Allow participants to join Zoom meeting before host

Overview

When you allow participants to join before the host (allow them to join before the host joins or permit them to join before the host joins), you permit guests to join the meeting before the host is present. Choosing this option will allow the participants can enter the meeting before the meeting host enters or without the meeting host entering the room at all. It can be enabled so that a participant will be able to join at any time up until the start time of the meeting; it can also be enabled just five, ten, or fifteen minutes before the meeting is to begin.

Participants in the meeting will see a pop up dialog box that says “The meeting is awaiting the host to join.” If you are the host, you will see an option to login and start the meeting as the host if you do not select join before host.

You can also enable email notifications when participants join before host.

Prerequisites

  • Account for Zoom
  • access to the host of the meeting in the meeting settings
  • The Zoom client version 5.4.0 or higher is required to support the custom Join Before Host time limit

The possibility of joining before the host is enabled

It is required that you enable the Join before Host option in the web portal in order to see the Join Before Host option when scheduling meetings.

Account

By setting the Join Before Host settings for all members of your organization, it will be automatically enabled for new meetings which are scheduled, but members will have the option to turn it off in the event of a conflict. This setting has to be locked in order for this to be selected for all meetings.

  1. If you are an administrator with the right to edit account settings, then you should sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Select Account Management, and then click Account Settings in the navigation menu.
  3. Check that the setting Allow participants to join before hosts is enabled in the Meeting tab by clicking on the toggle button. If the setting is disabled, enable it by clicking on the toggle button. In the event that a verification dialog appears, select Turn On so that the change will take effect.
  4. Check the Participant can join the host up to a certain time option if you want to set custom Join Before Host time limits
    that you want the host to start the session at least a few minutes before the member can join.
  5. The lock icon provides an option to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account. If this option is selected, click the lock icon, and then click Lock to confirm your choice.

Group

Note:

As of August 21, 2021, the New Admin Experience on your account will be able to be enabled if you created a new Zoom account after August 21, 2021. However, the Manage Groups page has been renamed to Manage Groups.

The members of the specific group will be able to uncheck Join Before Host for newly scheduled meetings if they wish. The feature will be enabled by default for members who are part of the group, but the feature will remain on by default. It is necessary to lock the setting in order to force it to be applied in all meetings.

  1. It is important to sign into the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege of editing user groups on the Zoom web portal.
  2. You must click on the User Management button, and then the Groups option.
  3. Then you have to go to the groups tab, and then click on the Settings button.
  4. Under the Meeting tab, you will need to verify that the Join before host option is enabled, then you can move to the next step.
  5. if it is disabled, make sure you change it by clicking the toggle. A verification dialog will appear, choose Verify to verify that the change you have made has been made.
    Note:
  6.  There may be some options which have been grayed out because they have been locked at the Account level, but these will need to be changed at that level.
  7. Check the Participants can join the host web site check box if you would like to set a different Join Before Host time limit by yourself
    for host time via the Join Before Host setting.
  8. For groups whose users are members of this group, it is possible to make the setting mandatory by clicking the lock icon, and then clicking Lock to confirm the setting.

User

In the settings for your meeting, you have an option that tells the system when a newly scheduled meeting will be on, but you can choose to turn it off when you schedule the meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal by using your Zoom account credentials.
  2. Then, click Settings from the navigation menu.
  3. Click Meeting tab on the Zoom web portal. Make sure it is set to Join before host.
  4. It might be disabled by default, so you need to enable it by clicking the toggle button. The confirmation dialog may display, in which case you should select Turn On to confirm the change.
    Note:
  5. It would appear that the option you have selected is grayed out, which means that either your Zoom administrator has locked it at the Group or Account level, and therefore you should contact them.
  6. You will have to check the Participants can join before host time limits if you would like to allow custom Join before host time limits
    up to a maximum of a maximum of (0) minutes before start time.

Windows | macOS

  1. Log in to the Zoom desktop client by clicking here.
  2. You will be able to schedule a meeting.
    When you click the “Schedule a Meeting” button, the meeting settings window will appear.
  3. From here, you will be able to select advanced options.
  4. From here, you will be able to check Allow participants to join at any time. If you wanted to select 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or Anytime, then you can do so.
  5. Simply click on Schedule.

Notes:

  • Also, for meetings that are already scheduled, you can allow participants to join before the meeting begins. In Zoom, you can access this feature by clicking on Meetings from the dropdown menu. For the meeting you would like it enabled for, click Edit and then Advanced Options and check Allow participants to join before start time. Then choose how long before the start time you want participants to be able to join, and click Save.
  • When using End-to-end encryption, you cannot use custom join before limits with your PMI.

Web

  1. Login to the Zoom web portal by entering your email address and password.
  2. Then click on the Meetings tab.
  3. If the meeting has already been scheduled, select it and click Edit the meeting to make the changes.
  4. Make sure the option Allow participants to join before the start time is checked under Meeting Options. You can then select how long before the start time you want participants to be able to join.
  5. Click on the “Save” button.

    Note:

  6. It is not possible to use the custom join before limit while you are using your PMI. Also, it cannot be used when you are using End-to-end encryption.

Linux

  1. Log in to the Zoom desktop client using your Zoom ID and password.
  2. You will then be able to schedule your session.
  3. Once you click the scheduler button, the meeting settings window will open for you.
  4. You can click Optional on the left hand side of the window.
  5. Allow participants to join before the start time and choose the amount of time before the start time that you want them to be able to join.
  6. Select the start time.
Notes:
  • Also, for meetings that are already scheduled, you can allow participants to join before the meeting begins. In Zoom, you can access this feature by clicking on Meetings from the dropdown menu. Select the meeting you would like to allow people to join before the meeting starts, then click Edit, then Advanced Options, check Allow participants to join before the session starts, select the time range you want to allow people to join, and click Save.
  • When utilizing end-to-end encryption and using custom joins before limits, you cannot utilise your PMI or your custom joins before limits.

Android

  1. Log into the Zoom mobile app using your Zoom account information.
  2. Choose a time slot for your meeting.
  3. Then tap Advanced Options.
  4. Select Allow Participants to Join Before Host from the dropdown menu.
  5. When you are finished scheduling, click Done.

iOS

  1. Log in to your Zoom account on your mobile device.
  2. Then tap on Schedule.
  3. Next, tap Advanced Options.
  4. On the Advanced Options window, choose Allow Participants to Join Before Host on.
  5. After that, click Done.

Notes:

  • A meeting host who does not participate in the meeting or does not log into the meeting when joining will not be able to control the meeting, such as recording, muting/unmuting all attendees, locking the meeting, or removing attendees if necessary.
  • There are limits on how exactly you can use Custom Join as well as how you can utilize End-to-End encryption with your PMI.
  • It is possible for the host to join the meeting without having to be logged in to the network if the option Allow participants to join before start time is enabled. You can leave the meeting if you don’t have control over its recording, even if you are the host. You can log on to Zoom with this information. Go back to your Meetings list and start the meeting again.
  • Suppose someone attempts to start a second meeting without allowing the host to join the first meeting on schedule: if this happens, the first meeting will be canceled.
    • It should be noted that if the second meeting starts from a Zoom Room, the first meeting will immediately close and the second meeting will start.
    • When the host starts the meeting, they will have the option of closing the first meeting and starting the second one.
    • The host will notify the participants that another meeting is going on if it is initiated by a participant.
  • You will not be able to use Join Before Host for your meetings if Waiting Room is enabled in your meeting settings, unless you have Waiting Room set to allow certain users to bypass.
  • Using Auto Cloud recording will record the meeting without the host attending, but you will need to turn the automatic cloud recording on for the meeting in advance.