How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off

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  • How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off

If you are one of those people who aren’t the least bit interested in using Google Gmail Chat (Google’s instant message chat program in Gmail, similar to AIM and iChat), you probably want to know how to sign out of Gmail chat, because you don’t want those uninvited instant messages popping up from from other Gmail users who are able to see that you are online (because, gosh darn it, if you wanted them to contact you by instant message, you’d give them your instant message address, rather than them just being able to message you just because you’re on Gmail, and they’re on Gmail, and you’re in their address book). So here’s the information you need to disable Gmail chat – to turn the Google chat “feature” off, and deactivate Google Gmail chat instant messages.

It turns out that you can’t actually technically opt out of Gmail chat – at least not easily, if at all – but you can turn it off by signing out of Gmail chat – which is just as good – in fact it amounts to opting out of Gmail chat.

Turning off Google’s Gmail instant message program is easy – but how to sign out of Gmail chat is not obvious. There are two ways to access the feature to turn Gmail chat off. In both cases you need to go down towards the bottom of the page when logged into your Gmail account, and find the area on the left-hand side which has all of your Gmail chat information. It will be just below the list of your folders, under the ‘trash’ and ‘contacts’ links.

The first way to opt out of Gmail chat by turning it off is to click on the little grey upside-down triangle arrow next to the link for “Set status here” (just below your name):

 
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This will give you a drop-down menu which includes all of the various status messages, such as “Available”, “Busy”, etc. (this is also where you can create your own custom message). Way at the bottom of the status options you will see “Sign out of chat” (below that is the link to clear your custom messages, by the way, if you have any).

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How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off

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Click that “sign out of chat” link, and you will be signed out of Google’s Gmail chat.
At this point the “Set status here” link goes away, and is replaced by a “Sign into chat” link, so that if you should wish to re-enable Gmail chat, you can do so by signing back in.

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The second way to turn off Gmail chat (by signing out) is to go down way to the bottom of the chat section on that left-hand sidebar of your Gmail window, to the two little links that say “Options” and “Add contact” – they are just above the “Labels” area, way down at the bottom:

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Click on that blue upside-down triangle arrow next to “Options”, and it will give you a whole list of options for Gmail chat, including changing the size of the chat list, and who to show in the chat list.

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Note that the very first link in that drop down is “Sign out of chat”; click it and, again, you will have disabled Google’s Gmail chat function by signing out of Gmail chat.

Again, if you wish to participate in the Google Gmail chat program, just click that “Sign into chat” link at the top of the chat area, and you’ll be back on, and everyone will be able to find you again.

  
No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free? Thank you!

How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off

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  • How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off

3 Replies to “How to Opt Out of Google Gmail Chat and Turn it Off”

  1. At the bottom of the gmail page, under a line that says “You are currently using 98% of your 730 GB.” or something like that, there is a choice of views, one of which is “standard without chat”. That eliminates chat from your gmail view entirely.

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