I love Google+ Hangouts, though I mostly use it for chat and Google Voice calls, it’s still one of the most used utilities I have, maybe after email.

I suspect the problem that I face with it, is the same as many of you, who may have a personal Gmail, but also, a secondary, or a Google Apps email. Your contacts are different in those accounts, but you want to be able to access all your contacts via the Hangouts.

The issue isn’t that you can’t do it, as a matter of fact there are multiple ways of doing it, which I’ll share briefly, but I won’t linger on those, as I opted to tell you exactly about the most efficient way that I found.

  • The first method is Google’s native way, of logging into multiple accounts within the same browser. Once you do, you will end up with multiple tabs on your browser, each of which belongs to one of your accounts, and has its own Hangouts module. The main problem with this is that you’re always fumbling around between your dozens of already open tabs to go back to one of your gmail accounts where a hangout chat is happening. You can always “Pop-out” these chats, but then you’re stuck with these chats being stuck behind all your other windows. This is probably the best and easiest method, if you don’t want to spend the time to use other methods.
  • The second method is for Mac users only, though, in essence, it ends up still being a Browser based solution, though, with this method, your gmail accounts will be separated from your other browsing content. You can do this by essentially creating an app that only runs Gmail. There is a small you can download an app, to create the app. It sounds kind of funny, but that’s exactly what it does: It’s FluidApp. It is free, and can add a couple additional features for $4.99. I haven’t had the need to upgrade. Perhaps I’ll write another post on how to setup FluidApp to run your Gmail account. For now, I’ll leave it at that.
    The downside of the FluidApp is the same as the browser, but it has a bit of a separation between the two.
  • The final method which I implemented on my system today, and works amazing, is the following:

In Summary: This assumes you’re using Google Chrome: Create a new Google Chrome User for each Gmail account you have, for which you want a new Hangout module, then install the Google Hangouts Extension on each of the profiles. Now sign in to your different accounts on each of the profiles, and launch the Hangouts extension. You will now end up with 2 different Hangouts instances, both belonging to each of your Gmail accounts.
The Details:
First things first: Create a new Google Chrome Profile for each of your Hangout accounts. Navigate to Tools -> Settings and then select “Add New User”. Select an Avatar, and click ok.

Add New Chrome User

Add New Chrome User

Now install the Hangouts extension> on each of these profiles:

Hangouts Extension

Hangouts Extension

Once installed, you will see the icon for Hangouts on the top right of your browser.

Now, all you have to do is Launch your Google Chrome profiles. From your Dock, right click on the Google Chrome icon, and select the profiles one after the other.  (Under Users)

Start Google with the specific profile.

Start Google with the specific profile.

A new browser window will open for each of the profiles. The good news is that you don’t need to keep a browser window open. You just need the browser window to launch the Hangouts module (by clicking on the extension button), then you can close it.

At this point, you’re all set. You should see 2 hangout modules tucked away on the bottom right of your screen, and can pop up when you need them, and they’re never behind other windows when you need them. It’ll look something like this:

View of both chat modules on the bottom of the screen

View of both chat modules on the bottom of the screen

I hope you found this tip to be useful. The article and explanation seems much more convoluted than it actually is. Try it, and post any questions in the comments.

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