How to Turn Off Your Video Camera During a Zoom Call
Joining a Zoom call with your camera and microphone on is pretty much a given whether you’re using a computer or a smartphone. If you aren’t ready for the meeting or you need to take a break, shutting off the camera is a good idea. You might also want to join a call with it off. After all, you can always start casting when you’re ready.
How to Always Keep Your Camera Off
There’s also the option to have Zoom ignore your camera whenever you join a meeting. Here’s what you need to do.
- Launch the Zoom app.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Go to the Video tab.
- Check the option with the “always turn off”/”turn off my video.”
That won’t stop you from joining a call. But it will prevent your camera from capturing during the call unless you manually enable it afterward.
You can do the same thing for your speakers and microphone.
You can disable the camera on any platform. However, note that for the Windows client, the option is under the Settings menu. On Mac, the option to disable the camera is under the Preferences menu.
If you’re using a smartphone, use the following path to disable your camera.
- Launch the Zoom app.
- Tap on the Settings button.
- Select Meetings/Meeting.
- Toggle the Always Turn Off My Video option to on.
When you want to enable your camera again, you can tap the camera icon on your meeting screen. The same thing applies for muting/unmuting the microphone.
How to Manage the Video for Participants
If you’re hosting a Zoom call, then you can manage the participants or set specific rules for them. That includes deciding who can speak, who can stream video, who can talk, and so on.
Here’s how to prevent someone else from using the camera, if you are the host.
- Click on the Manage Participants button.
- Select a participant from the drop-down list.
- Click on the More button next to a participant.
- Stop the video.
- Click the Ask to Start Video option to enable their camera again.
You can also put someone on hold or in a waiting room if one is available.
How to Disable Camera in Windows 10
Maybe your settings aren’t saving when you’re using Zoom. If you want to make sure your camera is never available during a call, you can disable it from the device manager.
- Open the Windows dialog box (Win Key + R).
- Type devmgmt.msc.
- Press Enter.
- Expand the Cameras section.
- Right-click on your device.
- Click on Disable device.
That will prevent all apps from using your camera, including Zoom.
If you’re on a desktop PC, then you can also unplug the camera during a call or before it to disable video on your end. Or, you can disable your Bluetooth if your camera connects via Bluetooth.
How to Disable Camera on Mac
The same thing goes for Mac. If you can’t disable the camera from the Zoom app, disable it from your OS settings.
- Open the Apple menu.
- Select System Preferences.
- Go to Security and Privacy.
- Go to Privacy.
- Select the Camera option.
- Deselect Zoom to deny it access to your camera.
How to Disable Camera on Android
Note that the following steps may differ slightly depending on the model of your phone.
- Go to the Settings app.
- Find the Apps and Notifications tab.
- Locate the Zoom app.
- Go to Permissions.
- Deny access to your camera.
How to Disable Camera on iPhone
Again, different OS versions may have different wording on some menus and permissions.
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go to the Privacy menu.
- Select Camera.
- Locate the Zoom app and set the camera access to Off.
Is Zoom Still Better Than the Free Alternatives?
Sometimes you have to pay to get that extra bit of quality. While the Zoom app is simplistic, it does many things right. The list includes having straightforward dial-in options, superior video compression and quality over bad connections, and so on.
With the meetings being so customizable too, it is still easily one of the best apps of its kind. Let us know what your thoughts are on the Zoom app. What improvements would you like to see, and what other customization options would you like to see to make your meetings go smoother?