Gmail currently provides free domestic calling for users in the US and Canada, directly in the Gmail interface. It uses the Google Video Chat plugin to allow voice calls to be made to regular phone numbers, and if you have a Google Voice account, integrates with that as well.

This feature used to be built right into the chat window:

google call from gmail example

As of the update for the new integrated version of Google Hangouts, I can't seem to find any button to place a phone call from within Gmail.

new hangouts

Furthermore, when I place a call from Google Voice and tell it to dial through Google Talk, the call doesn't go through.

Is there any way to use the new Hangouts while still having the phone call abilities?

  • With the new update, you should be able to make calls Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 15:33
  • @Sathya does this require re-installing the plugin or is it an instant change when you log in?
    – nhinkle
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 16:29
  • was an instant change for me when I logged in this evening,.. Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


As of 9-July-2013, you can now make calls from Gmail using the new Hangouts.

Making calls from Hangouts — in Gmail and across the web

For those of you who have taken the plunge and are using desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, we've heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today, we're happy to announce it's back - and better than before! Even better: calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain super, super low.

Today's launch also improves the desktop calling experience in a number of ways. For example: you can add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call; and you can play sound effects (like applause or laughter) with the Google Effects app.

To make a call from Hangouts, just look for the new phone icon in Gmail, or for the new "Call a phone" menu item in Google+ and the Chrome extension. And of course: if you haven't yet tried Hangouts in Gmail, you can always click your profile photo in the chat list and select "Try the new Hangouts."


You can quickly revert to the older chat interface in Gmail via the dropdown menu next to your name in the Hangouts area. You'll still have the new Hangouts UI in Google+ and mobile, just not in mail.

  • The older chat interface is no longer available.
    – ale
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 17:51

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