If you’ve added people to your Google+ circles, you might have noticed that these people have been automatically added to your Gmail chat pane. So now, not only can your friends see when you’re logged into your personal email and chat with you, but so can your coworkers, students, or other people in your professional network. This can lead to unwanted work-related conversations on nights and weekends, when all you want to do is chat and make plans with your pals.
Google doesn’t make it obvious how to remove your Google+ contacts from chat while logged into Gmail. That’s because you can’t; you need to be on the Google+ view to remove these contacts. Here’s how:
1. Navigate to your Google+ page
Click on the notifications icon at the top of your Gmail screen, and then click Google+.
2. Edit your chat settings
You may have to wait a few seconds, or even a couple minutes, for the chat function to load on your Google+ page. Once it does, click on the arrow next to your name, and then select Privacy Settings.
3. Select custom settings
Click on the Your Circles drop-down menu and select Custom.
4. Choose none of your Google+ circles
Leave all of your Google+ circles unselected. If you would like contacts from certain circles to remain in your Gmail chat, check these off. Otherwise, just click Save.
That’s it! Now if you go back to your Gmail account, you’ll notice that your chat pane is back to normal, just showing your email contacts and friends. Your name will also be removed from your Google+ contacts’ chat panes.