How do I use Zoom?

Zoom combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.

SEAS Zoom user accounts were migrated to Penn Zoom on August 28, 2020 and must sign out in all devices and applications before logging into Penn Zoom using the instructions below.

All active University faculty, students and staff are eligible for full Zoom licenses that allow unlimited meetings with up to 300 participants that can last up to 24 hours:

How do I log into Zoom?

To sign into your Penn Zoom account using a web browser:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Sign in with your PennKey username and password.
  3. You may be prompted to verify your identity with Two-Step Verification.

To sign into your Penn Zoom account using a Zoom app on your computer or device:

  1. Open the Zoom app and click Sign In with SSO.
  2. Enter upenn as the company domain.
  3. When prompted, sign in with your PennKey and password.
  4. You may be prompted to verify your identity with Two-Step Verification.

How do I switch between different Zoom accounts?

You will need to sign out of your current account in order to switch to another account. For more information, see:

How do I join a Zoom meeting?

For the best experience, use your licensed Penn Zoom account.

The host of a Zoom meeting will share a simple link with attendees. Simply open the link to join the meeting. If you haven't used Zoom on the device before, you will be prompted to install it. The process is simple, but can take a few minutes. See these instructions for more details, including tips for preparing ahead of time that covers all supported platforms, including web browsers, mobile devices and telephone:

You can join a test meeting to troubleshoot your settings and ensure everything will work as expected:

Where can I learn more about Zoom?

Zoom provides tutorials and videos for attendees and hosts, along with a page to check service status:

How do I disable my camera and microphone when joining a meeting?

You will be given the opportunity to disable your camera and microphone when joining a meeting and will always have the option to disable them during the meeting by clicking on your user tile. In some cases, the meeting host will automatically mute your microphone when joining.

Users with Zoom accounts can set the default behavior in account settings:

Note that your microphone may already be muted by the meeting host when you join the meeting.

How do I update Zoom?

It's important to keep Zoom updated to benefit from the latest security fixes and feature enhancements. Newer versions of Zoom support automatic updates on some platforms, but older versions may require a manual update first. To ensure you are running the latest version of Zoom, see this page:

How do I prevent Zoombombing?

Zoombombing is when uninvited guests gain access to your meeting and cause disruptions. See these links for tips on protecting your sessions:

How do I mute all participants joining my meeting?

You can mute the microphones of all current and new participants to avoid disruptions, yet still allow them to unmute their own microphones to participate:

How do I manage the participants that join my meeting?

Meeting hosts have options for dealing with disruptive participants, including:

New versions of Zoom provide a Security button at the bottom of the host's window to easily manage some of these options during a meeting.

For more details, see:

Starting July 19th, Zoom will require that all meetings have a Passcode or a Waiting Room enabled. See this FAQ for more information.

How do I require registration for a Webinar?

Zoom Video Webinar allows you to broadcast a Zoom meeting to view-only attendees. Webinars can require preregistration, with the option for the host to add custom registration questions:

How do I record a meeting?

Zoom offers two methods of recording:

Chats saved with local recording will include private direct messages, in addition to the chat seen by all attendees. Cloud recording will only include the chat seen by all attendees. See Saving In-Meeting Chat for more details.

Cloud recording offers enhanced features and is the recommended method at this time:

If you record in the cloud, you'll need to download the recording to your computer before you upload it to Canvas/Panopto.

Local recording is also available (and is a useful backup if Zoom experiences load problems again):

Automatic recording is an option that allows the host to start local recording or cloud recording automatically when the meeting starts:

To avoid synchronization issues with video and audio, CETS recommends uploading the unedited video to Canvas and trimming it with the online Panopto video editor:

Penn Library is periodically checking Canvas sites and automatically increasing storage quotas when needed. If you need to make bulk uploads and encounter a quota error message, please contact to request a quota increase or Contact CETS.

How do I use Breakout Rooms?

Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.

Preassigned breakout rooms require participants to be signed into Zoom accounts. You must have a list of the email addresses they use to log into their accounts. While this is now easier with centrally licensed Penn Zoom accounts, the feature still has many limitations. It may be easier to assign students to breakout rooms after the meeting has begun or let Zoom automatically split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.

Users joined via the web client or Chrome OS are unable to join Breakout Rooms. For the best experience, participants should join the meeting using the Zoom desktop client or mobile app.

How do Breakout Rooms affect recording?

Cloud Recording is limited to the main room and will be paused when the host joins a breakout room. If recording breakout rooms is important while using cloud recording, allow a parcipant in each room to record.

Local Recording will follow the host (or participant) to each room.

How do I use the Waiting Room to selectively admit attendees?

The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees one by one or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit them all at once.

How do I schedule recurring meetings?

Zoom allows you to schedule meetings with multiple occurrences, so that each occurrence uses the same meeting ID and settings. While meetings can be scheduled natively in the Zoom client, instructions on using the Google Calender add-on are provided in this article and highly recommended:

How do I create and manage long Zoom sessions?

Creating a virtual front desk or open door session for drop-in visitors combines multiple features already covered in this article.

To hold regular hours, schedule recurring meetings following the instructions on this page. If using the Google Calendar approach, consider creating a dedicated calendar for the meetings, especially if you want to embed the calendar on a web page. Be careful to share the direct link to the Zoom meeting and not the one that redirects through Google.

After the meeting is created, enable the waiting room feature. Click on Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window to monitor arrivals in the waiting room while the session is live. To enable audio notifications whenever someone joins the room, log into and toggle the switch via Personal > Settings > Meeting > In Meeting (Basic) > Sound notification when someone joins or leaves.

While you are waiting for guests, disable your microphone and camera at the bottom of your Zoom window to conserve power and bandwidth while the session is not in use.

As the host, join the meeting at the scheduled time and leave it open. You will be able to admit one or more guests to the meeting when they enter the waiting room (remember to reenable your microphone and camera). They can leave the meeting when they are finished, or you can put them back in the waiting room to admit the next guest. You also have the option to permanently Remove guests from the waiting room for remainder of the live session (they will not be able to rejoin until the host ends and restarts the meeting).

Be aware that timeouts will apply under certain conditions, depending on the type of account:

As always, respect the privacy of your guests, those around you, and yourself. A quiet room and a headset can help to prevent distractions or leaking sensitive information.

How do I create a poll to survey meeting attendees?

Zoom's polling feature allows you to create single choice or 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 do I set a virtual background?

The virtual background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting.

How do I use a whiteboard in Zoom?

Zoom's whiteboard feature will allow you to share a whiteboard that you and other participants (if allowed) can annotate:

Google@SEAS users can also use the Google Jamboard collaborative whiteboard with Zoom's screen sharing feature:

This video demonstrates using Jamboard for remote teaching, covering the pros and cons with practical examples and workarounds:

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