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How to Use the Group Chat Feature in Gmail

written by: rfreshour•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/11/2010

Gmail's group chat allows you to communicate with more than one contact at a time. For every contact that you invite to chat, the invited contact can also invite his/her contacts to chat. Gmail chat even allows you to chat with your AIM buddies.

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    Starting a Group Chat in Gmail

    Gmail has a Group Chat feature that allows you to chat with many different people at one time.  There are no limits on the number of users that can chat at the same time and each chat participant can invite as many others as they would like to include to join in the chat.

    Like other Gmail chats, a group chat transcript will be saved in the Chat History if you've enabled the settings to save chats.  However, if you sign out of the chat before other users do, only the part of the Group Chat that you participated in will be saved.  Any conversation that takes place after you leave won't be recorded in your transcript.  If you don't have the Chat History set to save chats, keep in mind that others you are chatting with can save the chat in their own history.

    To open a Group Chat in Gmail;

    1.   Invite one person from your contact list to chat with you.

    2.   When the chat session begins, click the Options button located in the bottom left corner of the chat box.

    3.   Select Group Chat.

    4.   In the field labeled Add a Person to This Chat, enter the name or names of the contacts you would like to include in the chat.

    Remember that every person you invite to chat can invite as many of their friends or contacts as they wish to join in the chat.

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    Ending a Group Chat

    To end the chat at any time, click on the X in the top right corner of the chat box.  All other users included in the Group chat will receive a message saying that you have left the chat.  But the Group Chat will remain active after until all participants leave the chat.

    Group chat can also be accessed and used when you are replying to a received message by chat.  This is a good tool to use if the email needs to be discussed with more than one person.