Google Gmail: How to Turn Off or Hide Talk or Chat

   Posted February 23, 2006 by David Kirk in Google

Google has plugged everybody into Google Talk from the Gmail interface. However, many people who enjoy using Gmail for email, do not want Google Talk displayed within the email windows. This tech recipe describes how to turn it off.

Select Chat Settings in Left Column

Getting Google Talk out of Gmail is not difficult. However, Google has made it difficult to find. With new versions of Gmail, Google has moved the settings for disabling Google Talk around a bit.

Actually, there are two methods for disabling Google Talk.

From the Left Column

The picture on the right walks through the details.

1.Mouse over the Chat title, and click the arrow that appears.

2.Select Chat Settings.

3.When the Settings window loads, select to turn Chat off.

4.Finish by clicking the Save Changes button.

From the Settings Gear

The Settings gear is ubiquitous in Google’s products now. It is an excellent design tool that allows the user to remember where to change settings in almost all of Google’s public applications.

1.Click the Settings gear on the right side of the screen, and select Settings.

2.Click the Chat heading.

3.Click the Chat off option, and select the Save Changes button to finish.

Editor’s note: This tutorial has been updated multiple times for the various versions of Gmail. If you have a problem or need additional help, please report it in the comments below.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • dick

    thanks…is easier to avoid ppl

  • xxx

    thanks ……its really helped me

  • aravind

    hi to every one

  • Claude

    Thanks, I was searching for that option for a while 🙂

  • Anonymous


    Thank you for your suggestion… it doesn’t really fix the entirety of the prob though… I dont want to be distracted by chat, so i want that entire box out of sight… I can’t seem to drag it down under the other features either, like under “google calendar” or ‘web search’ on the left. What do you suggest? Can i hide the box away completely, or… drag it below the rest so its not visible?? thank you!!

  • Anonymous

    they changed the interface, now it looks like you just hit “turn off chat” in the same area you described. thank you!

  • Mike

    good one thanks it was driving me nuts

  • Kaus

    Thank you Bosss

  • AL

    Mine was showing as “turn on chat” even though it WAS on, or it was showing up. I had to turn it on, then off again to get it to hide.

  • MsT

    Okay I don’t have a gmail view at the bottom. This is crazy. I want it out of here

  • Michaela

    I have two gmail adresses. I would like to have chatfunction on one of them but I just get it on the account where I dont want it. How do I change? Please help me!!!!

  • Joan

    After you have made a comment in google talk, can you take it off before they see it.

  • mbird

    no longer works

    • David Kirk

      @mbird – Thanks for reporting it. I’ve updated the article to show the changes for the latest version of Google Gmail. Thanks for being an important part of tech-recipes.

  • Mary

    Trying to do as you showed in order to get the notification that I am logged into google chat turned off. However, when I go to the settings (as shown in your second illustration), all the options are showing, and all can be clicked on, except Chat! I can’t open that to change the settings. I know this has been around a while, and just wondering if you have updated anything lately. I am very annoyed that whenever I wake my macbook, the voice tells me I am logged into Google Talk. I want it to stop that! Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Would appreciate an email from you if you can fix. Thanks1

  • Bernicer

    The entire screen is not visible and I cannot see the “button” that enables me to turn off or log out of gmail. How can I fix this problem