How to Erase Someone in Gmail Chat

Categories: Advice, Technology


Hi Anna,

Quick question about Gmail chat. When you block someone you've chatted with. they can still see your "icon chat image" on their chat list. But how do you completely unchat someone on Gmail?

If I'm following you correctly, and I believe that I am, you're asking me how to reverse time. And to that I say, FINALLY. All these questions about how to get laid on Twitter and vlogging about vlogging, when all I really wanted to talk about was how to return to Michael J. Fox's puffy vest era.

Short answer: I'm working on it. And by "working on it" I mean that I am wearing lots of neon bodysuits with crotches that snap closed, and my face is constantly prefaced by a hairsprayed wall of bangs.

If you block someone in Gmail chat, they will still have your contact information, but you'll never appear to be online. I suppose said annoying person that you blocked might still try to chat you, thinking you're just "invisible" and hence available to analyze topless pictures of True Blood's Ryan Kwanten all the livelong day, which you probably are. As the Google help forum states, 

"Blocking someone will prevent him or her from talking to you, and vice versa." 

That's as close to an interpretation of "unchat" as I can get. I hope both of these answers weren't gravely disappointing, especially the first one.

Just an FYI, here's how to block someone in Google Chat:

Hover over the contact's name in the chat window. A box will pop up with a little picture, as well as the person's e-mail address. In that box, click "more." Then choose "never show" or "block" to remove that person from your chat list.

To turn off the chat function, scroll to the bottom of your in-box. In the center, in small print, is a "turn off chat" link.

In case you've forgotten, here's how to make the steaming pile of poop in G-Chat: ~@~

Type this to get a broken heart: </3

This is supposedly a monkey: :(|)

This is how you make a robot: [:|]

And type this when you just gotta rock: \m/

Also, did you know Google Labs has lots of fun, ridiculous tweaks to soup up your inbox? Caveat from Gmail: "Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for prime time. They may change, break, or disappear at any time."

That said, go to Settings (the icon shaped like a big gear in the upper right-hand corner) and click on "Labs." There are, of course, practical features, such as Nested Labels and Superstars (when one kind of star isn't enough for your organizational uppityness), but here are a few of my faves that serve little to no purpose:

Old Snakey -- Remember that ghetto computer game after Pong but before Oregon Trail? That's the one. With this feature enabled, you can now play Old Snakey while checking your e-mail. Feed your snake! (There's an Anthony Weiner joke in there somewhere, but I'm too Weiner-fatigued to write one).


Green Robot - Some people appear to be on G-Chat all the time even when they're nowhere near a computer. This app shows you who's on their Android phones by displaying a robot instead of the usual dot, so you don't bother trying to chat with them. Doesn't work for iPhone, however. Fascists.

​Undo Send
- If your drunk ass was too busy mouthbanging that Merlot and accidentally sent an e-mail you didn't mean to, then with this feature enabled, you can set your e-mail to have a lag time (5 to 10 seconds is the default). If that's too little time for you, you can set the period by going to Settings -> General -> Undo Send -> Send Cancellation


Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

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