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Zoom: Before your first meeting


Before your first meeting

Zoom Client Settings:

From within the Zoom Client, you can access settings by clicking on the gear icon in the top right of the window.  There are many settings within this menu that you might want to experiment with, but we are going to cover a few of the important ones below.


All settings within general are optional.  Once we have completed all other settings within the Zoom Client, we will be returning to the General tab and clicking on the View More Settings link on the bottom to access the Zoom cloud based settings.


  • Enable HD - Off, Optional.  If your camera supports this feature, this will enable HD video.  This means that your camera will pick up a wider field of view, at a higher video quality.  It also means that it will use more resources on your computer, as well as more bandwidth on your internet connection.  This field should probably be turned off unless there is a specific need for greater detail.
  • Mirror my Video - Optional.  This setting only effects your personal view of your video.  For other participants, your video will always be un-mirrored.  By default, Zoom has this set to on, as many users are used to seeing an image of themselves and expecting a reflection.  This could pose a problem if you were attempting to hold a visual aid up to the camera, and read it from your screen.  Some cameras have a built in feature to auto-mirror their content, so toggling this may be required. 
  • Touch up my appearance - Optional.  Turning this on will cause a very, very feint blurring filter to be applied to your outgoing video.  The idea behind this is to help cover up minor imperfections that an unforgiving camera might reveal.
  • Turn off my video when joining meeting - On.  Turning this on will set it so you join any new meetings with the camera turned off.  This gives you the control to turn the video on when you are ready to be on camera.  Perhaps you joined the Zoom meeting early, and are waiting for the host to arrive to start the meeting.  You minimized the Zoom window to check some email and be productive, when Spotify starts playing your song.  Unless you want to provide a free air-guitar concert to your fellow participants, having the video off when you aren't actively using it is best practice.
  • Always show video preview dialog when joining a video meeting - Optional.  With this on, you will be prompted with a confirmation box before joining a video meeting.  If you set your video to off when joining a meeting, you can probably safely turn this off as well.  If your default is set to join meetings with video on, then you should probably leave this setting on as well.  Its an added level of protection to prevent accidental video exposure.


You can test your speakers and microphone from this screen to make sure your hardware is functioning properly.  If you leave the 'Automatically adjust volume' box checked, Zoom will adjust your microphone levels dynamically while in use.  This could be useful if you are using a dual monitor setup, and sometimes you are speaking directly into the mic, and sometimes speaking to your other screen.

  • Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting - On, Optional.  When you join a Zoom meeting, Zoom will ask what audio method you want to use as your microphone.  If you are using a computer with a built in microphone/camera, setting this to on will reduce the number of pop-up confirmations you will see when entering a new meeting.  You have the option to change microphone options from within the Zoom meeting if necessary, for instance if you want to watch the video on your computer screen, but use your cell phone as the microphone.  You can find instructions for using your phone as a mic on Zoom's help page for 'Joining a meeting by phone'.
  • Mute my microphone when joining a meeting - On.  Turning this on will set it so you join any new meetings with your microphone muted.  This gives you the control to turn on the microphone once you are ready to join the meeting.
  • Press and hold SPACE key to temporarily unmute yourself - On.  Turning this feature on allows you to temporarily unmute yourself by holding the SPACE key down.  This allows you to keep the microphone off (and thus keep distracting background noise from interrupting the meeting), but gives a quick means of turning the microphone on without the clunkier method of having to hunt for the toggle button in the app.

Virtual Background:

Another section that is completely optional, but can be fun to spice up your Zoom meetings.  You can use the default backgrounds provided, or import your own images or videos by clicking on the plus (+) sign located to the right of Choose Virtual Background.  You can visit the College of Charleston's official news site for instructions on downloading some College related resources.  Please remember that some virtual backgrounds (especially video backgrounds) might be particularly distracting, and you should take that into account when deciding on which to use.


Access your default cloud-based Zoom Settings:

Visit the CofC Zoom page and choose sign-in, then go to the Settings tab.  Alternatively, from the Zoom client you can click on the gear icon > Settings > General.  From there, you can choose "View More Settings"