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Zoom Host Features

Zoom Host Features

When you schedule a meeting in Zoom, you are automatically the meeting host. Hosts can pass off the host role to other participants once the meeting starts. As a meeting host, you have several tools available to you to conduct your meeting that participants do not have, or are limited in their use of.

*Note: Are you experiencing permission errors when trying to log in to Zoom or videos/meetings not having up-to date information? Try these troubleshooting tips on our Browser Support page.


Starting a Zoom Meeting

If you want to learn how to start a Zoom meeting through Canvas, please reference this page.

If you want to start a Zoom meeting through the Zoom client (outside of Canvas), please reference this page.

Meeting Host Interface

When you are the host of a meeting (either because you scheduled it originally, or someone else has designated you as the host), you get some special controls over the meeting room that participants don’t get.

Screenshot of Zoom host meeting interface with sections 1-14 highlighted in red rectangles

1. Participant Videos

2. Advanced Audio Options: If you are experiencing audio issues and are not sure about which system to use, choose Same as System.

3. Toggle Participants Window

4. Create and Distribute Polls

5. Share Screen and Participant Share Screen Options

6. Toggle Chat Window

7. Record video: We recommend you always record to the cloud. This is because currently there is no limit to Zoom cloud recording capacity for faculty. It is also easier to share a video on cloud-based services and online than it is to share a video on a local computer.

8. Start Breakout Rooms

9. Participants Window: If a participant clicks on an icon (for example, the Raise Hand icon), it will show up to the right of their name in the participant window. This is also where you can see who has their mic muted, video on/off, who is recording the video or who is connected via mobile.

10. Participant Activity: If a participant clicks on an icon (for example, the Raise Hand icon), it will show up here. This is also where you can see who has their mic muted, video on/off, who is recording the video or who is connected via mobile.

11. Participant Icons

12. Participant Options: More detail below.

13. Share Files to Chat for Download: The chat file will be saved in your Zoom folder which can be viewed immediately after saving.

14. Chat Options: More detail below.

Using Breakout Rooms as a Meeting Host

Using Breakout Rooms in a meeting allows you to assign participants to small groups to work together for a period of time. Clicking on the Breakout Rooms button prompts Create Breakout Rooms popout window. Choose how many rooms you would like to create (1). Choose if you would like to assign participants manually or automatically (2) into the Breakout Rooms. Click Create Rooms (3).

Screenshot of create breakout rooms popout window with sections 1-3 highlighted in red rectangles.

Manually Assign Participants into Breakout Rooms

When hovering over the Breakout Rooms, you can rename (1)  your rooms and assign (2) participants to the individual breakout room by clicking the checkbox (3) next to the participant’s name.

Screenshot of breakout rooms popout window for manually assigning participants to a breakout room with sections 1-3 highlighted in a red rectangle

Click the Options button (1) for advanced breakout options. These current options are set by default (2).  You can choose to move all participants into breakout rooms automatically, allow participants to return to the main session at any time, set a time for breakout rooms, and countdown after closing a breakout room. If you set a countdown timer after closing the breakout room, all participants can view the timer.

Screenshot of breakout room options with sections 1-2 highlighted in red rectangles

Click the Recreate button to recreate breakout rooms. This will replace your existing rooms.

Screenshot of recreate breakout room options with the recreate button highlighted in a red rectangle and a red arrow pointing to it

Participant Controls/Options as a Host

The Participant controls in a meeting you’re hosting allow you to make sure that your meeting is run smoothly and there is good verbal and nonverbal communication between you, the host, and the participants.

Participant activity icons (1), such as if the person has their mic muted or is recording, will show up here. If a participant uses the Raise Hand function, you have the option to Lower Hand (2). You can also (un)mute participants (3) and click more for additional participant controls (4) such as making another participant a (co-)host or to allow them to record the video.

Screenshot of Zoom participant controls with sections 1-4 highlighted in red rectangles

You can mute or unmute all participants (1). Click the More button (2) for more participant options (3). You can choose to mute participants on entry, (dis)allow people to unmute themselves, (dis)allow people to rename themselves, play/mute enter/exit chime, or lock the meeting and not allow new participants to join, even if they have the meeting ID and password.

Screenshot of Zoom participant options with sections 1-3 highlighted in red rectangles

Chat Controls/Options as a Host

That chat window in a meeting room is useful for participants to ask questions without interrupting the presenter or host, or for information to be given to all participants (or a single participant).

Click on the vertical ellipses (1) above the chat textbox. Click Save Chat (2) to save the chat dialogue as a .txt file. You can view the file in your Zoom folder immediately after saving. You can determine Participant chat abilities (3) and disable for all participants except for hosts, have participants chat with the host only, allow everyone to chat publicly, or allow everyone to chat publicly and privately.

Note: Private messages between host and participant are saved. Private messages between other participants are not saved.

Screenshot of participant chat options with sections 1-3 highlighted in a red rectangle

Share Your Screen

As the meeting host, you can share your screen, or a single running application on your computer, with participants during the meeting.

To share your screen or content:

  1. Click Share Screen Zoom share screen green arrow button. located in your meeting controls at the bottom of your Zoom window.
  2. Select one of these screen share options (click image for a larger version of the screenshot):
    Screenshot of Zoom host dashboard showing options for sharing content.
  • Basic: Share your entire desktop, specific application windows, whiteboard, or iPhone/iPad screen.
  • Advanced
    • Slides / PowerPoint as Virtual Background: Allows you to utilize a slideshow presentation as your virtual background, providing a more immersive presentation.
    • Portion of Screen: Share a portion of your screen represented by a green border. The border can be adjusted as needed during the share by clicking and dragging any side or corner.
    • Computer Audio: Only share your computer’s audio (your selected speaker in your audio settings). Select the down arrow Down arrow in Zoom interface. to the right of Computer Audio option to view audio options and switch between Mono and Stereo (high fidelity) audio options.
    • Video: Share locally stored video content through Zoom’s native video player.
    • Content from 2nd Camera: Share a secondary camera connected to your computer; for example, a document camera or the integrated camera on your laptop.
  • Files: Share a file from a third-party sharing service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign in to the third-party service and grant Zoom access.
  • (Optional) Enable these features, located in the bottom-left corner of the share window (click image for a larger version of the screenshot):
    Screenshot of Zoom interface showing how to share computer sounds and optimize video clips.

    • Share sound: If you check this option, any sound played by your computer will be shared in the meeting. Select the down arrow Down arrow in Zoom interface. just to the right of the Share Sound option to switch between Mono and Stereo (high fidelity) audio options.
    • Optimize for video clip: Check this if you will be sharing a video clip in full screen mode. Do not check this otherwise, as it may cause the shared screen to be blurry.
    • Share to breakout rooms: Allows the host or co-host to share their screen from the main session directly into all open breakout rooms.
  • Click Share:
    Blue button to share content in Zoom.

If you are projecting your screen in a classroom as well as utilizing Zoom, you may wish to hide the floating screenshare controls that appear at the top of your screen while sharing, as well as the floating box that displays any webcam video feeds from either your camera or participants cameras.

  1. Place your mouse over the top of your screen after you have begun the screen share. A menu bar will extend downwards, exposing a number of screenshare tools and options. Click the button that says More on the right-hand side (click image for a larger version of the screenshot).
    Screenshot of Zoom interface showing how to hide items in the interface.
    From the menu, click Hide Video Panel [2] and/or Hide Floating Meeting Controls [3].
  2. When you are ready to end the screen share or the meeting, hit the Escape (ESC) key on your keyboard to bring the floating menu bar back so you can end the share.

Share Screen Advanced Options

All meeting room participants can share their screen (in this way presenters can share PowerPoint slides as they talk, or an instructor can demonstrate the use of a piece of software), but the host controls who and how many people can share their screens at a given time.

Click on the up arrow (1) next to the Share Screen button. You can quickly toggle between allowing one or multiple participants to share their screen at a time (2). The advanced sharing options here (3) are set by default if you have not configured your meeting sharing settings before. You can disallow participants completely from being able to share their screen or only allow the host to start sharing when someone else is sharing.

Screenshot of Zoom share screen options with sections 1-3 highlighted in red rectangles

Note: You can also submit a help request to Pitt IT if you wish to use the Zoom Webinar feature.

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