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Chatting online instantly

If you want to instantly message back and forth with someone, but not send an email, then try using Google Hangouts to instantly chat with your friends and family.

Step-by-step Instructions

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First open an internet browser like Chrome and enter "gmail.com" in the address bar on the top and press "Enter".

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Login using your email address and password. If you don't know how to do this, view our tutorial on creating an email account.

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Once Gmail has loaded, look for the Google Hangouts chat area on the left.

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If you see your display picture with a green line under it, it means you’re online. When you see a green line appear under your friends' display pictures, it means that they are online too.

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Click on a friend's name to open a chat window. You can then start chatting by typing in your message and pressing the 'enter' button.

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If you want to chat with someone new, type in his or her email address in the "New Hangout" text field, which will be right under your name, to invite him or her to chat with you.

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The next time they are online, they will confirm you as a contact so the two of you can chat in the future.