How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar
Whether you’re a casual user or a self-employed entrepreneur that spends hours sending and reading e-mails, you’re likely doing so via Gmail. As Google’s premier e-mail service, hundreds of millions of Gmail customers send billions of e-mails out every day.
One of the perks of being an official Google subsidiary means that it has integrated many of the tech giant’s other services, one being Hangouts. Hangouts isn’t popular with a good chunk of Gmail’s userbase, as they see it as intrusive. If you’d like to find out how to remove, or at least hide, Hangouts from view, check out our handy guide.
What Is “Hangouts” Anyway?
Google Hangouts is officially a “communication software product” – in layman’s terms, a chat app aimed at enterprises, along the lines of Microsoft’s Teams. For many users, especially those who use Gmail for personal e-mails rather than anything business-related, Hangouts tends to be irritating. It takes up valuable e-mail reading real estate without really contributing anything to the user. Therefore, it’s understandable that many want to get rid of it.
Appearing in the sidebar of Gmail, one can see why it might be getting in the way. Luckily enough, there’s a relatively simple way to hide it from view so that your e-mail reading or writing experience isn’t greatly hampered.
Alright, But How Do I Remove It?
The answer is: very simple. Follow each step below and you won’t be seeing Hangouts for much longer.
- Go into your browser and log into your Google Account, if you aren’t logged in already and go to Gmail. Alternatively, you can use this link here.
- Once logged in, locate the small “cog” or settings button on the top right corner of the screen, near your profile picture and calendar button.
- Click on the cog and then the “See all settings” menu from the drop-down selection.
- On the top bar of the menu that appears, locate the “Chat and Meet” option, and then simply select “Off”.
- Finally, click on “Save Changes” and let the page reload.
Once the page has loaded again, you’ll see your regular inbox, with a noticeable change in the bottom left where the Hangouts window was – now it’s gone!
Accordingly, you’ve just gained yourself some valuable screen space, which is even more worth it if you’re working on a smaller monitor. In those cases, you need as much available space as possible, and if sacrificing Hangouts is what it takes, then that’s a price most of us are willing to pay.
As mentioned, most people want to remove Hangouts in order to gain more screen space, especially in cluttered inboxes. That being said, there a few more things you can do to get the same results.
If you don’t really care about fancy looking e-mail tags or labels and just want to be able to look at e-mail titles at a glance, then you can set your display density from the “Default” option to either “Comfortable” or “Compact”.
The comfortable option will remove any needless flairs on e-mails and will make them easier to distinguish. However, some users might not notice a great change.
The compact option will reduce space taken by a single e-mail, allowing you a more concise overview of your inbox. Perfect for when you’re trying to be tidy.
Much like the sidebar on the left which serves as a navigation buoy, getting you from one folder to another, the right-side panel offers a few more optional functionalities. By default, you can access your calendar as well as your Google Keep and Google Tasks apps, which, while useful to some, may be just an annoyance to the casual user.
The best part is the panel is easily hidden from sight, simply by clicking on the small arrow on the bottom right corner of your inbox.
All you need to do is click on it, and boom, you’ve gained an inch or so of space. Some might say it’s not a lot, but it can make all the difference.
This option may already be disabled, depending on a few variables. But if it isn’t turning off e-mail previews, it may help remove clutter from your inbox even more.
Thankfully, just like the previous two tips, this one is also very easy. In order to make sure the preview pane is disabled do the following:
- Head to the “cog” or options menu on the top right again, where we had previously disabled chat.
- After that, click on the “Inbox” section.
- Finally, make sure that the “Enable Reading Pane” is set to disabled in the menu that appears, like so:
And that’s all there is to it.
Say Hello to a Clutter-Free Inbox
Voila. That concludes our short but sweet guide to removing Hangouts and gaining some extra space in your Gmail inbox. As simple as it is, sometimes these options tend to be hidden under ten different menus, so it never hurts to consult an online guide to make sure.
Do you have any other similar tips to share? Let us know in the comments section below.