What is Zoom?

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service, that you can use to meet with other people virtually. You can either use either video or audio-only or both, while chatting live. It also allows you to record sessions to view later, annotate each another’s screens and share files, all within one easy-to-use platform. Zoom can be used across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Blackberry.

Different Versions (Plans and Pricing)

The free version of Zoom allows you to host up to 100 participants (although there is a 40 minute limit on group meetings of more than 3 attendees.) You also get unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. You can change your view (active speaker or gallery view), share your screen, change your background (due to my kids, I’m usually floating in space…), add attended to a waiting room before allowing them into the meeting (this allows you to verify them), have private and group chats, use breakout rooms and share a whiteboard among other things.

Zoom pricing image

There are several tiers of paid versions, which include more advanced features.

Do I Need to Download Software?

You can use Zoom on a computer/tablet/phone through a web browser. This lets you use some of Zoom’s features without downloading any software. However, it will have limited features – if possible you should download the Zoom Client for Meetings desktop application. This will download automatically when you sign up to Zoom.

Registering For the Free Version

  • Access the web address zoom.us and click on Sign up, it’s free! in the top left-hand corner.
Zoom Sign up image
  • Select your date-of-birth, then click on Continue.
Zoom DOB image
  • Type in your email address, or sign in with your Facebook or Google account.
  • Click on Sign Up
zoom sign in image
Zoom updates image
  • You may be asked to sign up for their free resources. (You can unsubscribe at any time). Click on Confirm to sign up, or click on Set My Preferences A new web page will open where you can choose Unsubscribe me entirely then click on Submit.
  • A confirmation email will have been sent to your email address. Access the email and click on the link. (If you didn’t receive the email, click on Resend another email).
  • When you click on the link, you may be asked if you are signing up on behalf of a school. Select your answer then click on Continue.
Zoom password
  • Fill in your First Name, your Surname and a password. (Your password must have at least 8 characters, have at least 1 letter (a, b, c…), have at least 1 number (1, 2, 3…) AND include both upper case and lower case characters…) As you type, the instructions you have completed will turn green.
  • Click on Continue.
  • Then you can invite friends or colleagues to join Zoom. If you’d prefer not to, just click Skip this step.

Note – If you will be using Zoom a lot you may want to select and install any appropriate add-ons now. There are various plugins available, including a Google Chrome extension, Mozilla Firefox extension, Microsoft Outlook plugin, and IBM Notes plugin.

  • Finally click on Start Meeting Now to test your new account.
Zoom Start Meeting Button
  • A download should start. Click on Run.
  • You will see a message saying Your meeting will begin soon. Zoom is downloading the desktop client automatically.
Zoom meeting begin soon
  • Choose Use Computer Audio (if you aren’t planning to attach a mic and headphones)
Zoom use computer audio
  • Zoom will then open up.
Zoom screen
Zoom End icon
  • Click on End in the bottom right-hand corner to end your meeting.

Getting Started

Using Zoom – Schedule a Meeting (Desktop App)

  • Access Zoom (if it’s not open already) by clicking on Start, then choosing Zoom in your list of programmes, then signing in.
  • Click on Schedule.
Zoom Schedule
  • Fill in the form with the details of your meeting.
Zoom Meeting form
  • Click on Advanced Options.
Zoom Advanced Options
Zoom Advanced Options
  • Make sure Enable Waiting Room is ticked. This allows you add your attendees on an individual basis and reduces the risk of “Zoom Bombing” (see below for more info).
  • Click on Schedule.
Zoom Schedule button
Zoom Copy Invitation
  • Your meeting will be listed on the right-hand side of the screen. Click on the three dots (More icon) and click Copy Invitation. You can now paste your meeting information into an email, direct message, social media post etc.

Zoom Start button
  • When your meeting is due to start, click on Start.

Using Zoom – Schedule a Meeting (Web Portal)

  • Access Zoom by going to zoom.us and signing in.
  • Click on Join a Meeting in the top right-hand corner.
Zoom Join Meeting
  • Then choose Schedule a Meeting.
Zoom Schedule a meeting

Or go to zoom.us and click on My Account in the top right-hand corner, click on Meetings on the left-hand side of the screen then click on Schedule a New Meeting.

  • Fill in the form.
Zoom meeting form
  • Click on Save.
  • You will then have the option of adding your meeting to a calendar.
Zoom add calendar
  • Click on Copy the Invitation, to copy the details and paste them into an email, direct message or social media post.
Zoom Copy Invitation
  • Then, click on Copy Meeting Invitation.
  • At the bottom of the screen, you also have options to Delete the meeting, or Edit the Meeting.
Zoom Edit or Delete

Using Zoom – Join A Meeting

  • People can send invitations to join a meeting through many different channels – you can email links, post them on social media, send them through any direct messaging app. When you get an invitation, simply click on the web link at the appropriate time to join.
  • Click on Join with Computer Audio.
  • You may need to enter a password to join the meeting. You may also be added to a “waiting room” while the host verifies you can join the meeting. Both these steps help restrict “Zoom Bombing”.
Zoom Computer audio

Using Zoom – End/Leave a Meeting (Desktop App & Web App)

  • To end a meeting, click on End in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Choose whether to end the meeting for all participants (End Meeting for All) or just yourself (Leave Meeting).
Zoom leave meeting

Using Zoom – Edit a Meeting (Desktop App)

Edit meeting
  • Click on the More icon (three dots)
  • Click on Edit.
  • Make any changes required to your meeting (e.g. change start time, add a waiting room)
  • Click on Save.

Using Zoom – Edit a Meeting (Web App)

  • Go to zoom.us and click on My Account in the top right-hand corner.
  • Click on Meetings on the left-hand side of the screen.
Zoom Meetings menu bar
  • Click on the Meeting topic to open up the details for that meeting.
Edit Meeting
  • Scroll down (if necessary) and click on Edit this Meeting.
Edit Meeting
  • Make your changes (e.g. to the meeting time, description).
  • Click on Save.

Using Zoom – Delete a Meeting (Desktop App)

Delete meeting
  • Click on the three dots (More icon).
  • Choose Delete.

Using Zoom – Delete a Meeting (Web App)

  • Go to zoom.us and click on My Account in the top right-hand corner.
  • Click on Meetings on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on Delete.
Delete meeting web app

Using Zoom – Pros & Cons

Pros: It’s so easy to use – attendees join by clicking a shared link from anywhere, on any device, and joining does not necessitate downloading any software.

Cons: Zoom currently does not use end to end encryption… and has had some widely reported privacy problems and security concerns. “Zoom bombings” (in which hackers enter chat rooms, use offensive language and even post offensive images) still happen.

Zoom is working hard to address the security and privacy issues, by making passwords to attend meetings the default setting, for example. To read more on what you can do to avoid the security issues, please click here.

How to Use Zoom
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2 thoughts on “How to Use Zoom

  • July 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

    • July 8, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Thank you so much! Wishing you all the best with your site.


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