Getting started with Zoom

In this article:

- Download Zoom
- Sign in with SSO
- Test your account
- Equipment you will need
- Meetings and Webinars
- Adding and sharing your pronouns
- Security and privacy
- Recordings
- Training
- Help

Download Zoom

You must install Zoom for your device before you can use it:

If you can't install Zoom on your University supplied computer this may be due to security restrictions we put in place. If this happens please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Sign in with SSO

  1. Once you have Zoom installed, open the Start Zoom app and choose Sign In and then Sign In with SSO (Single Sign On).

    Zoom - Sign in with SSO
  2. For the company domain enter essex-university and then choose Continue.

    Zoom - company domain
  3. You'll be directed to the University's sign in page. Enter your University email address and password and sign in.
  4. If prompted by your browser, choose Always open these types of links in the associated app and then choose Open Zoom Meetings.

You can also sign in to your Zoom account online.

Test your account

Join a test meeting to familiarise yourself with Zoom and to test your internet connection, equipment and settings.

Equipment you will need

For the best Zoom experience you'll need a webcam and a headset.

The University can provide these for you - please speak to your departmental or section administrator.

Meetings and Webinars

Meetings and Webinars comparison

The Meeting and Webinar platforms offer similar features and functionality but have some key differences:

  • Zoom Meetings are designed to be a collaborative event with all participants being able to screen share, turn on their video and audio, and see who else is in attendance.
  • Zoom Webinars are designed so that the host and any designated panelists can share their video, audio and screen. Webinars allow view-only attendees. They have the ability to interact via Q&A, chat, and answering polling questions. The host can also unmute the attendees.

Note, you'll need a Zoom Webinar license to schedule and host Zoom Webinars. Webinar licences are currently available on request by emailing

Learn more about Meeting and Webinar comparisons.

Join a meeting or webinar

The easiest way to join a meeting or webinar is to click the meeting link in your email invitation or calendar event - this will open Zoom and join the meeting automatically.

The meeting link will look something like this:

Learn about other ways to join meetings and webinars.

You can add a University of Essex background to appear during your meeting or webinar. A selection of University of Essex Zoom backgrounds have been added to Box.

Schedule a meeting or webinar

Schedule a meeting

We recommend using the Zoom for Outlook Add-In but you can also schedule from the Zoom web portal.

You can give a colleague scheduling privileges so they can schedule meetings on your behalf.

Learn about other ways to schedule meetings.

Schedule a webinar

You'll need a webinar license to schedule and host webinars. Licenses are currently available on request by emailing

Once you have a license you can schedule webinars from the Zoom web portal - you can't schedule webinars from Outlook.

You have a number of options when scheduling webinars:

Hosting a meeting or webinar

Hosting tips

  • Test your equipment. Join a test meeting to test your internet connection, equipment and settings.
  • Rehearse before the main event. A webinar practice session allows you and your panelists to get set up and acquainted with Zoom webinar controls before starting your webinar. The practice session is only accessible by the host or alternative host.
  • Stay in control. Host controls allow you as the host to control various aspects of a Zoom meeting, such as managing the participants.
  • Secure your meetings. Learn about meeting settings to help you host with confidence.

Learn more about meeting and webinar best practices.

Webinar tools and features

  • Polling for webinars - the polling feature for webinar allows you to create single choice or multiple choice polling questions for your webinars.
  • Webinar chat - the chat feature allows webinar attendees, the host, co-hosts and panelists to communicate for the duration of the webinar.
  • Getting started with Question & Answer - the Question & Answer (Q&A) feature for webinars allows attendees to ask questions during the webinar and for the panelists, co-hosts and host to answer their questions.

Learn more about webinars.

Change a scheduled webinar host

Also see

Adding and sharing your pronouns

With the Pronouns feature, you can add your pronouns directly to your user profile.

Security and privacy

See Getting the best from Zoom.


Recording meetings

If you want to record your meeting, we recommend you record automatically in the cloud:

  1. When scheduling a Zoom Meeting in Outlook, in the Meeting Options choose to Record the meeting automatically in the cloud.

Learn more about recording meetings.

Access your recordings

To access your recordings, sign in to the Zoom web portal and choose the Recordings tab.

From here you can download, share or delete your recordings.

How long are my recordings kept in Zoom for?

  • For automatically scheduled recordings of teaching events, recordings are kept in the Zoom cloud for 24 hours and then automatically deleted without warning. However, the recording will be automatically imported into Panopto and made available via Listen Again.
  • For other types of recordings, such as professional meetings, recordings are kept in the Zoom cloud for 3 months and then automatically deleted. You'll receive warning emails before this happens.  If you want to keep your recording for longer than 3 months, you will need to download the recording and save it somewhere, for example in your MyBox folder or OneDrive. If the recording is a learning resource, you can manually import it into Panopto for later use in Moodle.



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