How to use Google Talk and Gmail with other IM services

Do you do a lot of instant messaging? I have started to do more now that Google Talk is built into Gmail. The beauty of that is that I don't have to install a client and it is available anywhere I have a browser. If I want one of the other services then I need to install their client or something like Trillian that logs me into everything at the same time. Still a bit of a drag because I have to log in and have things running in the back ground. The browser is with me everywhere.
Fine, well and good you say but but what about all my old friends on AIM or Yahoo! or MSN?
If you are willing to spend a few minutes getting things set up once, I am going to show you how you can have truly portable instant messaging for all your services and all from within your browser.
This wizardry is done through servers called Jabber Transports. Cool thing is, you don't have to know or care how they work, just how to access them.
First you need another client for Jabber. Unfortunately Gtalk just won't cut it for this step as they have no way to access the transport browser. I use Psi because it is easy so those are the instructions you'll read below. You are only going to need this client for the initial set up. The magic here is that you are going to do this on one computer and it will instantly transfer to any other computer you install Google Talk on or any browser you run Gmail (with its built in chat client). It's all very cool and it's not hard if you stay with me.

Install Psi then set it up to talk to GTalk
1. Download Psi and run the Psi installer
2. On the 'Choose Components' screen, deselect Automatic Startup so Psi doesn't run automatically every time you start Windows

3. When the set up finishes, select Run Psi
4. Close the tips window
5. Enter a name for your account in the Name field (I used 'GoogleTalk'). Also, make sure that the box next to Register new account is NOT checked.

6. In the Jabber id field, enter your Google id and be sure to put the after it. If you have Google aps for you domain, you'll need to put in the correct domain.

7. Open the Connections tab, check all the boxes and enter in the host field. The port is 5223.

8. Click Save
9. In the Psi main window, click the drop-down at the bottom that is currently labeled 'offline' and select On-Line
10. Enter you password when prompted
11. You'll then be logged in and should see a lit of all your contacts from GTalk.

Browse for a transport server that does what you need
1. Go to and look around for a transport server.
- for example, if you want to use Google Talk to talk to people on AIM, you need one that provides a transport to AIM. It will say something like "AIM Transport: Users can register for gateway communications to AIM"
I am going to use in my examples

Configure the transports that let you talk with other IM services
1. In Psi, click the little trident icon on the bottom left
2. Click Service Directory

3. In the Address bar, type in the name of the transport server you found above
4. Click the Browse button
5. Pick the Transport you want, in this case AIM, and right-click and click register
6. Enter your username and password on that service

7. Close the Service Discovery window
8. You'll get a message in Psi about the new service wanting to talk to you. Click Add/Auth

9. You'll then get another message saying you've been authorized
10. You'll then get similar messages for each of your contacts in AIM (or which ever service you are using) but you only have to go through each once

That's it. You can exit and close down Psi. You aren't going to need it again until you want to add another transport.
Now the fun starts! All those old friends from AIM are now available to you in GTalk and, even better, within your Gmail client in any web browser. Oh, and if you have chats being saved in Gmail (in Gmail, settings - chat - Save chat history in my Gmail account) , this method will save all your chats, even those with the other services.
There is a caveat...if you want to add a new friend from another service, you have to add them as username@transport so, from above, it would be
Happy chatting!
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  • Nice post! I've been looking for something like that since Google Talk become available... Just one question.

    What happens if you send an email to the MSN contacts?

    Well thank you for the tip. ;)

    By Anonymous Joseph, at 12/29/2006 11:24:00 AM  

  • Joseph, I haven't tried sending email to one of the IM contacts. Give it a try :)

    By Blogger Scott, at 12/29/2006 08:40:00 PM  

  • Not sure if anybody's still watching this post, but I'm curious if anyone else has run into a problem I'm having.
    Using GoogleTalk, after a few minutes of being connecting I see a lot of my AIM contacts (including go offline. Not all of them, but some. I can tell that they're still logged in because they appear online at Meebo. I don't think this is a problem with the transport, because neither Meebo, Gaim, nor Psi give me the same problem... just GoogleTalk. Has anybody run into this before?

    By Anonymous Tommy M., at 1/18/2007 06:18:00 AM  

  • Tommy, I haven't seen that. Then again, I don't really use Google Talk, just the chat portion of Gmail and I haven't seen it happen in there. Hope someone else has a solution for you.

    By Blogger Scott, at 1/18/2007 08:49:00 AM  

  • Did anybody experienced my same problem? I followed all the steps and it worked fine BUT if I close and exit Psi than all my AIM/MSN contacts go offline and cannot be reached. I need both Psi and Google Talk running to make it work. Wrong settings or what?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/25/2007 02:21:00 AM  

  • Anon, I'm not sure what happened. I set all this up and then never had a problem. I get all my AIM and Yahoo contacts in Google Chat (in Gmail) on machines that I never even set up PSI on. Shouldn't need PSI once the initial set up is done. I'll try and see what might have gone wrong with my instructions.

    By Blogger Scott, at 1/25/2007 07:03:00 AM  

  • I have the same problem. Since I have an old transport that works, I think it might be the problem that a transport is no longer allowed to be added to your Google contact list.
    I have one transport in the contact list for AIM but if I now register for a new one (with psi), it does only appear as long as psi is open.
    And I can not enter it manually into the contact list, because an email-address containing an @ is require. :-/

    By Anonymous Niko, at 2/02/2007 04:51:00 AM  

  • hi there, somehow i cant get to browse this > to use yahoo transport. any idea how i do it?

    By Blogger Chinnu, at 2/04/2007 03:06:00 AM  

  • Does anyone know how to UN-register with the transport. In other words, I want my AIM buddies to stop showing up in Google Talk and in GMAIL.
    Thanks in advance!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 05:47:00 PM  

  • Just delete the transport from your contact list and they won't show up anymore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/09/2007 01:42:00 AM  

  • I am having the same problem as Scott. As soon as I close PSI, the contacts all go offline. Any suggestions?

    By Anonymous Sam., at 2/14/2007 05:07:00 AM  

  • Just an FTY - when you use this method, you are providing your credentials (username and password) to the transport server. You should be aware of this and make sure you trust the operator of the transport server.

    By Blogger larry, at 2/16/2007 10:54:00 AM  

  • i used from the example and i got the first authorization message but not the ones for my aim contacts.

    By Blogger Andy, at 3/03/2007 08:14:00 AM  

  • i got to but later when I select yahoo or aim its not allowing me to register. that option is disabled in right click. please help.

    By Blogger Sandeep, at 3/25/2007 02:49:00 AM  

  • I am also having the problem where if I close PSI all of my aim contacts (including the transport) go offline. If I click on them and start messaging it works fine, but I can't see there status. That is with the Google Chat client.

    They show up perfectly in the Chat interface in Gmail and not at all on the chat gadget on my google homepage. Fun huh?

    By Blogger Nalanthi, at 3/25/2007 05:05:00 PM  

  • all worked fine for me except yahoo

    features of is not listed i tried many other servers too but no use can u plz tell me a way to register my yahoo frnds in google talk

    By Blogger Deepchand, at 4/03/2007 12:26:00 AM  

  • Great work but it messed up my gmail. How can I change it back?
    Please email me back jyxjewels at

    By Blogger Paulette, at 5/05/2007 08:00:00 AM  

  • Everything works fine when I try this up until the point I try to do the service discovery. I put in the address and nothing happens (I've tried several different addresses). It see's the main Google Talk one when it uses that address but when I enter anything else, it just comes up blank. Any suggestions?

    By Anonymous Sam, at 8/07/2007 02:35:00 AM  

  • To remove it, I think you just have to right click on the transport (should appear under Agents/Transports in Psi), then select Authorization > Remove Authorization. Then you should see your AIM buddies dissapear from your buddy list.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/09/2007 03:27:00 PM  

  • Why not link to the original tutorial:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/15/2007 10:17:00 AM  

  • question...

    can you set it up to record your aim convos in gmail chat logs on aim?

    for example, can you set this up with pidge and then use the aim 6.0 client instead?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2007 02:22:00 AM  

    I didn't know you could do this, but it will save a few CPU cycles on my system since I always have the browser up. :-)
    (security tips for all)

    By Blogger AEL, at 9/05/2007 06:43:00 PM  

  • awesome!!

    By Blogger CarolineIris, at 9/19/2007 11:14:00 PM  

  • there is a cool web chat application

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/27/2007 08:33:00 PM  

  • This is Great!

    I can now chat with MSN and AIM users through Google Talk, but how do I edit the contact information in Google. The information is too long for example "". I can't seem to be able to rename the contact info to "User" because the email address is not recognized. I can change this in PSI but don't necessarily want to keep Psi.

    Anyone else come across this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/27/2007 12:05:00 PM  

  • Editing the contact information is easy. You can edit those contact's through Gmail's Contacts.
    If you don't have them in the GMail contactlist, maybe it's necessary to log in to the Gmail Chat for the "" contacts to appear in there.

    Used this myself, very happy with the results =)

    By Blogger Hillar, at 1/10/2008 02:24:00 AM  

  • Has anyone been able to block contacts using this chat program? I can't seem to find an option to do that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/28/2008 12:07:00 PM  

  • Hi

    I don't know if anyone's still reading this post, but I'd like to ask something... I've setted up my gmail account to chat with msn contacts, buy only able to chat with them within GTalk or Meebo or any other chat client, but cant contact msn buddies from within Gmail. Is there anything I did wrong?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/26/2008 02:34:00 PM  

  • hi there. I was wondering if anyone else is suffering the same issue. I've been using Gtalk with my MSN contacts for almost two years now, thanks to a tutorial like this one. Despite of file transfers.. everything was ok. Until one day.. my transporter ( just shutted down. I've tried registering with other jabber servers the same way I did it before, but no hope. I manage to register the accounts, and connect to both MSN and Gtalk. But Gtalk won't display my MSN contacts no more. Any ideas why? Did Google do anything lately? Does anyone of you have *still* MSN contacts on Gtalk working? What am I doing wrong? I've followed every tutorial out there, tried with 5 or 6 jabber transporters, few software jabber clients. nada! I haven't managed to import contacts anymore to Gtalk.

    Any Ideas?

    By Anonymous waldo, at 4/07/2009 02:09:00 AM  

  • I've had been using as msn transport for over a year now, but suddenly a couple of weeks ago it stopped working. I don't have any idea how to fix it.
    My guess is that Google changed something in their Jabber related services.

    By Blogger Hillar, at 4/10/2009 06:10:00 AM  

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