How to Find Gmail Status Online

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Gmail allows you to add your address book contacts to Gmail chat, where you can send instant messages and immediately see a friend's status right on your Gmail email interface. This allows you to make a quick decision as to whether an email or a quick message would be the fastest and most appropriate way to relay information. By checking the Gmail chat bar on the left-hand side of the page, you can quickly glean a person's status for the most effective mode of communication.

  • Type "www.gmail.com" into the address bar of your Web browser.

  • Enter your login information and sign in.

  • Allow your Gmail account to load. You may notice that your contact list takes longer to load than your email.

  • Look under the "Chat" heading on the left-hand side of the page, where you'll find your contacts' various statuses. A silver dot means a contact is not online. Yellow means they are signed in but are busy or have been inactive for more than 15 minutes. A green dot means contacts are online, active and available.

  • Read a contact's status message by looking directly underneath her name. If she has entered a status message, it will appear in light pink lettering. Set your own status by entering a status message into the "set status here" field under your own chat name.

Tips & Warnings

  • You must have a Gmail account in order to access Google chat and see your contacts' online statuses. In order to sign up for a Gmail account, visit gmail.com and click "Create an Account" to enter your information and sign up. Then, add contacts that also have Gmail in order to view online statuses.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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