How to set the Tiled layout in Google Meet to view 16 participants at once

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Google Meet is the business-oriented version of Google’s social Video conferencing app, Google Hangouts. In the days following the lockdown of numerous cities, Google Meet saw a surge in its user database as companies, educational institutions, and other organizations scrambled to find ways to keep their businesses running.

Google Meet allows users to create Meetings with up to 100 participants, using a Gsuite Basic account.

In an attempt to keep up with the video conferencing app giant Zoom, Google Meet has increased its cap on visible participants from 4 to 16. In a statement on April 17th, Google Vice President Javier Soltero confirmed that the app would now allow users an option to display a grid of up to 16 active participants.

In this article, we will cover the different layouts that can be used with the video conferencing app, as well as how to go about changing them.

How to view everyone on Google Meet

Layout options in Google Meet

Google Meet allows users to choose from four different layout styles. By default, Google Meet automatically switches the layout of a meeting to highlight the most active participants or content being shared. However, if users log on through their browsers, they can change this layout to their preference.

Styles of Layout

Auto

This is the default style when a meeting is created. Google Meet decides the best layout for the meeting, depending on the content being shared and the participation of attendees.

Spotlight

This layout style is used to highlight either a user/active speaker or the presentation. You can pin a user by hovering your mouse over them, and clicking the pin icon. To unpin, simply click on the pin icon again. Note: In this layout, none of the other participants will be displayed. Only the pinned item will remain on the screen. 

Sidebar

The sidebar layout differs from Spotlight in that it also displays the other active speakers on the side of the screen. Sidebar highlights the active speaker or presentation in a large tile in the center of the screen with the remaining active speakers along the right side of the video feed.

Tiled

When there is no presentation this layout displays up to 16 (earlier 4) equal-sized video feeds of participants. If however there is a presentation, the presentation will take up the window while keeping the most active participants on the side.

How to change the layout in Google Meet

If you are not satisfied with Google Meet automatically changing the layout of your call, you can choose to stick with one layout. Follow the steps below to change the layout of your Google Meet call.

Step 1: Join/Start a video call on Google Meet.

Step 2: Click the More icon (three dots) in the bottom right corner of the screen and then click Change Layout.

Step 3: Choose the Tiled layout to view as many as 16 participants at once.

Can I change the layout again?

Layouts can be changed at any time during the call. It is not necessary to stick with one layout throughout a call.


While Google still falls behind in terms of the number of participants viewable in a call as compared to Zoom, this is a welcome step in the right direction.

Call duration and participants limits on video calls

In addition, Google Meet will now be integrated into Gmail, meaning that you will be able to make Google Meet calls directly from your mailbox.

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

2 comments
  1. I came wanting to know, why my Camera does not appear in one of the tiles, but is relegated to a corner. (I am using Meet in a Chrome Browser Tab.) Would help if I could also see myself in one of the tiles, just like the others, so I am aware of what my Video stream looks like.
    Unfortunately I did not find that information in this article.

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