Hosting Best Practices

Review Your Settings

Host should log into and review your meeting settings prior to the start of the meeting.

  • Tufts Zoom scheduled meetings default to using passcodes. [NOTE: If you must publicize the full meeting link (passcode included) on an unprotected web page you will need to review and update your meeting settings to increase security around screen sharing/annotation].
  • Enable your waiting room to ensure you let in only the people you want to your meeting. The Zoom Security button allows you to easily disable the waiting room for meetings where it is not needed.
  • Disable screen sharing for everyone except the presenters. The host can grant these permissions during the meeting using the Security Button at the bottom of the Zoom window.
  • Disable annotation in the settings so no one but the presenter can write on the screen.
  • Mute all on entry to avoid unwanted noise/interruptions.
  • Do not allow ejected participants from re-entering meetings.

Eject Disruptive Participants

You may encounter the need to remove/eject a participant from your meeting due to disruptive behavior. Hosts can use either the participant panel or the security button/icon to: 

  • Remove participants from the meeting.
  • Suspend all participant activities, including hosts and co-hosts. Think of this like an emergency brake for your meeting. Once this is done, the host can start turning features back on to get the meeting going again.

When scheduling and hosting a meeting in Zoom, there are things you can do as the scheduler/host to: 

  • Keep your meeting secure

  • Make everyone feel comfortable participating  

  • Accomplish your goals 

  • Schedule your meeting in advance, with security in mind. See the page on Scheduling a Meeting, including suggestions regarding scheduling more secure meetings.

    • Use a unique Meeting ID rather than your Personal Room.

    • Mute your participants' audio on entry. 

    • Consider having one or more people who you trust serve as co-hosts for the meeting to help you manage things. These people can be invited to the meeting and given special privileges using the Alternative Hosts field.

      • Alternate Hosts are also be a good idea if you might be late or unable to run the meeting.

    • Will all of your participants be from Tufts University (i.e. students, faculty, and staff)? Consider using the "Require authentication to join" option and restricting the meeting to Tufts University.

    • Is the meeting open to the public? Or is participation voluntary? Consider using the Registration feature so that people have to provide information about themselves before they are given access to meeting info.

      • Registration approval can be done automatically or manually!

    • Consider enabling the Waiting Room feature to help you manage who can get in to your meeting and when.

    • If the meeting needs to be recorded, set it up to start recording automatically once it starts. Tip: Recording your Zoom meeting to the cloud.

  • Download the Zoom desktop app and use it! Directions for how to download the desktop app and sign in with your Tufts credentials can be found here

  • Practice! 

    • Use a Zoom test meeting to get comfortable with connecting your audio/video and sharing content (e.g. PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc.). More information about audio/video options and sharing content can be found in the Zoom user guide. 

    • Encourage participants get comfortable with Zoom by trying out a test meeting.

  • Know your Host Key. If you schedule a meeting and then accidentally join it as a participant (i.e. without logging in to Zoom with your Tufts credentials), the Host Key can be used to claim the host role. To find your Host Key, log in to and select Profile in the left-hand menu.
  • Configure your Zoom account settings. Sign in to and select Settings in the left-hand menu.
    • Turn off file transfer. In-meeting file transfer is possible through the Chat Panel. You can disable this feature in your Zoom account settings if you are worried about inappropriate content being shared.File Transfer setting
    • Turn off annotation. If you don’t need to annotate your shared content in Zoom, disable the annotation feature in your Zoom account settings. This will prevent participants from using Zoom’s annotations features during your meeting.Annotation setting
    • Prevent removed participants from rejoining. By default at Tufts, Zoom account settings are configured so that the ability for removed participants to rejoin meetings is turned off. It is recommended that you leave this setting disabled.Allow rejoin setting


    • Disable virtual backgrounds. By default, Tufts Zoom users can use still images and videos as virtual backgrounds. To prevent this from happening in your meetings, disable the feature in your Zoom account settings.Virtual background setting


    • Identify guest participants. "Guest" participants are people who join your Zoom meeting without signing in using valid Tufts credentials. In your Zoom account settings, you can enable a feature that will highlight guest participants in orange in the Participants Panel.Identify guests setting



  • Arrive early and get set up. Test your audio and video before participants options


  • Use the Host tools. Hosts and co-hosts of a Zoom meeting will have a Host tools button that gives them quick access to some commonly used features for managing meeting attendance and privileges, including the ability to:
    • Lock the meeting.
    • Enable the Waiting Room.
    • Hide participants' profile pictures.
    • Control participant privileges:
      • Share screen content.
      • Use the Chat panel.
      • Rename themselves in the Participant panel.
      • Unmute their audio.
      • Turn on their video.
      • Annotate shared screen content.
    • Remove participants from the meeting.
    • Suspend all participant activities, including hosts and co-hosts. Think of this like an emergency brake for your meeting. Once this is done, the host can start turning features back on to get the meeting going again.Host tools
  • Use the Participant Panel to manage participant audio and video.
    • Mute participants. Hosts can mute/unmute participants during a meeting, either individually or all at once. Hosts can also take away participants’ ability to unmute themselves. For convenience, you can also enable “Mute on Entry” to automatically mute participants’ audio when they join.
    • Turn off participant video. If a individual participant’s video is unnecessary or inappropriate, the host can turn it off by clicking the More button next to their name and selecting Stop Video.
    • Remove participants, if necessary. From the Participant Panel, you can move individual participants to the waiting room or remove them from the meeting completely. By default, participants who are removed from a meeting will not be able to rejoin. However, this can be changed in your Zoom account settings.Zoom Participant more options menu

NOTE: It is possible to report users after they have left the meeting or been removed by the host. Open the Report window and search for their name(s) or select them from the dropdown menu to do so.

Reporting removed participant


  • Use the Chat Panel to manage messaging privileges between participants. If you don't want to turn off the chat completely, but want to limit who participants can send messages to, use the Chat Panel. Click the Options button to select who participants can chat with.Manage chat privileges