How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

Whether you’re a regular user or a self-employed entrepreneur who spends hours sending and reading emails, you probably do it via Gmail. As Google’s number one email service, hundreds of millions of Gmail customers send billions of emails every day.

One of the advantages of being an official subsidiary of Google means that it has integrated many other services of the tech giant, one of which is Hangouts. Hangouts is not popular with a large group of Gmail user base, seeing it as intrusive. If you want to know how to remove Hangouts, or at least hide it, check out our helpful guide.

What do “Hangouts” mean anyway?

Google Hangouts is officially a “communication software product” – from a layman’s perspective, a chat app aimed at enterprises, similar to Microsoft’s Teams. For many users, especially those who use Gmail for personal emails rather than anything work related, Hangouts tends to be annoying. Reading email takes real estate value without really contributing anything to the user. Therefore, it is understandable that many want to get rid of it.

break conversations

By appearing in the Gmail sidebar, one can see why it is being intercepted. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to hide it from view so that your email reading or writing experience is not significantly hampered.

OK, but how do I remove it?

The answer: very simple. Follow each step below and you won’t see Hangouts for much longer.

  1. Go to your browser and log into your Google account, if you are not already logged in and go to Gmail. Alternatively, you can use this link here .
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar
  2. Once you’re signed in, locate the little “gear” or settings button in the top-right corner of the screen, near your profile picture and calendar button.
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar
  3. Click on the gear and then on the “See all settings” menu from the chosen drop-down menu.
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar
  4. On the top bar from the menu that appears, select the Chat & Meeting option, then simply choose Off.
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar
  5. Finally, click on Save Changes and let the page reload.
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

Once the page loads again, you’ll see your normal inbox, with a noticeable change in the bottom left where the Hangouts window used to be – it’s now gone!

How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

Accordingly, you’ve just gained valuable screen space, which is worth it if you’re working on a smaller screen. In these cases, you need as much available space as possible, and if sacrificing hangouts is what it takes, that’s a price most of us are willing to pay.

Extra space

As mentioned, most people want to remove Hangouts in order to get more screen space, especially in crowded inboxes. However, there are some other things you can do to get the same results.

Display Density

If you don’t really care about cool looking email labels or stickers and just want to be able to look at email addresses in a jiffy, you can adjust the screen density from the Default option to the Comfortable or Compact option.

How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

The convenient option will remove any unnecessary crunch on emails and will make them easier to distinguish. However, some users may not notice much change.

The compact option will reduce the space occupied by a single email, giving you a more concise overview of your inbox. Perfect when you’re trying to be tidy.

side panel

Much like the sidebar on the left that acts as a navigation float, taking you from one folder to the next, the right panel offers some additional optional functions. By default, you get access to your calendar as well as Google Keep and the Google Tasks apps, which, while useful to some, may just be an annoyance for the average user.

The best part is that the panel is easily hidden from view, simply by clicking on the little arrow in the bottom right corner of your inbox.

How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

All you have to do is tap on it, and boom, you’ve gained an inch or so of space. Some would say it’s not much, but it can make a big difference.

Preview pane

This option may already be disabled, depending on some variables. But if email previews aren’t turned off, it can help remove more clutter from your inbox.

Fortunately, this tip is very easy, just like the previous tips. To make sure the Preview pane is turned off, do the following:

  1. Head to the gear or options menu in the upper right again, where we previously turned off chat.
  2. Next, click on the “Inbox” section.
  3. Finally, make sure that Enable Reading Pane is set to Disabled in the menu that appears, like so:
    How to Hide Google Hangouts from the Gmail Sidebar

And that’s all there is to it.

Say hello to a clutter-free inbox

Voila. That concludes our short but cute guide to removing Hangouts and gaining some extra space in your Gmail inbox. As simple as that, these options sometimes tend to be hidden under ten different menus, so it never hurts to consult an online guide to make sure.