How to record or live stream with Hangouts Meet

After a G Suite administrator enables recording and streaming options, people may record or live stream Hangouts Meet sessions.

How to record or live stream with Hangouts Meet

Recently, Google made some upgraded features of Hangouts Meet available to G Suite Basic, Business, Nonprofit, and Education customers through July 1, 2020. These features—normally available only to G Suite Enterprise and Enterprise for Education customers—include the ability to host meetings of up to 250 participants, record meetings, and live stream to as many as 100,000 people within your organization. The company offered these enhanced capabilities in support of people who use G Suite to work, teach, or learn-from-home during coronavirus containment efforts.

A G Suite administrator must enable both recording and streaming for an organization before people may use these features. Once enabled, people may create Hangouts Meet live stream events from Google Calendar, or record Hangout Meet sessions.

How to enable Hangouts Meet

Before you begin, you'll want to make sure that Hangouts Meet has been enabled for your organization. Sign in as a G Suite administrator at https://admin.google.com in a desktop-class browser, then go to Apps | G Suite | Hangouts Meet And Google Hangouts | Service Status. Check that the service is ON, either for everyone, or, if you use organizational units, for the desired organizational unit (Figure A).

Figure A

Screenshot of Hangouts Meet Service status that displays a "ON for everyone"

Verify that Hangouts Meet is enabled in the G Suite Admin console.

How to enable Hangouts Meet recording or streaming

1. Go to https://admin.google.com in a desktop-class browser, then sign in with a G Suite administrator account.
2. Select or tap Apps | G Suite (G Suite Core services) | Hangouts Meet And Google Hangouts.
3. Select or tap the drop-down pointer to the right of Meet Settings (set policies for video meetings in your organization).
4. Scroll down and review the setting next to Video Calling to make sure it is ON, which is the default setting. If it is not, you will need to select Video Calling, select the checkbox next to Let Users Place Video And Voice Calls and then select Save.
5. If you want to enable recording: Select or tap on Recording, then select the checkbox next to Let People Record Their Meetings and then select Save.
6. If you want to enable streaming: Select or tap on Stream, then select the checkbox next to Let People Stream Their Meetings and then select Save (Figure B)
7. Optional: While you have the Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts settings open, you might review or adjust other Meet settings, as desired.

After you enable recording and/or streaming, it can take up to 24 hours for people in your organization to gain access to these features. 

Figure B

Screenshot that shows recording enabled, with streaming checked and about to be saved to be enabled.

A G Suite administrator must enable recording and/or streaming in the Admin console before these features will be available to people in the organization.

How to record a Hangouts Meet session

While in Hangouts Meet, the organizer, or other people in the same organization who are participants in the meeting, may record the session.

1. Select the three-vertical dots menu (in the lower-right area) to access the More menu.
2. Select Record Meeting (Figure C).
3. An "Ask for consent" notice may display. If you agree to the terms, select Accept.
4. A red rectangle with the letters REC will display in the upper-left portion of the Meet screen to indicate that recording is active.
5. To end the recording, select the three-vertical dots menu to access the More menu.
6. Select Stop Recording.

Figure C

Screenshot of the author pointing at the Record meeting menu item during a Hangouts Meet session.

While in a Hangout Meet session, select the three-vertical dot menu in the lower-right corner, then choose Record Meeting to start recording. If streaming is enabled for a session, the Start Streaming option will display above the recording option, as well.

After a brief delay for processing, the Hangouts Meet session video will be added to a Meet Recordings folder in the Hangouts Meet organizer's Google Drive (Figure D). The meeting organizer will receive an email with a link to the recording. If a person in the organization other than the organizer initiates the recording, that person also will receive a link to the recording. 

Figure D

Screenshot of a recorded Meet session video file, with the date of the recording in the name of the file.

The system stores recorded Hangouts Meet sessions in a Meet Recordings folder on the organizer's Google Drive.

Note: Recorded Hangouts Meet session files count toward your Google Drive storage limits. For more information, see Google's Record a video meeting help page.

How to live stream Hangouts Meet

To live stream with Hangouts Meet, you'll create two Google Calendar events.

First, create a calendar event to which you will invite the people who will actively participate in the meeting (Figure E).

1. Go to https://calendar.google.com in a browser and sign-in with your Google account, if prompted.
2. Select +Create to make a new event.
3. Select More Options (to the left of the Save button).
4. Enter all calendar event details (date, time, notes, attachments, etc.) and add participant email addresses.
5. Next to the video icon, select Add Conferencing, then choose Hangouts Meet.
6. Select the drop-down icon to the right of the your added Hangouts Meet link.
7. Select Add Live Stream.
8. Select Save (in the upper portion of the page, to the right of the event title). You have now created the event and invited the participants.

Figure E

Screenshot that shows a Google Calendar event, with details, and Hangouts Meet as well as Live stream details (links) displayed.

First, create a Google Calendar event to which you invite people you want to participate in your live stream. Add Hangouts Meet conferencing to the event details, and also select the Add Live Stream option.

Next, you'll create a separate calendar event to which you will invite people who will view the live stream.

1. Open Google Calendar and navigate to the calendar event you created for Hangouts Meet participants. Click on the event to display the basic event details.

2. Select the three-vertical dot menu (in the upper area of the event), then select Create View-Only Event (Figure F). This will open a new calendar event. Alternatively, if you select Edit for an event, you may then select the More Actions button--to the right of the Save button--and choose Create View-Only Event.

Figure F

Screenshot of participant event details in Google Calendar event, with the menu selected and the Create view-only event option displayed.

After you save the Calendar event for participants, select the same event, then select the three-vertical dot menu and choose Create View-Only Event. This allows you to create a separate event for people in your organization to view the live stream.

3. Add the email addresses of all guests in your organization you want to invite to the stream. Remember, you may invite people not only with individual email addresses, but also invite sets of people when you add an address of an existing Google Group (e.g., staff@exampleorganization.com) in your organization.

4. Edit any event details as needed. Note: Do not make any changes to the Hangouts Meet live stream details.

5. Select Save (in the upper portion of the page, to the right of the event title). You have now created your second event and invited the live stream viewers (Figure G).

Figure G

Screenshot of two Google Calendar events side-by-side, with one including [Live stream] in the title, and arrows and text pointing to indicate the Participant event and Viewer event.

Once created, you'll end up with two Google Calendar events. The one with [Live Stream] in the title indicates the event for viewers, while the other event is the one for the organizer and active participants.

Participants and viewers may access the session by selecting or tapping on the respective Hangouts Meet link associated with each Google Calendar event at the appropriate time. To start streaming a meeting from the Chrome browser on a desktop or laptop, the organizer selects the three-vertical dots menu (in the lower right area) to access the More menu, then chooses Start Streaming. A prompt at the top of the screen also allows you to start streaming. In my testing, viewing live streams worked well in Chrome on desktop or laptop systems.

Your experience?

If your organization used G Suite during the time of COVID-19 concerns, did your G Suite administrator enable the ability record or live stream? Has the ability to record or live stream Hangouts Meet sessions improved how people in your organization communicate? Let me know what your experience with these capabilities has been, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Hand drawn Hangouts Meet icon in center, with arrow pointing to REC (record) symbol in red rectangle in upper left, and an arrow pointing to blue Live stream symbol in lower right.

Illustration: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic