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I don't ever use the chat feature of Gmail. Is there a way to get rid of the chat box on the left side?

I can minimize it, but it still shows my name and the "Search, add, or invite" textbox.

I can click the "turn off chat" link at the very bottom, but the "Chat" heading is still visible on the left.

Is there any way to remove it completely?


Since there seems to be confusion about what "completely gone means", I'll include a picture:

alt text

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4  
+1 Even though I use Google Talk to chat with my friends in Pidgin, I don't ever use the Gmail chat function either. –  Jared Harley Jun 30 '10 at 20:57
    
May I ask what browser you're using? I may have an answer for you if you're using Chrome or Firefox. –  Nathan Ridley Jul 13 '10 at 17:36
    
I believe he wanted a universal answer. –  mike the mike Jul 21 '10 at 22:00

14 Answers 14

up vote 30 down vote accepted
+50

There are a couple different ways to remove the chat feature from Gmail.

  1. As previously mentioned, simply click the "Turn off Chat" link in the footer of your Gmail inbox. Depending on the version of Gmail that you are using (as determined by Google), this MAY OR MAY NOT hide the chat window completely.

  2. You can also click the "older version" link in the footer, which will 100% of the time remove the chat window from the left hand side (in my experience). You can also simply add the querystring parameter &ov=1 to the url of your inbox (ie:https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1&ov=1), this will have the same effect.

  3. If your goal is to simply remove the chat from the LEFT hand side, but not altogether, you can click on the "labs" icon (a little beaker) at the top of your inbox, and enable the Gmail lab entitled "Right-side chat", which will move your chat to the right hand side of the inbox.

  4. If none of those options are satisfactory, then I would suggest enabling IMAP and using Microsoft Outlook, or Mozilla Thunderbird for managing your Gmail. See here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=77695

There are a couple newer ways to do it also now. Coming soon.

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1  
I especially like the "move it to the right-hand-side option" :-] It's technically an answer to my query, but really my goal was to remove it completely. –  Daniel LeCheminant Jul 7 '10 at 21:46
    
Sure wish it worked on newer versions. –  Lance Roberts Aug 11 '10 at 14:11

Better Gmail 2 Firefox extension includes a "Hide Chat" feature, which happens to be this script: http://userstyles.org/styles/7897

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Better Gmail also has some other features which may be of use. –  Steve Melnikoff Jul 7 '10 at 22:40

Looks like the only way to do this is using a script of some kind (Greasemonkey or the like). Here are a few:

http://userstyles.org/styles/15616

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/45317

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1  
Even with chat turned off, the box still appears in the side bar. Turning chat off is more like forcing it to be in "offline" mode. –  Jared Harley Jun 30 '10 at 20:56
1  
Sorry guys. I didn't think they would have such terrible wording for a feature... –  bjtitus Jun 30 '10 at 20:58

Hmmm... not sure why you say:

I can click the "turn off chat" link at the very bottom, but the "Chat" heading is still visible on the left.

Is there any way to make it completely gone?

On my Gmail, it does indeed go away completely when I click the "turn off chat" link at the bottom.

I am attaching a composite of two screen-shots below.

This first screen shows my Gmail with chat enabled and the second screen shot shows chat disabled (after I clicked on "turn off chat"):

enter image description here

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This also works for me -- using the "turn on/turn off chat" link at the bottom of the page controls the display of the chat box in Google Chrome and IE8 on WinXP. –  jeffm Jul 7 '10 at 20:34
    
+1 I checked and verified that it works in FF 3.0.19 –  Evan Plaice Jul 7 '10 at 21:09
1  
Right, that hides the list of people to chat with, but my user name and chat availability are still displayed; and clicking on the [+] icon to the left of my name will re-open chat. I don't use chat ... ever. I want the whole thing to be completely gone; I don't need my name displayed in a random box on the left hand side. –  Daniel LeCheminant Jul 7 '10 at 21:33

The new Gmail has a button at the bottom which looks like a square speech bubble. If you click that, the chat window disappears.

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This should be the right answer, since it applies to the current Gmail version. –  Alex May 8 '12 at 6:43

If you are on Chrome and use a client like Pidgin or Digsby, you can use the Better Gmail extension to do a variety of things or if you just want to hide chat, you can use Gmail - No Chat

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If you are using Google Apps, you can simply disable the chat service, which will remove the chat box completely for everyone in your domain.

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I use Adblock Plus with Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper to get rid of the chat box and other Gmail's UI elements I don't need. However, this 2nd extension is only a companion extension meant to make creating element hiding rules easier, you don't have to install it.

Just add the following filter rule in Adblock's preferences:

mail.google.com##DIV.nH.s

To hide both the chat box and Invite a friend box use:

mail.google.com##DIV.nH.pp.T0
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I highly recommend the Minimalist Gmail extension if you are using Chrome. The amount of customization available is really useful to craft the perfect interface for Gmail.

I use it to turn off chat, invite, the toolbar on the footer, and many other tweaks.

Update

The next generation of the minimalist tools by Ansel Santosa is now in beta, called Minimalist for Everything. This includes "modules" for different websites for Javascript/CSS injection. Notably it includes an updated module for Gmail.

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Make a custom stylesheet, enable it with Stylish or similar:

.nH.pp.ps, .ar.as, .pS.s, .pS.pY { display: none !important; }

This works for me.

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Not sure if this helps anyone, or if I'm being redundant, but here it is.


In the (newer) Gmail:

  1. Locate the small COGWHEEL-type ICON --> upper right corner, next to number displaying total emails.

  2. Hover your mouse over icon --> "Settings" pops up in a text window.

  3. CLICK on ICON --> a drop-down menu appears.

  4. SCROLL down to and CLICK on "Settings" ---> settings page has tab menus across the top, starting with "General"

  5. Locate and CLICK on the "Chat" tab menu ---> on chat settings page, the very first setting shows two options: "Chat on" and "Chat off"

  6. CLICK INSIDE the small circle next to "Chat on" or "Chat off" --> the circle next to your preferred option will be filled in (and the other circle will be empty).

  7. CLICK on "Save Changes" which is near the bottom of the page.


  • Note: You can reach the same "Settings" page with another cogwheel-type icon from the Gmail page. It's in the far upper-right corner, next to the name associated with your gmail account (not your username id). The icon and your name are displayed much smaller than the other text and icons on the page. When you hover your mouse over this icon, "Options" appears in a text box. Click on the icon, scroll down and click on "Mail settings" which will display the same "Settings" page with tab menus acrosss the top, as noted above.
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  1. Go to Settings (right side of inbox, click on the cog-like icon)
  2. Locate Chat (should be the 6th or 7th heading)
  3. Choose Chat On or Chat Off
  4. Click Save Changes

You can come back here and change your preference whenever!

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Even when you “turn off chat”, chat is still on and still logs in every time you get into gmail, even though it shows you as offline. with it turned on, you can watch it as it logs you in and sets your status. And with it turned off, you can still watch it go through the same exact routine of logging in but setting your status to offline.

If you try to do anything at all during this time, such as open an email, it will wait for chat to finish logging in before responding. It is really annoying to have to wait that extra time considering I told it to be turned off.

Those browsers that have an extension to hide the chat pane will not circumvent it in any way… it will simply load in the background and you’ll still have to wait while it does that, even if you can’t see it.

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Go to your Gmail Settings page, switch to the Chat tab, choose “Chat Off” and click the “Save Changes” button. Alternatively, you may use this link to directly access your Gmail Chat settings page. You can re-enable chat in your Gmail by using the “Chat On” option. -labnol

Works perfectly.

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