This article is written for G Suite for Education Administrators.

Update 10/02/2020: The case 1 of blocking all chats is deprecated in favor of Google Meet’s built-in Host Controls > Let Everyone Send Chat Messages = OFF option from the recent update of Google Meet in Sep 2020. However, the Host Control is on the session basis. If you prefer a permanent solution for all meeting sessions, please use Safe Doc case 1.

Do you find an issue of students posting chat messages in Google Meet that interrupted online classes?

Yes, teachers wanted to disable Google Meet's Chat feature since it seems more harmful than good in remote learning.

This article demonstrates how Safe Doc chrome extension disable the Chat feature to keep the class quiet. If you have yet to install Safe Doc, apply a 30 days trial.

What's changed by Safe Doc

The chat feature resides in the right panel of Google Meet. Every participant in the room is free to chat without restrictions by default. Teachers will need to use the Host control to turn off chat capabilities on the students' ends. Messages sent are visible to all. Safe Doc removes the Chat bar, so students cannot find and use this feature.

Safe Doc removes the Google Meet chat feature completely and permanently for all meetings
Safe Doc removes the Google Meet chat feature completely and permanently for all meetings

How to get started

First of all, make sure you have deployed Safe Doc and read how to Configure Safe Doc.

Case 1: Block all chats

If your ultimate goal is to completely ban the chat feature in Google Meet, add and set the policy BlockMeetChat to true in the Safe Doc extension policy configuration. Save and verify if it works. The chat feature is not blocked if the policy is not set or false. Your teachers no longer have to turn off Chat for each meeting in the Host control.

"BlockMeetChat": {
  "Value": true
}

Case 2: Block single student's chat with the magic /chatoff command

It's also possible for your teachers to temporarily ban a few students from flooding chat messages disturbing the lectures.

Ask your teachers to use the magic /chatoff <student email> command in the chat window to disable the given student's chat feature for the lecture session. Take a look at the following example.

  1. (The chatty student Pat Paul): types tons of chat messages disrupting the classroom.
  2. (The teacher): finds the email of annoying student.
  3. (The teacher): opens the chat window and types
    /chatoff [email protected]
  4. (The student Pat Paul): my chat bar is confiscated!
  5. The classroom returns to silence and focus.
Safe Doc's /chatoff command allows teachers to block individual student's chatting in Google Meet (the demo was based on the old interface before 6/11/2021 but Safe Doc also works for the new interface).

The /chatoff command is managed by the Safe Doc policy EnableMeetChatOffCommand. If the policy is not set or false, the /chatoff command is not enabled. If the policy is set to true, the /chatoff command is enabled. Here is the policy setup.

"EnableMeetChatOffCommand": {
  "Value": true
}

Caveat: students are also able to initiate the /chatoff command which disables the chat feature of other students.


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