11 best Zoom tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner

Zoom has become the reigning champion of communication during the pandemic. While many people have returned to work in their offices, some jobs have changed forever and become permanently remote.

Even as popular as it has been, there have been a bunch of security issues with Zoom. Don’t think for a moment that this doesn’t apply to you. Tap or click here for four essential Zoom security settings you should set now.

A top priority for all is to protect the confidentiality of meetings. Otherwise, a hacker, a troll, or even a famous inventor could come to your meeting. For a little leverage, tap or click here to see Elon Musk jump into an unheard of Zoom chat.

Most of us are now familiar with its basic operation, but Zoom has many tricks and shortcuts. Whether you’re planning a face-to-face coffee date or an important board meeting, Zoom enables you to interact and even appear exactly as you want.

1. Enter Quietly
If you’re trying to enter a Zoom call without making a lot of noise, you can choose to enter silently. This tip is especially helpful when the meeting has already started and you are secretly trying to join in late.

Open the Zoom app and click on Settings. On the Audio tab, click the box to add a checkmark to always mute the microphone when you join a meeting. To turn your microphone back on during a call, use the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

You can also enter Zoom calls without video, which is quite helpful when dealing with low bandwidth or video quality issues.

To access this setting, open the Zoom app and click on Settings. On the Videos tab, at the bottom of the page under the Meetings heading, click the checkbox for Always turn off video when you join a meeting. To turn your video back on, you can do so at the beginning or in the middle of a meeting by clicking the Video button at the bottom of the screen.

2. Change Your Background
Worried about your coworkers looking at your messy kitchen or living room? You can change the background of your zoom call. It doesn’t even need a green screen to do this (though you can certainly use one).

Click on Settings > Virtual Background. From there, Zoom will offer you a few selections you can use, or you can upload basically any image you want.

3. Mute all at once
There may be times when you may have to mute everyone on a call at once.

You can press Cmd+Ctrl+M on Mac or Alt+M on PC to mute all. You can also navigate to Host Control in the Zoom app on your desktop, click Manage Participants, and then Mute Everyone.

4. Mute and Unmute With the Spacebar (and Other Shortcuts)
If you want to add to the conversation but don’t like to leave your Zoom unmute, press and hold the spacebar, and it will temporarily unmute you so you can throw all your thoughts in the ring.

Zoom also has over a dozen other keyboard shortcuts for both Mac and Windows. You can see them all here.

5. Set Zoom to Show Names
I am terrible with names. If you are too, go to Settings > Videos and check the box for Always display participant name. We need this IRL.

6. Don’t Miss the Zoom Meeting Now
Download and open the Zoom app for iOS or Android. Toggle in the Meeting Settings section of the Zoom app and select Meeting Reminders on your mobile device. Your Zoom app will automatically send a mobile notification when it’s time to join the meeting.

7. Look a Little Better with Zoom’s Beauty Filters
We all want to look our best, but quarantine haircuts and standard webcams aren’t a flattering combination. Luckily, the Zoom developers had already thought of that.

Find Settings > Videos. From there, check the box for Touch Up My Appearance, and the Zoom will soften the focus on your camera, giving your skin a refreshing glow. Good.

8. Record your meeting on your computer
There are many reasons to record a video call. You may need to refer to it later for notes or share it with others who need the information.

Go to Settings > Recording and toggle the option on. Once that’s done, you can click the Record icon when hosting a Zoom meeting on the bottom toolbar to record your meeting and save it to your computer.

9. Respond With Emoji
Click the Responses tab at the bottom of the meeting screen. It’s in the same panel as Mute Audio and Video, but you’ll find it on the right. Select the emoji you want to use to express your feelings.

10. Instant Invitation
If you’re in the middle of a meeting and realize you forgot to send an invitation to an important co-worker or two, you can send a quick invite.

Type Cmd+I on Mac or Alt+I on PC to open the Invite window.

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