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Google Talk has a feature that auto subscribes some contacts that I have been talking with. It's a ok feature, but sometimes I'm not interested in having the person view my online status. How can I prevent this? Do I need to block him or is it good enough to remove him from contacts?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

GTalk in Gmail

You can't set individual available/invisible status for each user in your list. What you can do is either block/unblock individual users whenever you need to (this means they can't contact you while they are blocked), or turn off the auto subscribe feature and manage the list manually.

To turn off auto subscribe:

  1. Log in to Gmail.
  2. Click the gear icon at the top of any Gmail page.
  3. Open the Chat tab, and select Only allow people that I've explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I'm online.
  4. Click Save Changes.

From the man page: http://www.google.com/support/chat/bin/answer.py?answer=29795

To block/unblock a user:

Blocking a contact:

  1. Type the name of the contact you wish the block into the Search box at the top of the chat list.
  2. In the box that appears, click Chat to open a chat window with that user. They will not be notified unless you type a message into that window.
  3. In the chat window click Actions menu.
  4. From the menu, select the option to Block the specific contact.

Blocking a contact will block them across all of Google's network.

Unblocking a contact:

  1. Type the name of the contact you wish to unblock into the Search field at the top of the chat list.
  2. In the box that appears, click Unblock (or uncheck the Block option in Gmail).

Alternatively, you can unblock a contact through the Options/Actions menu at the bottom of any open chat window.

From the man page: http://www.google.com/support/chat/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=161879

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Thanks for your quick answer @Alex. So if I only remove a user, he will still see my online presence? –  grm Aug 12 '11 at 14:54
    
Remove as in delete it from the contacts? No, he will not. If you just select Never show, which means "I don't want to see him in my list", he can still see you online. –  Alex Aug 12 '11 at 16:09
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