How to migrate users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat

Starting from 2 June 2020, you can migrate all of your users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat with the “Chat preferred” setting in the Admin console. If you enable this setting, Google Chat will become the default chat application for your organisation, replacing all of your classic Hangouts apps and appearing in Gmail on the web. 

This highly-anticipated integration will allow your users to communicate seamlessly without the disruption of switching tabs. The Chat preferred setting was previously only available to a small group of customers via the Chat Accelerated Transition Program.

If you enable Chat preferred for your organisation:

  • The new Chat experience will replace the classic Hangouts experience in Gmail.
  • All classic Hangouts applications except will be disabled and users will be directed to go to or download the Chat mobile app.
  • The classic Hangouts bot will notify users of unread Classic group messages. 

The Chat preferred setting allows you to migrate all of your users at once for the most effective and seamless transition. 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.

You’ll also get access to exciting Chat features within Gmail in your browser. These include:

  1. 1:1 and group direct messages
  2. Full-screen rooms
  3. Bot integrations
  4. Forward to inbox
  5. Emoji reactions
  6. Message edit and delete

How to enable Chat preferred

The Chat preferred setting is OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level. To enable Chat preferred and migrate your users away from classic Hangouts, you must have Google Chat turned on for your domain. Google strongly recommends that admins keep both Chat and classic Hangouts enabled to maximise the Chat network.
At the moment, enabling Chat preferred will migrate all users in your domain at once. Google recommends this to minimise fragmentation within your organisation. If you’d like to migrate at the organisational unit (OU) level, that option will be available in the coming weeks. Visit the Help Center to learn more about migrating your users to Chat with Chat preferred.

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