Meetings and Work Sessions (Zoom)

What is it and why do I need it?

One of the most useful tools used to make virtual meetings easy is Zoom. Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Zoom offers video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing across multiple platforms. 

Important message on recording virtual meetings

The use of Zoom and other University electronic services, equipment and systems are subject to Princeton University’s policies, including the Acceptable Use Policy.  Pursuant to the Acceptable Use Policy, non-public virtual meetings must not be recorded except when recording is necessary to facilitate University operations and serve institutional needs.  For examples of recordings that serve institutional needs, please see the Guidelines for Compliance with the Acceptable Use Policy, under “Limits on Recordings.”

How do I get it?

Zoom is available to anyone with a Princeton NetID and does not require Administrative permissions to install.  

You will need the following: 

  • Device with a good Internet connection (see Bandwidth Requirements, below)
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional)
  • Microphone (a separate microphone can be better than your device's built-in, if possible)
  • Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)

To get started: 

If you do not already have an account set up, get started here:

  • Login with your NetID and password.  *This will require DUO authentication.
  • The first time you use Zoom, you’ll be prompted to run and install the zoom-launcher.

When you receive an invite for a Zoom meeting, you’ll be provided with a link to join the meeting.  

  1. Click the link to run and install the zoom-launcher.  
  2. Click the file to install the launcher.

Upon completion, your meeting should begin.

How do I use it? 

Once you're in a Zoom meeting, you can use features like turning your video and microphone settings on and off, inviting other meeting participants, chatting with other meeting participants, recording the meeting, and sharing your screen.

Host a meeting

When you schedule a new meeting in Zoom, you are the host of the meeting. As the meeting's host, you have full permissions to manage the meeting and the meeting participants.

Schedule a Meeting

After logging into your Princeton Zoom Account, you’ll notice the top menu bar includes the ability to schedule a meeting in the future or host a new meeting and invite colleagues to participate instantly.

If this meeting needs to begin immediately: 

  1. Click Host a Meeting from the top tool bar, choosing at this time, whether you want to include video or not or share your screen only.

  2. Once the meeting has begun, click the Invite button to invite participants


If this meeting is taking place at another time: 

  1. Click Schedule a Meeting from the top menu bar 

  2. Consider the options presented to you

Launch a Meeting

To launch a meeting that you have scheduled ahead of time:

  1. Click on the link in the email invitation
  2. Or if you do not have an email invitation:
    • Log into your Princeton Zoom Account and click on the Meetings button in the left menu bar
    • Click on the Start button next to the meeting you would like to launch
Test your Audio (Mic/Speakers)

It's important to test your audio prior to the start of the meeting to eliminate issues during the meeting.  To test your microphone and speaker and make adjustments: 

  • Speaker: Click Test Speaker to play a test tone. Click the drop-down menu to select the speaker you want Zoom to use.
  • Microphone: Click Test Mic to record audio and play it back. Click the drop-down to select the mic you want Zoom to use.
    • Automatically adjust microphone: Automatically make your microphone softer or louder as needed to normalize the volume and make it easier for other participants to hear you.

Host controls and actionsHost Control Bar

Record the Meeting

As the host of the meeting, you have the ability to record it.  

  1. Click the Record button from the bottom control menu. 

Note: Visit the Zoom Best Practices knowledge base article to learn how to enable recording notification messages for participants who join the meeting.

Invite Participants

Once you have started a Zoom meeting, you will have to ability to invite others to join the meeting. To invite participants to a meeting:

  1. Click on the Invite button on the bottom control bar
  2. You can invite a participant from your list of contact, send an invitation by email, or copy the meeting URL or invitation
Manage Participants

As the host in a meeting, you can manage the participants. By default, any participant in a meeting can share their video, screen, and audio. To manage the participants in your meeting:

  1. Click on the Manage Participants button on the bottom control bar to bring up the participants panel
  2. Next to each participants name, you will see:
    • If a participant has raised their hand to ask a question or make a comment
    • An option to mute the participant
    • An option to stop the participant's video
  3. At the bottom of the panel, you will find the following options:
    • Mute All - Click on this button to mute all participants
    • Unmute All - Click on this button to unmute all participants
    • More - Additional meeting options
Share your Screen

Zoom allows for screen sharing without the need to "pass the ball" or "make someone else a presenter" to share.  You can choose to share your entire screen or any of the open applications shown in the window. 

  1. Click the Share button from the bottom control bar.

  2. Select which content you'd like to share.

  3. Click Share.

Note: If you share a window/application, the screen sharing will only show that window.  If you share a desktop, you can switch between windows and applications. 

Note: You’ll notice that your meeting controls are now at the top of the screen.  You can stop sharing your screen by clicking the visible Stop button or you can hover over the control bar for more options.

Chat with Participants

You have the ability to chat with all attendees or individual attendees.

  1. Click the Chat button from the bottom control menu
  2. Choose from the list of participants or chat with everyone

Note: If you are hosting and cannot see the Chat button, hover over the control menu at the top of the screen.

Add a Virtual Background

You have the ability to display a preset or custom image as your background during a Zoom Meeting. The Virtual Background feature works best with uniform lighting, to allow Zoom to detect the difference between the person and the background. You can select your own professional image or download a Princeton University background.

To set your Virtual Background before a meeting:

To set your Virtual Background during a meeting:

  • In the control bar, click on the arrow next to the Stop Video button
  • Click on Choose Virtual Background
  • Consider the options that are presented