Google Hangout/Video Call

Getting started with Google Hangout Video Call

How to check your video and audio settings

Using other options

How to share your PowerPoint onscreen with participants

Where to find help and learn about advanced features

Note: These instructions were correct at the time of writing. Google changes features from time to time. For Google’s support page, click here.

Getting started with Google Hangout video call

Google Hangouts offers several ways for a group of people who have Google accounts to conduct a meeting. You can start a multi-user text chat with Message, a voice telephone conference with Phone Call, or a Video Call with voice, computer screen sharing, and a webcam.  Up to 25 people can participate in a meeting (up to 250 people through 7-1-2020).

This article is about Video Calls.You can use desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones to make a video call. Anything that has a microphone and camera built in or plugged into it and uses the Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX, Apple iOS, or Android operating systems can use it.

Type into your browser. Chrome works best with Hangouts, but other browsers, including Safari, will work with it.

Click on Video Call. Sign in with your Google account username and password. If the Hangout Plugin isn’t on the device you’re using, you’ll see a dialog box that asks if you want to install it.

Click on Install Plugin and allow the installation. When that finishes, Allow the Hangout to use your camera and microphone.

Click the green plus symbol next to Start or Join Hangout or Enter a Hangout Name. You have the option to name the Hangout or not. You can also schedule a hangout and name the participants by clicking on the clock symbol. Participants will see the hangout name on their Google Calendar and will be reminded to join.

Enter the names or email addresses of the people you want to invite, and click Invite:

invite others

If you have logged in with a Mary Baldwin Google account, Hangout defaults to only allowing participants with Mary Baldwin accounts to join the meeting. You can change this:

allow others from outside mbc

The hangout begins. The people you invite will see a popup on their screen and hear a tone if they have Gmail open, but this does not last very long. You should alert them in advance to look for the invitation.

IF MEETING ATTENDEES DO NOT JOIN – copy the URL at the top of the Google Hangout and email it to the attendees. They will be able to click on the URL and join the Hangout.

Checking your video and audio settings for Google Hangouts

Once you open a “hangout”, you may adjust your camera/speaker/microphone settings.

1.) Make sure your camera, microphone and headphones are connected, if necessary.

2.) Select the Settings Icon at the top of the Hangout screen.



3.)  Here, you may select and test the various hardware options along with seeing a preview image of your camera.



4.) Save changes or cancel and exit.

 Using other options

Select the following from the top of the Hangout screen.

1.) Invite People – Use to invite additional participants

2.) Mute Microphone – Turn your microphone off

3.) Turn Camera Off – Blank your camera, audio will still be heard

4.) Adjust Bandwidth Usage – Adjust this if you are on a slow connection or are experiencing picture freezes or audio distortion.

5.) Settings – Select your camera, speaker, and microphone.

6.) Leave Call – Leave your Hangout.


Select the following from the left side of your Hangout screen:

1.) Chat – Opens a chat window on the right side where you can chat with participants

2.) Screenshare – Share your screen or specific applications on screen.

3.) Capture – Capture screenshots and share them automatically with participants.

4.) Draw – Allows you to draw on-screen for others viewers to see.

5.) Effects – Allows you to be annoying.

6.) Add Apps – Add additional capabilities for Hangouts.



How to share your PowerPoint onscreen with participants

It is best to change some settings in PowerPoint before you try to share in order to make things easier. You may also want to close any extra windows that you may have open.

1.) Open PowerPoint then click on the Slideshow tab. Select Set Up Slide Show. Finally, under Show Type select Browsed by an individual (Window) and under Show options select Loop continuously until ‘Esc’. This allows you to easily navigate between your PowerPoint presentation and Hangouts. It also will jump to the first slide after the last allowing you to manually end the presentation.



2.) Start your slideshow (it should be in a window and not fullscreen).

3.) In Hangouts, select Screenshare then select your PowerPoint Slideshow from the list of options. If you have many programs open, it may be necessary to slide the slider on the right to locate your slideshow.

4.) Select Share to start presenting it to your viewers.

Hangout_19a    Hangout_20a



Where to find help and learn about advanced features

1.) To find help with Hangouts, you may select the Help button in the lower left corner of the program.


You may also visit the Google help page at:

Google Hangouts Help Center