How to G-Chat

By Contributing Writer

Gmail email service is a great way to have a free email account that has enough storage so you never have to delete another email. Gmail also gives you the ability to G-chat with your friends or co-workers--or anyone with an Gmail email account.

Things You'll Need

  • Gmail account

Step 1

Sign into your Gmail account. If you don't already have one, sign up for one by clicking on the link in the Resources section below. Once you sign into your account, you will see the chat box located on the left side of the screen. To search a contact or invite a friend to chat, type in their email in the search box.

Step 2

Understand the chat box. Gmail uses the simple stoplight method to signal if a person is available to chat. Green means go or available; yellow is wait, meaning the person is signed into chat but hasn't been on Gmail in awhile; red means the person is busy. When you are logged into Gmail, your chat icon will be green. To change your status, press the down arrow and a menu will pop up with options. You can customize your status, become busy or even go invisible. Being invisible means you can check your mail without chatting. However, while invisible, you can still chat with people who are available.

Step 3

Personalize your chat icon by adding a photo of yourself. Click on the "Settings" link at the top of the page. To add a picture, simply upload one from your computer. You can choose who sees your picture by choosing either "everyone" or "only the people I chat with." Save your settings and roll over your name on the chat box to see the picture you just uploaded.

Step 4

Personalize your chat options. To change any chat options, click "Settings" and the "Chat" tab. From here you can turn off all sounds, hide emoticons and choose whether or not to save your chats.

Tips & Warnings

  • Go off the record if you don't want your chat to be saved.

References & Resources