Using Zoom’s Features

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On this page, you can examine the various features and functionalities Zoom provides. This page will show you in detail how to use each of Zoom’s most important features.


Sharing Your Screen

In Zoom you have the ability to share your desktop screen with meeting participants, or even just the display for a particular application on your desktop. This is useful for sharing content you want meeting participants to see. Check out the video below to see how it works.

Creating and Managing Breakout Rooms

On this page you will learn how to use the Breakout Rooms feature in Zoom to create sub-rooms within a single meeting.



To manage Video Breakout Rooms, you must either be on

  • PC Version 5.31087.1102 or higher
  • Mac Version 5.31087.1102 or higher

Creating Video Breakout Rooms

1) Start an instant or scheduled meeting.

2) Select the Breakout Session option in the menu bar.

3) Select the number of sessions you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those sessions.

  • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the sessions
  • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each session


  1. Click Create Sessions.

You sessions will be created, but will not start automatically. Once the sessions are created, you can manage the sessions prior to starting them.

Assigning Participants to Sessions

To assign participants to your Breakout Sessions, select Assign next to the session you wish to assign participants to and select the checkbox next to each participant you wish to assign to that session. Repeat this for each session.


Once a participant has been assigned (manually or automatically), the number of participants will show in place of the Assign button.

Preparing Breakout Sessions


If you selected to assign participants to sessions Automatically, your sessions will appear with the participants assigned evenly across your sessions. If you chose to assign participants Manually or wish to make changes, you can do so before starting the sessions. Participants who are not assigned to breakout sessions will remain in the main meeting when the sessions are started.

  • Move to (participant): select a session to move the participant to


  • Exchange (participant): select a participant in another session to swap the selected participant


  • Delete Session: delete the selected session


  • Recreate: allows you to start the Breakout Session creation from scratch
  • Add a Session: add another Breakout Session
  • Start All Sessions: start the sessions. All participants will be moved to their respective sessions after confirming the prompt to join the Breakout Session. The host will be left in the main meeting until manually joining one of the sessions. The participants (and the host when manually joining a session) will see the message shown below when being moved to the Breakout Session.


Managing Breakout Sessions – In Progress


Once the Breakout Sessions have been started, the participants will be asked to join the Breakout Session. The host will stay in the main meeting until joining a session manually. If a participant has not joined the session yet, it will be noted by “(not joined)” next to their name.

  • Join (session): allows the host to join the breakout session selected
  • Leave (session): allows the host to leave the session and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a Breakout Session)
  • Stop All Sessions: Will stop all sessions after a 30 second countdown, shown to the host and participants, and return all participants back to the main meeting.

Ask for Help

Participants in the Breakout Sessions can request that the meeting host join their meeting by pressing the Ask for Help button in the menu bar.


The meeting Host will be prompted to join the session where the request originated from. Select Join Breakout Session to join the session.


Muting and Unmuting Participants

You can mute and unmute yourself by clicking on the microphone icon.

Or use the following shortcuts:

For PC:

  • Alt + A : Mute or Unmute

For Mac:

  • Shift + Command + A: Mute or Unmute

For telephone:

  • *6 : Mute or Unmute

You can mute all participants that are already in the meeting as well as new participants joining the meeting.

  1. Select Manage Participants
  2. Select Mute All
  3. You will be prompted to Allow participants to unmute themselves. Unselecting this option will not allow participants to self unmute. Clicking Continue will mute all current and new participants.
Using the Chat Box


The chat feature in Zoom will allow users to communicate via text. It allows users to chat a message to all other users or specific attendees.

How To Use Chat

  1. Once in a meeting, find Chat at the bottom of the meeting window.

  If an attendee or panelist has sent a chat message, you will be notified with a red number.


2. After selecting the chat Window, you will notice the options to select with whom you would like to chat:


3. If you are running the meeting, you can disable chat for attendees by deselecting Allow Viewer Chat

Using the Whiteboard


The whiteboard feature will allow you to share a whiteboard that you can annotate on with others.


  • Zoom on Windows running version 3.5.19597.0626 or higher
  • Zoom on Mac running version 3.5.24604.0824 or higher
  • Zoom on iPad

How To Use

  1. Once in-meeting, select Share Screen
  2. Select Whiteboard and then Share Screen.
  3. You can then select Whiteboard to show the annotation tools available.
  4. You can then select Save to save the whiteboard as a PNG file. It will be stored in documents > zoom > meeting ID folder as whiteboard.png. Note: You cannot locally save a whiteboard on an iOS or Android mobile device. Please use the screenshot feature of the device to save that whiteboard data. You can then select Whiteboard to show the annotation tools available.
Recording a meeting
How To Record?

Zoom offers two recording options:

Local recording allows you to record meeting video and audio locally on your computer. The recorded file can then be uploaded to a public streaming server such as Vimeo or YouTube.

Cloud recording allows you to record meeting video (active speaker) and audio in the Zoom Cloud where the file can then be downloaded and/or streamed from a browser via HTML 5 or Flash.


  • A Zoom Basic (Free) account is required
  • Account Admin can enable or disable in Account Management
  • User can also enable or disable in Profile page
  • Zoom client version 2.0 or higher is required on PC or Mac

How do I start Local Recording?

Note: You must join the meeting audio either through telephone or computer audio in order to record the meeting’s audio.

The host can record. While you are in a Zoom meeting, move your mouse around the screen to toggle the menu bar.

  1. Select “Record”
  2. You can also click on Participant to assign someone to record
  3. All participants in meeting will see a recording indicator in the upper-left corner of their screen
    Or If you’re the host you will see this button appear in the upper left corner:

Recording Layout

You can record the active speaker, content sharing with active or sub video panel, gallery view or M4A audio.

By default, only the host can record each Zoom meeting. This can be changed by having the host allow specific users to record the meeting through the Manage Participants panel. Each resulting recording will be in the layout of choice by the person who is recording.

The Zoom meeting will be recorded in the current layout that the host is recording. For example, if the host is recording in Gallery View the recording will be in gallery view. This is independent of what the participants are viewing, so if a participant is watching the meeting in active speaker view and they start recording because the host granted them recording the resulting recording will be in Active Speaker.


Note: If you move the active speaker display thumbnail to the edge of the screen or to additional monitor from the one you are presenting from the thumbnail will show up in the surrounding black bars on the recording.

Example: Thumbnail on the main display.

Example: Thumbnail moved to another monitor or edge of screen.

Accessing your Local Recording

To access your saved recorded meetings. Open your client menu. Then, select Meetings and from here select Recorded.

All recorded meetings are stored locally on your local device or computer.

Note: Your recorded meeting will be converted and added after the meeting is ended.

Saved Recording Options

Using your mouse, toggle over your saved recording to view your options:

  • Play Video: Selecting “Play” from your zoom client will play the saved meeting with your default media player
  • Play Audio: Selecting “Play Audio” from your Zoom client will play the saved meeting audio with your default media player
  • Open: Selecting “Open” will allow you to view your saved file in your local device or computer’s folder
  • Delete: Selecting “Delete” will erase your meeting from your zoom client only

Note: After deleting your saved recorded meeting, it will still be saved to your local device or computer.

Note: If your computer/device unexpectedly loses power during recording Zoom cannot guarantee the integrity of your recording files when you restore power. Your recording will most likely be corrupted.

Recording Formats

After you have ended your meeting. Your recorded file will be converted and saved to your local device or computer.

To access your recorded meeting folder: please select open from: Meetings >  Recorded > Open. You will have four (4) different file to choose from:

  • M3U playlist (a playlist to play the individual MP4 files – Windows only)
  • MP4 file/s (video file or split video and screen sharing files – Windows and Mac)
  • M4A file (a single audio only file)
  • VLC player (MP4) file (single file for video and screen sharing view via VLC Player – Windows)  (Release 3.0 and below)
  • MP4 file (single file for video and screen sharing) (Release 3.5 and above)
  • Chat (txt) file (single file for in meeting group chat)

Note: Screen sharing recording would take about 20M of storage per hour while video recording would take about 200M of storage an hour. This is an estimation as the resolution and types of video or screen sharing content could change the storage requirements.

Note: The VLC player (MP4) file and single MP4 (mac) file can also be opened by Quicktime player. You can convert the file to .MOV and edit using iMovie. 

Change Location for Recording

You can change the location of where your recorded meeting file gets stored at on your computer.

Open your Zoom client and select “Settings” then select “Recording.”  From here you can

  • Change where your recorded file will be stored at
  • Select an option to pop up a location selection each time when meeting ends


Note: We recommend keeping the default location for recordings as the \Documents\Zoom folder. Setting the default location to a cloud syncing folder (i.e. Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive) or an external or network storage device may cause issues with saving and converting the local recording.

Polling Zoom participants

The polling feature for meetings allows you to create multiple choice polling questions for your meetings. You will be able to launch the poll during your meeting and gather the responses from your attendees.


How to use polling