Home » How-To » Zoom

Zoom is a web conferencing solution that provides screen sharing, meetings, live chat, and a lot more.

Click here to visit the Langara Zoom Landing Page, which has a variety of basic zoom How-To information for all user types.

Most often, you will join a meeting by clicking on a link shared with you by the meeting host, either by email or posted in your Brightspace course – no account required. (See the URL in the red box below.)

Zoom email invitation
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By Browser

You can also join a meeting from the browser, by entering the Meeting ID number at https://langara.zoom.us/join.

You can find the Meeting ID, the 7-digit number at the end of the URL, in the email invitation sent to you by the meeting host. (See the highlighted text below.)

Zoom Meeting ID highlighted
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Launch the Program

After following one of the steps above to join the meeting, Zoom will attempt to start the meeting.

Zoom "Launching" window

If you have already installed Zoom on your computer, you will see a dialog box; click the “Open Zoom Meetings” button. (Skip to Join a Meeting.)

If the dialog box does not appear, you do not have Zoom installed on your computer. Click “download & run Zoom.”

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Download Zoom

After you click “download & run Zoom,” you will see a “Save As” window appear. Click Save to download Zoom to your computer.

Once the download is complete, click on the downloaded installation file in your browser to run it.

At the end of the installation, Zoom will launch and invite you to join a meeting.

Note: Make sure to update your version of Zoom regularly. Refer to the Zoom Software Quarterly Lifecycle Policy for more information.

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Join a Meeting

Once Zoom is installed, you will see a window inviting you to sign in or join a meeting.

Click “Join a Meeting.” Zoom will open.

The Zoom "Join a Meeting" window, with two buttons: "Join a Meeting" and "Sign In."

In the next window, enter your name (this is how your name will appear to other people in the meeting) and the Meeting ID, if applicable.

Zoom window reading "Please enter your meeting ID and name," followed by two text entry fields, "Meeting ID" and "Your Name." Below is a button reading Join.

Click “Join.”

If you have arrived to the meeting early, you may see the following window, asking you to wait until the host arrives.

A window titled: "Please wait for the host to start this meeting," followed by a line showing the start and end times of the meeting, and the meeting title. There follow two lines of text: a link to "Test Computer Audio," and a message reading "If you are the host, please login to start this meeting." The word "login" is a hyperlink.

When the host arrives, the meeting will start automatically. In the meantime, you may wish to test your computer audio.

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Host A Meeting

We recommend using the desktop application (Windows or Mac only) when hosting meetings. You can find the desktop client at https://langara.zoom.us/download. Log in to the client by clicking on “SSO” and enter your Office 365 credentials.

To create meetings, either use the desktop client, or log in to Zoom at https://langara.zoom.us. Once you are signed in, you will have access to your account settings and be able to create meetings. You can also use the desktop client to create meetings, but some settings are only available in the browser.

All Langara users have a Pro Zoom account. See https://langara.zoom.us for more information on creating and hosting meetings.

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Zoom Audio & Video

When you join a Zoom meeting for the first time, you will be asked how you want to join the meeting audio.

A window headed "Choose ONE of the audio conference options." A green button reading "Join Audio Conference by Computer," followed by a link reading "Test Computer Mic & Speakers." At the bottom, a checkbox with the text "Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting."

To join using computer audio, click “Join Audio Conference by Computer.” This option will use your default microphone and speakers.

If you are having trouble with your microphone or speakers, or aren’t sure whether they are set up, click “Test Computer Mic & Speakers.”

In the Test Computer Audio window, use the Test Speaker and Test Mic buttons to test your audio setup.

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Test Speaker

Click the Test Speaker button. If your speakers are working correctly, you should hear a series of musical notes.

If you don’t hear anything, try switching speakers in the dropdown menu.

A window headed "Test Computer Audio." A blue button reading "Test Speaker," and to the right: an open dropdown menu listing all the audio output devices on the computer.

Note: For the best sound quality, headphones are strongly recommended.

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Test Microphone

Click the Test Mic button and speak into your microphone. The button will change to show “Recording.” Click the button again to stop recording and play back your voice. The button will change again to show “Playing.”

A blue button reading "Recording," with a yellow context box reading "Please speak to your microphone." The arrow cursor is on the button. To the right, a closed dropdown menu listing the computer's default microphone, and below that, a sliding scrubber that controls the volume. Below that, a checkbox with the text "Automatically adjust microphone."

If you don’t hear anything when playing back, try switching microphones in the dropdown menu.

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Test Video

You may also use a webcam in Zoom meetings, so that other people in the meeting can see you. In the Settings window, click Video to view a preview of your live image.

The upper left corner of a window headed "Settings," with three options: General, Audio and Video. Video is selected.

If you don’t see anything, try switching cameras in the dropdown menu.

When you are finished testing, click the X in the top right corner of the Settings window to close it.

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Muting Audio & Video

You can mute your microphone or webcam at any time during a meeting. Just click on the appropriate buttons in the bottom left corner of the Zoom meeting window.

Note: If Screen Sharing is being used, you can access these same controls by hovering over the Screen Share tab at the top centre of the screen.

The bottom left corner of a window with two icons: Mute, with an image of a microphone, and Start Video, with an image of a video camera, which is crossed out with a red line, indicating that the video is inactive.
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Screen Sharing

In Zoom, both the host and attendees (when granted permission by the host) can share their screen with the meeting. Just click the Share Screen button.

A button with a green rectangle and an arrow pointing upwards from its centre, and the text "Share Screen."

Select which window you want to share, or click “Desktop” to share everything on your screen.

A window headed "Select a window or an application that you want to share." In the window are a series of thumbnails depicting the various applications open on the computer, as well as a thumbnail labelled Desktop. The last two items in the top row are labelled Whiteboard and iPhone/iPad. Below the thumbnails are two checkboxes with the text "Share computer sound" and "Optimize for full screen video clip." At the bottom right corner is a blue button reading "Share Screen."

You can also select “Whiteboard” to create a whiteboard space where you and others in the meeting can interact.

A line of controls reading, from left to right, Select, Text, Draw, Spotlight, Eraser, Format, Undo, Redo, Clear, and Save, with a red X box to close the controls. Below the control bar someone has drawn a smiley face in red.

When you’ve made your selection, click the “Share Screen” button.

Note: If you are sharing audio or video content from your computer, make sure to tick the “share computer sound” and “Optimize for full screen video clip” boxes at the bottom of this window.

During Screen Share, the controls will move to the top of the screen. When you’re finished sharing, click the “Stop Share” button.

A control bar reading, from left to right, Unmute, Start Video, Manage Participants, Polls, New Share, Pause Share, Annotate, and More. Below is a green bar containing the meeting ID, and to the right of that is a red button reading "Stop Share."
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Before Starting the Meeting

  1. From the Zoom main console select Settings
    Zoom Console Settings
  2. Uncheck “Enable screen sharing with GPU acceleration
    Zoom Disable GPU acceleration
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In Zoom, you can chat with everyone in the meeting, or privately with specific user(s).

Click on Chat.

A button reading "Chat," with a white dialogue bubble.

Under the “To” dropdown, choose the recipients for your chat and type your message. Press Enter to send.

The word "To" next to a dropdown menu that currently reads "Everyone." Below that is the text that has been entered in the chat, reading "Hi there!" At the top right is a link that reads "More."

NOTE: Be aware that though you can send private messages to other participants during a meeting, the host will be able to see all messages sent after the meeting has ended.

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Record a Meeting

If you are the host, you can record a meeting. Just click the Record button. You will see an indicator that the recording has begun, and stop/start or pause the meeting at any time. Note that everything on the screen will be recorded.

By default, all recordings will be placed in a Zoom folder found in the following file path on these devices:

PC: C:\Users\User Name\Documents\Zoom
Mac: /Users/User Name/Documents/Zoom

Once the meeting ends, the recording will take several minutes to render. All Zoom recordings are stored locally, on your own computer.

You can then upload them to MediaSpace and share them in your Brightspace course, or elsewhere. This can be particularly helpful when recording group presentations. Click here for more information on recording meetings.

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Mobile and Browser Options

Though a wired Internet connection is recommended for the best audio and video quality, mobile (both iOS and Android) and browser versions of Zoom are available.

Not all versions offer the full set of features.

Click here for the full list of Zoom applications: https://langara.zoom.us/download

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Using Zoom on Citrix (on-campus labs)

Zoom is installed on all campus machines, but you will only be able to watch and listen. Webcams and microphones are not available on campus lab computers.

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The Zoom Outlook Plugin

The Zoom Outlook plugin allows you to add Zoom meetings to appointments and meetings in your Outlook calendar. Find more information about the plugin by clicking here.

Note: The Zoom plugin is only available in the desktop version of Outlook. It cannot be used in the browser-based version of your Outlook account.

When adding Zoom meetings to your Outlook events using your Langara Zoom account, you will be required to log in with your Langara email address and password. Make sure to scroll down in the login box to click “Sign in with SSO.” 

The bottom of the "log in to Zoom" in the Outlook Zoom plugin, showing the arrow pointing at the "Sign in with SSO" button.

If you try to log in before clicking the SSO button, you will get an “Wrong username or password” error.

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Authenticated Users Only (logging in before joining a meeting)


When setting up your own Zoom meetings, you can choose to allow only authenticated users to join. This requires anyone joining via your meeting link to log in to a Zoom account. When you’re setting up a new meeting, this setting can be found under Advanced Options in the Zoom mobile or desktop app, and under Meeting Options if you’re setting up a meeting via https://langara.zoom.us in your browser.

When using this option, please make sure to choose “Langara Users Only.” This limits participants to only people with Zoom accounts connected with langara.ca or mylangara.ca email addresses, rather than allowing any personal Zoom account to join.

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Most instructors don’t require you to log in with your Langara Zoom account before joining a meeting. If your instructor has chosen to use this feature, you can log in to Zoom with your Langara Office 365 credentials. See the following video for a demonstration.

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Basic Meeting Etiquette

Here are a few guidelines for having a pleasant and successful video meeting.

Display Names and Avatar Pictures

It’s important that people in a meeting know who is speaking. Always use your “real” name or Langara username (the first part of your Langara email address, before the @, e.g. jsmith) as your display name, or at least a name your instructor knows is you (discuss this with them beforehand if the name you’re using isn’t the one on your Langara account). Nicknames (e.g. gaming handles) and display names containing inappropriate language may get you removed from the meeting.

Most class meetings do not require you to log in to Zoom before joining. Instead, you will be asked to enter a display name after clicking on the meeting link, before you’re allowed into the meeting. If you do log in to Zoom using your Langara Zoom account, your default display name will be your username.

Use the same consideration when choosing your profile picture. This does not necessarily need to be a picture of you, but offensive or inappropriate images are not acceptable. Click here to learn how to change your profile picture.

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Inappropriate Language and Behaviour

Be polite and considerate to your instructor and classmates. Harassment, or use of inappropriate or offensive language, may result in you being removed from the meeting, or the involvement of Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs.

You also shouldn’t take screenshots, pictures of the meeting screen, or otherwise record the meeting, your classmates, or your instructor without express permission.

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Environment and Noise Level

Try to be as mindful as you can of your environment when in a meeting. This means trying to join meetings from quiet places where you aren’t likely to be interrupted (e.g. by barking dogs, roommates or family members). If you can, use headphones, and if possible, an external microphone rather than the built-in speakers and microphone on your computer (a set of earbuds with a built-in mic is fine, but if you must choose between a microphone or headphones, choose the headphones). This cuts down on other people in the meeting hearing echoes and interference from your speakers, and results in a more pleasant meeting experience for everyone. If you’re using your webcam, try to make sure you’re facing a light source, like a window or a lamp, so that people in the meeting can see your face.

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Zoom Lifecycle Policy

What is it?

Beginning in May, 2023, Zoom users will be required to have a minimum version of Zoom in order to join meetings.

Why update Zoom?

Updating Zoom will ensure users have access to the latest safety, functionality, and compatibility features. If users run an end-of-life version of Zoom, they will be prompted to update it or join the meeting from the Web browser.

How often do I have to update Zoom?

This update will be required every three months.

Note: Langara IT’s version of Zoom will always be an older version than the Zoom version downloaded through personal computers and devices.

How do I update Zoom?

On Langara-Issued Computers and Devices


Log in to your computer and click the Start button .

Type “Software Center.” Select Updates to check for updates and download and install them if they are available.


On a Mac, open the Langara College Self Service application from your Applications folder or search for “Self Service.”

Find the Zoom app by typing “Zoom” in the browser or scrolling to the end of the list. Click Install to upgrade Zoom.

On Personal Computers and Devices

To update Zoom on your personal computer, or for devices on which you downloaded Zoom from the Web, open the Zoom Desktop Client or mobile app. Sign in and click on your profile picture, then select Check for Updates. When an update is available, Zoom will download and install the new version.

For more information, please refer to the Zoom Software Quarterly Lifecycle Policy.

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