How to use Zoom to Connect with Friends and Family

We understand that in this time of sheltering in place, that you are naturally feeling disconnected from your friends and family. If you have a computer, or a tablet, or even a smartphone, you can use it to reach out, and have a video chat with them.

To set this up, you will first need to visit the Zoom website, at  to create an account. This account is free, and it connects your phone and computer or tablet to Zoom, so that it will recognize you the next time you visit the website.

You might want to watch this short video about how to set up an account, and create your first “meeting” or video chat:

To Create Your Zoom Account, and Create a Meeting/Video Chat

Open the internet browser of your choice (such as Chrome, FireFox, Explorer, Safari etc.) on your Mac or PC or tablet and visit the Zoom website to create your FREE account.

The image below will look like the page that will come up.  Look for the sign up button on the top right, and put in your name and create a new password. 

NOTE:  Be sure to write this password down for the next time you log in!

Once you have your account set up, download the desktop version of Zoom for a more intuitive interface. This can be found at: . Under the “RESOURCES” tab, you will see this in the pull-down menu.  Select the suggested download listed at the top.

You should have a file shown at the bottom of your browser.  Double-click on this to open

When Zoom starts up the first time, it will ask for the email and password you used in the first step to create your free account on the Zoom website in your internet browser.  Go ahead and enter this information.

Once you have logged into the program successfully you should see a screen that looks like the image to the left.

This is your “Home” tab. This gives you the option to start a new meeting, join a call, schedule a future event, or share your screen.

You will need to reach out to your friends to plan the video meeting beforehand to ensure they will be online. This planning is best done through email or telephone, as Zoom has no way to alert someone who is not also running the Zoom Program.

To invite someone to “meet” you online, you will need their email address. 

First, create, “Schedule a Meeting,” from the top of the page.  This will bring up a page that looks something like this, where you can set the time and day of the meeting.

At the bottom of the page (you may have to scroll down), you can require a password (recommended) which is unique to each meeting.  This will help ensure your conversation is safe, because no one else can join without this password.

Once you have completed this, you can “SAVE” it.  This will generate a new page for you, which will have your meeting link.  To share this with the people you want to invite to your video chat, look for the “COPY INVITATION” link in blue, on the right center side of the page.  Clicking on that will produce a pop-out screen that looks like this:

Click on the “Copy Meeting Invitation” button.  This will take the information for the meeting, and copy it to your clip board.

Now go to your usual email, and create a new message.  Add the friends or family that you want to invite to the video chat in the address line.

Compose your email subject line as usual.

In the message of your email, use “Control-V” ( or ⌘ + V on a Mac) to paste in the meeting information that was copied to your clip board.

In that message, there will be an embedded link to the video chat, or meeting.  Your friends or family will be able to click on that, to meet up with you at the day and time you agreed upon.

NOTE: There is no other way to notify your friends or family about this meeting, other than your email to them.  Zoom does not send out notifications.

How to Start Your Meeting

Go to the Home Tab and click “New Meeting”. You should see the zoom call window open, you will be prompted to verify the use of your audio, microphone and/or webcam, we suggest you accept these recommendations accordingly. 

Note for the photo above: Your audio might be different than the one listed, but zoom is good at detecting your audio and recommending the right one for you. If you want to test it to ensure your electronics are working, click the “Test Speaker and Microphone” link below the button.

Once you have joined with your device’s audio and/or video- you may notice that you are the only one in the Zoom call, to add someone you will want to click the “Participants” button at the bottom of the screen.  If you do not see it, put your mouse cursor at the bottom of the call (see image below for location). When you have hit that button, you will see a white section pop out from the zoom call to the right named “Participants”

You will want to hit the Invite button within this Participant section, as noted in the image below:

Upon pressing invite, another prompt will appear asking you to choose what email service you use. If you use Gmail or Yahoo email services, do select the button suggested. For all other email services “Default Email” Should work well.  You should be will be redirected to your email service where you are ready to send a Zoom Invite email- the only thing required is your friend’s email address in the email.

If that does not work, here are some helpful tips:

You can copy the invitation by clicking the button the red arrows are pointing to above. Then, go to your email provider and compose a new email. In the new email’s body, right-click and go down to “Paste”.  Make sure to give it a subject line and include your friend’s email as the send address.

When in doubt, call your friend and give them the numbers squared in orange. Note: The numbers listed in this document have no significance other than the location they appear on in the Zoom program. Your numbers should be different than the ones squared in orange above.

You are not done yet!

You need to admit your friend into the Zoom Call. Make sure the Participants tab is still open on the right-hand side of the zoom call.  If it’s not draw your mouse over the lower part of the window to reveal the Participants button.

Go to the right arrow under Participants to see the location of the admit button. Do this to your invited friend to allow them entry into the call!

You should now be able to talk to your friend over zoom!

How To Join A Zoom Call from Someone Else

Before you try starting Zoom, you might want to watch this video on how to join a Zoom Meeting:

You need a specific number (Meeting ID) and password to get to the right room. To get this information, your friend needs to send you an invite via email. So, first step would be to open your email and find an email from your friend, the subject line is often “Zoom invite”.

Once you find that email there are 2 things you will need to look for:

Meeting ID: _________________

Password: __________________

(Do note: You may see some phone numbers on SOME invites. Those who pay for their Zoom account get special features such as call-in numbers. So, some individuals might send you a call-in number in which you can use your telephone to dial in for if you do not have a microphone built into your computer, or tablet.)

Once you have the Meeting ID and Password located keep note of those, go back to the Zoom Home Tab and click the “Join” button. You will see the image to the left pop up.

Type in the Meeting ID listed in the email from your friend, and type in your name, then click Join,

You will then be prompted for the password– this is the password listed in the email as well.

Once you have joined, you may wait a minute to be admitted into the room, but you should be connected and ready to talk. If that does not happen, please skip down to the Resources and Troubleshooting Links at the end of this page.

Leave Meeting

Once you are done video chatting, can end the chat by clicking on the red, “Leave Meeting” button at the lower right corner of the Zoom window.

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