How to Use Zoom

Zoom is video-conferencing software that is easy to use.

Many 12-step groups have online Zoom meetings. AA Online Intergroup Meeting List

Getting Started

Anonymity Note: Zoom will show the name on your account. If you don’t want your last name shown, don’t enter it. Or you can change your screen name after you enter a Zoom session

You can use Zoom with video and audio or just by dialing in on a phone for audio only. For dialing in on your phone, you don’t need to do any setup. Skip to “How to Join a Meeting”.

To get started with Zoom you will need to 1) Create an account and 2) Download and install the Zoom software (or app).  Then every time you attend a Zoom meeting you will need the meeting code or link.  The person hosting the meeting will provide the link. For example, here’s a meeting link:

Easiest way to get started:  Click on your meeting’s Zoom link (or copy/paste into the address bar) and Zoom will walk you through the steps of creating an account and downloading the software and take you to the meeting. (I have just learned that you don’t have to create an account, but it will ask you to.)

How to Join a Meeting

To join with video capability (using laptop, phone, or tablet):  Once you have installed Zoom software, you can just click on the Zoom link for that meeting (which will be posted or given to you).  If the link isn’t clickable, copy/paste it into the address bar of a browser. Or run the Zoom app on your device and type in the meeting ID (it’s the ending digits of the meeting link).  The meeting’s host will give you a link and the meeting ID. Recurring meetings (e.g. weekly) have the same link (and same ID) every time.

To join by dialing in on your phone (just audio, no video):

1. Call (408) 638-0968  or  (646) 558-8656  (from the US, carrier rates will apply)
2. Enter the meeting ID number, followed by #, when prompted.
3. You will be asked to enter a participant ID. Press # to skip this.
Full instructions here (scroll to the relevant section)

What is a Zoom Meeting Like

The meeting will probably open a few minutes early so people can get set up.  The meetings listed here start at least 15 minutes early.

You join, as described above. You can join with or without video. Your audio will probably be muted when you start. Many meetings request that you keep your audio muted unless you are speaking, to avoid background noise. In the setups I have seen, everyone’s video (or name) is in small boxes at the top of the screen and the person who is speaking is enlarged in the middle of the screen.

The name you created your account with is shown, but you can choose a different screen name after joining the meeting.

Look for the button (along the bottom) to show the chat window. It is helpful in online meetings to be able to send chat messages (for technical issues or to arrange who speaks).

Be aware of whether your audio is muted or not, especially when speaking.

You can hide your video if you want.

Be careful  – you can mute other people accidentally! Don’t do that.

Questions or help needed, email: