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How do I navigate a Zoom meeting interface?

This guide will show you the features available to you when you’re participating in a Zoom meeting. If you are going to be using Zoom for the first time, be sure to check out these other guides.

How to prepare for your first Zoom meeting.
How do I join a Zoom meeting?


Updated Spring 2020
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 The Zoom meeting interface

This image shows a basic overview of the Zoom interface. We will also provide more detailed descriptions of the toolbar, participant panel, and chat panel.

  1. The bar at the top tells you who is currently sharing their screen.
  2. This is the main whiteboard area controlled by the host, or a participant with permission.
  3. The participant panel
  4. The chat panel
  5. The Zoom toolbar


The main toolbar

Zoom has a main toolbar at the bottom of the window. These are your main controls for the meeting. From left to right, the tools are:

  • Mute/unmute microphoneNote: It’s a good idea to keep your mic muted unless you are purposely talking to the class.
  • Start/stop video -You should not need video unless you instructor asks for it.
  • Invite more participants – Only do this if you’ve been directed to do so.
  • Reveal the participant panel -See which classmates and instructors are in the meeting.
  • Share your screen with the class – You will need permission from the host to do this.
  • Reveal the chat panel -Participate in live chat during the meeting.
  • More (disable video receiving) – You will probably not need this.
  • Leave the meeting -Click this when the meeting is over.


The side panel

The side panel shows the Participant panel and Chat panel. You can show these by clicking the icons on the toolbar as described above.

  1. Participant panel – shows a list of participants and their status, such as whether their audio/video is on or off, who has “raised their hand”, and who is sharing their screen.
  2. Mute/Unmute your microphone
  3. Raise/Lower your hand to get the host’s attention
  4. Chat panel scrolling chat log
  5. Chat field for entering chat