How to delete messages in Google Hangouts

We have all said things that we wish we could get back. And we have all sent messages that we want to delete. In some cases, it may be possible. Google Hangouts is an application that offers such possibilities.

If you’ve submitted something through Google Hangouts that you want to remove, you’ll be happy to know it’s possible. But there are a few caveats, so read on for more.

Delete messages in Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts has enjoyed an increase in its user base recently. Perhaps, consequently, it also received several updates in a short period.

An update in mid-2019 allowed users to delete messages sent in private chats. Before that, only G Suite business users had the option to delete messages.

Unfortunately, you cannot delete conversations on both ends. That is, even if you delete one, the other participants will be able to access it.

There is no way to delete messages from someone else’s device. Also, note that Google Hangouts does not offer the option to delete individual messages. You can only delete entire conversations with a single user or with a group.

Delete messages from your desktop

The easiest way to delete a message history with someone is to access Google Hangouts from your computer.

  1. Go sign in to your Gmail account and access Hangouts from there.
  2. Now you must mouse over a conversation to reveal a hamburger icon next to it.
  3. Click on the hamburger icon to access a drop-down menu.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select “Delete.”
  5. In the pop-up window, click the “Delete” button again.
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You also have the option to “Archive” the conversation instead. The file removes the conversation from your active list and saves it to your file.

If you just want to hide a conversation to sort your list, it’s best to archive it. That way, you can come back and review it later if necessary.

Deleting a conversation removes it entirely from your records.


If you want to delete a group conversation, you don’t have to go through the problem. Instead, just leave the group and it will disappear from your list.

Turn off conversation history

Deleting messages all the time can be a hassle. You may find it easier to turn off your conversation history if you delete messages frequently.

With conversation history turned off, messages will only stay on your devices until shortly after you’ve seen them. Then the app will remove them. That way, you don’t have to worry about going back and deleting your history.

Here we’ll explain to you how to do it:

  1. Go, or log in from your Gmail account.
  2. Open an active conversation and click the gear icon at the top to open the Settings menu.
  3. In settings, find “Conversation History” and disable it.
  4. Click the “OK” button.

If you modify the conversation history settings in this way, Hangouts will notify all participants in the conversation.

Whenever you want to start saving history again, repeat the process. Check the conversation history box and Hangouts will start tracking your conversations once again.

Again, it is important to note that this is a unilateral action. The conversation history of other participants will be saved on their devices unless they decide not to keep it.

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Delete conversations from the Hangouts mobile app

A similar process will delete conversations in mobile version of Google Hangouts.

  1. Open the Google Hangouts app.
  2. Select the conversation you want to delete.
  3. Click on the hamburger icon in the upper right corner.
  4. Then select “Options” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Touchez “Delete conversation” near the bottom of the options.
  6. Touch “Delete” when the alert appears.

Whether you delete the conversation on a smartphone or other device, it will be deleted everywhere. It deletes it from your Google account, as well as from your connected devices.

Delete an image sent through Google Hangouts

If you want to delete the images you shared in hangouts, you can do it in your Google album. And, this will remove the image at both ends of the conversation.

On your computer, go to In your album file, you will find a folder labeled “hangout photos”. There, you will see all the images that you sent through Google Hangouts. Delete the images you want to delete and they will automatically disappear from the respective conversations.

If other participants downloaded the image before I deleted it, there is not much I can do.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of deleted messages

You have a few options for deleting messages in Hangouts, but none of them can delete messages from the recipient’s device.

If you just want to better manage your conversations or want to protect the information on your devices, you’re covered. You can quickly delete conversations and even prevent Hangouts from crawling your history entirely.

Unfortunately, if you want to “send” a message, there is no real option to do so.

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