Virtual Communications

Navigating Zoom

This page provides information on the basic functions and layout of Zoom, including: 

  • Joining a Zoom meeting
  • Meeting controls
  • Video layouts
  • Ending a meeting

Joining a Zoom meeting

When you click on a Zoom meeting link, you may be taken to this page on your browser. Click on “Open link” to start the Zoom meeting with your Zoom application. You can check the box that says “Remember my choice for zoommtg links” to skip this step in the future.

Zoom launch application window

Zoom will ask you whether you want to join the meeting with your computer audio or via phone call. You can “Join with Computer Audio” if your computer has an internal microphone and speaker. If your computer does not have an internal microphone and speaker you can join the meeting by calling in with your phone.

Check “Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting” to always use the computer audio in the future.

Zoom audio selection window with "Join with Computer Audio" button highlighted.

If prompted, select whether you want to join with video or without video.

Zoom video preview window with the "Join without Video" and "Join with Video" buttons highlighted.

Meeting controls

Once you are in the Zoom window, move your mouse to the bottom of the screen to see the Zoom menu bar. The menu bar will look different depending on whether you are the host of a meeting or whether you are a participant.

Zoom meeting controls tool bar

You can mute/unmute your microphone or stop/start your video at any time using the first two buttons. The small grey ^ next to the microphone and video buttons will display further audio and video settings.

The “Security” button brings up the option to lock the meeting, and configure what participants can do during the meeting. You can also select “Remove Participant…” to quickly remove a disruptive participant from a list of participants. You can also report participants to Zoom–see Zoom’s page on reporting a participant during a meeting for more information.

Zoom security window

Zoom remove participant window displays participant names with a "Remove" button to the right of each name.

The “Participants” button brings up the Participants box, which contains a list of all the participants in the meeting and various additional controls.

The “Invite” button allows you to invite additional people to the meeting while the meeting is taking place.

The “Mute All” button lets you mute all the microphones of all participants. This is useful for when there is one main speaker, and you want to ensure that noises from other participants does not disrupt their presentation.

In the “More” button at the bottom left-hand corner of the Participants tab, you will see options to “Mute Participants upon Entry,” “Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves,” “Play sound when someone joins or leaves,” “Allow Participants to Rename Themselves,” and “Lock Meeting.” For more information about these controls please see the page on Security Features in Zoom.

Zoom window open with participant window open to the right. The "Participant" button on the Zoom controls toolbar is highlighted. The "More" button at the bottom of the participant window is selected, revealing a dropdown menu.

You can also hover over a specific participant and click “More” to see additional options for interacting with or managing that participant.

Zoom participant window with the "More" button next to the individual participant selected, revealing a dropdown menu.

For more information about the other options in your Zoom menu bar, please see the following pages:

Video layouts

By default, your Zoom meeting will have the video layout in Speaker View, where the person who is speaking is automatically highlighted front-and-center, while the other participants are displayed in smaller boxes above the main speaker.

Zoom window in speaker view

If you click on the more options button [1] for a participant, you will see options to “Pin Video” or “Spotlight Video” [2]. Pinning the video of a participant makes that participant’s video the main video on your screen regardless of who’s speaking.

As the host, you can spotlight a participant so that their video is the main video for all participants in the meeting. This is a great way to highlight the video of a guest speaker or a student giving a presentation, so that their video is the main video that all participants see.

Zoom window in speaker view. "1" indicates the "..." button on a participants window that reveals a dropdown menu. The "2" indicate the "pin video" and "spotlight video" options that appear in the dropdown menu.

You can change the video layout to Gallery View to display multiple participants in tiled windows across your screen. You can toggle back and forth between Speaker View and Gallery View by pressing the button on the top right-hand corner. You can have up to 49 participants in Gallery View by changing your settings–learn how to enable this setting on Zoom’s page on the Gallery View.

Zoom window in gallery view. The "Speaker View" button in the upper righthand corner is highlighted.

Ending a meeting

To end a meeting, hit the “End” button on the bottom right-hand corner of your Zoom window. A dialog box will appear asking if you want to “End Meeting for All” or “Leave Meeting.” When you “End Meeting for All” the meeting will finish for all participants. If you “Leave Meeting,” the meeting may continue without you present, as long as there is another person assigned as host. Zoom will prompt you to select a new host if there are no other hosts in the meeting.

Zoom controls tool bar with an arrow pointing to the "End" button on the far right of the toolbar.

Zoom popup window with one button to "End Meeting for All" and one button to "Leave Meeting"

Zoom Assign a New Host window shows list of participants, a check mark next to "Participant 2 (Guest)" who is selected to be the new host. The "Assign and Leave" button is at the bottom of the window.