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10 Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Shaun M Jooste

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As many of you may know, Google is preparing to shut down Google Hangouts and any platform associated with it. Google Meet and Google Chat are the video and chat replacements for it, but it’s still hanging around with many people refusing to switch over until the last minute. As such, there are still plenty of Google Hangouts extensions for Chrome that work.

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Here’s our extensive list of Google Hangouts Chrome extensions you should try while you can. Some of them work with Google Chat, and there are functions integrated with Google Meet.

10 Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts

This Google Hangouts Chrome extension is the official add-on from Google. When you select Add to Chrome, it will immediately take you to the new Google Chat platform. If you’re still using Hangouts, there’s a good chance Google will automatically convert you to the Chat version.

The extension sends notifications to your browser when you receive messages in Google Chat. You can also quickly respond without switching to the app. Another option is silencing notifications, ensuring you aren’t disturbed while working.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Emoji For Hangouts

With Google Hangouts updated to Google Chat, you now have a long list of emojis to use. While it’s excellent for people who love sharing emojis, it can be frustrating to find the one you want. Emoji for Hangouts enables the function where you can type in the text for the emoji to appear. 

Just head into the chat section and start typing the emoji text. When you press enter, you’ll see the smiley appear on the chat screen. It’s the old-school way of sending emojis to your friends.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts 1

Push To Talk for Google Meet™

Despite the name of this Chrome extension, it also works for Google Hangouts and Google Chat meetings. You may be familiar with how annoying it is to constantly find that mute icon when you don’t or do want to talk. With Push To Talk for Google Meet add-on, you’ll press the spacebar when you want to mute and unmute.

If you’d prefer a different button, you can configure the hotkey in the settings. There’s also an automute function that detects when you speak, but we recommend caution when using it. Technology doesn’t always work as intended.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Hangouts Notifications

For those of you still hanging on to Google Hangouts, this Chrome extension sends you a notification on the browser when someone comes online or sends you a message. You’ll need to grant it permission to open new tabs for the messages. It also works if you have different Hangout instances open, such as in your Inbox or Gmail.

You can set various settings, such as sounds, notification timers, and when to receive a specific alert. The developer hasn’t provided an update as to whether it caters to Google Chat. However, after testing it, Google Chat did mention it needs permissions to send notifications for new messages. 

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Black Dark Gmail Hangouts Chat Theme

When you change your Chrome browser or Gmail to a dark theme, it doesn’t alter the Google Hangouts theme. Instead, you’ll still have the standard interface with a light background and dark text. Black Dark Gmail Hangouts Chat Theme instantly changes it to a dark theme.

After you install the Chrome extension, you’ll need to refresh your Gmail page. Open a new chat, and you’ll see how it has a dark background now. Chrome might warn you about needing to change some settings, but that’s due to the add-on altering the CSS style. It doesn’t work on Google Chat, but the platform has its own dark theme setting.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Custom Hangout Emoticons

Here’s a fun Chrome extension for those who still have access to Google Hangouts. While you have a whole range of emoticons on Google Chat, the same can’t be said for its predecessor. When you have Custom Hangout Emoticons installed, you only need to insert some command text to display any emoticons related to them.

You can start by inserting “/” and then a few letters to display the emoticons that match that category. For instance “/mon” will showcase a few monkey emoticons, and some of them have animations. It won’t work if you also have the official Google Hangouts extension installed.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Google Chat Themes

The Google Chat Themes extension for Chrome was a fun add-on to test for this guide. After you install it, you can click on the icon to see a list of changes you can make to the default Google Chat design. There are selections for the font, sidebar color, mentions, chats, and so much more.

Once you save a default theme, all you need to do is select it and refresh your page. The changes are instant, and you’ll have a unique theme designed by you. It’s one of the few Chrome extensions I decided to keep after testing.

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One Click Google On-Air Hangout

The name for this extension may refer to Google Hangouts, but it actually relates to Google Meet. Once you install One Click Google On-Air Hangout onto your Chrome browser, you’ll see a small yellow camera in your browser window. Clicking on it will instantly open a new meeting window in Google Meet.

From there, you can prepare the settings of the meeting. Sharing the room is as easy as copying the URL and sharing it with your team. It’s ideal for anyone that regularly holds online meetings, and you want to start one without much fuss.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Account Switcher for Google Hangouts™

For those of you who stubbornly still want to use Google Hangouts until it’s no longer available, the Account Switcher for Google Hangouts extension for Chrome will come in handy. It’s useful when you have several accounts on the browser. If someone sends you an invite for a video but you have the wrong account open, you can quickly switch to the right one.

The only time the extension works is when the video opens and you need to switch accounts. You’ll see a blue button appear under the error message that you have the wrong account open.

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

Toggle Fullscreen in Hangout

Here’s another Chrome extension for those still accessing videos or chats on Google Hangouts. You can open it to fullscreen or make the screen size larger. With Google making changes and preparing for the shutting down of this platform, you may find that some of the features may not work for you on Chrome.

Of course, when Google Hangouts vanishes forever, this Chrome extension will be useless. So enjoy the fullscreen mode while it lasts!

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Best Chrome extensions for Google Hangouts

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