Last updated on June 21st, 2020
Zoom is quickly becoming a top app for remote video conferences during the COVID-19 outbreak. Zoom is proving to be especially helpful for high school and college-level courses as it allows for up to 100 participants with a free subscription. It also allows you to stay in contact with colleagues to complete work remotely.
The platform is fairly easy to use, its basic functions are organized slightly differently depending on if you use the desktop or mobile version.
How to use Zoom on your computer browser
- Open the browser on your computer. Go to Zoom Website. Sign up if you have not already. If you have an account already then go to Sign-in and log on.
- You can schedule, join, or host a meeting at the top of the screen. Click on any of these three options and follow the prompts to set up or join a video call online. To join a call, you’ll need the Meeting ID or name.
- On the left nav, you will find a variety of options. The first option is “Profile” where you can change your profile picture, edit your email or password, and make other changes in this settings section.
- The second tab is for “Meetings” that have a summary of your meetings. You can start or delete upcoming meetings or review previous meetings at the top.
- There are three more tabs on the left nav which include webinars, recordings, and your settings. The webinar feature can only be enabled if you pay for an account, and recordings will direct you to enable the feature for you and your meeting participants.
- You’ll also find more advanced settings towards the bottom of the left panel, including managing users and rooms. You can also upgrade your account under “Billing,” or manage your payment information if you’ve already upgraded to Pro, Business, or Enterprise.
How to use Zoom through Desktop App
The desktop app is a more streamlined version and it is organized into four main tabs at the top of your screen: Home, Chat, Meetings, and Contacts.
- The “Home” tab gives you the option to start a new meeting, join a current call, schedule a future event, or share your screen. If you have any upcoming meetings for the day, you’ll also find them in a checklist on the right-hand side. You can also click your profile in the top-right hand corner at any time. This will open a dropdown menu to make
quick changes such as switching your availability or profile photo.
- You can also access the settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the right-hand corner of the “Home” tab. You can browse through the tabs on the left-hand side to make changes.
- The “Chat” tab helps you to keep track of any conversations you have between contacts. You can star or favorite conversation for easy access or browse through your recent ones. You’ll also find “Contact Requests” if anyone has requested to join your directory. Additionally, any shared files between contacts will appear in the “Files” section.
- The “Meetings” tab shows a summary of any upcoming meetings, organized by date. You can also toggle between upcoming and recorded meetings at the top, or click the plus sign to schedule a new one. Click on any pre-existing meeting to view options to start it early, copy the invitation, edit, or delete it. You can also click to show the meeting invitation sent to any invitees.
- The “Contacts” tab keeps track of the colleagues and classmates you add to the platform. View contact information by browsing through the left-hand categories: starred, external, and cloud contacts. You can also click to view any channels, which are groups of contacts to help organize your activities. Click the plus sign to add a new contact or channel.
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.
- “Meet and Chat” is the combination of the Home and Chat tabs of the Desktop app. The new meeting, Join, Schedule and Share Screen are found at the top. You will see the 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.
- “Meetings” shows a lineup of upcoming meetings. You can also start a call, send an invitation, or edit a current event at the top of the page. Tap to begin any of these options and follow the prompts provided. Your “Personal Meeting ID” is your unique code to start an individual meeting. To view meetings details or delete it, tap on an upcoming meeting. You’ll also find the option to add invitees and send invitations to these contacts via email or text message by tapping on a meeting.
- “Contacts” tab is similar to the desktop version and lists your starred favorites, as well as any others in your company directory. You can 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.
- “Settings” tab is 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.