Skip to main content

How to use Google Meet

Google Meet is Google’s videoconferencing service, which allows for up to 100 individuals to chat at a time (or up to 250 individuals on select business plans). The best part about the service is that it is free to use, and all video meetings are encrypted in transit to help prevent anyone from snooping in on your conversations. Follow this guide to learn exactly how to use Google Meet and get started connecting to your friends, family, and co-workers.

Start a Google Meet video meeting

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you are starting the Google Meet conference, you can follow these steps to get started. Note, you will need a Google account or G Suite account to begin. If you are using a G Suite business account, your administrator must enable the service before you can start using it. At this time, Google Meet supports the Chrome web browser, as well as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari. Additionally, Google Meet can be used on iOS and Android devices.

Mac or PC

If you are on a Mac or Windows PC, you can follow these instructions to start a Google Meet video meeting. Be sure to use one of the compatible web browsers, as mentioned above.

Step 1: Visit the Google Meet website.

Step 2: Click either Join or Start a Meeting.

Step 3: If prompted, enter a meeting nickname (for G Suite users).

Step 4: Click the Join Now button.

To invite individuals to your Google Meet video meeting, you can click the Meeting Details button in the lower-left corner. Then copy the link and share it with anyone you wish to join. Alternatively, you can click the Add People button (shown as a person with a plus symbol) in the top-right corner, then select Invite and enter the person’s email address.

Android or iOS

If you are using a mobile device running Android or iOS, you can follow these instructions to start a Google Meet video meeting. Before beginning, make sure you download the official Google Meet app from either the Android Play Store or iOS AppStore.

Step 1: Open the Meet app.

Step 2: Tap the New Meeting button (shown as a plus symbol).

Step 3: If prompted, enter a meeting nickname (for G Suite users).

Step 4: Tap Join Meeting.

To invite individuals to your Google Meet video meeting, tap the Info button (i), then select the Share option. Choose how you wish to share the meeting information with your friends, family, or co-workers.

Joining a Google Meet video meeting

Riley Young/Digital Trends

There are quite a few different ways that you can join a Google Meet video meeting. We will be reviewing the most popular options, including from inside Gmail, from Google Calendar, using a meeting link URL, and using a telephone. Follow the steps below based on how you wish to join a Google Meet video meeting.

From Gmail

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 1: Visit the Gmail website.

Step 2: On the left side, click Join a Meeting.

Step 3: Enter the meeting code or nickname you received.

Step 4: Click the Join button.

One improvement Google has made to the Gmail process is creating a dedicated Meet tab on the Gmail app for mobile devices. If you’re on a mobile device, you can now navigate to the Meet section to check meet invites and join meetings without needing to open a new app or tab. This also makes it very easy to accept invitations.

From Google Calendar

Step 1: Open your Google calendar.

Step 2: Locate the event and click on it.

Step 3: Select the Join with Google Meet option.

Step 4: Click, Join Now.

From a meeting link (URL)

Step 1: Locate the meeting link URL sent to you.

Step 2: Click on the Google Meet URL.

Step 3: Wait for approval to be admitted to the meeting if required.

From a telephone

Step 1: Locate the phone number provided for your Google Meet.

Step 2: Dial the phone number on your telephone.

Step 3: When prompted, enter the PIN provided, tap the # button.

Settings to alter during a meeting

Google Meet
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google allows you to alter certain settings during a Google Meet video call, such as the layout, provided captions, and control over your microphone and camera. These are the most common actions.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Change meeting view

Step 1: While on a PC or Mac, click the More button (three vertical dots), then click Change Layout.

Step 2: Here you can select from a collection of views — automatic, tiled, spotlight, and sidebar.

Step 3: Once you choose a layout, it will be saved for the next time you use Meet.

Viewing closed captions

On a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device, click the [CC] captions button to turn on or off English captions; this button may be hidden under the More button (three vertical dots) section.

Present high-quality video

Meet can also show high-quality video with included audio content during a meeting. This includes YouTube videos, GIFs, animations, and other media you may need to use as guides, examples, or tutorials. However, it only works via Chrome, so you’ll need to be using the Chrome browser when trying this.

Step 1: To begin, while in a meeting, select the Present now button and choose Chrome tab from the list of options.

Step 2: Meet will then display the open Chrome tabs you have to choose from. It’s a good idea to have a Chrome tab prepared with your video or other media beforehand for this moment. Select the right tab, make sure the Share audio option is enabled, and select Share.

Step 3: You can now play the video in the tab and everyone will be able to see and hear it.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Send a chat message

Step 1: On a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device, click the Chat button (sometimes shown as a tiny text bubble).

Step 2: Enter the message you wish to send to the room, and click the Send button (shown as a small paper airplane).

Present your screen

Step 1: On a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device, click the More button (three vertical dots), then click the Present Screen option and click Start Broadcast to begin.

Step 2: To stop presenting, return to Google Meet, and click Stop Broadcast.

Record a meeting

Step 1: On a PC or Mac, click the More button (three vertical dots), then click Record Meeting.

Step 2: To stop, repeat the steps, and click Stop Recording.

Step 3: Note that participants will be notified when anyone begins recording the meeting. Additionally, the video recording will be saved to your Google Drive for later retrieval.

Turn noise cancellation on

Step 1: Meet can use A.I. to filter out sounds that aren’t voices. You can turn this feature on by selecting the three-dot Settings menu, choosing Audio, and enabling Noise cancellation.

Step 2: This should not affect any other voices, including radio voices and people in the same room.

Stop your webcam or mute your microphone

Step 1: On a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device, click the round microphone button to mute or unmute your microphone.

Step 2: Similarly, click the round camera icon (shown as a box with a triangle on the right side) to turn on or turn off your webcam.

Latest specialized Meet features

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google has been applying lots of updates and new features to Meet in 2020, many specifically designed to make teacher/classroom conferences easier. Features worth checking out and practicing with include:

Jamboard

Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows attendees to draw, scribble, and annotate in a versatile space. The Jamboard can be viewed and used by all members of the meeting, but for classroom sessions, the teacher can restrict it to themselves or whoever is the current presenter. It’s also designed to be used as a brainstorming tool!

Breakout rooms

One important feature that Meet was previously missing was the ability to sort into breakout rooms, or divide a current group into smaller digital sessions where they can talk and work together. This is a very important feature for both businesses and classrooms, and is now available on Meet with an excellent interface and great management options. Google also intends to add timers and an “ask for help” button to give teachers even more options when in breakout mode.

Attendance reports

G Suite Enterprise for Education customers now have access to easy attendance reports as well. These are automatically generated reports created in Google Sheets, and show the names and email of everyone present in the meeting, including information on when they joined, when they left, and how long they were there. Google will also be adding the ability for teachers to enable or disable this feature as needed.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Q&A sessions

Q&A Mode is a new optional Education feature that benefits teachers and students. The advanced chat lets students ask their teacher questions during a lesson. The teacher can choose whether or not to use the feature and can hide questions from the group that may seem inappropriate or off-subject.

Polling tool

The polling tool is a new feature that we anticipate will get a more significant rollout soon. Teachers can use it to insert a quick, live quiz in the middle of a lesson in order to test student’s comprehension levels and provide immediate feedback for educators.

Is Zoom better than Google Meet?

Zoom and Google Meet are neck-and-neck in most competitions. The video conferencing tools are similar, with the most distinguishable feature being their cost. Currently, Google Meet is 100% free for up to 100 participants for meetings up to 60 minutes. Zoom offers free virtual meetings for up to 100 people, but for only 40 minutes. For teams who prefer to get in and get out, this won’t be an issue. But most teams will find themselves needing to purchase a monthly or yearly subscription to extend meeting times. On top of that, Zoom has previously faced some privacy issues, making some feel more comfortable trusting their video conferencing to Google. You can check out Google’s Meet security measures here.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
The 23 best Google Chrome themes in 2024
google wants to kill urls make the internet safer chrome url

There's lots of ways to add a little pizzazz to your Google Chrome browser's interface. The quickest way, though, is to just add a theme. In just a few clicks, you could be staring at a beautiful cityscape or a cute puppy instead of that default Google logo and a boring white background.

But if you're having trouble picking a theme from the sea of choices Chrome Web Store has to offer, we can help narrow your options down a bit. Below, you'll find our picks for the best Google Chrome themes. On our list, you'll find great options for minimalist themes, dark themes, colorful themes, landscape themes, cityscape themes, and even cute animal themes. With our list, you're sure to find the theme that's right for you.
Best minimalist themes
Chrome looks decent on its own. It's simple, straightforward, and easy on the eyes. If you like that style and you're looking for a theme that's along those lines, these minimalist themes are for you. They take that classic Chrome aesthetic and make some subtle changes.

Read more
How to get Wi-Fi access anywhere at any time
The Netgear Nighthawk AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router on a table.

If you can't get Wi-Fi access at home, you're probably wondering what your options are or even if you have any options. You do! Your options for Wi-Fi access will vary depending on your own personal situation, but our guide below will show you what kinds of Wi-Fi access is available to you, should you find yourself without Wi-Fi at home.
Let's take a look at some free and paid ways to get Wi-Fi access.

If driving/commuting is an option

Read more
How to fix a broken keyboard: common issues and solutions
logiech ergo k860 review logitech keyboard 4

Few things are more frustrating than when your keyboard stops working. From keys not responding correctly to power issues and backlighting problems, a lot can go wrong with keyboards, even if you have one of the best keyboards. Let’s take a look at common problems users experience and which solutions can get you back to typing ASAP.
The keyboard becomes unresponsive
If the keyboard was working fine before but suddenly stops working altogether, it's probably a power or software issue. If you have a wired keyboard, check that your connection to the computer is stable and in place. Unplug it and plug it back in again if necessary. For wireless keyboards, check that they still have battery life and plug them into a source of power, or replace the power if they've run out.

On the software side, if you have a wireless keyboard, try disabling the Bluetooth connection and re-enabling it to see if this helps, or switching between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless. If not, look to see if you need any updates, and install them. You should also go to the Device Manager and the Keyboards sections to check if any drivers need to be individually updated with a new version.

Read more