Mistakes and glitches can get in the way of a good video call. Fortunately, you can often fix typical problems yourself.
The telecommuting is now more popular than ever, and thousands of businesses are turning to videoconferences to keep your employees informed. Zoom and other online meeting tools make it easier than ever, but they are not always a perfect solution to the difficulties of working from home.
Mistakes and glitches can get in the way of a good video call. Fortunately, while there are service outages that you can’t do much about, you can often fix typical problems yourself.
To help your Zoom calls work properly again, you will find in this note the most common Zoom problems faced by users and step-by-step instructions on how to solve them.
Zoom is used in multiple settings, such as distance education.
Webcam or audio is not working
There is nothing more frustrating than your webcam or audio not working on a Zoom call. If your webcam isn’t showing up or is selected but isn’t working, try some of these first basic tips. In the popup requesting a meeting ID just before joining a call, leave the following settings unchecked:
- Don’t connect to audio
- Turn off my video
This allows you to join a call with your audio and video automatically enabled. If your webcam is not showing up, make sure all other programs that use the webcam are closed. Zoom may not be able to use the camera if you access it from a different app.
If your webcam or audio still doesn’t work, you can test your audio and video in Zoom by clicking this link. Once open, you can join a test call in the Zoom app and follow the instructions on the screen.
If you have joined on the web (or just to check your webcam in the main Zoom app), you can also select your webcam by clicking Start Video (it could say Stop Video if you’re on a call) on the bottom toolbar.
If the screen is blank, you can click the arrow next to the video camera icon and choose Same as system (or you can see Integrated camera) or a webcam with a more specific name from the list.
Sometimes, the problem may not be Zoom at all. If you are on a Windows 10 PC, the webcam may be blocked. You can correct this by checking your app’s permissions to make sure that the Zoom app or your web browser can use your webcam.
On the web you can also verify this setting by restarting your call and making sure to press Allow when prompted for access to the camera and microphone.
In Windows 10, enter “webcam” in the search box on the taskbar and select Choose which apps can access your camera from the menu. Scroll down and you will see the list of desktop and Microsoft Store apps that can use your webcam.
For applications other than Microsoft StoreLike Zoom, you’ll need to make sure the toggle to allow desktop apps to access your camera is in the on position. In the same way, you can also search for Microphone and choose Microphone Privacy Settings to do the same.
In Mac OS I opened open System Preferences and select Security & Privacy. After that, click on the padlock and enter your password to make changes. Then you can click on Camera in the sidebar and make sure your web browser and Zoom are checked. You can also make sure the microphone box is checked.
Some laptops also have a webcam switch that must be enabled to allow the webcam to function properly. Check that yours is in the correct position if you have one.
If all else fails, uninstall the software and the web browser client will reinstall it before the next meeting. You can also manually install the software from Zoom.
From anonymous people to politicians like Alfonso Prat-Gay use Zoom for their video calls.
Echoes during a call
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. Someone could have the audio on the computer and the phone active at the same time.
In this case, ask them to hang up the phone call or exit PC-based audio during the conference by clicking the up arrow next to the microphone icon and selecting Leave Computer Audio.
Computer or phone speakers they may be too close to each other. I asked the two people who are too close to separate or close a door.
You can also ask one of them to leave the conference call or to mute the audio on your device. Using headphones also helps reduce the echo effect.
Multiple computers with active audio can be on the same conference hall. Again, I asked the two people who are too close to separate or close a door. You can also ask one of them to leave the conference call, mute the audio on your device, or use headphones.
The CGT uses Zoom for its plenary meetings.
Zoom lags or freezes during meetings
Lag and freezing often indicate a problem with the Internet connection. On a mobile device, move to an area with a better connection to see if this helps. On PCs, keep one wired Ethernet connection, if possible. Otherwise, go to the local router and use the 5 GHz connection; it’s faster and (usually) less congested.
Aim for the proper internet speeds for successful video chat. When talking to multiple people in a team environment, keep the download speed of about 1 Mbps and upload speed of around 800Kbps. You can always check your current speeds with a quick internet speed test.
Try unchecking the Enable HD and Retouch My Appearance options in the Video panel in Settings (the Cog icon). This will decrease the amount of bandwidth your video connection requires (and the overhead on your system hardware) and can help troubleshoot lag issues.
I can’t share a screen
Sharing your screen is an important part of many Zoom calls. It’s as easy as clicking Screen Sharing at the bottom of the window. If you plan to share your screen during a call, first check a couple of settings.
Sharing your screen takes a lot of bandwidth. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and are connected to the call. Use a wired connection, if available, for the best performance.
On the home screen, click the down arrow next to New meeting and uncheck Start with video. Your meeting will start with just audio, freeing up bandwidth.
Your video will not activate automatically. 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.
No remote control while screen sharing
By sharing your screen, the viewer can request the remote control to help troubleshoot or explain a process more clearly. This tool appears as Request remote control in Display options and you can access it at any time while the screen is shared.
If you wish enable remote control, but it does not work properly, there are several possible problems to consider. Most likely, the participant (host) does not agree to the remote control request. A notification will appear on your screen and they must choose Allow to enable remote control.
The participant (host) may be interrupting the process. Technically, the person sharing your screen can stop the remote control at any time by clicking the mouse. Always leave the host computer alone while the viewer (client) assumes remote control. You could be on the wrong device. The devices iPad and AndroidFor example, they currently do not allow requesting or giving remote control.
No Zoom emails
Another common problem is not being able to receive emails from Zoom. This can include activation emails and notifications. They usually take 30 minutes to arrive and may take longer. If it does not arrive, you must make sure that your email is configured correctly.
This is generally not your part, so you will need to ask your IT department to whitelist Zoom email IP addresses. If you use Gmail or a personal email service, also check your spam account. Emails will come from [email protected]
If Zoom freezes and closes completely, these solutions will help. Check the status of the Zoom service and the drop detector to see if there is a Zoom problem in your area.
Sometimes, there are problems with the server or the maintenance of the platform, which could mean that the service will be down for a while. You will have to wait if this is the case.
Try the web version if the problem is not regional. As long as your Internet connection is sufficient, it tends to be a bit more reliable if the installed application has problems.
Sometimes Zoom can get confused between audio and video settings. If you are trying to use your webcam connection as an audio output, for example, it will often start to crash as a result. Make sure the video connections are routed to your webcam and, if necessary, your audio is routed to the connected speakers.