How to use Google Hangouts Video Call

Google Hangouts Video Calling is a free tool from Google. It allows you to use your computer, camera, and microphone to communicate over the internet. This step by step guide walks you through how to use Google Hangouts and start your first meeting.

Instructions on how to use Google Hangouts.

Google Hangouts (also known as Google Meet) is a free conferencing solution for users with a Google Account. If you do not have a Google account and would like to use Google Hangouts you can create a free Google account by signing up for a Google email account.

Google Hangouts allows you to video conference with friends, colleagues, and students at no cost and has a bunch of premium features that are generally reserved for alternative solutions that cost money.  When creating a new Google Hangout you are provided with the ability to control audience participation, you are provided a free conference phone number and pin, and have the ability to present your screen.

In addition, Google Hangouts includes a fully functional chat for all in the meeting and includes an option to turn on closed captioning.

I made a walk through of How to use Google Hangouts on my YouTube channel. You can watch it here:

How to use Google Hangouts 2020 - Everything you need to know in 10 min.

If you prefer to read the instructions or would like to print them here ya go:

Step 1: Open your web browser and visit the url :


Step 2: Choose "+ Join or start meeting"


You can see that I have an all day meeting in the screen shot. This is a recurring meeting that I set up through my Google Calendar. Meetings that you have been invited to and accepted will also show up on this screen for you to join.

Step 3: Enter a name for your meeting


Make up any name you desire. I recommend using a name that would be easily recognizable by the participants you will be inviting.

Step 4: Select your camera and microphone


Your camera and phone should automagically get picked up by Google Hangouts, so most users can move onto the next step. If you have a microphone and webcam that are not integrated into your computer then you may have to select them as your preferred devices respectfully.

Step 5: Press the "Join now" button to enter the Google Hangout meeting


If you prefer to start your screen sharing at the beginning of the meeting you can also chose to that in this step. You can also get phone dial in options on this screen. All of these options are available once you are actually in the Google Hangout so I generally recommend simply joining the meeting first.

Step 6: Add others to your meeting


Google Hangouts makes it easy to add people to your meeting. You can share the join info by selecting the "Copy joining info" button. Alternatively, you can select the "Add people" button and enter emails directly from this screen. I prefer adding people via email from this screen as it saves me the step of taking the copied meeting details and writing an email or sending it through my instant messaging application.  

Step 7: Have your meeting


At the bottom of your screen you will see a few buttons. The red telephone lets you leave the meeting. As you may have guessed the microphone button allows you to mute or un-mute your microphone. The camera button allows you to toggle on or off your camera.

To the right is where you can toggle on and off your closed captions and the present now will allow you to share your screen with everyone in the meeting. There are not settings that allow you to share your screen with specific participants so make sure that the people in the Google Hangout are the right people to see what you are sharing.

If you want to adjust your settings you can do so by clicking the three (3) dots in the lower right corner of your screen.

I hope my guide on How to use Google Hangouts 2020 helps you connect with others. Head over to my video tutorial if you want more detail.

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