The Zoom app has become one of the most popular tools for video conferencing, meetings, webinars, and interviews, especially in recent months. The app’s sudden surge in popularity could be attributed to a number of factors, including ease of use, free account provision, and its ability to function as a collaboration tool. Plus, you can integrate with popular email clients like Microsoft Outlook and IBM Notes to start or schedule a meeting directly from these applications.
Here’s a quick guide on how to use the Zoom app for video meetings on all devices:
Like any other service, you must register to start using Zoom. Here are the steps on how to register for Zoom using a computer:
Step 1: Go to the Zoom web portal from the browser of your choice and click ‘Sign up, it’s free’ button visible on the right side of the top menu bar, highlighted in orange. Before allowing you to register, you will be asked to fill in your date of birth, as its services are intended only for people over the age of 16. Once you fill in the details, click the Continue button to begin the registration process.
Step 2: Zoom is promoted as a business video meeting app, so you request your work email address to register. It is up to your discretion to use the work or personal email address; They both work just as well for registering a free account with Zoom. There is also a provision to create an account by using “Login with Google and Facebook”. This is the easiest way to register a Zoom account, but it is not secure.
Step 3: Zoom sends an activation code to your email address to verify and activate the account, only if you use your personal or work email to register. In the mail, there is an “activate account” button, followed by a URL. You can click the button or copy and paste the URL into the browser to proceed to the next step, where you are asked for your first name, last name and a password to create an account.
Step 4: In the next step, Zoom asks you to invite other people. This is not required and you can skip this step if you are not interested.
Step 5: In the next step, you get the URL of your personal meeting. Put this URL in the browser and the test meeting will start automatically, if you have the Zoom client installed on your machine. If the client is not installed, the URL downloads the file to install it.
Step 6: Once installed, the client asks you to ‘sign in’ or ‘join a meeting’. Click log in and enter your email address and password to start using the client.
The steps above show how to register and download Zoom for PC and Mac. Smartphone users can follow the steps above (up to Step 4) using the phone browser, download the Zoom app from Play Store on Android devices and App Store at iOS devices, and log in to the client.
Set up the Zoom client for the first meeting
The Zoom client for desktops is minimal and fairly easy to use. However, you may want to adjust it before starting your first Zoom meeting. Here’s how to configure the Zoom client:
Step 1: From video and audio preferences to screen sharing tools, Zoom’s client settings help you customize the experience to your preferences. To configure the client, open Zoom and click the available cogwheel icon in the upper right corner to enter the configuration.
Step 2: Among other settings, it is the video and audio settings that are important to tune in and test before starting the first meeting. To adjust video settings, click the video button to explore the available options. Among other settings, some important ones to check are the aspect ratio of the camera, the quality of the video and whether you want to turn off the video when joining the meeting. There are also advanced video settings, but we don’t recommend playing with them unless you know what you’re doing.
Step 3: After the video settings, click the audio button to adjust the audio settings. In this setup, you can test your computer’s microphone and speaker and see if they work well. Just like video settings, you have the option here to select whether you want to mute your microphone while joining a meeting. There are advanced audio settings, but again we don’t advise playing around with them, unless you know what you’re doing.
Step 4: In addition to the video and audio settings, there are other settings regarding screen recording, screen sharing, profile, etc. that need to be configured. Once done, click on the cross icon to close the window and return to the Zoom home screen.
The settings for the Zoom smartphone app are not as elaborate as those found in the desktop client. However, it covers the basics and lets you choose whether you want the meeting to start with the microphone and video camera enabled.
Create, join and schedule meetings
Zoom allows you to connect with up to 100 people at once. However, there is a 40 minute time limit for users on their free account. Zoom sometimes automatically extends the meeting time limit, but one must be clear that such time limit extensions depend on Zoom to effect. You cannot deposit into these extensions before starting a meeting. For an improved time limit, there are paid plans that you can choose from.
Here are the steps to start, join, or schedule a meeting:
Start a meeting
Step 1: If you are the host of the meeting, click the new meeting button in the Zoom client or app to start a meeting. The customer requests their permission to use the device’s speaker and microphone for the meeting. Grant access to move to the meeting screen
Step 2: On the meeting screen, you have the option to invite other participants from your contact list or via the meeting URL. On the smartphone, there is an option to share the meeting URL. You also get a password, which you must share with participants so that they can join your meeting.
Step 3: Once the meeting ends, click the end meeting button. There is a provision to leave the meeting. This does not end the meeting and allows other participants to continue.
Join a meeting
Step 1: To join a meeting, you must have the Zoom meeting ID and password. Click the join the meeting button in the Zoom client or application.
Step 2: Enter the meeting ID and the name you want to appear during the meeting. You also have the option here to mute your microphone and disable video for the meeting, both on the desktop client and on the smartphone. Once done, click on the join button to join the meeting
Step 3: Zoom has a waiting room that allows participants to wait until the meeting begins. Join the meeting as soon as the host joins the meeting.
Step 4: Once this is done, you can exit the meeting by clicking the available exit button on the bottom bar.
Schedule a meeting
Step 1: Click the meeting schedule button available in both the desktop client and mobile app
Step 2: In the next window, enter the meeting topic, choose the meeting date and time, duration, meeting ID (personal or automatically generated), password, and video settings. Once done click schedule
Step 3: The scheduled meeting is displayed on the Zoom home screen in both the application and the client, making it easy to know the daily schedule.
P.S: In the bottom bar of the meeting window, there are several options that you can use when conducting a meeting in the Zoom client. These options include video and audio permissions, security options, participant list, chat, screen sharing tools, and recording tools.