Hangouts logoIf you use Hangouts to communicate with people over Google’s instant messaging service, along with SMS to and from your mobile carrier number and your Google Voice number, you might be noticing a problem that was introduced with the latest update to the Android app. Previously, Hangouts would seamlessly merge all conversations across all three mediums. Now, for a large portion of the user base, it seems that these conversations have been un-merged, with no clear solution on how to fix this.

After a lot of trial and error, I have stumbled across a solution that has the potential to be a massive headache if a lot of your conversation threads and contacts are affected by this. Here’s how I fixed it on my Google Nexus 6:

  • In the Hangouts app, navigate to Settings > SMS. Ensure that the “Default SMS messaging account” is correct. For some reason, mine got switched to “SMS only” in the course of switching back and forth between Hangouts and Messenger for SMS.
  • Next, open an SMS thread from one of the affected contacts. Select the menu icon in the upper right corner, and then select Un-merge SMS.
  • Go back, and long press the Hangouts conversation and the SMS conversation for that contact. The “merge” option should again appear in the upper right.

Unfortunately, this option will only fix two out of the three potential conversation threads – you can merge Hangouts and SMS, for instance, but Google Voice will still appear separately.

Hopefully Google fixes this problem very soon.