The most common Google Hangouts problems and how to fix them

When technology works right, it enriches our lives and can make previously tiresome tasks easier to deal with. But when it doesn’t work, most of us get frustrated and don’t know where to start troubleshooting. If you’ve had trouble with Google Hangouts, we’re here for you.

Having used it for quite some time, we’ve put together our list of the most common issues with Google Hangouts and how to fix them. Whether you can’t get your camera connected or have glitches while inviting new friends, you can find out how to correct them here.

I can’t send a message from my computer, or I can’t make or receive calls

Messaging and calling are the core experiences of Google Hangouts, and it really can be frustrating if these functions aren’t working properly. No need to worry, though, as there are some fixes for this problem.

For sending and receiving messages

Typically, when you can’t send a message from Google Hangouts on your computer, the error could be related to a server problem. As you send your message, it won’t go through to the receiver, and you’ll see a red circle with an exclamation mark in the middle. If this is the case, you’ll want to check your internet connection on your device and try sending the message again. We have a guide that can help. You can also try connecting to another website first to see if your internet connection is solid.

If you get this error, your message might not be stored in your conversation history. The message might also not show on other devices. Finally, if your contact isn’t online, they might not see the message when they sign in.

If you’re still experiencing problems, the issue might be related to Google’s own Hangouts servers. Google recommends that you wait for a few minutes, then try sending the message again.

You also can try signing out and signing back in. You can do this by clicking your Profile Picture on the top-right corner of the screen and clicking Sign Out.

For making and receiving calls

Before we get into making and receiving calls in Hangouts, here’s a bit of useful background information on the service: Google has said that there are situations in which someone simply would not be able to make or receive calls via what they refer to as classic Hangouts.

Namely, that users with Google Voice for G Suite accounts provided by their school or workplace would not have access to calling features via classic Hangouts.

Instead, they are expected to receive calls via Google Voice.

Furthermore, Google has also stated that the phone calls feature currently in classic Hangouts “will be turned off in early 2021,” and that if U.S. customers wish to make calls after the feature is turned off in 2021, they can continue to do so by upgrading to Google Voice.

In the meantime, those who don’t want to switch to Google Voice or those who are non-U.S. customers can still use the calling feature in Hangouts for the rest of the year but not thereafter.

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