How to Properly Configure your Zoom Meetings

Zoom is a wonderful and powerful virtual meeting platform, but things can go awry if you choose the wrong settings for your meetings. Below is a list of a couple best practice items for everyone using Zoom, and below that are expandable sections with information on what settings would be best for your specific use case.

  Top Three Items

  

Only share Zoom meeting links with your intended audience, don't put them them somewhere publicly accessible

  

Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID when setting up meetings (it's a static link so once someone has it, they can always hop into your meeting room)

  

Look over all the settings options in Zoom (https://oregonstate.zoom.us/) and choose the ones that work well for you

We Recommend Using the Waiting Room

The waiting room feature is a great way to stop participants from joining before you're ready, give you control over who you let in, and display a custom message to your users about the meeting. This is particularly useful when set to "Guest Participants Only" as it allows authenticated users in but holds "guests" in the waiting room, who could potentially be uninvited party crashers.

To enable this:

  • Go to zoom.oregonstate.edu > Sign into Zoom > go to Settings > Waiting Room (Enable) > Change from "All" to "Guest Participants Only"

For Teaching

In addition to the top three items mentioned above, these options are great ideas for people holding classes in Zoom. Since class size and type can vary greatly, not every option will be best for every situation.

1. Mute On Entry

Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once. Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep the clamor at bay in large meetings. To do so:

  • In Meeting: Click Participants > Click Mute All from bottom on participant window

  • Scheduling: Schedule Meeting > Meeting Options Section > Check Mute Participants Upon Entry
2. Enable Waiting Room (If Applicable)

One important thing to note is using this features means you would need to let in any late arriving attendees after starting class. If you have a TA for your class this could be easily handled by them with Alternate-Host permissions. Entering a custom message for users to see while in the room is a great idea for displaying classroom conduct expectations or communication guides. This is also great to use for virtual office hours as you can allow one user in at a time, and send messages to any users in the waiting room if something is running longer than expected, or anything else.

3. Allow Only Authenticated Users

To ensure that only users logged in with the email used to invite them (in this case an oregonstate.edu email) can join, you can set your meeting to only allow authenticated users. This also means that their credentials and displayed name will be those tied to their OSU account so it's easy to identify who they are for grading purposes.

  • In Personal Settings: Sign into the Zoom Web Portal > Click Settings > Enable "Only authenticated users can join meetings"

  • Scheduling: Schedule Meeting > Under Meeting Options, check the box for "Only authenticated users can join" > Ensure it shows "Sign in to Zoom with specified domain"
4. Disable Distractions: Private In-Meeting Chat, Screen Sharing, and Annotations

Zoom has all sorts of great features for collaboration, but they can easily become a distraction in a lecture setting so it would be wise to disable them.

Private in-meeting chat allows attendees to chat with each other privately within Zoom by default. If you think this would be disruptive for students in your class you can disable this within your settings.

  • Sign into the Zoom Web Portal > Click Settings > Under the "In Meeting (Basic)" section > Toggle off Private Chat

Screen sharing allows anyone to share their screen with the meeting and show what they're doing. This is great for the instructor but students would only need to do this in certain situations so it's best to disable it. To do this:

  • In Meeting: Click Arrow next to Share Screen > Click Advanced > Click Sharing Options > Under "Who can Share?" choose Only Host > Close the Window

By default, anyone that joins a Zoom meeting will have the ability to annotate during a screen share. You can disable the ability for participants to share in all of your meetings or on a meeting-by-meeting basis. 

  • In Meeting: Start sharing your screen > In the bar on the top of your screen, click "More" > Select "Disable Attendee Annotation" from the dropdown menu
  • In Personal Settings: Sign into the Zoom Web Portal > Click Settings > Scroll down to "Annotation" > Click the blue switch on the right to toggle this setting off
5. Remove Unwanted Participants

If any unwanted participants join, or if someone is being disruptive, removing them is easy. 

  • Click Participants > Mouse over participant's name > Click More > Click Remove

If you don't want to remove a participant but their video is distracting, you can stop or disable it.

For Working

1. Mute On Entry

Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once. Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep the clamor at bay in large meetings. To do so:

  • In Meeting: Click Participants > Click Mute All from bottom on participant window
  • Scheduling: Schedule Meeting > Meeting Options Section > Check Mute Participants Upon Entry
2. Enable Waiting Room (If Applicable)

The Waiting Room feature is a great option if you don't want participants to join before you're ready to begin a meeting, but still allow them to click the link early and enter a "staging area". This option is particularly great for situations like interviews, and anyone with Alternate-Host permissions can let people into the room. One important thing to note is using this features means you would need to let in any late arriving attendees. 

3. Allow Only Authenticated Users

To ensure that only users logged in with the email you invited them though (in this case an oregonstate.edu email), you can set your meeting to only allow authenticated users.

  • Schedule Meeting > More/Advanced Options Section > Check the "Only authenticated users can join" box
4. Remove Unwanted Participants

If any unwanted participants join, or if someone is being disruptive, removing them is easy. 

  • Click Participants > Mouse over participant's name > Click More > Click Remove
5. Lock Meeting After Starting

If you're having a particularly sensitive meeting or just don't have time for any disrupting latecomers, you can lock the meeting when you're ready to start it. 

  • Click Participants > Click More > Click Lock Meeting

We strongly recommend doing this if confidential information is being discussed.

 

For Learning

1. Mute On Entry

Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once. Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep the clamor at bay in large meetings. To do so:

  • In Meeting: Click Participants > Click Mute All from bottom on participant window
  • Scheduling: Schedule Meeting > Meeting Options Section > Check Mute Participants Upon Entry
2. Remove Unwanted Participants

If any unwanted participants join, or if someone is being disruptive, removing them is easy. 

  • Click Participants > Mouse over participant's name > Click More > Click Remove
More Info

If you'd like to read more information on securing your Zoom meetings, you can read the Zoom blog post that we used as a reference for this page: https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-the-party-crashers-from-crashing-your-zoom-event/

Search the Knowledge Base articles about Zoom for more information on specific issues: https://oregonstate.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1935/Portal/KB/?CategoryID=13889

 

Contact Us

Having trouble with something in Zoom? Contact the Zoom team here:

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