Make your Zoom calls run smoother than earlier than with these methods

Make your Zoom calls run smoother than before with these tricks

Sarah Tew/CNET

The wildly standard video assembly and chat app, Zoom, continues to host hundreds of thousands of people that choose to work, examine and socialize at residence amid the pandemic. Though the app confronted a variety of privateness and safety points previously, it now options end-to-end encryption and different methods to defend your account and chats from “Zoombombing.” Zoom has additionally added options to assist put together for the longer term hybrid workplace, in addition to some useful instruments for displays

Whether or not you have been utilizing Zoom for years or have solely simply signed up within the final 12 months or so, there are a variety of useful and enjoyable suggestions, methods and hidden options you’ll find to improve your video chatting expertise and make your video conferences rather less bizarre — and hopefully keep away from Zoom fatigue and Zoom anxiousness

Listed below are 20 methods to turn out to be a Zoom grasp.

Learn extra: Final webcam suggestions: Learn how to look and sound nice on-line 

1. Change your background 


Change your Zoom background to area, or a customized photograph.

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Just about transport your self to the seashore, outer area or anyplace else you may think about by customizing your background whereas on Zoom calls — everybody’s doing it as of late. You may learn our step-by-step information to altering your Zoom background on the desktop and cellular app, however principally you go to Settings > Digital Background and choose or add the picture you need from there. Nevertheless, you do must guarantee that your system meets the entire necessities to take action. 

Learn extra: 10 free Zoom different apps for video chats

2. Change your identify on Zoom

Wish to change the identify that seems whenever you’re in a Zoom assembly? It is simple. There are two methods: short-term and everlasting. If you wish to change your identify for less than the assembly you are at present in, after you enter the assembly, click on the Individuals button on the backside of the display screen. Hover over your identify, and click on Extra > Rename. Sort within the identify you need to seem, and click on OK

If you wish to change your identify for each assembly going ahead, go to the Zoom net portal and sign up to your account. Click on Profile. Within the prime proper nook throughout out of your identify, click on Edit. Enter the identify you need beneath Show identify, and click on Save modifications. Your new identify ought to seem in each assembly any further, however you may nonetheless change it for particular person conferences with the steps above if you would like.

3. Add your pronouns on Zoom

Including your pronouns to your identify on Zoom is one strategy to make the platform extra inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming and gender nonbinary individuals, by ensuring you are not assuming anybody’s gender identification based mostly on their look. Much like altering your identify, you may add your pronouns both for each assembly going ahead, or simply for the assembly you are at present in. Listed below are full directions on add your pronouns on Zoom

4. Add a profile image on Zoom


Zoom enables you to change your identify and add a profile image that may seem in case your digicam is off.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Much like altering your identify, you may add a short lived profile image to any assembly you be part of, or a everlasting one for all conferences. So as to add a profile image for a person assembly, after you enter the assembly, click on the Individuals button on the backside of the display screen. Hover over your identify, and click on Extra > Add profile image. Choose the image you need out of your pc, and click on Open

So as to add a everlasting profile image to your Zoom conferences, go to the Zoom net portal and sign up to your account. Click on Profile. Within the prime proper nook throughout out of your identify, click on Edit. Beneath the empty photograph icon, click on Change > Add. Choose the image you need out of your pc, and click on Open. Readjust which a part of the image you need to look, and click on Save.

5. Mute your audio and switch off your digicam by default


Brett Pearce/CNET

Diving for the mute audio and digicam buttons as quickly as you enter a gathering can get previous. Maintain your coworkers from seeing your bedhead or listening to your cat screeching by turning these off by default. To do it, choose Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when becoming a member of a gathering, after which Settings > Video > Flip off my video when becoming a member of a gathering

6. Mute and unmute with the area bar

When you find yourself known as on to talk, cease scrambling to click on the microphone button. You may press and maintain the spacebar to shortly mute and unmute your mic, proper out of your keyboard. 

Learn extra: Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 suggestions in your video chat apps

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7. Turn on the beauty filter

At this point, if you know all of the work-from-home advice about getting dressed and ready like it’s a regular workday, but still don’t think you’re looking your best, Zoom’s Touch Up My Appearance feature may be for you. The filter aims to smooth over your appearance, making you look dewy and well-rested. If you’ve ever used beauty mode on your phone’s selfie camera, you know what you’re getting.

To turn it on, click the up arrow next to Start Video. Click Video Settings, and under My Video, check the box for Touch Up My Appearance

8. Set up a waiting room for added privacy

You’ve probably heard about Zoombombing — when uninvited guests crash your Zoom meeting and disrupt it. One way to help prevent this from happening is by enabling the Waiting Room feature, so you can see who’s attempting to join the meeting before allowing them access. To do so, go to Account Management > Account Settings. Click on Meeting, then click Waiting Room to enable the setting. (We’ve got more tips on how to prevent Zoombombing in your meetings here.)

9. Create Zoom breakout rooms for smaller group discussion

Split your big Zoom meeting into up to 50 separate smaller sessions with breakout rooms. The meeting host can choose to split meeting participants into separate sessions automatically or manually, or can let participants select and enter any breakout session they like. The host can switch between sessions at any point. 

To start a breakout room as the host, go to Account Management > Account Settings. Under the Meeting tab, go to Breakout Room, and make sure the setting is toggled on. You’ll also see the option to allow meeting hosts to preassign participants to breakout rooms. (If the Breakout Room option is grayed out, that means it’s been locked and you need to contact your Zoom administrator.)


Zoom has lots of features to help your meetings run more smoothly.

Sarah Tew/CNET

10. Share your screen

Share your screen for a Zoom meeting (or to watch a movie or play a game) with other participants by clicking the Share screen icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. You’ll have the option to share your entire desktop, or just one of the windows you have open. Click the red Stop Share button at the top of the screen to go back to being a normal participant in the meeting. 

11. React with emoji onscreen 


Zoom added a larger set of emoji reactions in an April update.


If you’re muted in a meeting, you can still let the hosts know your thoughts with emoji reactions. Send a thumbs-up or a clapping emoji to communicate without interrupting the meeting (by default, those reactions have a yellow skin tone, but you can customize that in the Zoom desktop app). In April, Zoom added about 40 emoji reactions, instead of the six previously available. 

To react during a meeting, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen (it’s in the same panel as mute audio and video, to the right) and choose the one you want. The emoji will disappear after 5 seconds. 

If the meeting organizer enables the nonverbal feedback feature, participants can place an icon such as a raised hand next to their name to communicate. Every participant will be able to see each other’s feedback. 

12. Learn handy keyboard shortcuts

For those who don’t like clicking around their screen, Zoom has a ton of helpful keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate the app on your desktop without using your mouse.You can find commands to join a meeting, start or stop recording, enter full screen and share your screen (more on that below). Check out Zoom’s full list of hot keys and keyboard shortcuts

Gallery view lets you see everyone in the meeting at once, instead of just the person speaking. To turn that on, click the tab that says Gallery View in the top right corner. If the meeting has 49 or fewer attendees, you’ll see all of their screens displayed on one page. If there are more, you’ll have the option to move between multiple pages. Change it back by clicking Speaker View in that same top right corner. 

14. Put yourself in the same virtual background as your coworkers with immersive view


Try out Zoom’s immersive view feature to put yourself in the same virtual space as your fellow meeting participants.


Zoom’s immersive view feature lets you put yourself in the same virtual background as your fellow video chat participants — be it a conference room, classroom or anywhere else you can think of. If you’re the meeting or webinar host, start the Zoom meeting on your desktop (it will be enabled by default for all free and single pro accounts using Zoom 5.6.3 or higher). In the top right corner, where you find Speaker or Gallery View, you’ll see the option to enable Immersive View. Click Immersive View, and choose from one of Zoom’s provided scenes, or upload your own. 

Your meeting participants or webinar hosts will now be placed in the same virtual background and will appear that way on every participant’s screen.

15. Hide nonvideo participants

On a larger call, your screen can get cluttered with participants, which can be distracting, especially if some don’t have their cameras on. Hide the participants who aren’t using video by going to Settings > Video > Meetings, and check Hide nonvideo participants. Now you’ll only be distracted by your co-workers’ pets and children who appear on video. 

16. Use the vanishing pen to highlight without having to go back and erase

Zoom’s vanishing pen feature lets you highlight text as you share your screen. 


Zoom’s vanishing pen feature lets you draw on your shared screen to call attention to text or objects, but then fades away so you don’t have to go back and erase your markings. To use it, share your screen, and click Annotate. On the menu that pops up, click Vanishing Pen

17. Record the meeting to your computer

Both free and paid Zoom subscribers can record their meeting to their laptop or computer using the desktop app (you can’t record on mobile at the moment, unless you have a paid account — keep reading for more on that). Those recorded files can then be uploaded to a file storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox, or a video streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo. 

To enable local recording, go to Settings > Recording, and toggle it on. When you’re hosting a Zoom meeting, click the Record icon on the bottom toolbar. 

18. Record a meeting to the cloud

If you have one of Zoom’s paid plans (which start at $149.90 for the year), you can make a recording that will save directly to the cloud (or to your computer if you prefer). Tap the record button on the bottom toolbar, and you’ll have the option to make it either local or in the cloud. You can do this on either desktop or mobile. 

19. Host a group meeting longer than 40 minutes

On Zoom’s free basic tier, group meetings can only last up to 40 minutes (though one-on-one meetings are unlimited in time). To get unlimited group time, upgrade to a paid account. 

20. Host more than 100 people 

If you have a group of more than 100 people to host for work or school, you have to upgrade to a paid professional account. If you upgrade to the highest tier (Enterprise Plus), you can host up to 1,000 participants.

Watch our video on how to make your webcam video look and sound great online and make sure to subscribe to the How to Do It All channel on YouTube for more how-to videos. 

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