The most common Zoom problems and how to fix them

Is Zoom giving you problems and you can’t seem to fix them? Telecommuting is more popular than ever, with thousands of companies turning to videoconferencing to keep their employees in the loop. Zoom and other online meeting tools make that easier than ever, but as with any other software, issues will arise, and they disrupt or even prevent good video calls.

Fortunately, while there are Zoom service outages you can’t do much about, you often can fix typical problems yourself. To help get your Zoom calls working properly, we’ve collected the most common Zoom problems users face and have provided easy solutions to be able to fix them.

If you also use Microsoft Teams or are making the switch to Zoom because of issues with Teams, check out our guide to fixing Microsoft Teams problems; maybe you will find a solution there so you won’t have to make the switch.

Further reading: Webcam or audio not working Zoom Meeting Interface showing a big Pikachu.

Nothing is more frustrating than having your webcam or audio not work on a Zoom call. If your web camera is not showing up or is selected but not working, try some of these basic tips first.

Solution 1: Check Zoom settings

On the pop-up that prompts for a meeting ID just before joining a call, leave the following settings unchecked:

  • Do Not Connect to Audio
  • Turn Off My Video

This allows you to join a call with your audio and video automatically enabled.

Solution 2: Exit other related apps

If your webcam isn’t showing up, make sure all other programs that use the webcam are closed. Zoom may not be able to use the camera if it’s currently being accessed by a different application.

Solution 3: Test the audio and video

If your webcam or audio issues persist, you can test your audio and video in Zoom by clicking this link. Once open, you can join a test call on the Zoom application and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you’ve joined on the web (or to just double-check your webcam in the main Zoom app), you can also select your webcam by clicking Start Video (it might say Stop Video if you’re in a call) on the bottom toolbar. If the screen is blank, you can then click the arrow icon next to the video camera icon and choose Same as System (or you may see Integrated Camera) or a more specifically named webcam from the list.

Solution 4: Check PC settings

Sometimes, the problem might not be Zoom at all. If you’re on a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC or Mac, the webcam might be blocked. You can correct this by checking your app permissions to make sure the Zoom app or your web browser can use your webcam.

On the web specifically, you can also check this setting by restarting your call and making sure you press Allow when prompted about the camera and mic access.

Windows 10

Enter “webcam” in the taskbar search box and select Choose Which Apps Can Access Your Camera from the menu. Scroll down, and you’ll see the list of Microsoft Store and desktop applications that are allowed to use your webcam.

For non-Microsoft Store apps, like Zoom, you’ll need to make sure the toggle for Allow Desktop Apps to Access Your Camera is switched to the On position. In the same way, you can also search for Microphone and choose Microphone Privacy Settings to do the same.

Windows 11

In Windows 11, type Webcam in the Start Menu and click the Camera Privacy Settings link. From there, scroll down to let desktop apps access your camera, and make sure that the toggle switch is On.

MacOS

Open System Preferences and select Security and Privacy. After that, click the lock icon and enter your password to make changes. You can then click Camera from the sidebar and make sure your desired web browser and Zoom are checked. You’ll also want to make sure the box for the device’s microphone is checked.

Note: Some laptops also have a physical webcam switch that must be enabled to allow the webcam to function properly. Double-check that yours is in the right position if you have one.

Solution 5: Reinstall Zoom

If all else fails, uninstall the software. The next time you try to join or start a virtual meeting, the web browser client should download the software for you. You also can manually install the software from Zoom.

Echoes during a call A woman on a Zoom call.Zoom

Another common problem with Zoom is an audio echo during a meeting. If you hear an audio echo or feedback, there are three possible reasons why.

Solution 1: Limit the input

Someone could have both computer and telephone audio active at the same time. In this case, ask them to either hang up on the telephone call or exit the PC-based audio during the conference by clicking the up arrow icon next to the microphone icon and choosing Leave Computer Audio. 

Solution 2: Move or disable external speakers

Computer or telephone speakers might be too close to each other. Ask the two people that are too close to each other to move apart or shut a door. You could also ask one of them to leave the audio conference or mute audio on their device; though muting by itself may not always be as effective in reducing the echo. Using headphones helps reduce the echoing effect, too.

Solution 3: Disable additional audio

Multiple computers with active audio could be in the same conference room. Again, ask the two people that are too close to each other to move apart or close a door. You can also ask one of them to leave the audio conference, mute audio on their device, or wear headphones.

Zoom lags or freezes during meetings A person conducting a Zoom call on a laptop while sat at a desk.Zoom

Lagging and freezing usually indicate a problem with your internet connection. Here’s what to do about choppy video quality:

Solution 1: Change the connection

On a mobile device, move to an area with a better connection to see if this helps. On PCs, stick with a wired Ethernet connection, if possible. Otherwise, get close to the local router and use the 5GHz connection — it’s faster and (typically) less congested. If you need an upgrade, here’s our guide to the best wireless routers you can get.

Solution 2: Check the connection speed

Aim for the right internet speeds for a successful video chat. When talking with multiple people in a team setting, you want the upload speed around 1Mbps and the download speed around 600Kbps. You can always check your current speeds with a quick internet speed test. If the speeds are undesirable, repeat Solution 1. Also, you can check out our tips on how to increase internet speed.

Solution 3: adjust Zoom settings

Try unchecking the HD and Touch Up My Appearance options. To access these options, click the cog icon (Settings) on the main screen of the Zoom desktop app, or click the arrow icon within the video camera icon during a call and then select Video Settings on the pop-up menu. After that, select the Video category listed on the left (if it isn’t already selected).

By unchecking these two options, you will decrease the amount of bandwidth your video connection requires (and the overhead on your system’s hardware), which can help fix problems with lag.

I can’t share my screen Zoom Meeting Share Screen

Sharing your screen is an important part of many Zoom calls. It’s as easy as clicking Share Screen at the bottom of the Zoom window. If you’re planning to share your screen during a call, check a couple of settings first.

Solution 1: Check your connection

Sharing your screen takes up a lot of bandwidth. Make sure that you have a solid internet connection and that you’re connected to the call. Use a wired connection, if available, for the best performance.

Solution 2: Try a Share Screen meeting

On the home screen, click the down arrow icon next to New Meeting and uncheck Start With Video. Your meeting will then start with only audio, freeing up bandwidth. Your video will not be automatically turned on.

Alternatively, if you’re already on a call and need to share your screen, turn off your video by clicking the Stop Video button and then select the green Share Screen button.

I have no remote control while screen sharing Zoom CallZoom

When sharing your screen, t

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