Frequently asked questions about external authentication for K-12 schools in Zoom App

This post was most recently updated on July 23rd, 2022

Under Zoom’s authentication profile, small groups (under 16 years of age) can join Zoom meetings anonymously and securely without the need to register for a Zoom account. For prevent unauthorized access from outside the school, Zoom’s authentication profiles are one of the most important features.

As long as your students use a school email address, you do not need to have them registered with your Zoom account during external authentication.

K-12 schools must meet the following requirements for external authentication

  • You can choose from one of the following accounts: Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise
  • You can choose from one of the following accounts:
  • Access to your identity provider as an administrator
  • for the Zoom desktop application:
    • Windows: 5.0.0 (23168.0427) or higher
    • macOS: 5.0.0 (23161.0427) or higher
  • for the Zoom mobile app:
    • Android: 5.0.0 (23161.0427) or higher
    • iOS: 5.0.0 (23161.0427) or higher
  • for the Zoom web client

For schools that are in grades K-12, external authentication is required

Can my students participate in Breakout Rooms if they do not have Zoom accounts?

The Breakout Rooms are still available for you to use as usual. We are asking for your help in pre-assigning students to Breakout Spaces and are asking that you upload a CSV file containing all the details.

How do I know if my guest speakers or teachers will be able to attend my meeting?

There is no way for external guests to join the meeting unless those guests have a valid account with your SSO Identity Provider that has been authorized to log in.


On the other hand, if a user’s authentication profile is enabled, the admin is able to disable authentication exceptions to allow guests to join meetings without having to go through authentication. For example, a school may be able to create an exception in the IDP for allowing a guest lecturer to join a meeting if it authenticates meeting participants against the school’s IDP.

What is the difference between this and the standard Zoom/SSO authentication method?

Authentication takes place when users join a meeting, and they will not be required to create a Zoom account as a result of this.

How do I get my Zoom account to work with the same SSO configuration?

No, this must be configured as a separate SAML application within your identity provider in order to succeed.

Are there any reports that I can get regarding the students and get accurate information regarding their attendance?

Yes, all students’ names and email addresses will be accurately documented with their respective student’s ID number.

The name of a student can be changed at any time.

It is possible to disable the setting Allow participants to rename themselves at the user, group, or account level if you do not wish your students to change their names.

The attendance report will show the new names of the students, but if they are allowed to change them, and change their names, but the attendance report does not reflect the new names.

Would it be necessary for participants to have a valid Zoom account in order to participate in this event?

It is not necessary for meeting participants to have a valid Zoom account; this is a no-brainer.