Video calls, video conferencing, and group chats have become more important than ever in recent times, and out of all the apps available, Zoom has risen to be the ruler of them all. Step back Skype, we’re not here for you Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet needs to have a quiet word with itself too. No, it is Zoom that has won all our hearts and that’s why today we’re going to unlock all of Zoom’s best features for you.
After today’s guide, you’ll be able to easily wow all your friends and family on your next big Zoom call as you’ll be familiar with all the cool little hints and tricks that will make you stand out. Let’s not waste any more time then and get straight into the best Zoom tips and tricks. Zoom is available on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Android, and iPhones.
The tips and tricks below will help you become a master of Zoom meetings in no time at all. If you’ve ever seen somebody do something cool in a Zoom group call and wanted to do it yourself, this is the guide for you.
Change your background
Let’s all be honest; this is the big one isn’t it. If you don’t already know how to change your virtual background on Zoom, you want us to show you how. Virtual backgrounds are one of Zoom’s greatest features and have been used so well in recent times. You can have an image or a video as your background and some users have created some wonderful backgrounds, which they then pull out during group calls. Our particular favorite was the friend who created a virtual background of himself walking in and giving the real him a cup of tea. It was mind-boggling to watch.
Anyway, this is how to do it. To set a virtual background on Zoom you need to go to Settings, and then to Virtual Background. You can then use one of the ones already loaded onto your version of Zoom or upload files from your device. This last function means that you can basically set anything as a virtual background, all you have to do is come up with an original idea.
Disable the waiting room
The Zoom Waiting Room is a relatively new privacy-related feature on Zoom that is designed to help those in real meetings avoid unexpected interruptions and zoombombing. Let’s be honest, though, if all you’re doing is a little family quiz having to admit every attendee into the call as they’re automatically sent to the Waiting Room is a bit of a pain.
Fortunately, you can disable the Waiting Room feature by opening Zoom and then going to Settings, and then hitting In Meeting (Advanced). You’ll then have to scroll down quite a bit until you come to the Waiting room section. Here you can turn off the Waiting Room altogether or simply have all guest participants to your call have to wait there until you admit them.
Use the space to bar mute/unmute your microphone
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. Rather than fiddling around looking for that tiny little cursor next to your microphone icon, simply hit the space bar to mute yourself. Then, when you’re ready to talk again, hit space again and your good to go.
Always mute your microphone when entering a call
When you’re in a group video meeting with lots of different people, muting is actually a very powerful tool. Background noise coming from one feed can easily distort and dominate what somebody is actually saying on another feed. This phenomenon is even worse when somebody is already talking, and another account joins the meeting. You definitely don’t want to be that person but fortunately, Zoom has a setting that will always mute your mic when you go into new meetings.
To activate the always muted microphone you need to open Zoom and then access the Settings menu. From there you want to go to the Audio Settings tab. Here is where you’ll find the checkbox that says Mute microphone when joining a meeting. Tick this box and you’ll be saved those embarrassing blushes every time you join a new meeting.
Do the same with video
OK, we get it, first and foremost, Zoom is a video calling platform but sometimes video can really slow the app down and make effective communication harder. Like we’ve just described above, this is particularly grating when it happens every time somebody new enters the conversation. You can make sure that isn’t you by this time going to the Video Settings tab instead of the Audio Settings tab and ticking the box that says Turn off my video when joining a meeting.
Don’t forget the digital whiteboard
There’s a big button that says Share Screen, which makes the screen share a pretty obvious feature on Zoom. What’s not so obvious, however, is that Zoom actually has a few different screen sharing functions including a digital whiteboard that is particularly useful for meetings. It’s also good though, for upgrading that family quiz night to family games night that includes games like Pictionary and hangman. If you throw in the obvious charades too, you’re well on the way to having a full-on party.
Add a beauty filter
This one isn’t strictly a beauty filter, but it is supposed to smooth out any issues you may be having with your skin. The feature is called Touch up my appearance and it softens out the focus from your webcam’s camera. To give this one a go you need to go to Settings, then Video, and tick the box next to Touch up my appearance. The key here though is not to get too upset if you go there and find that it has been ticked the whole time.