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How to Spotlight on Zoom: Step-by-Step with Photos

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How to Spotlight on Zoom: Step-by-Step with Photos

Using Zoom can be tricky at first. Scheduling, joining, and recording meetings seem simple enough once you get the hang of it.

When you’ve got all that sorted, you might not have expected Zoom to keep switching windows. This happens even when someone accidentally makes a noise. While this feature can be useful for conversations between multiple people, it can quickly become annoying.

Rest easy, because we’re going to let you know how you can use a nifty feature to keep the focus on one participant –- the “Spotlight” feature.

Read on to find out how to spotlight on Zoom.

What Does Spotlight Mean?

Put simply, spotlighting a user’s video makes this person the active speaker for everybody in the meeting, as well as on the recording if the video is being recorded. This essentially means that their video will remain the largest display and focal point on everybody’s screens. It’s very useful, particularly if you have somebody leading the meeting or a segment where a particular someone is explaining or illustrating something.

Spotlighting can only be used by the host of the meeting, however, and the meeting must have at least 3 participants. If you want to Spotlight somebody, they must also have their video activated, or the option won’t be visible.

How to Spotlight on Zoom

Using this feature probably isn’t as complicated as you may expect. Find out how to do this in the simple steps listed below.

Step 1: Open Zoom

Either open the Zoom client on your PC or the Zoom app on your mobile device and sign in.

zoom spotlight
Open Zoom.

Step 2: Start a Meeting

You can begin a scheduled meeting or start a new one. Make sure to share the Meeting ID or passcode with the people who you want to join. This can be done by sending a link via email or various messaging platforms.

zoom spotlight
Start a meeting.

Step 3: Open the Participants Sidebar

This is done by clicking or tapping the Participants icon underneath the video. This will open a sidebar on a PC or a simple list of participants on a mobile device.

zoom spotlight
Click Participants from the bottom toolbar.

Step 4: Spotlight the Desired User

Next, simply click More next to the participant’s name, or tap their name on a mobile device. To finish, click Spotlight for Everyone on a PC or tap Spotlight Video on a mobile.

Now, this person will be designated as the active speaker and their video or shared screen will be the focal point of everyone’s Zoom interface. To cancel the Spotlight, click Remove Spotlight in the top left corner of the video.

zoom spotlight
Click Spotlight for Everyone.

What’s the Difference Between Spotlight and Pin?

Now that we’ve covered what Spotlight does and how to use it, it would be helpful to clear up the differences between the Spotlight function and the Pin function.

They’re similar in that they make somebody the active speaker on your Zoom, but the difference is that Pin only does this on your screen. So, Pin can be very useful if you want to focus on somebody’s screen without disturbing anyone else’s view of the active speaker.

Wrapping Up

Spotlight is a Zoom feature that allows you to make one participant the active speaker. This means that their screen is the largest for everybody and prevents automatic switching to whoever else is speaking. It’s especially helpful if you have a main speaker conducting the meeting, or need people to pay attention to somebody demonstrating or running through a process.

It’s fairly easy to do and only takes seconds once you know how. Keep in mind you must have at least 3 participants in a meeting, and whoever you want to Spotlight must have their video turned on.

For a helpful walkthrough of the steps covered above, you can also check out this video:

Up Next:

How to Spotlight on Zoom: Step-by-Step with Photos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why can't I Spotlight someone?

This can be either because you’re not the meeting host, there are less than 3 participants or because their video is turned off.

What is Spotlight used for?

Spotlight is used to make somebody the primary speaker, so that their video is the focus for everybody in the meeting, rather than the main screen switching between whoever is making a noise.

Does Spotlight work on recorded meeetings?

Yes, if you’re recording your Zoom meeting to the cloud, then Spotlight will carry over.

What's the difference between Spotlight and Pin?

Spotlight makes a participant the active speaker for everybody, while Pin only makes them the active speaker locally on your device.

How many people can you Spotlight?

You can Spotlight up to 9 participants, so their videos are the only ones that everyone sees.

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