Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing tool that lets you host virtual one-on-one or team meetings easily. With powerful audio, video and collaboration features, this remote communication tool connects remote team members with each other.

Zoom’s key features include:

• 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 on your computer

Get started with Zoom

Step 1. Open the browser of your choice on your Mac or PC and head to the Zoom website to create and manage an account. Click on "My Account" after logging in to bring you to your account details.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

You have two options when it comes to creating a Zoom account.

You can either:

• Create a new account using your work email address.

• Sign in 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.

Step 2: Zoom will now send you an email with a confirmation link.

Click on that link to go to Zoom’s Sign Up Assistant and sign in using your credentials.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 3: Download the desktop app/ Zoom client from the Zoom website for easy access.

Set up a Zoom Meeting

A. Starting a Zoom Meeting

Step 1: Log in to your Zoom account.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 2: Hover your cursor over the “HOST A MEETING” button at the top-right corner of the screen, and select one of the following options:

• With Video On

• With Video Off

• Screen Share Only

Step 3: The website will redirect you to the Zoom app and start a meeting. Here, you can edit meeting settings or copy the “Invitation URL” that you send to the attendees.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Read more: Lawyer Cat Filter: Who is the kitten lawyer? Guide to turn on/off cat filter in Zoom

B. Adding Participants

Step 1: Start a new meeting on the Zoom desktop app.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 2: In the new meeting screen, click on the “Invite” button in the toolbar at the bottom.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 3: Here, Zoom will give you the options to either Copy URL or Copy Invitation. You can send these to participants via text, email or instant messaging.

How to Easily Join and Use Zoom Meeting 2021: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 4: You can also directly email the meeting details through your preferred email client via the Zoom app itself.

How to use Zoom on your mobile device

The mobile version of the app on iPhone, iPad, and Android offers a simplified version of the online Zoom platform, and the main tabs are found at the bottom: Meet & Chat, Meetings, Contacts, and Settings. (The setup is slightly different due to limited space.)

Step 1. "Meet & Chat" combines the desktop "Home" and "Chat" tabs. The main options are found at the top: New Meeting, Join, Schedule, and Share Screen. Below, you'll see recent call and chat history, along with any outstanding Contact Requests. Tap to view the chat with any contact or to accept a request. You can also tap the star icon in the top-left corner to view your favorites or the pencil icon in the top-right corner to draft a new message.

Meet & Chat. Marissa Perino/Business Insider
Meet & Chat. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

Step 2. "Meetings" shows a lineup of upcoming events. You can also start a call, send an invitation, or edit a current event at the top of the page. Tap to begin any one of these options and follow the prompts provided. Your "Personal Meeting ID" is your unique code to start an individual meeting. Tap on an upcoming meeting to view its details or delete it entirely. Tap on a meeting and you'll also find the option to add invitees and send invitations to these contacts via email or text message.

Meetings. Marissa Perino/Business Insider
Meetings. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

Step 3. "Contacts" looks extremely similar to the desktop version and lists your starred favorites, as well as any others in your company directory. Search for contacts at the top of the page. Tap the plus symbol in the top-right corner to open a pop-up menu to add a contact, create a new channel, or join a public one. You can also toggle between contacts and channels at the top.

• Contacts are individual people while channels are groups of these contacts.

Contacts. Marissa Perino/Business Insider
Contacts. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

Step 4. Finally access "Settings" to make any changes to your account. Your Zoom settings are organized by Meetings, Contacts, Chat, and General. You can also add Siri Shortcuts. To make changes to your profile, tap your name at the top of the screen, where you can change your profile photo, display name, or update your password. This is also where you can sign out of the Zoom app.

Settings. Marissa Perino/Business Insider
Settings. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

How to join a Zoom Meeting on different devices

On the desktop app

If you have the Zoom desktop app, you can join a meeting by simply clicking the invitation link, which will automatically open the Zoom app. Or, you can manually open the desktop app, click "Join," and type in the Meeting ID, if you have it.

Here are step-by-step instructions for both ways.

Join from an invitation link

Step 1: Open the Zoom desktop app on your Mac or PC and click your invitation link to join the meeting. The invitation link will have to be sent to you via email or message.

Step 2: You may be prompted with pop-ups asking for permission to access your computer's audio and video functions. Accept the changes to join the live call in the Zoom app.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Join from a Meeting ID

Step 1: Open the Zoom desktop app and select the "Join" option from the app homepage.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 2: If you're not logged in, select "Join a Meeting" directly from the sign-in page.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 3: This will open a pop-up where you can enter your "Meeting ID or Personal Link Name." Then, click "Join."

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 4: If you're logged into your account, you can also click the arrow to open a drop-down menu of recent calls, IDs, and meeting names. This can open up a recurring meeting without you having to look up the Meeting ID.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

How to join a Zoom meeting on the website

If you don't have the Zoom desktop app, you can join a meeting by clicking the invitation link and, on the webpage that automatically opens, selecting "Join from Your Browser." Or, you can manually go to the Zoom website, select "Join a Meeting," and enter the Meeting ID.

Join from an invitation link

Step 1: Click the Zoom meeting invitation link, which you may have received via email or text.

Step 2: The Zoom website will open in a new browser window and ask you to download the app. Instead of downloading the app, you can click "Join from Your Browser" at the bottom of the page, next to "Having issues with Zoom Client?" This starts the meeting directly from your browser, rather than from the app.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Join from a Meeting ID

Step 1: If you don't have an invitation link, go to the Zoom website. At the top-right, click "Join a Meeting." You don't need to be logged into your account.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 2: This will prompt you to enter the "Meeting ID or Personal Link Name," which you may have received via email or text. Click "Join" to begin the call.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

How to join a Zoom meeting on the mobile app

If you have the Zoom mobile app, you can join a meeting simply by clicking the invitation link, which should automatically open the meeting in the app. Or, you can manually open the Zoom app, tap "Join," and enter the Meeting ID.

Join from an invitation link

Step 1: If you received an invitation link, which may have been sent to you via email or text, tap on it.

Step 2: If you have the Zoom app downloaded already, the meeting should automatically open in the app. If it doesn't, you may need to give Zoom permission to open the app from your web browser. If you haven't downloaded the app yet, a page will automatically open in your mobile web browser prompting you to download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 3: After providing audio and video access, you will have joined the call on your mobile device.

Join from a Meeting ID

Step 1: Download the app on your Android or iOS device. If you're logged in and you know your meeting name or ID, tap "Join" on the Zoom app's "Meet & Tap" home screen.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 2: If you're not logged in, you can select "Join a Meeting" directly from the app sign-in page.

Step 3: Enter the Meeting ID and tap the blue "Join" button to begin the call.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

Step 4: You can also click the arrow to open a drop-down menu of recent calls, IDs, and meeting names. This can open a recurring meeting without you having to look up the Meeting ID.

9 things to know to be Zoom's professional users

Not Using The Mute Button

If you’ve been using video conferencing over the past year, you should be familiar with the mute button. When you aren’t speaking, make use of it to reduce background sounds, particularly if you’re in a noisy environment

It’s still important to dress professionally for Zoom meetings (at least from the waist up).

Appearing Too Casual

We may be spending a lot more time in our PJs, but it’s still important to dress professionally for Zoom meetings (at least from the waist up).

“We know when we are too casual or when we ‘really don’t care’ about our appearance, it matters,” said life etiquette expert Juliet Mitchell, aka Ms. J. “You need to be ready for a meeting at any time. Just like we are expected to be ‘ready’ in the in-person world, we need to be ready in the virtual world.”

Eating On Camera

If you’re meeting during lunchtime, try to avoid needlessly messy or overly distracting foods, said Leighton.

“This isn’t the time for Renaissance fair turkey drumsticks, cotton candy, corn on the cob, or cheese fondue,” he said.

Gossiping In The Chat

Talking about your colleagues in the chat is both rude and potentially detrimental to your career. Leighton said he believes it happens more often than he’d hope, based on questions he’s received on the topic.

It’s important to be mindful of the platform where you say certain things, but as Leighton noted, this situation can be clearly avoided by simply refraining from gossiping about colleagues or presenters.

Showing Up Late

This includes showing up late. In a Zoom context, being on time means having your camera, connection and microphone all set when you join.

Dragging It Out

It’s important to be respectful of people’s time during the workday and try to be efficient.

If you’re the host of the meeting, however, it’s best to wait until everyone else has left the call before hanging up.

“Let every participant leave at their own pace and see if there are any attendees who might want to exchange some final words,” Rossi said.

Having An Inappropriate Background

Try to pick a presentable spot in your home for meetings, unless you’re using a fully virtual background. Avoid visibly messy rooms or inappropriate posters or objects in the background.

Not Engaging

Make sure your camera is stable and positioned at eye level so that you can be present during the meeting.

Talking Over Others

Monopolizing the conversation and talking over others is obnoxious in social settings, but it’s actually counterproductive in work meetings. Zoom meetings can be difficult enough to navigate as it is, so do your best to keep things running smoothly.

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