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

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.

  1. Visit the Google Meet website.
  2. Click either Join or Start a Meeting.
  3. If prompted, enter a meeting nickname (for G Suite users).
  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.

  1. Open the Meet app.
  2. Tap the New Meeting button (shown as a plus symbol).
  3. If prompted, enter a meeting nickname (for G Suite users).
  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

  1. Visit the Gmail website.
  2. On the left side, click Join a Meeting.
  3. Enter the meeting code or nickname you received.
  4. Click the Join button.

From Google Calendar

  1. Open your Google calendar.
  2. Locate the event and click on it.
  3. Select the Join with Google Meet option.
  4. Click, Join Now.

From a meeting link (URL)

  1. Locate the meeting link URL sent to you.
  2. Click on the Google Meet URL.
  3. Wait for approval to be admitted to the meeting if required.

From a telephone

  1. Locate the phone number provided for your Google Meet.
  2. Dial the phone number on your telephone.
  3. When prompted, enter the PIN provided, tap the # button.

Settings to alter during a meeting

Google Meet

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.

Change meeting view

While on a PC or Mac, click the More button (three vertical dots), then click Change Layout. Here you can select from a collection of views — automatic, tiled, spotlight, and sidebar.

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.

Send a chat message

On a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device, click the Chat button (sometimes shown as a tiny text bubble). Enter the message you wish to send to the room, and click the Send button (shown as a small paper airplane).

Present your screen

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

Record a meeting

On a PC or Mac, click the More button (three vertical dots), then click Record Meeting. To stop, repeat the steps, and click Stop Recording. 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.

Stop your webcam or mute your microphone

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

Is Zoom better than Google Meet?

Both Google Meet and Zoom are video conferencing solutions that provide similar features. The biggest standout features are pricing. Google Meet is entirely free for up to 100 participants at a time for up to 60 minutes. For Zoom, a free option is also available, allowing for up to 100 participants at a time for up to 40 minutes. Times can be extended on both services but will require a monthly or yearly subscription. Additionally, Zoom has incurred privacy issues in the past, which will make some feel more comfortable trusting their video moments to Google.

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