Hosting Zoom Meetings

Host Roles

Here’s a quick breakdown of the host, co-host, and alternative host roles:

  • Host: A single person who is in charge of a meeting and has more permissions than any other attendees. They’re the only participants who can create and manage breakout rooms, give others permission to record locally, make a participant host or co-host, or enable waiting room.
  • Co-Host: This can be any number of people who have more permissions than regular participants, but not as many permissions as the host. Once assigned to a breakout room by the host, a co-host can move from room to room, to the main room and back to the most recent breakout room from the main room. They can help to manage participants.
  • Alternative hosts: A preset pool of people listed as possible hosts for a meeting; the first one of these people to join a meeting session will be the Host. Others listed as alternative hosts who join the meeting become Co-Hosts when they join. When a host leaves a meeting, Host moves to one of the Co-Hosts.

If someone listed as an alternative host doesn’t join a meeting where they are listed as an alternative host, they’re able to join other meetings without issues. If someone is the only Host for the meeting, or if they’re the Host of a meeting and leave without assigning the Host role to someone else, that is where Zoom will start to cause problems and won’t let you into another meeting. One important (and good) thing to note about this: if a Host leaves a meeting where there were multiple alternative hosts listed, the Host role automatically moves to another alternative host.

Managing Participants

During meetings, hosts and co-hosts control a number of features from the Participants panel. Locate the toolbar on the bottom of the Zoom screen and click Participants

Participants features controlled by hosts and co-hosts

  • You
  • The host (If you’re not the host)
  • Participants with their hands raised
  • Phone numbers with no names 
  • Unmuted participants (sorted alphabetically)
  • Muted participants (sorted alphabetically)

If you hover over the name of a participant, you’ll see a blue button that allows you to Mute or Unmute their audio. The blue More button opens a menu where you can:

  • Open a direct/private chat to a participant
  • Stop video for a participant, or ask them to turn their video on
  • Make them host or co-host of the meeting
  • Rename a participant
  • Place participants in waiting room or admit/remove participants from the waiting room (if it’s been enabled)

At the very bottom of the participants list/panel, you have a few more gray buttons that allow you to invite new participants to the meeting, and mute or unmute all participants currently in the meeting. You’ll also find a gray “More” button that opens a menu where you can toggle global options for the meeting:

  • Mute participants on entry
  • Allow participants to unmute themselves
  • Allow participants rename themselves
  • Choose to play an enter or exit chime
  • Lock the meeting to prevent anyone new from joining

Managing Chat

The “Chat” panel (opened via bottom meeting menu button) also has an extended menu, labeled … , where the host can control participants’ abilities to chat. These options, which can be changed at any point, include:

  • No one: Disables in-meeting chat.
  • Host only: Only the host can send messages to everyone, though participants can still send private messages to the host.
  • Everyone publicly: Participants can only send public messages, though participants can still send private messages to the host.
  • Everyone publicly and privately: Participants can send public or private messages. 

This extended menu also is where the host can save the chat transcript. Clicking this captures conversation from the point the host joined the meeting until the point the button is clicked in a text file. Note: If saved locally, this transcript will include any private chats that the host sent or received.