Please select your issue below to see troubleshooting information.
I can't call contacts from Gmail
Video calls are only available between Gmail chat users with a Gmail voice and video chat plug-in enabled browser. If you and your friend are both signed in to Gmail, download the Gmail voice and video plug-in by clicking 'Video & More' or 'Options' at the bottom of a chat window. From this menu, click 'Add voice/video chat' and follow the instructions to install the plug-in.
Voice calls are only available to those using Gmail chat or the Google Talk client. If you're using Gmail's chat feature, you'll need to download the Gmail voice and video plug-in by clicking 'Video & More' or 'Options' at the bottom of a chat window. From this menu, click 'Add voice/video chat' and follow the instructions to install the Google Talk plug-in.
Why isn't there a camera next to my friend's name in my 'Chat' list?
If your friend is signed into chat, but does not have a camera icon next to his or her name in your 'Chat' list, he or she isn't available for voice and video calls. If your friend is using Gmail, they may not have installed the Gmail voice and video plug-in. You can invite your friend to install the plug-in by opening a chat window with them and selecting 'Invite to voice/video chat' in the 'Video & more' menu. If your friend doesn't have a camera but has installed the plug-in, you can still make one-way video calls or voice calls.
Friends signed in to chat with the Google Talk client will be able to receive voice calls, but will not be able to place or receive video calls and will not have a camera icon in your chat list. Other friends who access chat with 3rd party IM clients and services or friends who are signed in using the Google Talk Gadget, instead of Gmail's chat feature, won't be available for calls.
I can't see/hear my friend
If you are unable to see or hear your friend, please ask them to check that their webcam and microphone are properly connected to their computer and are not being used by any other open programs. They can also check that their settings are correctly enabled by visiting the 'Chat' tab of their Gmail account settings. Just expand the 'Verify settings' section and check if their webcam's video appears, their microphone is picking up sound, and their speakers can play the test sound.
If you are unable to hear your friend but their microphone works when they test it, there are a few common reasons why you might not hear your friends when using voice and video chat in Gmail. Please make sure that your speakers are enabled and the volume is turned on. If you're using external speakers, check that they're properly connected to your computer.
My friend can't see/hear me
To test if your microphone, speakers, and webcam are working properly with Gmail voice and video, please visit the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings. In the 'Voice and video settings' section, expand the 'Verify settings' option and check that you are able to see your webcam's video, your microphone is picking up sound, and your speakers can play the test sound.
If your microphone isn't working, please make sure that your microphone is plugged in and the volume is turned on. Here's how to turn on your microphone with Windows XP:
- Click the 'Start' menu in your taskbar, and highlight 'Settings.'
- Select 'Control Panel.'
- Locate 'Sounds and Audio Devices' in the Control Panel, and double-click the icon.
- Open the 'Volume' tab, and click 'Advanced...' in the 'Device volume' section.
- Look for 'Microphone' in the 'Volume Control' box that opens, and make sure your microphone is enabled and the volume is high enough.
- Close the 'Volume Control' box, and then click 'OK.'
Here's how to turn on your microphone on a Mac:
- Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen and select 'System Preferences...'
- Click the 'Sound' icon.
- Select the 'Input' tab.
- Look for 'Input volume:' and set your volume so that the meter sound meter moves when you speak.
- Close the sound preferences window.
If you can't see your webcam's video, please make sure that your webcam is properly plugged in to your computer and no other open programs are using the camera.
Please also check that Gmail is using the correct webcam, microphone, and speakers. On the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings, select the appropriate devices from the 'Camera:,' 'Microphone:' and 'Speakers: drop-down menus.
My webcam isn't working with Gmail
If Gmail doesn't seem to be capturing your webcam, please check that it is properly plugged in to your computer and that no other open programs are using the camera.
To test your webcam, visit the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings. Expand the 'Verify settings' option next to 'Voice and video settings:' and check to see if you are able to see your webcam's video. If not, verfiy that the correct webcam is selected in the 'Camera:' drop-down menu.
Poor video quality
If you're experiencing poor video quality during a call, please make sure that no other programs are attempting to use your webcam. Closing other open applications or downloads may also improve the quality of your video.
If your webcam is plugged in to a USB hub, please try plugging your webcam directly into your computer.
Please also note that if you are using a DSL modem with a slow uplink, a 3G wireless modem, or a network with some types of proxies to make video calls, your call quality may suffer.
Gmail isn't using the right microphone, speaker, or webcam device
If Gmail isn't using the correct microphone, speaker, or webcam device, follow the steps below to change your settings:
- Click 'Settings' at the top-right of your Gmail account.
- Select the 'Chat' tab.
- In the 'Voice and video chat:' section, adjust the selections in the drop-down menus for your camera, microphone, and speakers.
There's an echo
If you are experiencing an echo when voice or video chatting, your microphone or speaker volume might be set too high. Please try turning down your volume or using headphones on both ends of the call.