Q. I used Google Hangouts for the first time in Berlin. Now, if I enter a new contact into Google Contacts, it assumes the phone number is German and I have to manually change it each time. Is there a way to change the default country?
A. If your Google account seems to think you are still in Germany, one place to check for a “default country” designation is in the settings for the Gmail account that is associated with your Google Hangouts calls. In a web browser, log into that Gmail account and click the gear-shaped Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the Gmail window.
On the Gmail Settings screen, click the General tab if it is not already selected. In the Phone Numbers section of the page, a “default country code” pop-up menu allows you to set the United States as your home base. Click the Save Changes button when you are finished. If you use Google Hangouts or Google Voice on any mobile devices, restart them after you have saved the changes on the computer. Google’s Hangouts Help page might have answers to other issues with the service.
For those unfamiliar with the software, Google Hangouts can be used to make video calls, as well as telephone calls from the computer’s web browser; you need to have a Google Account and compatible hardware. A Google Hangouts app is available for Android and iOS devices, as is a Chrome browser extension. Google Hangouts can also send and receive text messages between users and groups.
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