Google Meet adds a new feature that shuts up troublesome participants for good

Google Meet
Google Meet (Image credit: Future)

Google Meet is giving hosts the opportunity to silence irksome participants for good. The search engine giant rolled out new audio and video tools, allowing hosts to permanently mute and shutter guests. The operative word here is permanent. Before these features were implemented, hosts could mute disruptive participants, but the troublemakers could unmute themselves and continue their disturbance.

On top of that, many hosts want to control whether their calls are participation-free or not, so this new feature will help Meet compete with other popular videoconferencing platforms, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Google Meet hosts can now enable audio, video locks

In mid-February, Google Meet rolled out a new feature that lets hosts mute everyone at once. Whew! Could you imagine having 100 participants and needing to mute each one individually? Now, as mentioned, the search engine giant is kicking its mute feature up a notch by adding a new lock option to permanently silence participants. Hosts can also shutter their guests' cameras.

The audio and video lock feature, once enabled in the main meeting room, will also be active in breakout rooms.  

Keep in mind that guests using unsupported mobile versions of the Meet app will be dropped from the meeting when the host enables an audio or video lock (or both). Don't worry, though. According to Google, when they attempt to join a meeting with active locks, they'll be prompted to update their Android or iOS app. If you want, you can turn off the locks to allow these participants to rejoin the meeting.

The new audio and video locks have been added for Google Workspace, G Suite Basic and Business customers. If you don't see the feature yet, don't fret. The search engine giant is rolling out the new lock perk gradually over the next few weeks.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!