Getting Started Back to top
Google Talk is easy to use. You can be instant messaging and talking with your friends for free in no time. This page will help you get started. For more detailed information, please visit our Help Center.
Download the 900k application. It will take a few seconds over a broadband connection or about three minutes over a typical modem. Google Talk requires Windows XP/2000 with a minimum 56k connection speed (broadband is recommended).
Sign in with your Gmail username and password.
Your Gmail contacts are pre-loaded into Google Talk. Your most frequently-emailed contacts are at the top of your Friends list.
If some people from your Friends list already have Google Talk, they will have an icon that looks like a colored ball next to their name, and you can call or IM them immediately.
If another Google Talk user wants to add you to their Friends list, you will see an alert at the top of your screen.
You can also invite any of your other friends to download Google Talk so you can talk to each other for free.
Inviting your friends Back to top
Mouse over a name and click on the Invite button or click Add friend to invite multiple people at once.
Pick from your Gmail Contacts list, or enter an email address directly. To add more than one person at a time, separate the addresses with a comma. When you've added all the names you want, click Next.
You can invite an unlimited number of Gmail users to download Google Talk and get added to your Friends list.
Because Google Talk requires a Gmail username and password, if you're not inviting someone at their Gmail address, we will also include an invitation to open a Gmail account.
The number of non-Gmail users you can invite at any one time is determined by the number of Gmail invitations you have left in your account. We try to make sure users have lots of Gmail invitations to give away but if you run out, please be patient. Normally, users receive more Gmail invitations within a day or two.
After you've invited your friends, (invited) will appear next to your names.
Once they accept your invitation, download Google Talk and sign in, they'll have a colored ball icon next to their name. And if they're online, you'll be able to talk or IM with them instantly.
Using Google Talk Back to top
When Google Talk is installed, it automatically starts when you turn on your computer (you can turn this off in Settings).
Once you sign in, Google Talk automatically displays the people you communicate with most often, sorted by availability status and then alphabetically. You can also choose to display all of your Gmail contacts by right-clicking and selecting Also show Gmail contacts.
Ball icons in different colors and with different symbols indicate the availability of your friends.
Available to talk or chat
Friends without a ball by their names are your Gmail contacts who have not yet installed Google Talk.
How do I set my availability status?
You can set your availability status or customize a message that appears when others mouse over your name in their Google Talk window.
How do I search for my friends?
Search your Friends list by typing a name into the search box.
How do I send an IM or email?
Click on a name to open a chat window. You may have as many chat windows open as you like at one time.
Type directly into the box to send an IM.
Send an email using your Gmail account by clicking on the Email button, or by clicking on the icon next to a name directly from your Friends list.
How do I make a call?
To call a friend, click on the Call button from an open chat window. You can also make a call by clicking on the icon next to a name directly from your Friends list.
You can have multiple calls underway at once–but only one can be active at a time. The other calls must be on hold.
To talk with your friends, you must have a computer microphone and speakers. Many PC laptops today have these built-in. Google Talk also works with USB phones and wired and wireless headsets. We recommend using a headset for the best voice quality.
Customizing Google Talk Back to top
Click on the Settings link to customize Google Talk, including who appears on your Friends list, people you want to block, saving your chat history, notifications, and audio settings.