Remove Gmail Chat Annoyance

Tim Bishop channels Kevin Burton, and explains how to remove a new pesky annoyance for gmail users:

there is a setting hidden at the bottom of the gmail page, down next to the lack of privacy policy, that allows you to do turn chat off, standard without chat. How like Google to try and hide the preference, kinda like refusing to put a delete button in for a year in spite of user demand and utility. It seems like every day Google is getting farther away from its roots in usability.

Thank you guys!

(Incidentally, it sounds like they’re having a lot of fun over there on the west coast. Should I be hoping for a Supernova invite?)

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7 Responses to Remove Gmail Chat Annoyance

  1. cafl says:

    This was made clear as the chat option became available, and it is quite apparent if you click on the chat tag 2nd below the inbox. I truly don’t understand the vitriol some people express about Google. Its privacy policy is no worse than the other free mail services and the functionality is much better. Btw, why would you necessarily want to turn off chat? it can be controlled on the basis of the individuals in your contact list.

  2. “How like Google to try to hide a preference”

    Yeah, that’s some crafty hiding, explaining it in their documentation _and_ putting it on the front page.

    Seriously, I can be plenty critical about Google, but this is an amazingly silly complaint.

  3. Jenn says:

    I couldn’t find any documentation in the help when I searched for a way to turn off this feature. And why turn it off? Because my network administrator blocked gmail chat and I kept being prompted with a chatconnected login over and over and over again. Thanks for the post on how to disable chat.

    I’m not against google or gmail. I use gmail because I like the service. But not being able to turn off chat or find a way to turn off chat in google help was frustrating to me. Maybe search strings like “disable chat” and “turn off chat” need to be modified to include better results.

  4. Ashish Kamani says:


    There is a option in your gmail inbox at bottom of your page. Something like given belo. You just click on turn off chat and it won’t annoy you then after.Cheers

    Gmail view: standard | turn off chat | turn off buzz | older contact manager | basic HTML Learn more

  5. Jim says:

    I cannot find the “Gmail view: standard | turn off chat | turn off buzz | older contact manager | basic HTML Learn more” on any page in Gmail.
    Is there an option somewhere that controls its visibility?

    • Mike Schmidt says:

      I am also not having luck seeing this chat disable at the bottom of the screen. I turned my theme off and there is nothing at the bottom of the screen. I want that screen real estate back that chat is hogging.

  6. Catherine Carver says:

    I found the chat option very annoying and it took a pointed effort to find a way to turn it off. I would say the interface is not at all user-friendly or ergonomic. A user-friendly design would mean a toggle button or dual set of buttons directly next to the function, where people usually enter or see the function (in this case, the toggle should be at the top of the chat window).

    Another thing that is highly annoying is the scrolling box-within-a-scrolling-box when you craft a reply message. And my signature is always placed at the end of the message to which I am replying, which can be long. What I would much prefer is this: Copy the message to which I am replying, put my signature directly above that, and then let me type my reply as if in to a straight log file – no inside scrolling, so my signature is directly below my reply when I am done, then the original message flows below that. As it is, I always copy my signature up so it is listed just below the new message I typed. Scrolling within in a scroll box is irritating, and more than that, not necessary.

    I am a technical writer and instructional designer with 15 years in the industry.

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