Google Meet FAQs

Q: What is the difference between Google Hangout and Google Meet? 

A: Google has rebranded Google Hangout into two specific services, Google Chat and Google Meet. Google Chat is the instant messaging functionality that is available in Google Mail. Google Meet is the teleconferencing functionality that can be added to a Google Calendar invitation.


Meeting setup

Q: Is G Suite required for all participants or just the host?

A: Just the host needs G Suite to host a meeting. Attendees do not need G Suite, nor do they need to be part of the commonwealth domain to participate in a Google Meet.


Q: Does a Google Meet invitation get automatically added to the calendar of a non - G Suite user?

A: Yes, the invitation will be added to the non - G Suite user’s calendar.

Q: Can additional attendees be invited after a meeting has been scheduled or started?

A: Yes, additional participants can be invited after the initial meeting has been set up and after a meeting has begun. We recommend letting the meeting host know if additional attendees are invited to the meeting, especially if the attendee is using an email address from outside of the COV. They will need to be admitted into the meeting. 


Q: How do you add attachments to a Meet invite?

A: Attachments are added by clicking on the paper clip icon within the meeting invite. You can select a document from Google Drive or upload a document from your desktop. If you upload a file from your desktop, it will be converted to a Google Drive file and added to your drive. In both cases, you will have to grant permissions to the other meeting attendees to view the file. Note that users outside the commonwealth domain will not be able to access this file. Here are the directions for adding attachments to your events


Q. Is there a limit to the number of participants I can have on a Hangouts meeting? 

A. Yes, now through Sept. 30, 2020, all users have the ability to host up to 250 participants due to the current state of emergency circumstances. After Sept. 30, users with basic licenses can host 100, business licenses users can host 150 and enterprise users can host 250. Continue to check for updates on the G Suite updates blog.


Q. How do you get the meeting link to share with participants?

A. Within the meeting invitation, click the Meet dropdown menu, the Meeting ID acts as the meeting link. This link can be shared with others.


Q: Is there a call only option that doesn’t require video?

A: No, video and audio are available on every Google Meet. If screen sharing and/or video functionality is not needed, you can note that in the meeting invitation so that attendees know that they can dial in using their phones and don’t have to use their computers (although they can still use their computers for the audio component).




Q: Is Google Meet secure?

A: All functionality is built using a security-first methodology. All of the security features can be found here. See more information on how your meetings are kept secure here.


Q: What precautions can I take to keep my meeting private if the content is confidential?

A: Within the Google Calendar invitation, the meeting owner can control guest permission (modifying the event, inviting others to the meeting and viewing the guest list). You can set your meeting to private to allow only the invitees access to the invite content, including the subject of the meeting. You can also take a second precaution to keep the content secure by only linking a Google Doc with the meeting’s agenda and only granting access to those individuals who need to have access. See more information on how your meetings are kept secure here.


Q: During a meeting, can you remove a participant from the meeting?

A: Yes, a meeting participant can be removed by tapping the person’s name and clicking the remove button. More detail can be found here.

Q: Is Google Meet approved for discussing sensitive data?
A: Yes, sensitive data can be discussed on a Google Meet voice/video conference.


Screen sharing


Q: How can I present my screen?

A: To present your screen, you can select “present now” from the Meet screen. Directions on how to present your screen can be found here


Q: What options do I have when presenting my screen?

A: When presenting, a user has the option to present “Your entire screen,” “A window” or “A Chrome tab.” When presenting your entire screen, you are allowing meeting participants to see everything that is visible on the screen you select to present. When presenting a window or Chrome tab, you are allowing meeting participants to only see the specific window or tab that you selected. Presenting your entire screen is benefinical when you will need to jump between multiple tabs or documents while presenting. Presenting a window or Chrome tab is beneficial if you want to be more cautious about what you share - if you click to another window or tab, the attendees will see a blank screen. Here are more detailed directions for sharing your screen and switching between tabs.


Q: If I am presenting my screen, how do I let another person present their screen? 

A: Any Google Meet participant can present their screen at any time by clicking on the “present now” button in the lower right hand corner. Here are the directions on how to present. Screen sharing cannot be restricted to specific users. 

Q: Can videos be shared from the internet?

A: Yes, videos can be shared. To do so, the presenter must share their screen where the video is playing from. For the best visual and sound quality, it is suggested to paste the video URL into the Google Meets chat for attendees to access individually. 


Q: Are you able to share your screen and continue to view the participants at the same time? 

A: Yes, you can see a combination of what you are presenting and also participants by using the available layout options. More detailed directions on adjusting your layout can be found here


Meeting execution


Q: Can Google Meet meetings be recorded?

A: Yes, Google Meet meetings can be recorded by users who have enterprise mailboxes and are part of an agency who has opted into Google Drive and Meet recording functionalityMore detailed information can be found here.


Q: How do external participants (outside if the COV domain) access the Google Meet?  

A: If an external participant has been invited to a Google Meet, upon entering, they will need to be admitted by a meeting participant already in the meeting. If they join through the Google Meet app or on a computer, their name will appear on the attendee list located on the right side of the screen. More detailed direction on admitting external attendees can be found here.


Q: When trying to access a meeting, why am I getting the notification that I need a meeting participant to provide me access? 

A: If this notification appears, it means that your account is detected as being outside of the COV network. Check to make sure that you are signed in to your COV Google account and not your personal Google account. If you are signed into your personal google account, Meet will not recognize you as a member of the COV domain and you will have to be admitted into the meeting.  


Q: Does Google Meet work better with or without VPN connection?

A: Google Meet works better without VPN. VPN is not needed for an G Suite application - here are the Meet networking best practices. We understand there are instances where VPN will be needed to access important documents while in a meeting but users should be aware that Google Meet may not be at top performance when doing so. 


Q: How do you enable the Q&A functionality in slides that allows individuals to enter questions? 

A: Q&A functionality is available through the use of Google Slides. Here is more information on how to use the Q&A function.


Q: Can you chat privately with another participant while in a Google Meet? 

A: No, the chat in a meeting is shared with everyone in that Meeting. Here is how to send chat messages to video meeting participants. If you want a persistent chat or private message between you and a meeting participant, you can use the Google Chat tool located in your Gmail. In Google Chat, you are able to message individuals, groups or set up rooms to host discussions. 


Q: When you have questions, is there a 'raise your hand' option?

A: Not currently. Please keep an eye out on the G Suite Blog for future updates.


Q: Can I host a poll during my Google Meet? 

A: If you are interested in polling during a meeting, you can use Google Forms or Slides Q&A functionality and post a link to the poll in the chat.


Q: While a meeting is in progress, can you remove a participant from the meeting?

A: Yes. See how here.


Sound and video

Q: What should I do if I have sound or video issues?

A: There could be a number of possible issues, including your local internet connection, hardware issue or an outage with Meet. Please follow the troubleshooting steps provided here: troubleshooting in Meet.


Q: How do I prevent echoing on my Google Meet? 

A: To remove or prevent the echo, be sure that each user is only using one microphone source, meaning their phone or their computer mic. If you chose to login to the meeting on your laptop and dial in at the same time, make sure your laptop microphone is not trying to send audio. It is important to have both input and output audio muted if you are using two devices to not get an echo. 


Q: If my laptop does not have a camera, can I still participate in a Google Meet?

A: Yes, you can still participate in a Google Meet without a camera. You will have the ability to use audio and share your screen. The only limitation will be that other participants will not be able to see you, they will only see your profile picture.


Q: How does the mute functionality work?

A: Users are able to mute and unmute themselves and others, however there is no way to automatically mute attendees or prevent them from unmuting. If more than three people join, the fourth person and beyond will be automatically muted. If a muted individual is using their computer audio, they can hit the microphone button located at the bottom of the Google Meet screen to unmute. If a muted individual is calling in on their phone, they must hit *6 to unmute. Participants can also mute each other. A user will know they are muted if their microphone symbol is red.


Q: Can I change the layout of my Google Meet (ex. see all attendee videos at the same time)?

A: Once you have joined a video meeting on a computer, in the lower-right corner of the Meet screen click the “More options” button (three dots) and click “Change layout.” In the “Change layout” box, select the layout you would like. More detailed directions can be found here

Tip: Click a participant's image to pin them to the screen. 

Tip: Up to 16 people can be viewed at one time using the “Tile” layout option.


Q: Is it possible for the host to call a meeting participant (who's having technical issues) versus the participant using the call-in number and access code? 

A: Yes, click here to learn how to add people to a video meeting by phone.  

Note: People who manually dial in using the phone number need to enter the meeting PIN.





Q: How do you show an interpreter on the screen while sharing your screen? 

A: A specific meeting participant, such as an interpreter, can be pinned by hovering over the person’s picture and clicking the pushpin icon. More information on how to pin a meeting participant can be found here


Q: Can you share your screen with someone who uses a screen reader? 

A: Yes, blind and low-vision users can use the built-in screen reader, full page zoom, high contrast color and extensions in their Chrome browser. See Google accessibility products and features for more information.

Q: Is there a fee associated with having an interpreter participate in a Google Meet? 

A: From a Google Meet perspective, no. The interpreter can join the Google Meet even if they do not have a G Suite account at no charge. More detailed direction on admitting external attendees can be found here


Q: Are closed captions available?

A: Yes, closed captions are an optional feature available to each Google Meet participant. To learn more about closed captioning, click here. At this time, closed captions cannot be recorded or edited.


More information regarding Google Meet accessibility can be found here