Change country codes with Google

Q. I used Google Hangouts for the first time in Berlin. Now if I enter a new contact in Google Contacts it assumes the phone number is German and I have to manually change it every time. Is there a way to change the default country?

A. If your Google Account seems to think you’re still in Germany, a place to check for a “default country” designation is in the settings of the Gmail account associated with your Google Hangouts calls. In a web browser, sign in to 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 port. Click the Save Changes button when finished. If you are using Google Hangouts or Google Voice on mobile devices, restart them after saving the changes on the computer. The Google Hangouts help page may 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 phone calls from the computer’s web browser; you must 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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