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How to stop Google Hangouts from running automatically

Google Hangouts is a popular tool for online meetings and it’s being used quite a bit at the moment. The tool works via Chrome and is basically a Chrome app that’s tied to the same Google account that you use in the browser. It runs automatically when you launch Chrome, and it continues to run in the background even if you do not open it yourself. If you’d like to exit Google Hangouts, or stop it from running automatically, you need to tweak its settings. Here are the settings you need to change.

Google Hangouts running when Chrome is closed

Google Hangouts will run even if Chrome is closed. This is the default behavior but it’s easy to change. Open Chrome and click the more options button at the top right. Select Settings from the menu. On the Settings page, scroll to the very end and click the ‘Advanced’ option.

Scroll down to the ‘System’ section and turn off the ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed’ option. Google Hangouts will not run unless you have Chrome open. If you close Chrome, Hangouts will also be closed.

Stop Hangouts from running at Startup

When you open Chrome, it will automatically open Hangouts. If you’d like to prevent that from happening, you need to change a small setting in Hangouts. Open Hangouts and click the hamburger icon at the top left. This will open the Options. Scroll down to the ‘Hangouts app settings’ section and uncheck the ‘Start Hangouts app when Chrome starts’ option.

Exit Hangouts

Now that you’ve stopped Hangouts from running automatically, and from running in the background, you might also want to exit it at will. To exit Hangouts, you need to open the app and click the Hamburger icon. On the Options page, scroll to the end, and click ‘Exit’.

This will exit Hangouts, effectively signing you out of the app. You will not have to close Chrome in order to get rid of it. The app’s icon will continue to appear in the system tray. If you click the icon, it will launch the app and sign you in automatically. If you visit Gmail in your browser, you will be signed into Hangouts on the Gmail web page.

As far as hiding Hangouts from the system tray goes, you can hide it in the overflow menu on Windows 10. On macOS, you can use a third-party app to hide icons in an overflow menu.

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