Google Meet calls could be about to get a lot more pleasant - by blocking everyone else out

Google Meet on phone
(Image credit: / sdx15)

Setting up Google Meet calls to only show the people you want to hear from (or like) will soon be easier than ever thanks to a new update.

The video conferencing service has announced a change that will allow users to turn off the video feed from other participants during a Google Meet call.

Instead, a static image will replace their feed, letting you focus on exactly what content you need to, hopefully leading to a better video call experience, and less distractions all round.

Block Google Meet video

In a blog post announcing the update, Google noted the the new option could be helpful for those situations where users want to focus on a single presenter or speaker, or hide particularly distracting video feeds from certain individuals. 

The affected participants won't be notified that you've turned off their feed - in fact, Google says they won't experience any change on their end at all.

Google Meet block video feed

(Image credit: Google Meet)

The feature doesn't require any admin control, and is rolling out now to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

It will be available to Google Meet users on the web, but also on mobile devices - and if you are joining a meeting from the latter, you can also now select “Audio only”, which will turn off all video feeds apart from the tiles presenting content. 

Elsewhere, Google is also making presenting on Meet easier with a new co-presenting tool.

The update means multiple users can now present Google Slides together on a Meet call. Whoever is assigned as the primary presenter will be able to assign participants to co-present Slides with them, with co-presenters able to see the audience, presentation, and Slides controls in one window, as well as navigating through the presentation and having control over starting and stopping any media.

"This eliminates the need to ask a colleague to move to the next slide in a presentation, leading to smoother transitions and minimal distractions. In addition, this feature further bridges the gap between people working from different locations," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.