UW-Madison Zoom - Frequently Asked Questions

Zoom is a cloud-based solution for video and audio conferencing, mobile collaboration, and online meetings and Webinars. Zoom's web-based conferencing uses high-quality video and audio and is accessible on MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android mobile devices. Additionally, Zoom can be used with conventional phone lines for audio conferencing.

Topics covered in this guide


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Accessing your account

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Usability & Accessibility

  • How accessible and usable is Zoom for people with disabilities?

    For a description of Zoom accessibility and usability barriers, go to the Zoom - Accessibility & Usability Information KB.

  • Who can be invited to a Zoom meeting?

    Anyone with a valid email address. Depending on the settings for the meeting, participation can be limited to those with a Zoom account (any Zoom tenant or consumer Zoom works too).

  • Can a user who does not have a UW-Madison Zoom account attend a meeting/webinar via web client?

    Yes. As long as they are logging into their personal Zoom account via the web client using the same email account they were invited with.

    DISCLAIMER: There is a setting which can be disabled that would allow any unauthenticated user to attend the meeting anonymously as long as they have the meeting URL. We do not support or recommend allowing unauthenticated users to attend your meetings because you could be subject to Zoom Bombing. Learn more about this setting.

  • Why are users redirected to NetID login when attempting to join an event via web browser?

    When a user (internal or external) attempts to join an event using a web browser, there is a setting within the event organizer's setting that manages this behavior. As the organizer/owner of the event, go to your settings and search for “Only authenticated users can join meetings from Web client”. This issue will only affect users who are not eligible for UW-Madison Zoom account. If you have users who are not eligible for UW-Madison Zoom account, you have three options on how to manage this setting:

    • Option 1: Require users to use Zoom desktop client to join the event.
    • Option 2: Remove "uwmadison." from the join link url.
    • Option 3: Disable/deactivate this setting before the event is started. This is not recommended because users may now join the event without first requiring to be signed into their Zoom account. Any account reporting/tracking will not include the account address. Users will not be required to login with an account.

  • Can in-meeting chats be saved?

    Yes. You can save in-meeting chats to your computer or the Zoom Cloud either manually or automatically. If you save the chat locally to your computer, it will save any chats that you can see—those sent directly to you and those sent to everyone in the meeting or webinar. If you save the chat to the cloud, it will only save chats that were sent to everyone and in-meeting messages that were sent while recording. Learn more.

  • Can I control the video layout in a meeting?

    Yes. There are 3 video layouts when no one in the meeting is screen sharing: Active Speaker, Gallery, and Immersive views. When someone is screen sharing, you can use Side-by-side Mode or view the screen share with Active Speaker View. Any of these layouts can be used in full screen or windowed mode, with the exception of the floating thumbnail view. Learn more.

  • Can I record a meeting?

    Yes. By default, automatic recordings are disabled. Your recording settings allow you to enable or disable recording features for your meetings. These settings control the availability of recordings and the protection of our students. The UW-Madison defaults have been vetted and put in place by the UW-Madison Cybersecurity Office. Learn more.

  • Are there any limitations to local versus cloud recordings?

    Yes. Local recordings don't support the following features:

    • Display timestamp in the recording
    • Display participants' names in the recording
    • Record Active Speaker, Gallery View and shared screen separately
    • Audio transcription
    • Shared screen recording layout with active speaker thumbnail or without any thumbnails (local recordings will always show a thumbnail gallery view with the shared screen)
    • Record using the iOS or Android app

    If you require these features, use cloud recording.

    Frequently asked questions about local and cloud recording

  • Is there a limit to the number of days cloud recordings are saved for?

    Yes. After 150 days, your cloud recording will be deleted. UW-Madison's use of Zoom’s Cloud Video Storage System was never, and is not, intended to provide persistent hosted storage for sharing or playback. The cloud recording feature is intended to accommodate easy recording and transcoding of recorded content directly to Zoom’s service. Learn more about this setting. If you need to save your recording for future use, we recommend storing them in a video hosting service.

  • Are there preset meeting settings?

    Yes. Your settings allow you to enable or disable features for your meetings. These settings control the availability of your meeting features, such as breakout rooms and chat. The UW-Madison defaults have been vetted and put in place by the UW-Madison Cybersecurity Office to support classroom use. People who are using UW-Madison Zoom outside of the classroom may want to adjust these settings to meet their needs. Learn more.

  • Can I host concurrent meetings?

    Yes. You can host up to 2 meetings at the same time. Both meetings need to be started by the original meeting host and cannot be started by an alternative host. The host can leave the meeting and pass host privileges to another user if needed. Learn more.

  • Can I host more than two concurrent meetings?

    Yes. UW-Madison has purchased 50 concurrent add-on licenses allowing a UW-Madison Zoom account to host between 3-20 concurrent meetings. Please review the add-on license and >service account articles for further details.

  • Can I host a meeting and webinar concurrently?

    No. If you have the need to host a meeting and webinar concurrently, you will need to find another colleague to either host the meeting or webinar.

  • Can I join multiple meetings simultaneously via desktop client?

    Yes. The feature to join multiple meetings simultaneously from the Zoom desktop client allows participants to participate in or monitor multiple meetings at the same time. Learn more.

  • Can I create a recurring meeting?

    Yes. Zoom allows you to schedule meetings with multiple occurrences so that each occurrence uses the same meeting ID and settings. Learn more.

    Within a recurring series:

    • Any poll that is created will be available for every occurrence in the series.
    • Whichever language interpretation is selected, it will be used for the whole series.

  • How do I manage participants in a meeting or virtual classroom (webinar) setting?

    There are a handful of participant settings you can control within a meeting or virtual classroom (webinar) setting.

  • Can I assign an alternate host to a meeting/webinar?

    Yes. When scheduling the event, the host can designate another licensed user on the same account to be the alternative host. The alternative host can start the meeting on the host's behalf (see next section for complete set of actions a alternate host has). The alternate host will receive an email notifying them that they've been added as an alternative host, with a link to start the event. Important: An alternate host will only have the ability start the meeting via the link in the email they received - the link will not be available in any other means. See UW-Madison Zoom - Roles in a meeting/webinar article to better understand the roles once the event has been started.

    Designating an alternative host.

  • Who can be added as an alternate host for an event?

    Only UW-Madison Zoom users who have signed into their UW-Madison Zoom account can be added as an alternate host prior to the event starting. If the user you are attempting to add as an alternate host has not signed into UW-Madison Zoom or is not part of UW-Madison Zoom, you will have to wait until the meeting has started and they have joined the event to then assign them as a host/co-host.

  • What actions can be performed as an alternate host?

    The alternate host will receive an email notifying them that they've been added as an alternative host, with a link to start the event. The meeting/webinar will not be visible/accessible to the alternate host via any Zoom client. As an alternate host, you will receive certain permissions to the event.

    Actions prior to and after start of event

    • The alternative host can start the meeting using the join link in the email or calendar invite sent to them by the host. Alternative hosts cannot see upcoming meetings in their meetings list in the desktop client, mobile app, or web page. 
    • Alternative hosts can't schedule or modify/manage events on behalf of the host. If you need to schedule or modify/manage an event on behalf of another user, use scheduling privilege. You can also give another Licensed user scheduling privilege, which allows them to schedule events for you and makes them an alternative host for those events.
    • If the original host joins after the alternative host, the original host will always regain control of the event and become host, making the alternative host either a co-host or normal participant. If the co-host feature is enabled for the event, the alternative host will become a co-host. If the co-host feature is disabled, the alternative host becomes a normal participant.
    • If a host is attending an event but needs assistance with managing the meeting, they can assign a co-host during the meeting instead of an alternative host. Learn more about roles in a meeting.

  • Who can be assigned host (and co-host) privileges?

    Anyone within the event can be assigned to be a host or co-host.

    • Only one person can be assigned as a host.
    • Any number of users can be assigned co-host privileges.
  • In the case of passing host controls to another user, if the original host is a licensed UW-Madison Zoom user, then the meeting can continue for an unlimited amount of time once the controls are handed off, even if the user who received the host controls is a non-UW-Madison user - the only caveat is that the control can only be passed to the external user (a non-UW-Madison user) after the external user has joined the event.

  • Can I share my screen/content when in a meeting or webinar?

    Yes. Zoom allows you share your screen, but with some restrictions. Learn more.

  • If I am creating a webinar event, do the alternate host(s) or co-host(s) require a webinar add-on?

    No. Only the creator of the event is required to have a webinar add-on licenses. They will be able to assign alternate hosts or co-hosts (during the event) who are not licensed with a webinar add-on.

  • When setting up a webinar with registration, can I limit the number of individuals who can register?

    Yes. Learn more.

  • Can I convert a meeting into a webinar or vice versa?

    Yes. Learn more.

  • Is there a polling feature?

    Yes. The polling feature allows you to create single choice or multiple choice polling questions for your meetings or webinars.

  • Can I create or interact with a Zoom Room?

    No. At this time, we have not purchased any licenses for Zoom Rooms. If you would like to provide feedback regarding this feature, please submit your request per our Zoom Advisory so that leadership can review and process your request.

  • Can I invite someone using their phone number?

    No. This feature requires audio conferencing plan for Zoom. If you would like to provide feedback regarding this feature, please submit your request per our Zoom Advisory so that leadership can review and process your request.

  • Can I manage my conference room device?

    Yes. Please view the Zoom device support list to see if your device is supported and can be managed. Learn more.

    If you need to activate your device, please contact the Zoom Implementation/Support Team at zoom-support@doit.wisc.edu.

  • Is there a waiting room feature?

    Yes. The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees one by one, or hold all attendees in the Waiting Room and admit them all at once. You can send all participants to the Waiting Room when joining your meeting, or you can allow participants from your Zoom account and participants at specified domains to bypass the Waiting Room. Learn more.

  • Can I use close captioning and live transcription features?

    Yes. Learn more.

    You may also want to review UW-Madison's video and audio accessibility guidelines.

  • Can I live stream a meeting or webinar to a custom platform?

    Yes. Zoom provides multiple options to live stream an event. Important: While YouTube can be used to stream live events, the YouTube application is not covered by the UW-Madison G-Suite terms of service; therefore, it is not supported. Learn more.

  • Is there a whiteboard feature in Zoom and can it be shared?

    Yes. The whiteboard feature will allow you to share a whiteboard that you and other participants (if allowed) can annotate on. Learn more.

  • Can I use a virtual background in a meeting?

    Yes. The Virtual Background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting. Learn more.

    UW-Madison also has preset virtual backgrounds that can be used within Zoom.

  • Are breakout rooms enabled?

    Yes. Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 100 separate sessions/rooms with each room containing up to 1000 participants. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time. Learn more.

    Note: Only the host can manage breakout rooms. Alternative hosts and co-hosts cannot manage breakout rooms.

  • Can I share from the main session to all the breakout rooms?

    Yes. With version 5.7.0 (or above), the host or co-host can share their screen to all active Breakout Rooms. Learn more.

  • What features can I not modify after the event is started?

    There are currently six features that cannot be modified once an event is started.

    • Date/time
    • Link/password
    • Alternate-host
    • Language interpretation
    • Registration
    • Polling creation - View limitations.

  • Can I create a Zoom meeting using Outlook client?

    Yes. Follow steps outlined within the add Zoom for Outlook add-in article. Note: Zoom recommends using the web client to modify/manage details/settings for the event since it will allow you to see all the settings available on the event.


  • What privacy and data protections are in place?

    Zoom is contractually required to protect the privacy and data of the UW-Madison licensed users. We have also implemented additional security controls to protect our users. See Terms of Service and Privacy article for more information.

  • Is Zoom HIPAA compliant?

    No. It can be, but it is not by default. HIPAA Zoom requires a specific account configuration to ensure BAA compliance. We will have more information on a HIPAA compliant Zoom offering in the coming weeks.

    UW-Madison’s WebEx instance is a fully supported, HIPAA compliant tool available now for those use cases as needed. If you are a part of the UW-Madison Health Care Component, contact your HIPAA Privacy or Security Coordinator with questions about the applications best suited for creating, storing, and sharing PHI.

    Please contact the DoIT Help Desk and provide your HIPAA requirements for further discussion with the Zoom support team.

  • Are my meetings/webinars secure?

    Yes. Zoom’s solution and security architecture provides encryption and meeting access controls so data in transit cannot be intercepted. Zoom does not have access to identifiable health information and we protect and encrypt all audio, video, and screen sharing data.

  • What is “Zoombombing"?

    “Zoombombing” is when an unauthorized person or stranger joins a Zoom meeting/event/chat session and causes disorder by saying offensive things and even photobombing your event by sharing pornographic and hate images. UW-Madison Zoom - Secure Meetings and Webinars.

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Upcoming features

  • Will Zoom be integrated with Canvas?

    Zoom integration with Canvas is now available with limited support. Individuals who do not have experience with Zoom are encouraged to continue to use BlackBoard Collaborate while we work towards increasing documentation and support availability for this integration.

    Take a quick video tour of how to replace Blackboard Collaborate Ultra with Zoom within Canvas

  • Do we already have access to a third party automatic transcription service that we can integrate with an API token?

    No. But live transcription is now available within UW-Madison Zoom.


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Additional FAQs/Resources

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See Also:

Keywords:chat saving collaborate files meetings activity workflow presence conversations live record streaming video create windows mac os mobile firefox safari chrome limits live event public organizer producer attendees presenters webinars faqs video breakout rooms meeting recurring sharing screen polling waiting phone call out whiteboard virtual background canvas layout view security secure hipaa ferpa service account recording access account create privacy educational business basic add-ons addons screen share canvas conference room connector devices SIP or H.323 communication protocol TLS 1.2 endpoints refund web conferencing limits timeout idle timing out zoom bombing usability security resources eligibility accessing your account polls transcription automatic transcribing captioning close concurrent join simultaneous same time Usability Accessibility converting alternate hosting immersive view alternative   Doc ID:105255
Owner:Zoom S.Group:Zoom
Created:2020-08-25 06:57 CSTUpdated:2021-11-29 16:38 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Office 365, Zoom
Feedback:  4   1