Zoom made easy

Zoom basics, or questions you never dared to ask

Most of the time zoom works like a charm. If this is the case for you: stop reading here. Or check out our suggested videos a few block below, starting with the header Video: Join a Zoom Meeting

Since COVID-19 ‘Zooming‘ is becoming a word like ‘googling’ that English majors will debate for years to come, but we hope the selected videos give you a head start.

There are a million things that can go wrong, mainly because zoom is trying to play catch up with the increased demand, that is often not in favor of the average user.

If you are among the unlucky ones, here are some videos that help. Zoom is is here to stay. We recommend you try it out and play with the settings before you join any meeting (please not at the last minute).

Joining zoom with a computer:

Quick update July 30, 2020: Zoom requires to use their new version 5 of the zoom.us app or software (5.1.2 Mac 5.1.3 PC as of 7/30/2020.) Please make sure you update to 5.1.2/3 ASAP to spare yourself a lot of frustration. (See video below.)

If you are trying to join a zoom meeting and get a notice you must update your software on your screen, please do NOT ignore it. Follow the steps required or you can not join the meeting. (Yes, you will have to allow your computer to make changes in the process.)

The video below shows the quickest way to check which version you are using. Open the zoom.us app in your computer and you will see and image like this one on your screen:

Alternative: Download the latest version on the zoom.us/download webpage. Click on the blue download for the latest version of the software and install it. (Hopefully this will happen automatically.)


It is our experience a lot of complications to hear, speak, or use your camera might be related to an outdated version of Zoom in your computer or mobile device. 

Zoom with a mobile device

Updating is especially important if you are using the ZOOM cloud meetings app on your mobile device. Please scroll down and watch the videos under the header Joining with a mobile device. You can also check your (Apple) App Store or Google Play App for updates. (On July 10, 2020 the latest mobile version is 5.1.2). To add insult to injury, you have to manually update your zoom app to the latest version, by searching for ‘zoom cloud meetings‘ and then clicking update.

Getting a free zoom account is easy and gives you a few more options for viewing meetings. A free zoom account is all you need if you participate in zoom meetings organized by others. (Click on the ‘sign up, it free’ orange button.) The biggest advantage of the free account is that you can check which version of zoom you are using in a few seconds, as shown in the video above.

Video: Join a Zoom Meeting

To join a zoom meeting, please watch both videos first. Most of the problems we had were people not being able to hear or other issues that are related to the set up in their device they are using.

Joining a Zoom Call for the First Time; Fun and Easy Online Connection (8 minutes):

Joining & Configuring Audio & Video (2 minutes) (this looks different in an iPad, there it is on top of the screen):

Joining with a mobile device

If you want to join a zoom meeting on a mobile device, you must download the app: ‘Zoom cloud meetings’ from the app store (iPad/iPhone) or your google play store. This is not optional, but a zoom prerequisite to use zoom on mobile devicesPlease watch the video and install the app first, so you can join any meeting with zoom.

How to install Zoom and join meeting on mobile (iOS) device!

How to install Zoom on Android:

A detailed video that explains very well how to fix problems with your camera. Most of his PC explanations apply to Macs as well.

Great Video for zoom hosts or meeting organizers

This is the best (zoom made) 10-minute video in my book that spells it out very well.  It assumes you are familiar with zoom already. If not consult the videos above first. Every host and Co-host should watch this as a zoom 101 pre-requisite.

Meeting Controls (zoom):

Note: it is recommended that all co-host have a free basic zoom account, since some features are only available if you have and account.

Virtual Backgrounds in zoom

Virtual backgrounds are all the rage at the Moment. But they only work well if you have at least an i7 processor or faster computer, or they may make you look rather silly. This video is made by zoom, keep that in mind, please. Check the technical requirements on the zoom page. While it might be fun to play with it, make sure this is the image you want to present to others (especially if you use and older computer and Scotty beams you in and out a lot)

NOTE: Basic Zoom accounts are free. A free account is more than enough for most people, especially if you only participate. If you decide not to get a free zoom account keep in mind: There are option how to view the participants during a meeting (speaker and gallery view) that are not available for you if you don’t have a zoom account (even if others in the meeting may try to help you view that, since they have a free account).

There are hundreds of zoom videos out there. If you find one that explains it better or fills a gap we did not address please let us know, so we can add it to the collection.