Zoom Essentials

zoom logo

Zoom video conferencing provides meeting and webinar functionality that enhances learning and collaboration among students, faculty, staff and research partners. Meetings can be recorded and automatically transcribed. In addition, Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle integrations allow meetings/classes to be scheduled and opened directly within the Learning Management System.

All currently registered UIUC students, faculty and staff are entitled to a Zoom Education license.

Logging in to Zoom: illinois.zoom.us

Desktop Client

  • Launch the Zoom desktop client
  • Select “Sign In” under “Join a Meeting”
  • Select “Sign In with SSO” on the right menu
  • Enter “illinois” for the company domain (illinois.zoom.us)
  • Enter your NetID and Password

Mobile Device

  • Download Zoom Mobile App
  • Select “Sign In” at the bottom
  • Select “Sign In with SSO” at the bottom
  • Enter “illinois” for the company domain (illinois.zoom.us)
  • Enter your NetID and Password

Click an image to zoom on it

Click an image to zoom in on it

Need more help? Visit Logging in with Zoom for step by step instructions with screenshots.

Profiles & Settings

You can manage your profile and settings through the web portal at illinois.zoom.us, or via the desktop client or mobile app.

In the profile section, you may:
  • Edit your meeting/display name
  • Upload a profile picture
  • Set your preferred pronouns, and more
In the settings, you may:
  • Select your video and audio settings including virtual backgrounds and filters and speaker and mic volume
  • Set screen share settings
  • Adjust recording location, chat, and captioning rules
  • Select your reaction skin tone (ie. thumbs up), and more

If you want to test your internet connectivity, sound, or video, or check to see how your name shows up, Join a Test Meeting and try it all out!

Virtual Backgrounds

Public Affairs offers a selection of downloadable virtual backgrounds for use on video conferencing software like Zoom. These images represent a variety of UIUC landmarks as well as branded backgrounds for professional presentations. Click the button below for the complete selection of backgrounds.

Attending a Zoom Meeting

When you attend a meeting, you are likely a participant. Most all Zoom meetings created with a university account will require a secure login by default. However, some meetings are set up for public access without single-sign-on or university affiliation (more on that in the “Hosting” section below).

If your class has Zoom meetings set up for a course, you simply have to log into Canvas, Compass, or Moodle and click into the course to find the Zoom link. However, if you need more help, try one of the following resources:

In-Meeting Basic Controls

Zoom control bar

Hosts & Co-Hosts

As host or co-host of the meeting, you will have more capabilities and options in your control bar.

Hosts and co-hosts can:

  • Mute and turn off videos for themselves and for participants
  • Share screen
  • Record locally or to the cloud
  • Admit waiting room attendees
  • Change chat permissions
  • Create and assign breakout rooms
  • Launch polls

Host only:

  • Start meetings
  • End meeting for all
  • Create polls
  • Control/assign live transcriptions and closed captioning


For most Zoom meetings, participant experiences are very similar depending on the way the meeting host set it up.

Most meeting participants may:

  • Chat with everyone, or message individuals in the chat box.
  • Mute and unmute themselves
  • Go on or off video
  • Raise hand and use other reactions
  • Respond to polls when prompted
  • Enter or leave breakout rooms when prompted
  • Request live transcription

View Zoom support’s Roles in a meeting overview for more detailed information about options and permissions.

Hosting a Zoom Meeting

Meeting Scenarios

Think about who you need to invite to your meetings, and then follow these guidelines for how to set up and host your meeting.

Scheduling meetings is quick and simple. A few extra steps can ensure your meetings are accessible, secure, effective, and running smoothly.

A few features to enhance Zoom meeting experiences include:

If you are an instructor, you can record Zoom sessions to develop your asynchronous course materials. Read more about recording on Zoom and using Kaltura/MediaSpace to share recorded content with your students.

Training Opportunities

Protect Your Meetings (Recommendations)

Why is Zoom security important?

The term “Zoombombing” refers to an unwanted disruption to your meeting from an uninvited guest (usually). This behavior can result in actions that are offensive and sometimes illegal within an official university virtual space.

There are various ways to protect your meeting. Some options are simple to set up when you schedule a meeting such as:

  • Require a passcode
  • Require registration
  • Enable a waiting room
  • Limit participants ability to rename themselves, unmute, start video, share screen, and chat
Do not add your meeting ID, passcode, or passcode encrypted link on the Illinois calendar, social media, or any other publicly viewable location.

Helpful tips and resources:

Use the following resources to find the appropriate balance between providing access and protection for your event.

Meetings vs. Webinars

Zoom meetings and webinars share some of the same features, but there are important differences you should be aware of. Meetings are best for events requiring collaboration between ALL participants. Webinars are best for events requiring a small number of people to present information to the attendees. In this case, the attendees generally do not interact with one another and the events are open to a wider public audience.

For a complete feature breakdown, please visit Zoom Meetings vs Webinars.

meetings vs webinar infographic

Education vs. Basic Accounts

UIUC Zoom Education accounts have more features than the free Basic account. Listed below are some of the offered features for each account type. For a full list visit the Zoom Basic and Education Account Breakdown.

Basic Accounts:

  • Host Group Meetings up to 40 mins
  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Online support
  • Video conferencing
  • Web conferencing
  • Group collaboration features
  • Security

UIUC Education:

  • Host group meetings up to 24 hours
  • Host up to 300 participants
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Online support
  • Video conferencing
  • Web Conferencing
  • Group collaboration features
  • Security
  • 1/2 GB or MP4 or M4A cloud recording
  • Interoperability with Kaltura (MediaSpace) and Skype for Business