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I have a Gmail tab open in the browser (Firefox 4.0) all the time with chat enabled. However, when I move to a different tab for a while, then move back to the Gmail tab my chat status has changed to idle (orange).

Is there a way to prevent it moving to idle while when the tab is not active?

Update: Happens on Chrome too.

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I'm not seeing that behavior. What browser are you using? – Al E. Mar 22 '11 at 19:57
@Al you can test it if you can login to another account and add you as a chat friend to see that you're actually going into idle mode when you're away from the tab :) as soon as the focus regained you're back on online (green) mode. – Lipis Mar 22 '11 at 20:14
@Al. Firefox 4.0. I'll try something different and see if I get the same behaviour. – sickgemini Mar 22 '11 at 23:32
You can see it quickly switch back from idle to active if you're fast at tab switching @ale – Eight Days of Malaise Mar 23 '11 at 0:45

This isn't really an awesome solution, but if you could use a desktop client like Trillian, you could "force" it to never show you as away. That means the gmail page wouldn't be able to change your status either.

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Thanks. Yes sadly I've had to settle for a desktop client. – sickgemini Oct 20 '11 at 23:43

There is now an awesome Extension for Chrome that solves this problem. It provides direct access to Google Talk from the browser. You can sign-out of Google Talk/Chat in Gmail and access everything from the browser extension.

The extension also supports making and receiving calls through Google Voice.

Chat for Google Extension

I'm running the current dev release (20.0.1132.11 dev-m) of Chrome and the extension works great.

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Set up automatic refresh on your webpage for every 2-5 minutes or more possibly.

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And how do you do that? – Alex Oct 2 '14 at 6:29

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