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Zoom Meetings: 10 tips and tricks you should know about

Level up your Zoom game.

Published onJanuary 15, 2022

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 6

Zoom is all the rage these days. It allows people to stay connected with their colleagues while working from home due to the COVID-19 virus. We’ve already talked about exactly what Zoom is and how much it costs, how to set it up, and how it compares with the competition. In this post, we’ll talk about various tips and tricks you need to know about to take your Zoom game to the next level. Let’s get started.

Zoom tips and tricks

Editor’s note: Steps on this article were put together using a custom PC running Windows 11. Some steps might be different depending on your device and software. 

Use a Zoom virtual background

How to use virtual backgound desktop 3

If you don’t want your colleagues to see the inside of your apartment during a Zoom meeting, consider using a virtual background. You can select an image or video and set it as your background with just a few clicks. The feature isn’t perfect and works best if you have a green screen, but it’s still surprisingly good without one. I had a little fun with it and made a screenshot (above), so you can see what it looks like in action. You’re welcome!

We suggest that you set a virtual background before joining a meeting. That way, you won’t have to play around with the controls once the session starts.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your PC.
  2. Click the gear icon under your profile image.
  3. Click on Background & Filters.
  4. Select the Virtual Background option.
  5. Select an image/video or upload your own.

Make yourself prettier

Want to look your best for that important meeting? Zoom has you covered. The tool offers a feature called Touch Up My Appearance, which is a filter that smooths out your skin. It’s not very aggressive, so the changes it makes aren’t super noticeable. But that’s a good thing if you ask me because your face still looks natural after applying the filter. Some filters can make you look like you’re a porcelain doll, and that’s not a good look for a business meeting either.

You can try it out as well as set it up before joining a meeting. It only takes a few clicks to get the job done.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your PC.
  2. Click the gear icon under your profile image.
  3. Select the Video option.
  4. Check the box next to Touch up my appearance.

Also: How to look your best for webcam meetings

Mute someone’s mic

The Shure 55SH angled away from the camera with a warm light in the background.

There’s always that one guy who gets a call and answers it during a Zoom meeting or has children screaming in the background. Fortunately, you can turn off a participant’s mic with just a few clicks and eliminate the excessive noise that’s bothering others.

However, keep in mind that only a meeting host can use this feature. Participants don’t have this option, but they can turn off their own mics.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Join or start a meeting.
  2. Click the Manage participants button in the taskbar.
  3. Hover your mouse over a participant’s name.
  4. Click the Mute button that shows up.

Related: The best USB microphones

Change your name

Zoom Android app

In Zoom, you’re not stuck with your name, or whatever the app chooses to name you. Changing your Zoom name is a breeze, and it might actually be fun for those less casual meetings. It could also help you look more professional to change your name to something more official. Whatever your reason may be, it’s a great feature to have.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Enter a meeting.
  2. Click on the Participants button.
  3. Hover the cursor over your name. Click on More.
  4. Hit Rename.
  5. Type the new name in.
  6. Select Rename.

Turn on gallery view

Gallery view
Zoom’s default video layout is called “Active Speaker” and shows the person speaking in the main (large) window, while the rest of the participants are listed above it.

We recommend changing the layout to “Gallery View” so that you’ll be able to see all the participants on the page simultaneously. Zoom will show you a maximum of 49 participants on a single page. If there are more people in a meeting, you can click on the arrow to move to the next page. And, if you still want to pay attention to the meeting leader/main speaker, you can use Zoom’s “pin” tool to make sure you can always see who’s speaking.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Enter a meeting.
  2. Select the View button in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select Gallery.
  4. Click the arrow on the left/right side to move between pages if there are more than 49 participants in a meeting.

Also read: How to help others set up Zoom remotely

Hide non-video participants

Zoom hide non video participants settings

Okay, so you’ve enabled Gallery View only to find out a lot of the people in the meeting have their cameras turned off, so all you see is a bunch of black windows containing names. In this case, you can declutter your screen by removing all the participants who don’t have their cameras turned on.

If you like this option and want to use it, we suggest enabling it by default before heading into a meeting.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your PC.
  2. Click the gear icon under your profile image.
  3. Click the Video option.
  4. Check the box next to Hide non-video participants.

Only share a part of your screen

Zoom share your screen options

When giving a presentation with Zoom, you often have to share your screen. The problem with this is that the people in the meeting will see the apps you have installed on your PC, the tabs you have open in your browser, as well as other data that you may not want to share. Luckily, Zoom has a solution.

Also read: How to use Whiteboard on Zoom

You can choose only to share a part of the screen, which provides you with a bit more privacy. For example, you can share the content in your browser but cut out the bottom and upper parts that reveal the apps in your taskbar and the tabs you have open.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Enter a meeting.
  2. Click the Share Screen option in the taskbar.
  3. Click the Advanced tab up top.
  4. Select the Portion of Screen option and click Share.
  5. Resize the green window to your liking.

Turn off the camera/mic before a Zoom meeting

Webcam Stock Photo

When you join a meeting, do you want your mic and camera to be turned on or off by default? This is something we recommend you set beforehand, so you don’t have to play around with the controls as soon as a meeting starts.

I keep mine off and only turn them on when needed. This prevents any possible background noise coming from my end because of my neighbors mowing their lawns or cars passing by.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your PC.
  2. Click the gear icon under your profile image.
  3. Click the Video option.
  4. Check the box next to Turn off my video when joining meetings.
  5. Click the Audio option.
  6. Check the box next to Mute my microphone when joining a meeting.

Raise your hand

Zoom raise hand

Whenever you want to speak, you can signal it to the host by raising your hand virtually. The host will then give you the floor to talk or ask questions.

This is a great feature that prevents multiple people from talking at once. It’s also simple to use, as you can see in the instructions below.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Join a meeting.
  2. Click on the Reactions button.
  3. Select Raise Hand.

More: The most common Zoom issues and how to fix them

Record a Zoom meeting to the cloud

Zoom recording

When recording a meeting, we advise you to do it to the cloud. What that means is that the recording will be saved to Zoom’s server, after which you’ll be able to view it under the “Recordings” tab in your account. Just keep in mind that this feature isn’t available on free accounts.

Recording to the cloud is a good idea because you can share a recording with ease, allowing employees who missed a meeting to check it out later on. If you save a recording to your device, you’ll first have to upload it to Drive or a similar service before you can share it.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Join a meeting, or create one.
  2. Click the Record button in the taskbar.
  3. Select the Record to the cloud option.
  4. Click Stop recording at the end of a meeting.
  5. Visit the Recordings page to see and share a recording.

Are you still not convinced by Zoom’s capabilities? There are plenty of other options. Check out our article comparing Zoom’s biggest competitors. You might like one of those alternatives better.

Next: Not sold on Zoom? These are the best alternatives