I do not know if it is a feature or an issue. Maybe I am not seeing this situation as I should. My problem is that I have Hangouts on my Mac at home with Chrome Extension (Mac OS X 10.10), at my office PC with Chrome Extension (Elementary OS (Ubuntu based)) and in my phone (iPhone 5 with iOS 8.1.3); and everytime someone writes me on Hangouts I receive the notification on these 3 devices. I find a bit annoying that when I am at the office chatting on Hangouts, my phone keeps ringing/vibrating because of notifications. Plus, at home anyone using the Mac can see the notifications and the conversation.

It is not a matter of "privacy" (not that I do not want anyone at home reading my Hangouts). It is a matter of "annoyance". Shouldn't it stop sending notifications and just send it to the last one being used or the active one? Is this an issue that just I am experiencing? What am I doing wrong?


Short-term solution

Manually disable/enable notifications for "Web and desktop" or "Mobile" in Settings every time your needs change:

Sitting down to do some work? Change the settings. Going for a cup of coffee? Change the settings. Going to a meeting? Change the settings. Leaving work? Change the settings.

Long-term solution

For Hangouts Chat, Google should take a lesson from their competitor Slack which has implemented this and similar features in far better way. One can hope Google steps up their notification game to address such concerns.

Single-device notifications

Notifications are not sent to mobile devices while one is active on desktop. The amount of time one has to be inactive before receiving notifications can be customized to ones liking.

"When I'm not active on desktop …" preferences

Do Not Disturb

Furthermore, one can customize time slots where notifications will be disabled. With this one avoids notifications at given times.

"Do Not Disturb" preferences

Notify me about …

It is also possible to determine what kind of messages you will receive a notification for. This also ensures that the amount of notifications are kept to a desired level.

"Notify me about …" preferences

Clarification: I am in no way affiliated with any of the chat services. I am simply a user with some experience using both solutions, who have grown annoyed by notifications on Hangouts Chat.


I had the same annoying situation. What I did: clic on "Options" in the chat window and uncheck "Notifications", then "Save". Now when this person talks to you, the only notification will be on the tab of the browser. I did it only with people I talk to frecuently everyday, if someone else is talking to me, I want notifications for sure.

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