Zoom’s popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic situation has shot through the roof as people all over the started using video conferencing for business meetings, online classes, and to stay in touch with friends and family while social distancing at home.
A lot of these Zoom users are first-timers, and they don’t understand all settings and features of a Zoom meeting. This has resulted in Zoom meetings getting hijacked by uninvited guests as it’s really easy to get into a meeting if you know the meeting ID or have the invitation link.
So, why Zoom enabled Waiting Room by default?
When a Zoom meeting isn’t properly configured, an unwanted guest could join the meeting and disturb everyone. The internet and the FBI have termed this as Zoom Bombing.
To prevent Zoom Bombing, Zoom has now enabled ‘Waiting Room’ by default for all Zoom Meetings in order to give the host control to who can join the meeting.
However, while enabling the virtual waiting room in Zoom is an excellent measure to secure meetings from unwanted guests, but it is more trouble than useful for many organizations and users who are careful enough not to leak their Zoom Meeting invitation link or Meeting ID/Password to anyone but the meeting members.
If you find it troubling to manually ‘Admit’ participants to a meeting from the waiting list, you may want to to disable ‘Waiting Room’ in Zoom for good.
How to Turn Off Waiting Room in Zoom
The Waiting Room in Zoom adds all invitees to the ‘Waiting’ list in the ‘Participants’ panel as they join the Zoom meeting.
To disable Waiting Room in an ongoing Zoom Meeting, click on the ‘Participants’ option on the Host Controls bar to open the Participants panel.
Then click on the ‘More’ button below the participants’ list in the meeting window, and deselect the ‘Put Participants in Waiting Room on Entry’ option.
You have now disabled ‘Waiting Room’ for this particular Zoom meeting. Anyone with the invitation link or Meeting ID and Password can now join the meeting without getting approval from the host.
You can also permanently disable Waiting Room for all your future Zoom Meetings you may host. For that open the zoom.us/profile/setting page in a web browser and sign in with your Zoom account. Then scroll down on the page until you see ‘Waiting room’ option under the ‘In Meeting (Advanced)’ section. You can also search for ‘Waiting room’ on the page by using ‘Ctrl + F’ shortcut in a web browser.
Turn Off the toggle switch next to ‘Waiting room’ to disable it as the default setting for the Zoom Meetings that you host.
If you have to enable ‘Waiting Room’ for a particular Zoom meeting, you can do so from the ‘Participants’ panel. Click the ‘More’ button below the participants’ list, and select ‘Put Participants in Waiting Room on Entry’ option.
Having a virtual Waiting Room enabled for Zoom Meetings is a must-have feature if you want to control who can join your meeting. You should disable Zoom Waiting Room only when you’re sure that your meeting invitation link or meeting ID and Password aren’t compromised and are accessible to relevant people only.