Gmail Chat Suggestion: Turn Auto Add Contacts Off


Yesterday evening, I received a Gmail chat message from someone I didn’t know asking why I requested to add him to his Gmail chat list. I didn’t recognize his email address, and I certainly hadn’t requested someone to be added to Gmail chat since I hardly ever use it.

I assumed it was another domain investor, so I did a quick Google search for the email address of the person who contacted me, and it turns out that the email address is the Whois address on file for someone with whom I was emailing about domain names last week.

I didn’t know why Google did this automatically, but when I looked in my Gmail settings, I noticed that this option was checked off: “Automatically allow people I communicate with often to chat with me and see when I’m online.”

If you are a frequent Gmail user and don’t want to weird people out by having Google request inclusion on their chat list, you should select this option: “Only allow people that I’ve explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I’m online.”

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. If you don’t use chat often at all – go a step further and better. Turn “off” chat. The benefit is lighter code load in Gmail.

    Gmail is fantastic but it is getting a little bloated and occasionally you will notice a page loading slower than you might want. The code for all the options that you are using has to reload every time you go from inbox to a message or back. If you pop a message out into a separate window — the code has to completely load again.

    Bottom line is at the bottom of the Gmail page — look for Turn off Chat. You can always turn it on any time you want and it only takes couple seconds to turn on.

  2. Coincidentally this same thing happened to me a few days ago.

    I have replied to several questions on a Google groups forum, while keeping my email and personal data hidden; including direct replies to other users (also username and email hidden).

    Then, Google decided to allow the persons that I interacted with, to see my online/offline status. Those persons also appeared on my Google Maps / Latitude friends list…just to confirm them to be added as my “friends” by tapping on a “accept” check-mark (which could be easily done by accident, on my smartphone, if not careful)

    This specific hint from Elliot is extremely important and valuable if you want to keep control of your friends list on Google and who you share information with.

    Kind regards from Mexico City.


  3. Google will also disable your account if it detects unusual activity forcing you to verify your account with a cell phone number.

    Do not link your google products to your gmail account especially google analytics and adsense and blogger

    lol it’s pathetic how domain speculators value a domain based on google and google couldn’t give a ‘click’ about anyone tells it like it is – I don’ believe he ever mentioned .co gtld from your previous post but whatever someone’s got to profit off the greedy

  4. Oh no… that is embarrassing! I have send a request to be added to the chatlists of those I sent an email to? I use my email account primarily to correspond with parties/individuals intersted in licensing my fonts for commercial use. W-e-i-r-d-o indeed. Good to know. Thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply