How To Share Your Screen In Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is one of the world’s leading online messaging platforms, allowing for video calls, alongside text and audio messaging. Whether you’re an online educator, a customer support assistant, or just an everyday user wanting to show your friends or family something funny, or something you’ve been working on, you should learn how to share your screen, and what it means to do so.

To share your screen in Google Hangouts, just follow the instructions below. For more detailed information, read the FAQs toward the bottom of this article.

Sharing your screen in Google Hangouts on the app or in-browser

  1. Open up the Google Hangouts app on your phone or tablet, or open your preferred desktop PC web browser, and navigate to the Google Hangouts website, if prompted, sign in to your Google account
  2. Start a video call with your desired contacts by clicking or tapping on the ‘Video Call’ icon, and then inputting and selecting all of the names/email addresses of the people you want to invite to the call
  3. Once ready, click on the ‘Video Call’ button
  4. Once in the call and ready to start sharing your screen, click on the menu icon (three vertical grey dots) in the top right of your screen
  5. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Share Screen’ (or in the app version, ‘Present Screen’
    1. Note: At this point, you can choose whether to share your entire screen, or just a chosen tab/folder/page, depending upon the reason for your screen share. It should also be said that these tabs/folders/pages need to be in full-screen mode to work with Google Hangouts screen sharing
  6. Once you’ve decided upon what elements of your screen (or indeed your full screen) you wish to share, hit the ‘Share’ button located in the bottom-right corner
  7. Once your shared screen has loaded (and this will take a few seconds), you need to click on ‘Present to everyone’ in order to finalise the sharing of your screen
  8. You are now successfully sharing your screen with your Google Hangout video call participants, and can do whatever you need to do, including navigating away from the actual active Hangouts window
  9. To stop sharing your screen, you can either end the call, or locate and click on the ‘Stop Sharing’ button, usually located in the taskbar toward the top of the screen

And there you have it! In a few simple steps, you can master the art of sharing your screen in Google Hangouts, and begin delivering your presentations and lectures, providing help and support to customers and clients, or simply share whatever you want with friends and family.

Frequently asked questions

What is Google Hangouts?

Google Hangouts is a super popular, user-friendly, and readily-accessible online messaging platform. It allows its users to chat one-on-one, or in large groups, via text, audio, or video, whilst sharing whichever media they need or want to, in order to best convey their messages. In order to access Google Hangouts, you must first create a Google account, which you will already have done if you already use Gmail, for example (or any number of other google products, for that matter).

Why would I want to share my screen?

Sharing your screen can be a really useful tool, for myriad reasons. Most typically, however, it is used by customer support and technicians of all sorts, in order to aid them in providing technical help. Sharing their screen allows them to show clients or customers exactly what they will need to do on their own computers, in order to correct their issues. But it can be used for much more than that, too. With so much social interaction occurring over the internet during today’s pandemic-induced lockdowns, friends and family are coming up with all sorts of creative ways to keep their Google Hangout video calls fresh and fun, including quizzes, for which sharing a screen might well prove necessary. Furthermore, screen sharing is fundamental for online education.

What happens when I share my screen?

When you share your screen on Google Hangouts, whatever you can see on your computer, phone, or tablet screen, is presented to all other members of the video call in which you’re involved. The video windows of the other participants, including yourself, will be made into small thumbnails, located to one side of the shared screen. These can be arranged and hidden as needed. Whatever you do on your computer/tablet/phone will be broadcasted across the call, allowing you to either narrate your actions, give a presentation, etc. There are various options for sharing screen too, meaning that if you only want to share your computer’s audio, then you can do that; or if you want to screen share without audio, then this is also possible.

Who can see my screen when I share it?

Only those people who you have invited into your video call will be able to see your screen share. Alternatively, if the call is not yours, but another host’s, then all of the people present in the call will see your screen. If you have blocked someone on Google Hangouts, then that person will not even be able to enter the same video call as you, let alone see your shared screen.

Can anyone share their screen in Google Hangouts?

Anyone with permission. If you are the host of the video call in which you want to share your screen, then you will already have permission to do so. However, if you are not the host, then when you attempt to ‘Share Screen’, the host will be notified of your request, and you will only be able to share your screen once they have granted you permission. This is to stop any inappropriate, accidental, or uncalled-for screen sharing.