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How to Go Off the Record and Set Gmail to Not Save Your Chats

How to Use Google Chat Stealthily

A few of you responded to my tip about following Twitterers invisibly with a "Stalker" cry, which I kind of expected — but face it, there are many reasons why you might not want all of your online activity to be transparent. Not all reasons are shady. And if they are, to each their own.

Sometimes it's about privacy, and I always like tips and tricks about privacy. Today, I have two ways to keep your GChats — that's Google Chat — under wraps.

  • The first way is by going "off the record." When you're chatting with someone about something you don't want saved in either of your chat histories, just click "Video & more." Click "Go off the record," and you'll both see a message that says "This chat is off the record." The following chat won't be saved in your histories until you click to go back on the record.
  • If you never want your chats saved, just go into Settings in Gmail, and then the Chat tab. At the top, select "Never save chat histories." But keep in mind, the person you're talking to may be saving the convo, so remember to go off the record if you don't want the history saved in both chat histories.

You're good to chat freely.

Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
that's interesting. i didn't know that "off the record" meant it wouldn't save their conversation either. i always disable logging on all of my apps. i'm fine with not being able to digitally reminisce.
refinedharmony refinedharmony 8 years
I used to use "off the record" with exes or people I knew I would go back and re-read the convo agonizing over each IM a la middle school. For a while I didn't save any chats. However, I found keeping them logged a life saver when I accidently close out of gmail; I can go to the "chats" link and see what that person said without having them repeat everything!
Angelica Angelica 8 years
This is really neat! Whenever I am planning a surprise, or complaining to one friend about another on gchat I wish my convo wasn't being logged. Nice to know you can do this!
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