A Complete Guide for How to Use Zoom

zoom meeting

A Complete Guide for How to Use Zoom

Even though it seems like Zoom came out of nowhere in early 2020, Zoom has actually been around for quite a while but mostly for international businesses. Nowadays, everyone and their grandmother is using Zoom. Whether it is for work or just connecting with friends and family that live far away, Zoom has become everyone’s video conferencing software.

This guide aims to help people just starting with Zoom learn the basics and get up and running. Plus, even people well-versed in Zoom might discover a new trick or two. Even in this post-COVID world, with people returning to the office in some ways, Zoom is still present and used widely.

So with no further ado, let’s dive into a complete guide for how to use Zoom!

Signing Up for Zoom

We might be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn’t been on a Zoom call before. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a Zoom account. For the most part, you can join Zoom calls without an account, but you do have a lot more limited features than if you do have an account. So, before we get into the fun features, let’s create a Zoom account.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Zoom website on the browser of your choice.
  2. Click on Sign Up For Free.
  3. Type in your birth year. Technically you are not allowed to create a Zoom account if you are younger than 16.
  4. Type in the email address you would like to use, and then type in the verification code sent to your email.
  5. Create a password and enter your first and last name.
  6. Then click on Create Your Account.

Congratulations, you have created an account for Zoom, and you are ready to continue your Zoom learning. Before we go further, make sure to download the Zoom app for your desktop or mobile device as it will give you access to the full feature set.

create zoom account
Click on Sign Up For Free then verify your birth year. Once verified, follow the prompts, then click Create Your Account.


How to Set Up A Zoom Meeting

Now that you have an account created, let’s set up your first Zoom meeting. Follow the basic steps listed below using your desktop:

  1. Open The Zoom app on your computer, and sign into your account if you are not already.
  2. To start a new meeting, immediately click on the orange New Meeting button.
  3. Now you are in a meeting. You can start inviting your participants. To do that, click on the Participants button and type in the email addresses of the people you want to invite. People will receive a link they can join off of to their email.
How to Record a Zoom
Click on New Meeting, click Participants, and add them by email address when prompted.


If you want to schedule a meeting instead of just starting on the day of, you can also do that with a somewhat similar process.

  1. Open The Zoom app on your computer, and sign into your account if you are not already.
  2. Click on Schedule.
  3. A pop-up window will open with a variety of options to create your meeting. Enter your meeting topic, date, and time. You can also choose to put a password for the meeting and either your Personal Meeting ID or generate a new one automatically.
  4. Under Advanced Options, you can choose things like whether participants can join before the host gets there, whether participants should be muted on entry, and whether you want to record the session automatically.

How to Record a Zoom Meeting

With creating and scheduling Zoom meetings down pact, let’s talk about how to record your Zoom meetings. If you want to go more in-depth with this topic, click this link here to learn more.

Here are the basic steps here to get you going:

  1. Join or host a Zoom meeting. If you are just joining, you will need to make sure you have permission to record.
  2. Click on Record in the bottom toolbar.
  3. A notification will pop up for the participants of the call, letting them know you are recording.
  4. By default, your Zoom will record to the Zoom folder on your computer. But if you are using a premium Zoom account, you can record a meeting to Zoom’s cloud storage for easy access.

How to Blur Your Background

Whether you are taking a Zoom call in a messy room or you just want to have some privacy, blurring your background can help you out immensely. To go into more detail, click on this link here. However, if you need some quick tips, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Zoom app, and click on the Settings wheel in the top right-hand corner of the window.
  2. Then, from the Settings menu, click on Backgrounds and Effects from the left side menu.
  3. Now click on Blur.

Note from this menu you can also apply backgrounds other than just the blur, like the Golden Gate Bridge. Blurring and virtual backgrounds do tend to work better when you have more even lighting on your face.

How to Make Someone a Co-Host

Hosting a call alone, with more than 10 participants, can be pretty frustrating. Luckily, Zoom has a feature to make one of your participants a co-host.

Click this link to learn more about the intricacies of making someone a co-host.

If you need a quick guide, though, follow these steps to make someone a co-host in your next Zoom call. We do want to note that you cannot do this if you are not using a premium account.

  1. Navigate to Zoom and sign into your account.
  2. Click on Account Management, then Account Settings.
  3. Click the Meeting tab.
  4. Under In Meeting (Basic), verify that the Co-host setting is enabled.
  5. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, click Turn On to verify the change.
  6. With the setting enabled, go ahead and open the Zoom app and start a meeting.
  7. In the meeting controls, click Participants.
  8. Hover over the name of the participant who is going to be a co-host, and choose More.
  9. Click Make Co-Host.
zoom cohost
Make sure that, under Account Settings, you’re able to add a co-host. Then, once in a meeting, hover over the participant you want to make into a co-host, click More, then Make Co-Host.


Creating Breakout Rooms

Creating breakout rooms in Zoom is incredibly simple.

First, be sure you have Breakout Rooms enabled by logging into Zoom from this link and heading to Account Management. Go to Account Settings and go to the Meeting tab at the top of the screen. From there, be sure that Breakout Rooms are enabled by toggling the switch to turn it blue. You can then check any boxes with the options you want to enable for the breakout rooms.

To create breakout rooms, start a meeting by clicking New Meeting from the Zoom homepage and, once the meeting screen opens, click on the three dots that says More underneath and click Breakout Rooms. Select the number of breakout rooms you want and click Create. Assign each room’s participants and click Open All Rooms, and boom! You’re all set.

For instructions and tips on all things Zoom breakout rooms, check out our guide How to Do Breakout Rooms in Zoom: Step-by-Step Guide with Photos.

Using Annotations

To annotate during a Zoom meeting, you can use the Screen Sharing and Whiteboard features.

If you choose to Screen Share first, you will have the option to click Annotate, and a pencil with which you can draw will appear for you.

If you click on Whiteboard from the options menu at the bottom of your screen, an options menu with various annotation tools will pop up, and you can select from any of these.

You can also enable/disable annotations for other meeting participants at your discretion.

For the full guide on Zoom annotating with every simple step you need, click on our How to Annotate on Zoom: Step-by-Step Guide (with Photos) guide.

Adding Zoom for Outlook

If you want to learn how to schedule and join Zoom meetings from your Outlook calendar, check out our guide, How to Add Zoom to Outlook: Step-by-Step Guide, for all the super simple steps.

Canceling Your Zoom Subscription or Account

Zoom only lets you cancel your subscription (or account) through a web browser. This means you can’t cancel your subscription or Zoom account on your mobile phone. Luckily, Zoom makes it pretty easy to get the job done.

If you want the super simple instructions on how to go about cancelling or changing your subscription, pausing, deactivating, or canceling your account, check out our comprehensive guide How to Cancel Zoom Subscription: Step-by-Step Guide with Photos.

For a walk-through of how to use Zoom and for some tips and tricks, check out this video from Kevin Stratvert.

Wrapping Up

Zoom is a powerful video conferencing app, and it is hard to go over all the features in this one article. These instructions and tips will definitely give you an excellent start to becoming a Zoom professional. So, if you are looking to learn more and more about Zoom, be sure to keep an eye out for more Zoom tutorials from us in the future.

Go and use your newfound Zoom knowledge to make your next virtual meeting more streamlined and professional!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to install Zoom to join a meeting?

You are not required to download Zoom before joining, but you will have access to limited functionality if you enter from your browser.

How do I turn my camera on Zoom?

Without video, Zoom calls might as well be regular phone calls, so how do you turn on your camera? Start or join a meeting, then tap the Camera Control icon. Use the icons on the Camera Control popup to zoom and pan until the camera is in the position you need.

How do I accept a Zoom invite on a mobile device?

If you are using an Android or Apple device, Zoom will request that you download the app if you have not already done so. Open the meeting invitation and select the meeting link. Zoom will open on your phone’s browser and then ask you to join the meeting via the app or download the app.

Can you retrieve a Zoom meeting that was not recorded?

If you forgot to start the recording, and the participants started no local or cloud recording, then there is no way to recover a recording of the Zoom call.

Can I practice Zoom by myself?

You can totally practice a Zoom call by yourself! We recommend creating a test meeting to get yourself familiar with it. Within your test meeting, you have the ability to check your internet connection, familiarize yourself with Zoom’s video conferencing features, and adjust your audio and video before joining the meeting. If you don’t have time before joining, you can also test your video or audio while in a Zoom meeting.

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