Revert back to Google Chat from Hangouts in Gmail

Google has integrated chat platforms across all of its products into one single platform named “Hangouts“. This is an advanced version of the old Google Chat. Hangouts make the chatting experience across all the platforms a lot easier.

Hangouts is given a codename “Babel”. While Hangouts offer good user experience, it has some defects. Here are some important defects in the Hangouts.

Defects in Hangouts

  • There is no proper display of online status of your contacts.
    Update (27 August, 2014): Hangouts on Gmail now allow users to pin contacts to top and displays those who are online at the top followed by those who are not online.
  • The old Google Chat displays a green circle before the contact’s name when they are online. Of course, you can set your status as busy and offline.
    Update (20 May, 2014): Hangouts now show a green circle when a contact is online.
  • Hangouts does not have “offline/invisible” feature. You may have to either “Snooze” Hangouts for 1 hour, 8 hours or 48 hours or you have to sign out of Hangouts completely which is not at all recommended.
  • As of now, the Hangouts app for Android doesn’t show the online status of your friends.
  • In web version of Gmail, there is green line below the image of your friend who is online. This is hard to catch when compared to the old green circle.
    Update (20 May, 2014): Hangouts now show a green circle when a contact is online.
  • I can’t view custom messages of others.
  • I can’t update my custom message.

How to remove Hangouts on Gmail on Web – Revert back to Google Chat

Follow three simple steps as I explained in this video

It is very easy to remove the Hangouts and revert back to Google Chat. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign into Gmail.
  2. After Hangouts section is loaded, click on your name and choose Revert to old chat.
    This option is only available in Gmail and is not available in Google Plus.

    New format:

    Revert back to old Google Chat from Hangouts in Gmail new format

    Revert back to old Google Chat from Hangouts in Gmail new format

    Old Format:

    Note: The old format is no longer available.

    Revert back to old Google Chat from Hangouts in Gmail

    Revert back to old Google Chat from Hangouts in Gmail

    If there is a problem, try this in another browser.

  3. Click on the button which says Revert to old chat in the confirmation dialog box.

    Revert to old Google Chat

    Click on “Revert to old Chat”

Now you will be reverted back to Google Chat from Hangouts.

How to revert back to Google Chat on Android devices?

Here is the procedure to revert back to Google Chat (Google Talk) on Android devices (both tablets and smartphones). Thanks to our reader, Pamela, for informing me about this procedure.

  1. Open Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications.
  2. Find Hangouts app and click on it.
  3. Click on Uninstall updates.
  4. A message appears – “Do you want to uninstall all updates to this Android system application?”
  5. Click on “OK”.

Hangouts app disappears and you will have Google Chat (Google Talk) back on your Android device.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I revert back to old Google Chat in Android devices with version 4.3 and above?

No. Google has removed the ability to revert back to old Google Chat with Android 4.3 update.


20 May, 2014

Google has updated Hangouts recently and improved the UI.

  • All images of contacts now appear circular instead of a rectangular format.
  • If a contact is online (even that is you) a green circle appears. This is way better and clearly visible than it was before (a green line is shown under the image which is hardly visible.)

Google updated Hangouts interface

27 August, 2014

Google has updated Hangouts on Gmail to see who is online more easily. This is achieved by a new tab “Hangouts contacts” in Hangouts, located at the bottom, under the contacts list.

  • In the new tab, friends who are online are shown first followed by who are not.
  • You can pin your favorite contacts to the top.

Hangouts update - pin friends to top

This new feature will be rolled out to all users with Hangouts over the next few days.

Update news and image via Google+ post by Gmail – See who’s online more easily in Hangouts in Gmail

Have problems? Let me help you!

If you have problems to revert back to the Google chat, let me know. I will try to solve your problem using Team Viewer. Contact me.

In case you ever wanted to try the Hangouts again, just click on your name and click the option Try the new Hangouts.


Related – How to Grant access to your Gmail and Delegate Email

Srihari Thalla

I am Srihari Thalla - Blogger and Founder of DaxServer

  • Hemendra

    Hello – there is no Hangout Section Loading on my gmail how do I turn this off?

    • Srihari Thalla

      Hello Hemendra,
      Clear your cookies and cache and then again sign into Gmail.

      To clear cookies and cache, press Ctrl+Shift+Delete buttons and select cookies and cache in the list.

      If you still have problem,try in another browser.

      Let me know if you still have problem.

  • abhi

    bt i did not find that option in my a/c, last button is signout of hanout,wt i do now?

    • Srihari Thalla

      Hello abhi,
      This option is available in Gmail. It is not available on Google+.
      Sign in to your account in and you can see the option Revert to old chat.

      If you still have problem, open another browser and try again in Gmail.
      Let me know if it solves your problem.

  • Jaba Praveen


  • Tracey

    The “Revert to Old Chat” option is not on the menu any more. This doesn’t seem to be an option. Ugh.

  • Srihari Thalla

    This option is still available. Note that this is available only in Gmail but not in Google+.

  • Lyddie

    Jesus Christ, Thank you!

    • Srihari Thalla

      It is my pleasure!

  • VB

    Thanks so much for the tip. I much prefer the info in the chat format where I can tell which of my contacts can use video.

  • Appy

    in my gmail account, i had switched 2 hangout optn 2 days ago, n since den, neither my hangout optn is loaded, not my chatbox is displayed…its getting a message-“something’s not right, we are having troubles contacting our servers. we are going to keep trying”. can u please solve solve dis issue.

    • Srihari Thalla

      Clear your browser cache (Ctrl+Shift+Delete) and load Gmail again.

      That problem is may be due to slow internet connection. If you have another fast Internet connection, then switch to it. If not, revert back to old Gmail Chat as explained in the above post.

      • Indie

        I still have a problem, I don’t see the switch to old chat on my gmail.

      • gaurav

        sir i hv the same problem as Appy nd hv done all tht, cleared cookies and cache, bt still its nt wrking..

  • Harald

    hangout is the worst app ever which doesn’t support merely an online status . LoL 😀

  • R

    I have done it but it’s not switching back. I cannot see new msgs sent via hangouts or the chat history on my phone. Why is it not switching back although I have reverted back to old chat? The interface is old chat but msgs are saved as hangout msgs.

    • Srihari Thalla

      The messages that were sent in Hangouts and chat history are not available after reverting back to old Google chat. They are stored in Gmail – type “in:chats” without quotes in search box in Gmail to access your Chat history.

  • Acompuermoron

    Thank you, finally I was able to undo something Google tried shoving down my throat. Thank you again.

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  • Ranjith

    Hey… great man, thanks………☺

    • Srihari Thalla

      Happy that it is useful to you :)