Carnegie Mellon University

Step 1: Prepare

Don't wait until the last minute to make sure you're prepared for your meeting or class. Take 15 minutes today to make sure everything's in place for tomorrow.

  1. Secure Your Computer and Devices. Update your operating system, install antivirus software and set security preferences. 
  2. Download, Log In, and Configure Zoom on your device.
  3. Join a Zoom test meeting to ensure your software, audio and video are working.
  4. If attending a class, turn on Canvas notifications to receive course notifications.

Step 2: Join

Unless it's a recurring event, each Zoom meeting has a unique link. The meeting host will either send the meeting link to you or post it within your course in Canvas. 

  1. Click on the Join Zoom Meeting link.
  2. Enter the meeting passcode, if prompted.
  3. Enter your name, if prompted. You will only be asked to provide this if you are not already logged in to Zoom.
  4. Click Open Zoom, if prompted, to join your meeting with the Zoom app.
  5. The meeting will launch and you will be given the option to join audio.
  6. Click Leave when the meeting has ended to leave the meeting.

Step 3: Attend

When the Zoom app is open and selected, the toolbar will display. Use the controls to complete the following:

  • Mute/Unmute - control your microphone
  • Start/Stop Video - control your video sharing
  • Participants - displays a list of participants in the meeting or class
  • Chat - allows you to chat with other participants or the host
  • Share Screen - allows you to share your desktop or applications with others
  • Reactions - use this feature to give the host applause or a thumbs up

Note: Zoom hosts have the option of turning off sharing, chat, and audio controls for meetings.

Problem with Link

If your Zoom link doesn't work, join through the app.
  1. Open the Zoom app on your desktop or mobile device.
  2. Click Join Meeting and enter the Meeting ID followed by your name.
  3. Provide the passcode when prompted. 

Meeting hosts do not require a separate link to join the meeting. If you are logged into the Zoom app, you will automatically become the meeting host once you join the meeting.

Tips for Meeting Success

Set Your View 

After joining a meeting or class:

  1. Click or tap the view icon (upper right).
  2. Click or tap once to choose Gallery View and display the other participants' video in a grid format.
  3. Click or tap again to return to Active Speaker View (default) and display the active speaker's video as the largest and condense all other participant windows.

Did Your Zoom Window Go Away?

When we multi-task, it's easy to minimize or hide the Zoom window without meaning to. Try these options to bring it back.
  • Click the Zoom icon on your taskbar/dock to select Zoom as the Active window.
  • If you still don't see the window, with the Zoom app selected, click Meeting and Exit Minimal View.

Put More Speed In Your Zoom

If the quality of your Zoom meeting degrades, try these tips for improving your experience.


View Zoom Recordings

Access a Class Recording

Instructors will rely on recordings if they are unable to deliver synchronous courses through Zoom for any reason. To view a course recording:

  1. Open the course in Canvas.
  2. Click Zoom (left).
  3. Click Cloud Recordings. Links to your recorded classes will display, if available.

View a Meeting Recording

If your Zoom meeting was recorded, only the meeting host has the ability to make this content available. To access a recording as the host:

  1. Visit and click Sign In.
  2. Click Recordings (left). A list of your previous Zoom recordings will display.
  3. Click Share to the right of a meeting to generate a link.
  4. Click More and select Download to save the recording locally or Delete to remove the recording from the Zoom cloud. 

Note: Zoom meetings recorded to the cloud can often take up to several hours to process. You will receive an email from Zoom with a link to the cloud recording once it's available.

Avoid Sharing Recordings

Course instructors may elect to record Zoom classes for educational use by students enrolled in a course. Zoom recordings shared within private Canvas course sites are covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). They are provided for use by students in the given course only for the purposes of reviewing past class sessions and are not to be shared beyond that.