How to Use Companion Mode in Google Meet

  • Google Meet’s companion mode lets you join a meeting with a second device focused on screen sharing or whiteboarding.
  • This mode allows you to engage in a meeting without losing sight of the participant grid on your primary device.
  • To use the feature, click the Use Companion Mode button on Google Meet or use the Companion Mode link page and enter the meeting code.
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Google Companion Mode is a new feature in Google Meet that lets you join a meeting with a second screen. You can connect with two laptops, for example, or one laptop and another compatible device, such as a Google Hub Max.

The second screen doesn’t display the typical participant grid and doesn’t use the device’s mic, speaker, or camera, allowing you to use the devices side-by-side without creating feedback. The second device in Companion Mode is designed entirely to allow you to share your screen, participate in whiteboarding and other cumbersome tasks on your main screen without losing sight of other participants on the first screen.

How to Use Companion Mode in Google Meet

There are two ways to start companion mode from your secondary display; you can do this directly from the meeting invite, or you can use a unique companion code link with the meeting code of the meeting you want to join.

From the meeting invitation, click the link to join the meeting. Then on the

Google Meet

start page, find the Other membership options under the Join now and Show Buttons. Click on Use companion mode.

Google Meet in Chrome

Use the companion mode link to start a second instance of a project or whiteboard meeting.

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Alternatively, you can open in a web browser. Enter the meeting code and click Start companion.

Who can use companion mode in Google Meet

Anyone can use companion mode; it is not limited to the meeting leader or any other type of attendee. But you can only use computers, laptops, and a small number of specialized devices like Google Hub Max – you can’t connect with an iPhone or Android device.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that as the name suggests, it’s meant to be a companion to your main device connecting to a meeting. If you connect to a meeting only with a device in companion mode, you won’t have sound, so you won’t be able to hear the meeting or speak. Google Meet expects your primary screen to provide you with these features.

How to share your screen in companion mode

Sharing your screen in companion mode is essentially the same as how you normally would in Google Meet.

1. At the bottom of the screen, click the Present now button.

2. From the context menu, choose what you want to share, such as your entire screen, a specific window, or a browser tab, then select the specific window or tab you want everyone to see.

Google Meet in Chrome

Use the same Present Now button to present in Companion Mode that you normally use.

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3. If you are sharing your entire screen or a browser tab, check the box if you want to share audio from your device.

4. Click on To share.

What features are available in companion mode

Using Companion mode, you can do many things that you could normally do in Google Meet:

  • To discuss: Companion mode opens in chat mode, but if you change the view, you can always return to it by clicking the Chat with everyone button in the bottom right.
  • Share your screen: Use the Present now button.
  • Create or open a whiteboard: You can use a whiteboard to collaborate with other participants. To do this, click on the Activity bottom right button, click Whiteboardthen create or open a whiteboard.

Google Meet in Chrome

You can find the whiteboard by clicking the Activity button.

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  • Enable subtitles: Click it CC at the bottom of the screen to enable automatic captioning.
  • Broadcast the meeting: You can cast this Google Meet on another compatible device (like a Chromecast). Click it three dot menu button then choose Broadcast this meeting.
  • Create a breakout room, launch a poll or record a meeting: You can find all these options in the Premium section after clicking on the Activities button. However, you need a premium Google Meet account to take advantage of these options.

What features are not available in companion mode

Companion mode is a secondary portal into your meeting, and as such it doesn’t have all the capabilities compared to a regular Google Meet window. Here’s what’s missing:

  • You do not have access to the participants’ grid. You must use your main screen to see who is in the meeting, and the device in companion mode will not appear in the participant grid as another participant.
  • You can’t use your device’s camera, microphone, or speakers in Companion mode, so you can’t hear or speak using that meeting connection. Google Meet expects you to also connect to another device in the usual way.
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