This page tells you how to download, install, test, and use Zoom.

Zoom Installation

If you have not already done so, go to https://zoom.us/download and follow the procedure for downloading Zoom on your device.
  • If you are using a desktop or laptop computer (Windows or Mac), choose Zoom Client for Meetings
  • If you are using an iPad, iPhone, click on the App Store button and install Zoom Cloud Meetings.
  • If you are using an Android Phone or Amazon Fire Tablet, click on the Google Play button and install Zoom Cloud Meetings.

“After you have installed the Zoom application, use the Zoom test meeting to make sure that your audio and video options are set properly. Go to https://zoom.us/test and follow the prompts.

Make sure that your computer or mobile device meets the Zoom system requirements. While you might be able to use Zoom with other, older systems, the experience won't be as good for you or for the other participants. 

You should create a Zoom account; it may help you with future online activities. Your Zoom account is not connected to your WISE membership. You can use Zoom for any meeting.

Zoom Coffee Breaks

To help WISE members become more comfortable with online discussions, we will hold a series of open sessions where you can practice your Zoom skills and get answers to your questions.

After you've installed the Zoom app and used the test meeting, click here to join the Zoom Coffee Break at 10 AM weekdays.

Joining a class or meeting

The WISE Office, class assistant, or meeting organizer will send you a link in an email, on a webpage, or sent by text message. A few minutes before the official start time, click on the link and follow the instructions. You may see a popup that prompts you for a password. Enter the meeting password that was included in the meeting announcement.

As you join, your microphone will be on and so you can greet your friends. Once the session starts, you'll be on mute. To ask a question, you can raise your hand or type a question into the chat window. 

Raising your hand and other Zoom meeting controls

Windows or Mac


  1. Mute and unmute your audio. (If the Host has the session on Mute, you may not be able to unmute yourself.)
  2. Stop your video. This is helpful if you need to move around a bit and don't want to distract the other attendees. Note: you can add a customized profile picture that will be displayed instead of just your name. See the Zoom Help for details.
  3. Participants. This opens a window to show who is in this session. At the bottom of the Participants window, you can let the host or moderator know that you'd like to speak by clicking Raise Hand.

  4. Chat lets you send messages to the group of attendees or, privately, to selected individuals.

Muting and unmuting

You can mute yourself by clicking on the microphone icon that is on the lower left of your desktop screen or on the upper right of your phone or tablet.

If you're in a meeting where you've been muted by the host, you may not be able to unmute yourself. Use the Raise Hand icon to let the host know that you'd like to speak. When the host unmutes you, you might see a popup message that requests your permission to be unmuted. Choose Unmute to speak.

Tip: if your session allows you to unmute yourself, you can quickly do so by pressing and holding the space bar. (Desktop users only.)  You can learn more about the Push to Talk feature at the Zoom support site.

iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and Amazon Fire tablets

On phones, the basic controls are at the bottom of your screen. Tablets have the controls on the top.

When you tap on More, you'll see additional options.

To send a message to the session host or instructor, tap on the Participants icon at the bottom of your screen. You'll then see a number of icons. (Tap on more to see all of the icons.)

We've highlighted the most frequently used icons on a computer screen.

  1. Raise your hand. This lets the moderators and instructor know that you'd like to speak.
  2. Thumbs up. Let the instructor know that they've made a good point.
  3. Applause. Thank the instructor.

Using Zoom on Your Phone

You can join a Zoom meeting from your landline or mobile phone. You won't be able see the presentation or participants, but you can hear what's going on. 

  1. Call the phone number provided to you by the WISE office or meeting host. 
  2. Enter the Meeting Id and Password. 
  3. The following commands can be entered using your phone's dial pad while in a Zoom meeting:

Renaming Your Zoom Screen Name

If you have a Zoom account and use that account to join Zoom meetings, the screen name (the caption beneath your picture) will show your name.

If, however, you don't have an account or haven't logged in to Zoom, your screen name will show the name of your device, such as Milo's iPad  or Yossarian's iPhone.

You can change your screen name in two ways:

When you join the meeting, you can change your screen name.
When in a meeting, go to the Participants list and click on the More option next to your name.  
You'll then have the option to change your screen name. 

Using the Virtual Background

You can hide the room behind you by putting a custom picture or video behind your face on a Zoom call by using the Virtual Background feature. There are some restrictions, mostly about the graphics capability of your computer or mobile device. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can see the instructor's slide show and the participants?

When the instructor is doing screen-sharing, choose Side-by-side mode.

Then, move your cursor to a point between the slides and the people. Sliding left will show more people. 

See this help page for details: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115004802843-Side-by-side-Mode-for-screen-sharing

My computer doesn't have a camera. Can I still participate?

Yes. You will be able to see other people on the your computer screen.

When my video isn't on, Zoom just shows my name in a black box. How can I change this?

You can add a picture of yourself so that people will know what you look like, even if they can't see you in the meeting. You will need to have a Zoom account to set up your profile. The Zoom account is free. Go to https://zoom.us and click on the Sign up button in the upper right. 

See also the tip about renaming your screen name.

What's on this site?

Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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