How to Delete a Single Message in Hangouts
Sometimes, you wish you hadn’t just pressed “send” on that last message, be it an embarrassing spelling mistake, words said in anger, or a message sent to the wrong person. There are many different reasons you might want to delete a single message that you’ve just sent to someone else. Can you do so on Google Hangouts?
You Get What You Paid for
While many chat apps and services allow you to delete a message, unfortunately Google Hangouts doesn’t. That is, unless you have the paid ‘enterprise’ version known as Hangouts Chat which comes as part of the G Suite service offered by Google to businesses and schools
Despite this having been a requested feature since Hangouts was released back in 2016, Google has refused to allow people to delete single messages. However, considering that the service is going to be shut down by October 2019, it’s understandable that at this stage they are unwilling to add new functionality to Hangouts.
The only workaround for people using the free version is to delete the entire Hangout, which is hardly ideal. If you do delete the Hangout from your side, the person you were talking to will still be able to see all the messages that have been sent so far.
How to Delete a Single Message in Hangouts Chat (G Suite Users Only)
- Open your web browser.
- Type https://chat.google.com into the browser bar and hit enter, or click on this link, to open up Hangouts Chat.
- Choose the contact that you sent the message to and open the chat.
- Click on the message.
- Click on Delete.
As mentioned above, this is only available on the paid G Suite version, called Hangouts chat. If you’re not sure if this is the one you’re using, chances are that it isn’t.
How to Delete a Hangout Chat on a Computer
- Open the web browser on your computer (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera).
- Type https://hangouts.google.com into the browser bar, and press enter, or click on the link here. This will take you to Google Hangouts.
- Click on the speech bubble shaped button on the left-hand side of the browser window to access the list of your current chats.
Then you can use one of the two following methods:
- Select the chat that you want to delete by clicking on it in the list to the left of your screen. This will open up the conversation on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Click on the cog shaped settings button at the top right of the chat window. This will open up the options for the chat.
- Click on Delete Conversation. The conversation will be replaced by a confirmation screen.
- Click Delete at the bottom right of the window to delete the entire chat.
- Hover the cursor over the chat that you want to delete.
- Click on the ⁝ three dots button to the right of the name of the chat.
- Click on Delete.
- A new window will appear with a confirmation dialogue. Click on the red Delete button to the bottom right of this window to delete the chat.
Both of these methods will only work to delete the history of a private conversation between you and a single contact. You can’t delete group chats; you can only leave the group. Again, this won’t delete the conversation from your contact’s side of the chat.
How to Delete a Hangout Chat on a Mobile Device
- Tap on the icon for Google Hangouts, which looks like a green chat bubble with white speech marks in it.
- Tap on the chat that you want to get rid of.
- Tap on the ⁝ three dots or ≡ three lines button at the top right of the screen to get to the settings menu.
- Tap on Options if it is there, otherwise move on to the next stage.
- Tap on Delete Conversation at the bottom of the list.
- When the confirmation dialogue appears, tap through to complete deleting the conversation.
The chat history will now be deleted from all of your devices that are connected to Google Hangouts.
As frustrating as it may be, it’s sadly not possible to delete a single message from a regular Hangout chat. The best you can do is throw the baby out with the bathwater, although if for whatever reason you want the message to be gone from the person you sent it to as well, you’ll have to ask them to delete it from their end.
Have you ever sent a Hangouts message you regretted? Do you prefer messaging platforms where deleting is an option? Let us know in the comments below.