What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing, video meeting, and chat app that easily lets you host virtual one-on-one or team meetings. Zoom offers many audio and video features to make virtual meetings an everyday routine and has become incredibly popular in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. After overcoming several security issues in 2020, a direct consequence of the platform's growth, Zoom continues its journey to prominence.
Zoom’s key features include:
- End-to-end encryption
- Zoom waiting rooms, a feature that protects your account and Zoom meetings from Zoombombing (people flooding your virtual conference room)
- HD video chat and conferencing
- Audio conferencing using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
- Instant messaging
- Virtual backgrounds for video calls
- Screen sharing and collaborative whiteboards
- Hosting video webinars
How to use Zoom (Step-by-Step Guide)
Zoom makes it super easy for anyone to set up and and participate in virtual meetings of any type, so it is the platform of choice for a loot companies to conduct team meetings.
So, here is a step-by-step guide to using to get you started with Zoom Meetings as soon as possible.
Overview of the steps covered in this Zoom guide, on both desktop and mobile devices.
- How to start using Zoom
- How to set up a Zoom meeting
- How to join someone else's Zoom meeting
- How to schedule Zoom meetings
- How to record Zoom meetings
How to start using Zoom
- To get started with Zoom, head to the Zoom website, and click on the “SIGN UP, IT”S FREE” button at the top-right corner of the screen.
- There are two options when creating a Zoom account. You can:
- Create a new account using your work email address.
- Sign up using SSO (Single Sign-On) or your Google or Facebook account.
- If you’re using Zoom for work purposes, it’s best to sign up using your work email address.
- Finally, Zoom will send you an email to verify your account.
- Click on that link to go to Zoom’s Sign Up page and sign in using your credentials.
- Download the desktop app/ Zoom client from the Zoom website for easy access.
- Download the Zoom iOS or Android app from the App Store/Play Store.
- The step to sign up/sign in to Zoom is pretty much the same as for desktop devices.
How to set up a Zoom meeting
You can set up a Zoom meeting by following the steps below:
How to start a Zoom meeting from the Zoom website
- Log in to your Zoom account on the Zoom website.
- Hover your cursor over the “HOST A MEETING” button at the top-right corner of the screen, and select one of the following options:
- Host a meeting with video On/Off
- Host a meeting with screen share only
- The website will redirect you to the Zoom app and start a meeting. You can now tweak your meeting settings and start inviting your meetings participant with the meetings invitation URL.
Note: You can also start a meeting quickly through the desktop app by following the instructions we listed for mobile devices later on.
How to start a Zoom meeting from the Zoom desktop app
- Open the Zoom desktop app.
- Log in if you are not already logged in.
- On the app's home screen click the orange “New Meeting” button.
- This will instantly launch a new meeting window.
- Start a new meeting on the Zoom desktop app.
- In the new meeting screen, click on the “Invite” button at the left corner of the toolbar's middle section at the bottom.
- You can now either use Copy URL to copy the invitation URL or Copy Invitation to copy the full meeting invitation. You can send these to participants via text, email, or instant messaging if they are on your Zoom contact list.
- You can also directly email the meeting details through your preferred email client via the Zoom app itself. Zoom supports opening the default email client of your system, along with Gmail and Yahoo Mail.
How to start a Zoom meeting on the Zoom mobile app
- Open the Zoom mobile app.
- Sign in to your account if you are not already logged in.
- Tap the orange “New Meeting” icon that appears on your screen.
- Edit meeting settings according to your preferences (such as switching video off for participants, using a Personal Meeting ID, etc.).
- Once you’re done, tap the blue “Start A Meeting” button.
- Once the meeting starts, tap the “Participant” icon in the toolbar at the bottom of your screen to add and manage participants.
- In the Participants window that opens up, tap on the “Invite” option at the bottom left.
Zoom will now give you the option to share your meeting details via a variety of communication platforms. These include various text, email and messaging apps on your smartphone.
How to join someone else's Zoom meeting
This step-by-step guide will show you how to join Zoom meetings hosted by other people. The steps are very similar for both desktop and mobile devices:
Join a Zoom meeting using an Invitation URL
If you have a meeting link, click on it or paste it into your web browser to join the meeting. The browser will start either your Zoom desktop app or your Zoom desktop app on a desktop.
Join a Zoom meeting using a Zoom meeting ID
- Open the Zoom app and click on the “Join” icon.
- Paste the Meeting ID in the box provided, add your display name for the meeting, and click on the “Join” button.
You’re now all set to communicate with your team members!
How to schedule Zoom meetings
Zoom lets you schedule meetings in advance.
You can schedule a meeting by setting:
- The meeting's topic
- Its date, time, and even duration
- Meeting ID (Generate one or use your personal meeting ID)
- Whether it requires a Passcode to join or not (ideally, you want to use a Passcode to avoid Zoombombing)
- Whether the meeting has a waiting room or not (a waiting room allows you to accept the participants to the meeting manually)
- Whether your meeting has video recording on or off, both for the host and the participants
- You can allow participants to join anytime.
- You can mute participants at the moment they enter the meeting.
- You can also automatically record the meeting on your local computer.
- You can select the calendar to add the meeting (Outlook, Google Calendar, Other)
Here’s a step-by-step guide to schedule meetings in Zoom easily:
- To schedule a meeting, head to the Zoom app or website and click on the blue “Schedule” button (it looks like a calendar icon).
- Enter meeting details in the Schedule Meeting pop-up window that appears. You can set its date and time, privacy, and access settings. You can also select your preferred calendar (between iCal, Google Calendar, or others) to schedule the event in your calendar.
- Once you’ve set your meeting preferences, click on the “Schedule” button at the bottom right of the screen.
- Open the Zoom app.
- Go to the Meet & Chat homepage and click on the “Schedule” button.
- Enter the meeting name, date, and time and click “Done.”
- Zoom will redirect you or open another form for adding the event to your preferred calendar.
- Enter details like participant names set the notifications into your calendar event, and then tap “Done.”
You have now scheduled a Zoom meeting!
How To Record Zoom Meetings
Recording a meeting lets you easily use it as a reference to document everything that was discussed. This is especially important for remote teams who use Zoom video conferencing as their key mode of communication.
Zoom allows you to record meetings easily and save them either to your local device or the Zoom cloud. By saving it to the Zoom cloud, your team members can access it across multiple platforms easily.
Here’s how to record Zoom meetings:
- Start a meeting.
- In the Zoom toolbar, click on the “Record” icon.
- Choose between “Record on this Computer” or “Record to the Cloud.” This starts the recording.
- Click on “Pause/Stop Recording” to stop recording the meeting.
- Alternatively, you can also end a meeting to stop recording it.
- After you end the meeting, Zoom converts the recording to MP4 format and stores it in your preferred location. You can now easily access your recorded sessions any time you want!
On mobile devices, Zoom lets you save meeting recordings only to the Zoom Cloud. Here’s how to record a Zoom meeting from your mobile:
- During a meeting, tap on the “More” option in the toolbar.
- Select the “Record to Cloud” feature to begin recording.
- You can pause or stop the recording by clicking the “More” button.
- After the meeting, you can find your recording in “My Recordings.” You can access this section by logging into your Zoom account on a web browser.
Zoom offers four different pricing plans to suit your specific needs:
- Basic: Free – Host up to 100 participants + unlimited one-on-one meetings + video conferencing + screen sharing + local recording + scheduling via Chrome extensions.
- Pro: $14.99/month per host – Includes all “Basic” features + usage reports + 1 GB cloud storage.
- Business: $19.99/month per host – Includes all “Pro” features + supports up to 300 participants + admin dashboard.
- Enterprise: $19.99/month per host – Includes all “Business” features + supports up to 500 participants + unlimited cloud storage.