google Chat beginning March 22, 2022

What’s changing

We're now ready to move into the final phase of the migration from Classic Hangouts to Google Chat for Google Workspace customers. 

Beginning March 22, 2022, we’ll turn on the “Chat preferred” setting for any customers who haven’t already done so, making Google Chat the default chat application. This means that when users visit classic Hangouts in Gmail on the web or the classic Hangouts mobile apps, they’ll be directed to Chat. Hangouts.google.com will continue to work. It is not possible to opt out of this change. If you’d like to export your classic Hangouts and Chat data, learn about exporting your organization’s data

NOTE: This phase does not affect the personal use of Hangouts with a Google Account

See below for more information and timing. 

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 

Why it matters 

Starting March 22, 2022, classic Hangouts users with the following domain settings will be migrated to Google Chat:

Admin console setting

Automatic upgrade timeline

Chat and classic Hangouts

Access groups with both Google Chat and classic Hangouts turned on

Over the course of three weeks starting March 22, 2022

Classic Hangouts only

Access groups with only classic Hangouts enabled

Over the course of five weeks starting April 4, 2022

After domains are upgraded to “Chat preferred,” all classic Hangouts applications, except hangouts.google.com, will be disabled. Additionally, the “Chat and classic Hangouts” and “Classic Hangouts only” settings will be removed from the Admin console. 

Additional details 

  • Vault users: Messages sent in classic Hangouts will continue to be retained and held according to policies set for Chat, and searchable and exportable with Gmail search in Vault. Messages sent in Chat are subject to retention rules and holds you set for Chat, and searchable and exportable with Chat search in Vault.
  • Conversation history: Except for a few special cases, all the conversation history from Hangouts will be available in Google Chat. However, starting mid-March 2022, any newly created spaces in Google Chat within your domain will not appear in classic Hangouts. This means that messages sent in these spaces will only appear in Google Chat for your affected users. You can learn more about Chat and classic Hangouts interoperability

Getting started 

  • Admins: 
    •  If you currently have the “Classic Hangouts only” or “Chat and classic Hangouts” Admin console setting enabled for your entire domain or specific access groups, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the “Chat preferred” setting, per the dates listed above. You can upgrade all of your users to “Chat preferred” prior to those dates if you choose. 
    • If you don’t have the “Classic Hangouts only” or “Chat and classic Hangouts” setting selected, you don’t need to do anything. 
  • End user: There is no end user setting for this feature. Visit the Help Center to learn more about the switch from classic Hangouts to Google Chat


  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers