I absolutely love Google Talk because of its simplicity, and the fact that I’ve got all of my friends using it is a huge plus. There is only one thing that I really dislike with the instant messenger, and it’s that I can’t change my status to away.

A free program called gAlwaysIdle is looking to solve that problem. It provides an option in the Google Talk right-click menu that will let you always have your status set to away, whether or not your are using your computer:

Google Talk Idle

It has three different modes that you can choose from:

  • Normal Idle – Uses the default Google Talk settings
  • Always Idle – You’re always set to idle
  • Never Idle – Makes sure you are never set to away even when you’re not at your computer

As you can see from the screenshot above I was using this on Vista, but anytime I tried to change the status I got a fatal error. The only way to get around this is to run Google Talk as an administrator, or to disable the User Account Control (UAC) all together. My guess is that this program adjusts registry settings on-the-fly, and without the proper permissions in will crash and burn. As soon as I ran Google Talk as an administrator it worked as expected.

I wish that Google Would just implement this feature themselves … it would be so much easier. ;)

gAlwaysIdle Homepage [via Life Rocks]