screen share guide

Google Hangouts Screen Sharing Guide

A virtual meeting room is just as good as the real thing these days, especially when you’re able to share your screen with others and show them exactly what you’re working on.

If you’re an avid Google user and want to learn how to share your screen in Hangouts and Meet, you’ll be happy to know it’s easy to do.

Can you do Google Hangouts screen sharing?

Google Hangouts lets users share their screen during a one-on-one call, but for group calling, you’ll be transferred to the Meet platform. Either way, it’s a simple process for sharing your screen with Google and it can be a helpful collaboration tool.

If you regularly rely on Google Hangouts or Meet for your business needs, learning how to share your screen with those you’re chatting to can be a gamechanger.

This guide will cover it all including how to start sharing and troubleshooting the common problems that pop up, so get yourself educated so you can commence collaboration.

The Steps to Screen Sharing on Google Hangouts

screen sharing button

Google aims to make everything easy for people using their products, and when it comes to simplicity, it doesn’t get simpler than Hangouts.

As the company now tries to transition users over to Google Meet or Chat, there are limited functions on Hangouts, but you can still share your screen on a one-on-one call with someone.

  1. Open the Google Hangouts app or type in hangouts.google.com.
  2. Select someone from your contact list that you want to share your screen with and select a video call to connect with them.
  3. Once they’ve accepted the call and you’re on a video chat, select the three dots in the top right corner and open this menu.
  4. Select the Share Screen button that has an image of an arrow on a computer screen.
  5. Press the green button to start the screen sharing process. You will be able to decide whether you want to share the whole screen or specific folders or applications.
  6. Once you’ve chosen what to share, press the Share button found in the bottom right of the page.
  7. Give the program a few seconds to start screen sharing. Anything you do during this time on your computer will be seen by the other party or the individual folder or site you’ve chosen to share.
  8. To turn off screen sharing, go back to Hangouts and click the Stop button in the taskbar. You can also decide whether you want to terminate the call entirely or keep it going.

Google Meet Screen Sharing Steps

For group chats or meetings, you’ll be directed to the Meet platform instead, and this process differs slightly again, but it’s still just as easy.

To share your screen using Google Meet, follow these simple steps to start collaborating.

  1. While taking part in a video meeting, you can select the Present Now button in the bottom right-hand corner. Note, this will only be available to you if the organizer of the meeting has enabled it.
  2. Make your choice on what you want to share with the other participants, including Full Screen, A Window, or A Chrome Tab.
  3. When the pop-up arrives, select which tab or window you want to share and then click the Share button.
  4. Google Meet will change its format as you are now the presenter, and you can switch between participant and presenter view as needed.
  5. To stop sharing, find the bar that says You Are Presenting. Click on this and press Stop Presenting to stop sharing your screen and go back to standard participant view.

Common Issues With Google Hangouts Screen Sharing

screen sharing issues

If you’re having a problem accessing the screen sharing function on Google Hangouts, you can troubleshoot your way out of it.

These are some common reasons why the feature might not be working and what you can do about it.

You don’t meet the system requirements

Google Hangouts operates with basic system requirements that users must meet, and if your computer is older, it may not meet them. These requirements are updated as the software is, so don’t always assume you have the right hardware.

Hangouts doesn’t have permission

Check the security settings of your computer or phone to see what permissions you have granted Google Hangouts. Sometimes, you might need to enable camera and microphone access before you can use the screen share function, so make sure these are turned on.

You want to share to a group

Google Hangouts no longer caters to group calls, so if you’re attempting to start a video call with more than one person to share your screen, it won’t work. You’ll likely be directed to Google Meet to perform the call, which is also a free service that allows for screen sharing.

Issues with the browser

If you are accessing Google Hangouts through a web browser, you might need to change the browser you’re using. Otherwise, clear the cache of the browser through its settings and try to launch screen sharing again.

Running an old version

Do a quick check of the version of Google Hangouts that you’re running and see if it needs to be upgraded. People using the smartphone app or program on their computer, and not the web browser version, will need to update it to the latest version to screen share.

Permissions not enabled

On Google Meet, only the meeting organizer can give permission to users to share their screen and take over the presenter role. You might not have these permissions enabled by the host, so ask them before you attempt to screen share.

Tips for Google Hangouts Screen Sharing

screen share tricks

Screen sharing is a feature that can be sensitive to use, as you’re effectively giving other people a view of your private computer.

Therefore, you’ll need to check off some things before launching into a screen-sharing presentation, whether it’s Google Hangouts you’re using or any other platform.

  • Make sure you let people know your plans for screen sharing before you do it so that everyone can be prepared for what’s happening.
  • Mute any desktop notifications that you might have turned on, as they can pop up during a sharing session. Private details like emails and messages will be read by everyone if they happen while you’re presenting.
  • Do a double check before sharing your screen to look for things that might be open, bookmarks on your browser, or anything inappropriate or private you wouldn’t want others to see.
  • Choose just one screen or app to share rather than sharing your entire screen, if possible. This will reduce the risk of things being shown that you wanted to keep private.
  • Do a test run whenever you’re using new software and haven’t shared your screen before. Most of these platforms operate differently and there’s always a learning curve, so don’t just assume you know how to do it.
  • Have all of the documents, websites, or apps up and ready to go before you start sharing. People don’t need to see you fiddling around with files and trying to find things during a presentation.

An Essential Tool for Collaboration

Using Google Hangouts or Meet as a business communications tool is made even better when you figure out how to share your screen, and why it’s such a helpful feature.

If you’ve never tried screen sharing before, give it a try today, and see what communication barriers it breaks down for you in your virtual meetings.

Related Questions

Screen sharing is a tool that many communications platforms offer to their customers these days, and in the business realm, it can be an invaluable feature.

To find out more about screen sharing and how it can change the way you collaborate and communicate, read on to see some commonly asked questions on the topic.

Does Screen Sharing Give Someone Access to My Computer?

security issues

Screen sharing is only the act of sharing the view and visibility of your screen with others, and it does not give anyone access to your computer nor does it allow them to control anything.

To enable remote access, which allows others to have control of your computer remotely, you’ll need to use specific software that gives this type of permission.

Is Screen Sharing Safe?

Screen sharing is a safe practice offered by many communications services and software, but it depends on the safety of the main platform as to how secure it all is.

The person sharing their screen needs to use the function safely as well, and make sure they aren’t sharing any private information when they agree to share visibility of their screen with others.

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