Solution: Getting macOS Messages to work with Google Chat / Talk / Hangouts in High Sierra

The Messages application wasn't working for me on macOS and I was wanting it to work with my Google Chat / Talk / Hangouts service. It appears that with macOS High Sierra a workaround is required.

After struggling to get it going I finally got it going after some searching on the Internet and trying a couple of supposed fixes. What ended up working for me were the instructions on https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/gtalk-messages-solution-found-high-sierra.2073393/ with a couple of tweaks. The tweaks were required to support 2FA which is enabled on my account.

The instructions, repeated here so that I can find them again if required and to assist others having the same problem, are as follows:
  1. Go to System Preferences / Internet Accounts and delete your google account.
  2. Open Terminal and run the following commands (Warning: This will delete your history!):
    1. find ~/Library/Preferences -name "*iChat*" -delete
    2. rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Messages
    3. rm -rf ~/Library/Messages
  3. Reboot
  4. Open Messages
    1. In the "Messages" menu select "Add Jabber Account..." and add your google account details.
    2. I then ensured "Enable this account" was not selected and went to the "Server settings" tab and changed the settings to: 
      • Server: talk.google.com (it was set to gmail.com I think)
      • Port: 5223 (this was set to 5222)
      • Enabled "Use SSL"
    3. I then switched back to the "Account Information" tab and enabled the account.
  5. Reboot
  6. Open Messages
    1. Change status to Available (if it's not working for you, see next step re Keychain)
    2. Check Buddy list to see if it is populated 
  7. Messages didn't work for me at this point, so I went into the Keychain and searched the passwords for "jabber". I changed all related accounts passwords to my "App Password" and it worked.
  8. Go to System Preferences / Internet Accounts and re-add your google account.
Whilst it may be possible to skip some of these steps, I followed them and it worked for me. Hopefully this is also of use to others.

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