Virtual meetings can quickly go out of control. Participants and unwanted noises can easily damage your video conference. And you don’t want to look amateurish and mess up the meeting with the barking of a dog, embarrassing phone calls, background noise from your neighbors—you name it.
Therefore, it’s useful to know how to mute a Zoom meeting quickly and effectively.
In this guide
- How to mute all participants during a Zoom meeting
- How to mute individual participants during a Zoom meeting
- How to mute yourself during a Zoom meeting
- How to mute a Zoom meeting on a mobile device
- Keyboard shortcuts to mute a Zoom meeting quickly
- Best Zoom audio settings and tips for effective meetings
- How to mute a Zoom meeting: FAQ
When you want to mute a Zoom meeting
Since the pandemic hit, Zoom has become extremely popular, yet few, if any, meetings happen without distractions from unmuted participants.
There’re a couple of use cases when you may want to mute either yourself or the participants:
- Mute participants: it is good practice to mute others before the meeting starts so they won’t add to the background noise. This is equally important when new participants show up late and make some noise in the background.
- Mute yourself as a participant: it’s useful to keep your microphone muted until you speak up to avoid unwanted chatter and background noises.
- Mute yourself as the meeting host: there’re times when the host may mute herself to avoid distractions, e.g. before the meeting starts or during long panel discussions.
How to mute all participants during a Zoom meeting
You can mute and unmute participants only if you’re joining from the Zoom desktop app or mobile app, and you’re the host or co-host of the Zoom call.
The following steps will show you how you can mute all participants during a Zoom meeting
Step 1. Navigate to the Participants tab and click Mute All on your Zoom window.
Step 2. You can then ask your participants to unmute themselves by clicking the three-dot icon and Ask all to unmute.
Step 3. Participants will then receive a message and can choose to unmute themselves or stay muted.
Due to privacy reasons, you can’t unmute participants without their consent. What you can do about it, however, is that you collect consent before the Zoom call. When you schedule your Zoom meeting, tick the option Request permission to unmute participants.
This is good practice if you want to take full control of your Zoom calls.
How to mute individual participants during a Zoom meeting
If you want to mute a specific participant:
- Navigate to the Participants tab, hover over your participant’s name, and click Mute.
You can enable participants to unmute themselves: under the Participants tab, click the three-dot icon and choose Allow participants to unmute themselves. This way, your participants can unmute themselves individually. If this setting isn’t enabled, participants don’t have the right to unmute themselves; you should allow them to speak up.
How to mute yourself during a Zoom meeting
Whether you’re a host or not, you can mute and unmute yourself. Be aware, however, that the meeting host or co-host can withdraw your access to unmute yourself.
Here’s how to mute yourself on a Zoom call:
- Navigate to the bottom toolbar and click the speaker icon, Mute, next to the video icon.
How to mute a Zoom meeting on a mobile device
If you’re joining a Zoom call from your mobile app, you still have access to the above-mentioned features. And they work very similarly on an iPhone screen as they do on a Windows PC.
- Mute yourself: click the Mute button at the bottom of the screen.
- Mute others: click the Participants tab on the toolbar to bring up the list of participants, then click the microphone icon next to the attendee you want to mute, and hit Mute.
- Mute all participants: click Participants and tap Mute All at the bottom of the window.
Keyboard shortcuts to mute a Zoom meeting quickly
Use these hotkeys to mute and unmute your Zoom meeting like a pro. Shortcuts work a bit differently between operating systems:
|Keyboard shortcut (Mac)
|Keyboard shortcut (Windows)
|Mute and unmute Zoom audio for yourself
|Cmd + Shift + A
|Alt + A
|Mute participants (host only)
|Cmd + Ctrl + M
|Alt + M
|Unmute participants (host only)
|Cmd + Ctrl + U
|Alt + M
You can find more shortcuts on the Zoom website.
Best Zoom audio settings and tips for effective meetings
There’re a few settings to make your video conferencing experience more enjoyable and to the point. Take a few minutes to customize your Zoom account, which will save you a ton of time (and headaches) downstream.
Go to the Zoom web portal (this is not the Zoom desktop app), log in with your Zoom credentials, and consider these steps:
- Automatically mute all participants when they join a meeting: this is useful to avoid distractions if you regularly host large meetings or webinars.
- Go to the Settings section, navigate to the Meeting tab, and check Mute all participants when they join a meeting.
- Ask for permission to mute and unmute participants before the meeting:
- Go to the Settings section, navigate to the Meeting tab, and check Request permission to unmute.
- Allow participants to share their screen during meetings:
- Go to the Settings section, navigate to the Meeting tab, and turn on Screen sharing.
- Enable displaying Join from your browser link for participants: this becomes handy if you often have a meeting with attendees that don’t use the Zoom desktop client. Zoom won’t prompt them to download the Zoom client; they can easily join from their browsers.
- Go to the Settings section, navigate to the Meeting tab, and enable the Show a “Join from your browser” link option.
How to mute a Zoom meeting: FAQ
What’s the most effective way to mute all participants on a Zoom call?
If you’re the meeting host, using the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Ctrl + M on Mac or Alt + M on Windows is a great way to quickly mute all participants except yourself.
Why can’t I mute and unmute myself as a participant?
Zoom hosts can prevent participants from unmuting themselves. When this happens, you can’t unmute audio.
Why can’t I unmute participants?
Zoom introduced a consent on how a host can unmute others: hosts should ask participants to unmute themselves or ask for their consent before the meeting.
How can I adjust the volume in a Zoom meeting?
It has nothing to do with your volume button. You need to set up your computer audio. On the bottom toolbar, navigate to the microphone option, tap Audio settings, and adjust your input and output audio levels on the sliders. You can find this option in the Zoom Settings as well.