How do I get Google Voice chat?

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a free call forwarding and voicemail service from Google that provides users with a Google phone number. With Google Voice, users can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, review voicemail transcripts, and more. Some key features and benefits of Google Voice include:

Definition of Google Voice:

  • Virtual phone number – Users get a free Google phone number that can ring multiple devices.
  • Voicemail and transcription – Voicemails are recorded, transcribed, and accessible online or via app.
  • Call and text forwarding – Calls and texts to the Google number can ring linked phones and devices.
  • Free calling – Google Voice offers free calling within the US and Canada.

Overview of features:

In addition to the core phone number, voicemail, and call/text forwarding features, Google Voice also includes call screening, call blocking, conference calling, call recording, voicemail greeting management, SMS messaging, MMS photo messaging, group messaging, and more.

Benefits of using Google Voice:

  • Single number – Have one number ring multiple devices.
  • Spam call blocking – Block unwanted calls.
  • Voicemail access – Retrieve voicemail from anywhere via app or website.
  • Affordable long distance – Make free calls within US and Canada.
  • Call recording – Record calls for reference.
  • Advanced features – Take advantage of call screening, conference calling, and more.

In summary, Google Voice provides a free virtual phone number with powerful call and text management features, voicemail transcription, free domestic calling, and more benefits.

How to Get Google Voice

Getting started with Google Voice requires first verifying your eligibility. Google Voice is currently only available in the United States. You’ll need a Gmail account and a US phone number capable of receiving calls and texts to sign up for Google Voice.

To get started, go to and either sign in with your Google Account or create a new one. Read through the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, then click “I agree” to continue. On the signup page, enter your existing US phone number that can receive verification codes.

Google will then call your number with a 6-digit verification code. Enter this code and choose your new Google Voice number from the available options. Google Voice will send a text to your number with another confirmation code to enter. Once verified, your Google Voice number will be ready to use.

The signup process involves eligibility checks, entering your phone number, receiving and confirming verification codes via call and text, and selecting your new Google Voice number.

Activate Google Voice Chat

To start using Google Voice chat, you first need to enable the feature in your Google Voice settings. Here are the steps:

On your computer, go to and log into your Google Voice account. Click on the settings icon in the top right corner and select “Settings”.

Under the “Calls” tab, check the box next to “Enable calling on this device”. Make sure “Enable calling to multiple devices” is also checked. This allows you to take calls on all your linked devices.

You also need to link your Google Voice number to Gmail. Under the “Phones” tab in settings, add your Gmail address. Click “Verify” to confirm it.

Once enabled in settings, Google Voice chat is supported on iOS and Android devices through the Google Voice app. On desktop, you can access it through Gmail after linking your Google Voice number.

Using Google Voice Chat

Google Voice users can start one-on-one or group chats directly within the Google Voice app or website. To start a new chat, simply tap the Chat icon and select the contact or group you want to message.

Group chats allow up to 150 participants, making Google Voice a great option for families, teams, or organizations to communicate. Within chats, users can send text, images, voice messages, and more. Google Voice chats also indicate when someone is actively typing.

Other Google Voice chat features include read receipts, the ability to react with emojis, and options to delete or report messages. Users can access chat history across devices by logging into the same Google account.

Google Voice Chat on Mobile

The Google Voice mobile app allows you to use chat on both Android and iOS devices. The mobile app provides full access to Google Voice’s messaging capabilities.

On Android, you can download the Google Voice app from the Google Play Store. On iOS, you can download it from the App Store. Signing in with your Google account will activate chat within the app.

Features of the Google Voice mobile chat include:

  • Send and receive chat messages with any Google Voice user.
  • Group chats with multiple users.
  • Chat history saved within the app.
  • Receive notifications when new messages arrive.
  • Works over both WiFi and cellular data connections.

The Google Voice app provides full access to Google Voice’s messaging platform while on the go. Both Android and iOS users can enjoy feature-rich messaging through the mobile app.

Google Voice Chat on Desktop

You can use Google Voice chat on your desktop computer through the web browser or by installing the Google Voice desktop app. Here are a few options for enabling Google Voice chat on Mac and Windows computers:

Use the Google Voice website ( – You can start a chat session directly in your browser by going to the Google Voice website and signing into your account. The web app allows you to send and receive chats just like on mobile.

Install browser extensions – There are Google Voice extensions available for Chrome and Firefox that provide quick access to Google Voice and enable desktop notifications for new chats (

Use the desktop app – Google provides a Voice desktop app for Mac and Windows that runs natively on your computer. It provides all the chat features in a dedicated app window for easy access (

So in summary, Google Voice gives you multiple options for taking advantage of chat on desktop, including the web app, browser extensions, and native desktop apps for maximum convenience.

Chat History and Management

Google Voice saves a transcript of all your incoming and outgoing chats, allowing you to view your chat history at any time. To view your chat history in the Google Voice app, tap on the Chat tab. Here you’ll see a list of your recent chats.

To view the full transcript of a chat, simply tap on the conversation. You can scroll up to read through the entire chat history. Google Voice also has a search feature that lets you search for specific keywords or phrases within your chats. According to the Google Voice Help article “Search your Voice history,” you can type a query like “chat with John about dinner last week” to pull up relevant chats (1).

To keep your chat history organized, Google Voice allows you to archive chats that you want to store but keep out of your main list. Archiving a chat removes it from the main Chat tab, but it remains accessible in your Archived chats list. To archive a chat, tap the three-dot menu icon next to the conversation and select Archive. You can also unarchive chats if you need to access them again later.

Google Voice Chat Settings

Google Voice gives users a variety of options to customize notifications and privacy preferences for voice chat.

To access the settings, open the Google Voice app and tap the menu icon in the top left corner. Then select “Settings” and choose “Notifications” to manage preferences for call and voicemail notifications.

Users can enable or disable notifications for incoming calls, voicemails, and text messages. There are also options to set notification sounds and vibrate preferences. Muting notifications for a set duration is also possible. These controls allow customizing notifications to user needs and preferences.

For privacy, Google Voice has options under “Calls started from:” to limit where calls can be started from. Choices include “My devices only” which restricts calling to only recognized devices logged into a Google Account. There is also “Any device” to permit calling from any device, even unrecognized ones. This gives users control over call privacy.

Additional notification and privacy settings are available under “Legacy settings” as well. Overall, Google Voice provides granular controls over notifications and privacy to optimize the voice chat experience.

Troubleshooting Google Voice Chat

If you’re having issues with Google Voice chat, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve common problems:

Fixing connection issues:

  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection when attempting to use Google Voice chat features. Connect to Wifi or switch to a cellular data connection if needed.
  • Restart your mobile device or desktop computer to refresh the network connections.
  • Clear the cache and data for the Google Voice app on your device, then re-launch it. This can fix connection issues caused by corrupt temporary data.
  • If other apps are working fine, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Google Voice app to eliminate software errors.

Workarounds for other common issues:

  • Check that your microphone and speakers are not muted or disabled if you can’t hear audio.
  • Make sure you have sufficient calling credit if using a free Google Voice number.
  • Enable notifications for the Google Voice app if incoming calls are not ringing.
  • Restart your device if the app is frozen or unresponsive during a call.
  • Update to the latest version of the Google Voice app if available.

If nothing seems to resolve your Google Voice chat problems, Google’s troubleshooting tips provide additional steps to try.

Google Voice Chat Alternatives

There are some compelling alternative services and apps to Google Voice Chat for free or low-cost calling with built-in chat features. These include other VoIP services like RingCentral, Dialpad, and Nextiva (Forbes, 2022).

RingCentral, for example, stands out for its comprehensive calling and communication tools including video calls, team messaging, and integrated texting. Meanwhile Dialpad is praised for its AI-powered features like real-time transcription. Nextiva packs a robust suite of tools beyond just voice calls such as analytics, CRM integrations, live chat and more.

There are also popular standalone chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal and Telegram that can be leveraged for free messaging outside of a phone plan. These provide reliable encrypted messaging and group chat capabilities without being tied to your mobile number.

Evaluating features like team accounts, integrations, number provisioning, call forwarding and auto-attendants can help find the ideal alternative for your needs if Google Voice falls short. Prioritizing secure messaging and a quality mobile experience are other key factors for alternatives seeking to replace Google Voice Chat.

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