Cloud video conferencing, group messaging, and simple online meetings are all combined in Zoom. With our solution, you get the most powerful video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across multiple platforms. Learn about the basic features of the Zoom client on Windows and Mac in this article.
- Zoom desktop client for Windows or Mac
Sign in and join
Click Join a Meeting after launching Zoom to join a meeting without signing in. Click Sign In to start or schedule your own meeting.
Sign in with your Zoom, Google, or Facebook account. SSO is also available. If you don’t have an account, sign up for free. Forgot your Zoom password? Click Forgot if you have a Zoom account.
When you sign in, you will see the Home tab. Click these options:
- Join: You can join a meeting currently in progress.
- Schedule: Schedule a future meeting.
- Share Screen: Enter the sharing key or meeting ID to share your screen in a Zoom Room.
- Date and time with background image: Hover over the picture and click the camera icon to change the background image.
Upcoming meeting: Shows the next meeting for today. You can sync upcoming meetings with a third-party calendar service.
- To do so, click your profile picture.
- Add a personal note.
- Customize the client’s settings.
- Set your status to Available, Away, or Do Not Disturb.
- My Profile:
- Go to the Zoom web portal to edit your profile.
- Try Top Features:
- Opens a web page detailing some of the most popular Zoom features.
- About Zoom:
- Details about the Zoom client you currently have installed, as well as other relevant company information.
- Help Center:
- Directs you to Zoom’s support site.
- Report a Problem… Send Zoom a problem report
- Check for Updates:
- Ensure Zoom is up to date.
- Switch to Portrait View:
- If you prefer a narrower window, change the Zoom window to portrait.
- Switch Account:
- Switches between multiple accounts quickly
- Sign out
- Upgrade to Pro (if you are on a free account)
The Chat tab displays private conversations with your contacts or group conversations in chat channels.
From the left-side panel, you can access these features:
Jump to search box:
Find contacts or channels.
- < > : Switches between recently used chat windows.
- Starred Messages:
- Displays starred messages.
- Contact Requests:
- A list of recent contact requests you have received from other Zoom users.
- All Files:
- You can view all files you have shared in chat, all files you have access to, and any saved Whiteboards from meetings.
- Click your name to access your personal chat space.
- Add icon (next to Recent):
- Open a new chat with one of your contacts, create a channel for group chats, or join an existing channel.
- Under Recent:
- Choose a contact to view their chat history and continue chatting. Contacts have a status icon next to their name.
- View the history of a channel (indicated by the group icon before the name) and send messages to its members.
You can use these features in the chat window after selecting a contact or channel in the left-side panel:
Add the contact or channel to your starred list for quick access. In your personal chat space and the Recent section, your favorited contacts and channels will be listed for easy and quick access.
- Video icon :
- Hold a meeting with the contact. Selecting a channel will initiate a meeting with all channel members. To choose if you want to meet with video or not, click the * next to the icon.
- Phone icon :
- Make a phone call to the contact. Available only if you have Zoom Phone access.
- New window icon (hover your pointer over the contact or channel name to display this icon) :
- Opens the selected chat in a new tab.
- Info icon :
- View additional options for the selected contact. Provides quick access to files, images, and starred messages in the selected chat.
- Message box:
- Send messages to your contacts or channels. You can also share screenshots, files, code snippets, audio messages, and animated GIFs.
Zoom Phone allows you to make phone calls, view call history, and listen to voicemail messages.
Note: You need a Zoom Phone license.
View and delete call recordings and history.
- Voicemail tab:
- Listen to and manage voicemail messages.
- Lines tab:
- Access all the lines you have access to.
- SMS tab:
- Access any SMS messages you have sent or received.
- Dial pad:
- You can call out by manually entering a phone number or searching your contacts.
Find out how to use Zoom Phone.
To view, start, edit, and delete scheduled meetings, select the Meetings tab and click Upcoming.
After selecting a scheduled meeting in the left-side panel, you can click one of the following options:
- Add icon :
- Create a new meeting.
- Refresh icon :
- If you do not see your scheduled meeting, refresh the list.
- Start the scheduled meeting you selected from your upcoming meetings.
- Copy Invitation:
- The scheduled meeting’s invitation text can be copied and pasted into an email, instant messenger, etc. If you want to view the invitation you’re copying, click Show Meeting Invitation.
- Change the meeting options for your scheduled meeting.
- Delete your scheduled meeting permanently.
- Join from a Room:
- Start the meeting and connect a local Zoom Room to it as well.
Select the Contacts tab to view and manage your contacts.
View a list of all your contacts, including starred contacts, external contacts, and auto-answer contacts. You will also see a list of Zoom Rooms if your organization has them.
- Channels tab:
- View a list of your channels (used for group messaging). Starred channels are at the top of the list.
- Add icon :
- Display options for contacts and channels. Add a contact, create a contact group, create a channel, join a channel, or add an app from our Marketplace.
Upon starting or joining a meeting, you can access meeting controls located at the bottom of the meeting window (move your mouse in the Zoom window to display meeting controls).
Discover more about meeting controls for hosts, co-hosts, and attendees. Before joining a scheduled meeting, you can join a test meeting to familiarize yourself with the controls.
- Watch the getting started videos
- Join our weekly Zoom meetings and webinar training
- Join a test meeting