A Basic Guide to Using Zoom

Zoom is an online conference software that has become a staple in many company’s communication plans since the Covid-19 pandemic. It is free for those who need to use it for basic audio and video chatting and is fairly simple to use. This guide will show you how to create an account on Zoom, host meetings, and join meetings

  1. Creating an Account

1.1 Pricing & Pricing

First, use your web browser to navigate to the Zoom website, https://zoom.us/. Here is the homepage of Zoom, which presents you with a few options. For beginning account creation, you will need to click the “Plans & Pricing” text 2 places to the right of the blue Zoom logo.

1.2 Signing up for free

Here are the plan options available when signing up on Zoom. For this tutorial, we will be using the “Free” option. This is common for workers and company managers who are looking to have small meetings that do not last longer than 40 minutes. This also offers people who need to perform 1 to 1 meetings with unlimited access to them. Click the “Sign Up, It’s Free” button below the “Free” option.

1.3 Date of birth

Here, you will be prompted to enter your date of birth. Do so and click “Continue

1.4 Sign up

Zoom offers a few different ways to sign up, and like many websites, features the ability to sign up using different accounts from well-known websites. Here, you may choose to enter your work email, sign up with your SSO, your google account, or your Facebook account. Since the latter 3 require you to have those accounts already made, we will sign up using an email for this tutorial. Enter your work email, and then click the blue “Sign Up” button.

1.5 Yes or no option

You will be redirected to a page saying that a confirmation email has been sent to the email you have provided. You will need to login to your email account on its website and click the verification link sent by Zoom. This will open a new page that will ask you if you are signed up on behalf of a school. You can click “No” or “Yes” depending on what kind of account you are trying to make

1.6 Continue button

You will be prompted to enter your first name, last name, password, and password confirmation. Once you have completed these, click the orange “Continue” button.

1.7 Invite or skip for now

After that, you will be asked to link possible people you think would want to use Zoom. If you want, you may enter their email addresses and click the orange “Invite” button, otherwise click the grey “Skip for now” button.

  1. Starting a meeting

Here are the steps to hosting and starting a meeting on Zoom.

2.1 Host a meeting

From the home page of Zoom, hover over the blue “Host A Meeting” text. There a drop-down menu will show up, which offers you the ability to create a meeting with or without video, as well as a meeting using the screen share function only. For this tutorial, let’s choose “With Video On.” Click the grey text.

2.2 Downloaded file

A new page will open and will automatically prompt the download of the Zoom software. Click the downloaded file in the bottom right of your screen in order to begin installation.

2.3 Run button

The pop up will ask you if you want to run the installation process for Zoom. Click the “Run” button.

2.4 Yes button to finish installing

A progress bar will show up denoting the installation progress of Zoom. Installing shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two. Once that is finished, it may ask if Zoom can have permission to make changes to the computer. Click the “Yes” button to finish the installation.

2.5 Option buttons

The meeting page hosted by you will open. Here, you will see a few options with the black Zoom meeting window. You can click the “Join Audio” button in order to add an audio feed from you with your currently hooked up devices. You can also click “Start Video” in order to begin streaming whatever camera device you have on your computer. You can also click the “Participants” button, followed by the “Invite” button that appears to the left of it in order to add people to the meeting.

2.6 Copy Invite or Invitation Link

Here you can either add people to the meeting by selecting one of the emails you want to type in, or you can click the “Copy Invite Link” or the “Copy Invitation” button and have the information saved to your clipboard, where you can then paste it to whatever message and to whomever you are wanting to add to the meeting. The meeting password is also at the bottom right so that you may share it with those you are inviting in order to allow them to join, while being able to prevent those who do not have the password for joining.

2.7 Beginning your meeting

Once you have added the people you require, and they have all connected with video or audio, you can begin your meeting.

  1. Joining a Meeting

Joining a meeting in zoom is also a function that allows you to connect to someone who is hosting a meeting instead of you

3.1 Joining a meeting

Focusing on the other window that opened in Zoom, you can click the blue “Join Meeting” button. This can also be found if you close all of the Zoom program’s windows and reopen the program, redirecting you to this window.

3.2 Joining and Interacting

Once you have clicked “Join Meeting,” the next page will show up. Here you can enter the link that someone has provided to you, or the room ID that they have given you. You will also be prompted to enter what your screen name will be. Other options you can mark or unmark are the “Remember my name for future meetings” option, which saves the name you have entered here as your name for all meetings you join in the future. You can also check the “Do not connect to audio” and “Turn off my video” boxes if you wish to silently and non-visually join the meeting. The host will still be able to see your profile is linked to the meeting, and you will be able to see or hear other members in the meeting, but you yourself will have no microphone or camera streaming your audio and video data. Once you have entered the text and selected your options, it is as simple as clicking the “Join” button to enter the meeting and begin your interaction.