It’s been quite sometime now since Google replaced Hangouts with Chat. Although it’s a great app for basic communication and collaboration, it still has a long way to go.

But it’s safe to say that it is on the right track, and is slowly closing in on the slew of features it needs to add. Chat has now officially added the “Mark as Unread” feature for chats and spaces. Although a very rudimentary feature, it’s still important. Here’s how you can use it.

How Does “Mark as Unread” Work?

If you’re unaware of the feature, the ability to mark the chat as unread does not revert the status from read to unread on the sender’s side when the read receipts are on. Basically, if you read the message and mark it as unread, the sender will still see that you’ve read the message.

Then, what use does it serve? It essentially serves as a reminder for you. When you mark the message as unread, you get the ‘Unread’ marking on the message. So, if you opened the message but put off replying to it for later on, it’ll serve as a reminder that you need to go back.

You know how they say, “out of sight, out of mind?” Marking the message as unread serves as a visual reminder (with a red dot next to the chat), preventing it from slipping out of your mind, as well.

The feature is available on both the web app and the mobile app. But you might not have it yet as it is still in the rollout phase. In that case, it can take up to a week to reach you as that’s the projected timeline for complete deployment.

Marking a Message as Unread from the Web app (or PWA) on the Desktop

On the desktop, Google Chat is available as a web app that you can install on the desktop as a Progressive Web App (PWA). So, however you are using it, the functionality stays exactly the same.

To mark a conversation as unread in chat, go to the chat in the conversation list. Then, click the ‘More’ option (three-dot menu).

From the overflow menu, click ‘Mark as Unread’. It’ll mark the chat as unread.

If you want to mark some older messages as unread, open the chat for that conversation. Then, hover the cursor over the message you wish to mark as unread and click on the ‘Mark as unread’ option (chat icon with a dot) from the hover menu.

When you mark as unread in Google Chat, an ‘Unread’ marker will appear above the message you marked as unread separating them from the messages above.

You can also mark messages in Spaces as unread. Go to the conversation list under Space that you want to mark as unread. Then, click ‘More’ (three-dot menu) and select ‘Mark as Unread’ from the menu.

Along with the ‘Mark as Unread’ option, the app will now also have a ‘Mark as Read’ option. Use it to mark your messages as read without opening the chat.

Marking Messages as Unread from the Mobile App

If you use the Google Chat mobile app on iOS or Android, you can mark the message as unread directly from the mobile app. But before you proceed, make sure that your app is updated to the latest version.

To mark messages from Chat as unread, go to the ‘Chat’ tab from the navigation bar on the bottom.

Then, go to the chat from the list of conversations. Tap and hold the chat until a few options appear from the bottom of the chat. Tap ‘Mark as Unread’ from the options available.

To mark a message as unread, open the chat. Then, tap and hold the message. Then, tap ‘Mark as Unread’ from the options that appear.

To mark conversations in Spaces as unread, go to ‘Spaces’ from the bottom.

Then, tap and hold the conversation you want to mark as unread. Select ‘Mark as Unread’ from the options that appear.

Google Chat is slowly gaining features that are bringing it at par with its competitors; this is definitely one of those features. The feature will be available for all Google Workspace users, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers upon complete rollout.