Here’s how to access a Google Meet chat after a meeting:
If you use Google Chat, then the chat logs are saved to your Gmail account, and you can review them there.
If you don’t use Google Chat, the meeting host can save the whole meeting and review the chats at will.
You can also record the meeting or save the chat files with a third-party app.
So if you want to learn all about retrieving chat messages after a Google Meet, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right into it!
What Is a Google Meet?
Before we get into chat logs and workarounds, we can set the stage.
Talking about Google Meet for a minute will help add context and understanding that should empower you as you try to access, record, and otherwise use chats.
Google Meet is a tool made by Google for direct communication.
It allows for video, audio, and chat conferencing, and it is a modern reimagining of an older Google tool known as Hangouts.
Hangouts was released in May of 2013, and it had a consumer and business variation.
The business variation was known as Hangout Meet—with the biggest difference being that Hangouts Meet supported more simultaneous users.
In other words, you could have larger conferences with the Meets version.
In 2017, Google restructured Hangouts and broke it into Google Chat and Google Meet.
Specifically, it was the business side—Hangouts Meet—that was restructured.
The original Hangouts is still available today (though it is upgraded).
The general functionality is the same, but Chat and Meet are a little more streamlined for modern use, offer higher definition features, and can support more advanced encryption for better privacy.
The split also dramatically expanded the maximum number of users in a meeting up to 250.
All of this is to say that “a Google Meet” is a term for using “Google Meet” for communication.
You essentially create a digital meeting (comparable to the Zoom experience).
In that meeting, you can video conference, voice conference, and chat, all at the same time (or only use the one that you prefer).
Meet vs Chat
Since Meet and Chat are separate aspects of the old Hangouts system, it helps to differentiate between the two.
They are trying to provide the same services.
They’re both designed around direct communication and conferencing.
The only major difference is that Meet is designed specifically around voice and video.
Chat is designed to handle text messages, shared files, and collaborative workspaces.
They’re really two halves of the same service, and they integrate seamlessly.
You can set up a Meet from Chat and invite meeting participants into a Chat.
From a user perspective, you can really think of them as different parts of the same tool.
There’s not a lot of need to differentiate between them.
How Do You Access Chat During a Google Meet?
This is where things start to get convoluted, and it’s why we just spent time exploring both Meet and Chat.
Google Meet has its own, self-contained chat function.
When you’re in a meeting, there is a section of the screen designated for chat messages.
You can see them at a glance.
To send such a message, click the “Chat” button at the bottom right and hit “send” or hit the enter button on your keyboard.
I’ll talk about how to save and/or access these messages after the meeting in a later section.
Here’s the tricky part.
You can also combine Google Chat with a specific meeting.
In that case, Chat (note the capital letter) is managing all of the text-based messages for the meeting.
To do this, you need to join the meeting from the Chat app.
You can find detailed explanations for that here.
When Chat and Meet integrate like this, then your text-based messages will be linked to the Chat app.
That’s going to matter later.
How Do You Access Chat After a Google Meet? (4 Ways)
All of that setup information is to make sure that the following steps are easy enough to understand.
The means to access chat messages after a Google Meet depends on how those messages were managed.
In other words, it depends on whether or not Google Chat was involved.
Regardless, there’s a way to see the messages after the meeting (at least, potentially).
There are also third-party resources that you can use to manage and review chat logs.
But, the differentiation between Google Meet and Chat will be paramount in all of this.
With that said, let’s discuss how to look at Chat (again, the capital letter means I’m talking about the specific Google Chat app) after a meeting is finished.
#1 Check Your Chat History
This is the easiest thing.
By default, Google saves all of your Chats.
If you have never changed that setting, then all of your Chats are saved, and they’re easy to find.
Open up your Gmail account.
On the left of the page, you’ll see a list of options.
Those will include your inbox, drafts, social, updates, and more.
Click or tap on “more,” and the list will expand.
Scroll down that list, and eventually, you’ll come to “Chats.” Click or tap on that, and you’ll see all of your saved Chats.
If you set up a Google Meet from Chats, then the text communication from that meeting will also be saved here.
You can browse it as you see fit, and everything is stamped with the date and time of the conversation, so it’s pretty easy to keep track of it all.
Here’s the catch, though.
If you turn off the setting that saves your Chats, then they will be deleted from the Google servers, and you won’t be able to review them using this method.
If you’re not sure, you can go through your Chat settings and see.
When looking at your Chat history, click on the gear icon at the top right of the screen.
This will pull all of your settings.
You might need to click on “see all settings.”
There is a list of options near the top of the screen.
Those include general, labels, inbox, and more.
You want the one that says Chat and Meet.
After you click on it, you can see the setting for conversation history.
That can be on or off.
Turn it off if you don’t want to automatically save chats.
Make sure it is on if you do want to save chats.
If this setting was off during your meeting, then there will not be a chat history that is saved in this way.
It’s gone and deleted, and you can’t get it back.
Despite that, there’s still a chance that the chats still exist; they just won’t be here.
And, that brings us to the next method.
#2 Save the Meeting
At the end of a Google Meet conference, you will have the option to save the meeting.
If you affirm that option, then it will save all of the video, audio, and chat from the entire meeting.
Whether or not you use Google Chat, and whether or not you have chat history enabled, this specific meeting will be saved in its entirety.
You can replay saved meetings at will, and that allows you to go through the chat history of the meeting.
There is one important catch to this.
Only the host of the meeting can choose to save it, and if it is saved, it is saved specifically for the person who hosted the meeting.
If you’re just a participant, you won’t get the option to save the meeting.
Despite that, you can review a saved meeting even if you weren’t the host.
Presuming that the meeting was in fact saved, you can get a download or link to the saved meeting from the host if they are willing to provide it to you.
Once you have access to the saved meeting, you can play it the same as if you were the host.
Linking this back to the previous section, if Chat wasn’t able to automatically save text conversations in the meeting, you can ask for access to the saved meeting (or save it yourself if you’re the host), and this still works just fine.
Naturally, if the meeting is not saved when prompted, it will be deleted from Google servers, and this option will not be available later.
You have to save it right when the meeting ends. That’s the limitation.
#3 Record the Meeting
This is a little more involved and definitely less convenient, but if for any reason the above options don’t work for you, you can record the whole meeting.
You can use any screen recording software for your computer, phone, or any other device you use for the meeting.
That software can record everything you do on the device during the meeting, so the recording you make will see any chat conversations that are on the screen throughout the meeting.
In order to go through those texts, you’ll have to play back your video recording, and it’s less convenient.
With a saved Google Meet, you can scroll through the text specifically.
When you record in the way I’m suggesting now, you have to play back the saved video like a movie.
You can fast forward, rewind, or pause as you see fit, but you can’t just scroll through the text.
#4 Use a Third-Party Text App
Lastly, you can use third-party apps that are designed to record text conversations from Google meetings.
I have not thoroughly reviewed any specific apps, so I can’t give a solid recommendation, but the app stores are full of options.
If you find one that sounds promising, go for it.
These apps automatically record all text communication during a meeting and save them to a separate file.
This way, you can access the chats even if you aren’t using Google Chat and if you don’t have the saved meeting.
It gives you a little more autonomy, especially for meetings you don’t host.