So you want to teach your grandma how to use Zoom? Or maybe you’re just too embarrassed to admit you aren’t as tech savvy as you thought? No worries!
Since COVID-19 has most of the country working from home these days, Zoom has been inundated with new users, and naturally, some troubleshooting requests.
If you’re new to Zoom and you’ve been struggling to get it working for you (or your grandma), you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to lay out a simple process to get you up and running in no time.
Note: with all the chaos and so many new users to Zoom, you may experience delays in loading the program.
Table of Contents
- 1 Zoom Basics
- 1.1 How to Use Zoom
- 1.2 How to Create a Zoom Account
- 1.3 How to Open a Zoom Room/Start a Meeting
- 1.4 How to Select/Change Your Audio Settings
- 1.5 How to Share/Not Share Video of Yourself
- 1.6 How to Invite Others To Your Current Meeting
- 1.7 How to Manage Participant’s Audio
- 1.8 How to Change from Speaker View to Gallery View
- 1.9 How to Share Your Computer Screen
- 1.10 How to Use the Chat Feature
- 1.11 How to Record Meetings
- 2 Scheduling Future Zoom Meetings
How to Use Zoom
If someone invites you to a meeting on Zoom via email, you’ll get a link in the email to use.
However, if you are trying to host a Zoom meeting for your colleagues or loved ones, you’ll need to setup a basic account.
To begin, you can navigate to www.zoom.com.
How to Create a Zoom Account
Click on “Sign Up, It’s Free”
Note: With a free basic Zoom account, there is a 40 minute limit on meetings. If you think you’ll be having longer meetings, you can upgrade to a premium Zoom account for longer meetings and added features.
How to Open a Zoom Room/Start a Meeting
Once you’ve created your account and logged in, it will take you to your profile page. From there, click on “Host a Meeting” from the top right side of your screen to start host a meeting. You can choose from the drop down whether to host with or without video.
You may receive a prompt that looks like this.
All you need to do is click “Open zoom.us” and it will open your Zoom meeting
How to Select/Change Your Audio Settings
The next prompt you’ll see will ask you to “join meeting using computer audio.”
All you need to do is click that button and then the meeting will start.
You can also choose to “test speaker and microphone” if you want to make sure your audio is working before joining the zoom meeting.
To make it even easier in the future, you can select that little check box on the bottom left of the box to “Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting.”
This will streamline your ability to join meetings in the future.
Next, you’ll want to decide if you want to share video during the meeting.
You can click on the ^ symbol next to “Start Video” to choose which camera you want to use.
Otherwise, you can just click “Start Video” to enable your camera access.
If you see a red strike through it, it means your video is turned off. Likewise if you ever want to mute your audio, simply click on the “Mute” button next to “Start Video” and you will see a similar red strike through the microphone symbol.
How to Invite Others To Your Current Meeting
If you want to invite other people to your Zoom meeting while you’re in it, you can click on the “Invite” button at the bottom of the screen or the “Invite Others” button in the middle of the screen.
Then you’ll see this box pop up. The easiest way to send an invitation is to simply click the “Copy URL” link on the bottom left of this box.
Then just paste your link into an email or text message to whomever you want to invite to the meeting.
How to Manage Participant’s Audio
You can mute people’s microphones throughout the meeting if you find they have a lot of background noise, or if you want to give someone else the floor for a moment.
This is a good move to know, especially if someone’s audio is lagging or distracting to the conversation.
You can do this by simply clicking the “Manage Participants” button on the bottom bar.
Then, a sidebar will open on the right side of the meeting screen.
You’ll see a list of all the participants within your meeting there.
You’ll also be able to toggle their audio on and off, as well as their video.
How to Change from Speaker View to Gallery View
If you get overwhelmed by all the boxes on your Zoom chat, you can switch the view to see only the presenter, you can change from “Gallery View” to “Speaker View” in the top right corner of the screen.
If, during your meeting, you’d like to share your screen with the people in your meeting, you can click the “Share” button. You might want to do that if you’re sharing a presentation that you want everyone in the meeting to be able to see.
To look at all of the sharing options, click the ^ next to the “Share” button.
If you have multiple monitors connected to your computer, you’ll see the option to select which screen (1 or 2) to share.
Once you’ve decided which screen you want to share, just click the blue “Share” button at the bottom right side of the window.
You’ll see several other options from this screen as well, like a whiteboard option that will allow you to draw and share ideas in your meeting.
How to Use the Chat Feature
To send a chat, you can use the “Chat” button on the bottom of your Zoom meeting screen.
You can use the chat function during meetings if you need to send a quick message to someone in the meeting without interrupting the person speaking.
This is especially useful when you experience lagging or poor video quality and need to let everyone know.
At the bottom of the chat window to the right, you’ll see a box at the bottom that says “Everyone.” This means that, by default, whatever you type will go to everyone in the meeting. To send a message privately to just one person, click the box and choose your recipient.
How to Record Meetings
You might want to record your meeting to use as a reference later on or to share with others who were unable to attend.
If you didn’t choose to automatically record your meeting but you’d like to start recording it while you’re there, you can click on the “Record” button on the right of the bottom bar.
This will allow you to record your meeting from that point forward.
You’ll also be able to send the recording to anyone after the meeting ends.
Scheduling Future Zoom Meetings
So now that you know the basics of how to use Zoom, we’ll show you how to schedule a future Zoom meeting. There are a couple ways to do this.
OPTION 1: Schedule Meeting in Zoom
In order to schedule a meeting, go to www.zoom.com.
Then, on the home page, click on “My Account”.
Then, click on “Schedule a Meeting” and fill in your meeting details, time, duration and other information.
You’ll give your meeting a title and description and select a time, date, and duration.
It’s important to select the proper time zone if you have participants in different parts of the world attending.
You can select “Generate Automatically” under Meeting ID or use your personal meeting ID.
You can also choose to create a “Meeting Password” for added security and to avoid video bombing.
Then, you’ll choose whether you want to include video of yourself (the Host) or participants. This option will automatically turn your camera on at the very beginning of the meeting. To allow people to choose what’s most comfortable for them, we recommend selecting “Off”.
Also, we recommend checking “Both” next to the Audio options so guests have the option to join by telephone or computer.
Finally, you have the option to let guests join the meeting before you arrive (in case you’re running late).
You can mute participants on entry, which is helpful for very large meetings but not really important for smaller meetings.
You can enable a waiting room for guests who arrive early.
We recommend leaving “only authenticated users can join” unchecked to make it easier for guests to join.
You have the option to automatically record the meeting, but you’ll want to make sure you get permission for that from your guests.
Finally, you can add another host if you plan to have someone else host your meeting with you.
Before you exit, just hit “Save” and your meeting will be created.
After scheduling your event, click “Save”.
After scheduling and saving your event, you’ll see this page.
From this page, you can add the meeting to your calendar. You’ll see this option under the “Time” section. This opens your email calendar to schedule the meeting and send invitations.
Here’s an example for Google Calendar.
After you’ve sent your invites, you can navigate back to this meeting in your Zoom dashboard and click “Start this Meeting” in the top right corner to launch your Zoom meeting when the time arrives.
OPTION 2: Schedule Meeting in Your Email Calendar
Another option is to skip scheduling in Zoom and go straight to your existing scheduling system (for example, Google calendar) to schedule your meeting.
You will need to copy/paste the link for your personal Zoom room into the calendar event. You can find the link on your Zoom profile page next to “Meeting ID”. It will look something like this:
There you have it! Everything you need to know to get started in Zoom. Happy Zooming!