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10 Zoom tricks you’ll wish you knew before now

If you’re working from home, your schedule has likely been crammed full of Zoom meetings to help you keep in constant contact with your coworkers and clients. The video meeting platform makes it simple to keep in touch with the people you need to interact with by just clicking the meeting link on your calendar.

But did you know that Zoom also has a few more tricks up its sleeve? Not only can you make video calls, but you can also do things like mute noisy participants, show your enthusiasm with a few emojis, or even look your best with a Zoom beauty filter.

The 10 Zoom tricks listed below will help you make the most of your meetings (and maybe even help you camouflage that quarantine haircut you gave yourself with the kitchen scissors).

1. Enter silently

If you’re trying to enter a Zoom call without making a ton of noise, you can opt to enter silently. It’s a little trick Zoom deployed that you may not be familiar with. This is especially helpful when meetings have already started and you’re trying to stealthily enter a few minutes late.

Related: Update Zoom now for 4 new security settings to protect your meetings

You can use this setting to ensure you enter meetings without making a sound and interrupting the call.

Here’s how you enter Zoom calls silently:

To use this setting, open the Zoom app on your desktop and click on Settings. On the Audio tab, click the box to add a checkmark to Always mute the microphone when joining a meeting at the bottom of the screen.

If you need or want to turn your microphone back on while in the call, you can do so by turning on your mic via the button at the bottom of the screen. You can also enter a Zoom call without video on, which is pretty helpful when you’re dealing with low bandwidth or are having video quality issues.

Here’s how you enter Zoom calls without video:

To use this setting, open the Zoom app on your desktop and click on Settings. On the Video tab, click the checkbox for Always turn off video when joining meeting at the bottom of the page under the Meetings heading.

If you need or want to turn your video back on, you can do so at the start or in the midst of meetings by turning on your video via the button at the bottom of the screen.

2. Change your background

If you’re worried about your coworkers seeing your messy kitchen or living room, or if you just want to change things up, you can change the background on your Zoom calls pretty easily. It doesn’t even require a green screen to do so (though you can certainly use one).

If you want to channel the virtual sunshine and volcanic scenery of Hawaii or convince your coworkers that you live in the hallway of the Stanley Hotel, it’s easy to do via your background.

To switch up your background on Zoom:

Open the Zoom app on your desktop and click on Settings >> Virtual Background. From there, Zoom will offer you a few selections you can use, or you can upload basically any image you want. The virtual world is your oyster.

You may also like: Watch Elon Musk join a Zoom call filled with unsuspecting participants

3. Mute everyone at once

Whether you’re dealing with Chatty Cathys or have a few people who have forgotten to turn off their mics during side conversations, there may be times when you need to mute everyone on the call at once. If the need arises when you’re in a Zoom call and you’re the host, it’s actually pretty simple to do.

To mute everyone on a Zoom call at once:

You can simply hit ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M on a Mac or Alt+M on a PC and it will mute everyone. You can also navigate to Host controls in the Zoom app on your desktop and click on Manage Participants. Open the participant’s list and click Mute all.

4. Mute and unmute with the space bar

There’s nothing more embarrassing than trying to add to the work conversation and realizing, after a matter of seconds or minutes, that you’ve been talking into the void because you’re on mute.

If you want to add to the conversation but don’t like leaving your Zoom unmuted, there’s an easy way to do so without having to fumble for the mic button. All you have to do is press and hold the space bar and it will temporarily unmute you so you can throw all your great ideas into the ring.

5. Set up Zoom to show names

If you’re worried about forgetting the names of unfamiliar faces while on Zoom calls, you can set up your account to show the names of people you’re on calls with.

To set up your Zoom to show names:

Open the Zoom app on your desktop, go to Settings >> Video and check the box for Always display participant’s name on their videos.

6. Set up meeting reminders on mobile

All it takes is one important missed meeting to make you paranoid about missing alerts and reminders for others. If you’re concerned about missing Zoom meetings due to time zone differences or just a hectic calendar, it’s easy to set up meeting reminders on your cellphone.

To set up meeting reminders on mobile:

Download and open the Zoom app for iOS or Android. Toggle to the Meeting Settings section of the Zoom app and choose Meeting reminders on your mobile device. Once this is done, your Zoom app will automatically send a mobile notification when it’s time to join a meeting.

RELATED: Update Zoom and stop Facebook from spying on your meetings

7. Look a little better with Zoom’s beauty filter

Want to avoid the subtle ribbing from your coworkers about the quarantine haircut you gave yourself last week? Well, you can use Zoom’s beauty filter to make yourself look just a little bit better on video calls.

It won’t be as drastic as the filters on Facetune, but that’s probably a good thing. Nobody wants to see your “Influencer” filter during work hours anyway.

To use the Zoom beauty filter:

Open the Zoom app on your desktop and navigate to Settings >> Video. From there, check the box for Touch up my appearance, and Zoom will soften the focus on your camera, making your skin glow and that haircut — well, it’ll still be there in a softened format. But hey! At least your skin will look great.

8. Record your meeting onto your computer

There are tons of reasons to record video calls: you may need to reference it for notes later or share it with people who need the information but couldn’t make it to the call. Luckily, Zoom makes it simple to record meetings to your computer so you can share and email it to your heart’s content after it’s over.

To use the record settings:

Open the Zoom app on your desktop, go to Settings >> Recording and toggle the option on. That’s all it takes to enable video recording. Once that’s done, you can click the Record icon when you’re hosting a Zoom meeting on the bottom toolbar and it will record your meeting and save it to your computer.

9. React with emojis

If you’re on a call and everyone’s muted, you may be tempted to show your reaction to some big information or news that comes your way. But what do you do? Well, you use emojis to react, of course — they’re the universal language, after all.

To use emojis during a Zoom call:

Click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen. It’s in the same panel as mute audio and video, but you’ll find it over to the right. While in the Reactions tab, you can choose the emoji that you want to use to express your feelings on the matter.

And, if you accidentally click the wrong one, don’t panic. The emoji will disappear after 5 seconds, leaving nary a trace of that unnecessary heart-eyed cat emoji in its wake.

10. Quick invite

If you’re in the midst of a meeting and realize you forgot to send an invite to a crucial coworker or two, you can remedy that issue — quickly — with the help of a quick invite. Using this will directly invite a colleague on your contact list to the meeting, letting them know their presence is requested ASAP on the call.

To send a quick invite in Zoom:

While in a Zoom meeting, type ⌘Cmd+I on a Mac or Alt+I on a PC to open the Invite window. Click the Email tab, copy the URL, and send it to anyone who you want to invite to the meeting. You can also click on Contacts to directly invite a colleague if they’re on your contact list.

Now that you know these helpful tricks, you can easily keep in touch with friends, family or coworkers when you’re stuck at home. It’s not the ideal situation but it’ll help you feel connected.

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