I use Pidgin to chat with Gmail contacts. In cases when:

  1. PC is off
  2. A message was not sent from pidgin

I do not get these messages in the pidgin.

Is there a way to fix this?

For example, if I send a message via Pidgin, it appears in Hangouts app on Android almost instantly. If the PC if off and I send a message from Android phone, then turn on the PC and Pidgin, I do not see such messages.

Other example, I need the same behaviour like on Skype. No matter which device I use, when I start Skype, all messages are there after a minute or so.


Google's Chat (previously called Talk, now Hangouts) uses the XMPP protocol to send and receive messages. XMPP does not support cross-device history.

Google thus added a proprietary extension to Hangouts to enable that feature, using GMail as storage backend. Unfortunately, there is (currently) no way for Pidgin to use that extension.

If you are really set on having the history synchronized, you could use the Hangouts web client on Google+.

EDIT: There is at least one XMPP extension for centralized history[0] and client synching, as well as "Carbon copy"ing messages sent from one client to other open clients, but Google, Facebook, and others who built chat services on XMPP decided it was more in their interest to silo off than to work together and allow interoperability. They could have published their extension as a spec.

[0] Example: http://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0313.html . There may be others.

  • what do you mean by "you could use the Hangouts web client on Google+."? – ubuntico Dec 11 '13 at 17:23
  • Google+, Google's social network, has an integrated chat client on its page. It works much like the Hangouts App on Android. – drc Dec 12 '13 at 7:40
  • Oh that. I know about it. The same as Gmail chat. But you must have a browser opened so I am looking for some off-browser solution. – ubuntico Dec 12 '13 at 7:50
  • For the sake of posterity: you can now download a Hangouts client to run outside the browser, which is identical to that from Gmail or Google+. Personally, I still prefer using Pidgin despite its shortcomings, but you can download the Hangouts client here: google.ca/hangouts – JMTyler Jul 8 '14 at 10:39
  • "For the sake of posterity", the Google Hangouts client JMTyler is referring to is a Chrome browser extension, not a standalone application. – Azuvector Feb 12 '15 at 3:57

There is a XMPP standard (XEP-0136) for storing server-side message history. However, it is not clear that this is the mechanism that Google is using for their history function. See eg, this question (from 2012) and this one (from 2011), or at least as of those questions it doesn't appear supported.

However, Pidgin doesn't actually in any case officially support this extension. See this (6-year old, ouch) request that the feature be implemented, and more recently another. There might be unofficial plugins to do this, though.


There is a Chrome Extension (by Google) that allows you to manage your hangouts outside of the browser - a bit like the current "pop-out" ability but more stable.


Not exactly what you were asking for but I just found out about it and it's pretty good. Not as good as seamless Pidgin integration but better than using the "pop-out" feature.

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