Zoom, Students, Getting Started

This guide will show students how to get started with Zoom, and some information on how to use it in the classroom.

Download and Install

  • Before you use Zoom, we recommend you install the Zoom software for your device. Start by going to illinois.zoom.us/download and download the Zoom Client for Meetings.  
  • If you're on a University of Illinois managed device, and you cannot find the Zoom Desktop client, please contact the IT office who provided you with the device.

Log In and Set Up

UIUC Zoom Web Portal 

  • Navigate to illinois.zoom.us and log in with your Illinois NetID and password. This will create your Zoom account. 
  • Note: currently registered students should be provisioned a Zoom for Education license. You will only retain this license and Zoom account for as long as you are registered for courses at UIUC.

Zoom Desktop Client

  1. Once the Zoom Client for Meetings is installed, click the Sign In button.
  2. Click Sign In with SSO
  3. Enter illinois when prompted for your company domain. 
  4. Enter your Illinois NetID and password on the University of Illinois login screen.

    More detailed login instructions can be found here: Zoom, Logging In

Test your internet connection and Audio/Video settings

  • Navigate to https://zoom.us/test to join a test Zoom meeting and test your audio and video settings.

Where do I find my course meeting?

Determine how the meeting invite will be shared:

Find out from your course staff how they will be sharing the meeting invitation or ID.  Some courses will share the join link in an announcements section or on the syllabus while others will use the Zoom tool in Illinois Canvas, or Learn@illinois.

  • Locating the Zoom Meeting tool in Illinois Canvas:
    1. Navigate to canvas.illinois.edu and log in.
    2. Expand the courses tab on the left side and enter the specific course you need to attend using Zoom
    3. Click the Zoom meeting link in the left side course navigation menu

      Zoom Meeting tool in Illinois Canvas.  This can be found on the left side menu

How do I join the meeting?

Illinois Canvas or Learn@Illinois

  1. Log in to your online course site.
  2. Find the Zoom tool or module within your course.
  3. NOTE:it may exist as a module or it may have been added to the Course calendar.  
    • Please speak with your professor or course staff to determine exactly where they will post the meeting link, 
  4. If using the Zoom tool or module click Upcoming Meeting tab at the top.

    Upcoming Meetings tab in the Zoom meeting module.  Upcoming meetings tab is the left most tab, directly to the left of the Previous Meeting tab.

  5. Find the meeting for the days lecture or meeting.   
  6. Click Join

    Join button in the Zoom meeting tool.  Located on the right side of a particular meeting instance.

  7. You will then be prompted to open the meeting in the Zoom Desktop application. 
  8. Click “Open in Zoom” and the application will prompt your join your audio.  
  9. It is recommended to join using computer audio

Meeting ID and passcode

  1. Open the Zoom desktop application
  2. Click Join

    Join meeting button in the Zoom desktop application.  This button is found above the Share screen button and to the right of the New meeting button.

  3. Enter the meeting ID in the Join Meeting window

    Zoom meeting ID pop up window.  Enter the meeting id in the top field and your name in the second field.  Click the join button at the bottom of the window

  4. Click the join button
  5. You will then be prompted to enter the meeting's passcode
  6. It is recommended to join using computer audio

Meeting Link

  1. You can simply click the meeting URL to join a Zoom meeting.  
  2. You will then be prompted to open the meeting in the Zoom Desktop application. 
  3. Unless you have saved an application in the past browsing window may open using your default web browser and a pop up will appear.
  4. Click “Open in Zoom” and the application will prompt your join your audio.  
  5. Alternatively: you can enter the meeting link into the top field after clicking the join button in the Zoom desktop application.

    Join meeting pop out window after clicking the join button in the Zoom desktop application.  Enter the Zoom meeting id or meeting link into the top field and click the join button at the bottom.

Accessing Zoom desktop application settings

After opening the application and logging in, click the gear icon directly below your user icon, in the upper right corner (shown below):
Zoom desktop application settings gear, found directly below user icon in the upper right corner of the application window

Meeting Controls


  • After joining or starting a meeting, you can join audio by phone or by computer. 
  • If your internet bandwidth permits, it is strongly recommended to Join with Computer Audio.

    join zoom meeting audio

  • Choose to join audio by Phone Call if you have lower internet bandwidth after you have joined the meeting using your computer over the internet.  For more information about how to join via phone call please see: Zoom Support, Joining a meeting or webinar by phone
  • Click the arrow key to the right of the Unmute/Mute microphone button to select your microphone and speaker hardware and access your Audio settings. You also have the ability to test your audio devices in this drop down menu.


  • Click on the arrow key to the right of the Start/Stop Video button to select your camera hardware and access your Zoom video settings. You can set your default camera hardware in you Zoom application settings. 
  • Within your Zoom desktop video settings, you will be able to preview your camera. 
  • During a meeting, click Start/Stop Video (button 2 below) in the meeting toolbar to start or stop your video.
  • Use an appropriate virtual background if you would like to hide your environment.  More information about virtual backgrounds can be found at: Zoom Support, Changing your Virtual Background image.

In-meeting Control Bar

In meeting control bar with buttons labeled 1 through 9.
NOTE: The above image shows the Zoom in-meeting toolbar as it would appear for meeting hosts. As a student you will in-meeting toolbar may have limited features and not all the icons above will appear.

  1. This button will allow you to mute and unmute your mic.  When the mic is muted a red line will be drawn diagonally through it.  My mic is currently NOT muted above.  The ^ symbol to the right of Mute will allow you to control your audio settings within a meeting.  You can set your audio to the device you’re using or sync it to your system audio.
  2. The video button will start and stop your camera.   If you do not want your camera to display, this button should look the same as above.
  3. Hosts and co-hosts will have access to the Security tab.  This menu will allow you to lock the meeting, enable the waiting room, or hide profile pictures.  It will also allow hosts and costs to control whether participants can share screen, chat, rename themselves, unmute themselves, start video or annotate shared content.  Hosts and co-hosts can also use this menu to remove participants, report a user to Zoom or suspend participant activities.
  4. View the participants listing for the meeting if you have permission.
  5. The chat button will allow you to open the in-meeting chat.  You can send messages to one participant or the entire class.  Please speak with your course staff to find out more about how Q&A will be handled in your individual section.
  6. Share your desktop or an individual application.
  7. If you have permission to record the meeting you can do so here.
  8. Click the caption button to access the in meeting subtitles and/or live transcription.  You can also request that the meeting host enable auto-transcription services if it hasn't been made available.
  9. The breakout room button will be available to hosts and co-hosts.  
  10. The reaction button contains all non-verbal feedback emojis as well as the raise hand button.  Use these to appropriately communicate to course staff.  Please use these sparingly as to not cause unwanted distractions.
  11. Click here to leave or end the video meeting.  Note: participants will only be able to leave the meeting.  Hosts will have the ability to end the meeting.

How do I raise my hand?

Raising you hand can be done by clicking “Reactions” (button #10 above) in the in-meeting control bar and clicking the “Raise Hand” button, shown below:

Participants menu with raise hand highlighted.After you have clicked the raise hand button, the hand icon will appear next to your name in the participants listing. Please wait patiently for your teacher to notice and call on you. Be ready to unmute yourself (button #1).

Screensharing Controls

When you have decided to share your screen during a meeting by pressing Share Screen (#5) button in the In-Meeting Control Bar on the previous page, you will be asked to select what content you would like to share. After you have selected either a full desktop screen, specific application, mobile device or whiteboard, the in-meeting controls will change to what is pictured below:

Sharing screen control bar with buttons labeled 1 through 8.

  1. This button will again allow you to mute or unmute your mic
  2. You can still start or stop your video here
  3. Manage participants remains unchanged
  4. New Share will allow the user currently sharing the option of selecting a new desktop, application, or other device to share.
  5. Pause share will allow you to pause the currently shared screen if you need a moment to do something private.
  6. Annotate gives you access to tools that will allow you to highlight and draw on the shared screen.
  7. The Remote Control feature allows you to take control of another participants screen in a meeting
  8. More stores most other features you may want access to during a screen sharing session.  Access to the meeting chat, breakout rooms and invite more guest can all be found in more.
  9. When you are finished with sharing your screen, press the Stop Share button highlighted above in the purple rectangle.

IMPORTANT:This bar can be moved anywhere you prefer while you are sharing your screen. Simply click and drag the bar to a better location.

Helpful Hints

Video conferences are a great way to meet - and stay connected with - your classmates, instructor and teachers aids (TA). To make sure you get the most out of every session, keep the following tips and tricks in mind:

  • Log in illinois.zoom.us to activate your license.   Follow the instructions here to make sure you are logging in to Zoom correctly.
  • Find a quiet location from which to join your session. 
  • Join a session a few minutes early to test your audio and video connections. You should also make sure you have the latest Zoom app downloaded.  For more information about how to update your Zoom application, please see: Zoom, Updating your Desktop Client
  • Use a headset (or earbuds) instead of speakers and a microphone. The connection may sound fine to you, but speakers and a microphone generate too much feedback and echo for others.
  • Mute your audio unless you are speaking (or in line to speak) to prevent unintentional background noise from disrupting the conversation.
  • For general technical issues, visit support.zoom.us. Licensed users can use Zoom Support live chat by signing in to illinois.zoom.us and clicking the blue “Help” bubble in the lower-right corner.
  • For issues logging in through SSO or general questions, email Tech Services at consult@illinois.edu.
  • Search the campus Knowledge Base for Zoom articles on various topics.
  • Read Zoom’s Student Tips for Participating in Online Learning (PDF).

Where do I find Training?

Additional Resources and Support

  • For additional support, go to support.zoom.us and click Submit a Request at the top of the page OR use the Live chat option in the bottom right corner.
  • Visit https://ops.citl.illinois.edu/for-students for additional resources.

IMPORTANT: If you are having difficulties activating your Zoom license, downloading the Zoom Desktop Application, logging into Zoom or any other technical issues please contact the Technology Services Help Desk by emailing consult@illinois.edu or calling 217-244-7000

KeywordsIn-meeting, control, share, screen   Doc ID99188
Ownerzoom t.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2020-03-20 12:08:34Updated2022-05-27 11:27:01
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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