For some random reason, perhaps in another bid to gain user engagement, Gchat in Gmail is being suddenly replaced with Google Hangouts. It says that if I like it looking the way it is now, I'm encouraged to choose the "dense roster" setting.

Where is this setting? It doesn't seem to be anywhere in Gmail settings.

  • Not a random reason. Google announced the permanent retirement of GChat a few weeks ago.
    – ale
    Apr 20, 2017 at 15:02
  • Announcing it makes the decision less random? Apr 20, 2017 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


You don't have to visit https://hangouts.google.com. "Use dense roster" is easily found within Gmail (left panel) by just clicking the little down arrow by your Icon/username in the chat/hangout area. You don't even need to navigate Settings.

  • Didn't notice that you could scroll down in that window, so I didn't see it when I looked there myself at first. Thanks. Apr 20, 2017 at 17:25

You have to go the actual hangouts site, hangouts.google.com, and change it in the settings there. God forbid a feature incorporated into gmail has its settings incorporated with it.

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