How to Control the Chat History Settings in Google Chat for Google Workspace Users

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Google Workspace administrators

  • You can control the default history setting of all chats in Google Chat 
  • You can also prevent users from updating the history setting on their own.

How the history in Google Chat works

Here are some essential details about the way chat history works:

  • History settings apply to direct messages, group messages, and unthreaded rooms.
  • History is always on in rooms with threaded conversations and can never be changed.
  • History changes apply only to new messages. For example, If you turn chat history on, only new messages will be saved.
  • If you turn it off, messages you already saved will remain saved.

Chatting from different regions

  • If history is forced on, people in different data regions can’t chat.
  • If you allow users to change their history setting, it will automatically be turned off when people from different data regions chat.

Google Vault and Google Chat history

  • Google Vault can’t hold, retain, or search direct messages sent with history turned off.
  • If history is on, you can use Vault to control message retention.

When history is off

  • When history is off, messages get deleted after 24 hours. 
  • Data is not reported in the Audit report (Reports > Audit > Hangouts Chat) for direct messages sent with history off.

How to manage the Google Chat history settings in Google Admin step-by-step with images

Step 1

How To Control The Chat History In Google Chat For Google Workspace Users - Step 1

In the Admin console at, click the Apps icon.

Step 2

How To Control The Chat History In Google Chat For Google Workspace Users - Step 2

Select Google Workspace.

Step 3

How To Control The Chat History In Google Chat For Google Workspace Users - Step 3

Click Google Chat and classic Hangouts. Make sure not to check the box to the left; just click the service’s name.

Step 4

How To Control The Chat History In Google Chat For Google Workspace Users - Step 4

Click the History for Chats section.

Step 5

How To Control The Chat History In Google Chat For Google Workspace Users - Step 5

Choose if you want history to be ON or OFF by default and whether to Allow users to change their history setting or not, then SAVE. 

Note that changes may need up to 24 hours to take effect.

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