How to sharing your screen or desktop on Zoom

During a Zoom meeting, you can share your desktop, screen, or any other content at any point during the meeting, even while your video is running.

Zoom meetings have been designed with screen sharing in mind, in order to create a collaborative environment. Users have full control over both their own screens and what other people can and cannot see during a meeting with this feature, as only those users opt-in to share their screen. It is also important to note that meeting hosts cannot monitor your screen activities unless you have chosen to share your screen with them.

Zoom video conferences allow you to share content including:

  • A full screen of a desktop or a phone
  • that is dedicated to one or more particular applications
  • is known as a desktop area
  • that contains content from another camera
  • Whiteboard
  • A video that is locally stored
  • with audio played from the device
  • screen of the iPhone or iPad

Notes:

  • Participants can be blocked from being able to share their screens by the host.
  • As a default, users with Basic accounts will have the ability to share screens only with hosts.
  • As a webinar host, co-host, and panelist, only the host can share the screen with his/her audience.
  • Zoom windows can be shown during a screen share session if you use the desktop client.

Prerequisites for video conference sharing

  • Zoom desktop client
    • For Windows: 5.0.0 or higher
    • For macOS: 5.0.0 or higher
    • For Linux: 5.0.0 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • For Android: 5.0.0 or higher
    • For iOS: 5.0.0 or higher

Notes:

  • It is worth noting that Linux sessions using Wayland can only share an entire whiteboard or desktop. If you wish to share just one application with your Linux session, then you must use Xorg instead of starting the session with a command prompt.
  • The version of Android for your Linux machine must be 10.0 or above.

Using desktop screen sharing

Windows | macOS

Sharing your desktop, screen, or content

Here is how you can share your screen or content with others:

  1. The Share Screen button can be found in the meeting controls.
  2. Choose one of the following options to share your screen:
    • Basic: Using the screen-sharing app, you can share one or several application windows, your entire desktop, or an iPhone/iPad screen.
    • Note:  As opposed to sharing the entire desktop of a user, users can select multiple desktop programs to be displayed at the same time instead of sharing their entire desktop. All of the selected programs must be on the same screen, however.  If you would like to take full advantage of this facility on your computer, you must have the latest version of the Google Chrome browser installed whereas viewers can use older versions of the browser without issue. In Mac OS, hold down Shift or Ctrl to select more than one application simultaneously. In Windows, hold down the Alt key.
    • Advanced
      • Slides / PowerPoint as Virtual Background: This tool enables you to use a slideshow to present your digital background during your presentation in order to provide a more immersive experience.
      • Portion of Screen: By clicking on a green border on the screen, you can share a portion of your screen. By clicking and dragging on any side or corner of the border, you can adjust it to the desired size during the sharing process.
      • Computer Audio: Using your audio settings, you should only share the audio from your computer (your selected speaker). To view the audio options and select Mono (low fidelity) or Stereo (high fidelity) audio options, select the down arrow to the right of the Computer Audio option.
      • Video:The Zoom video player allows you to share video content from your local computer.
      • Content from 2nd Camera: Using a second camera that is connected to your computer, such as a document camera or the camera that is integrated into your laptop, you can share the picture with others.
    • Files: Using the sharing services offered by Google Drive or OneDrive, you can share a file from a third-party sharing service. In order to grant Zoom access to the third-party service, follow the onscreen prompts in order to sign in to the service.
    • Notes:
      • There is a possibility that these options have been disabled by account administrators, so they may not be available at all.
      • Additionally, you have the option of opening a file in a web browser then sharing the window of the browser. A Google Doc, for example, can be shared by opening it in Chrome, then sharing the Chrome window containing it. There is no difference between this process and using the options found under the Files tab in the share window.
  3. (Optional) On the bottom left of the window, in the share window, you can enable the following features:
    • Share sound: This option allows you to share any audio you play through your computer during the meeting with other meeting attendees. Choose between a Mono (low fidelity) and a Stereo (high fidelity) audio option by selecting the down arrow to the right of Share Sound.
    • Optimize for video clip: Please make sure that this is checked if the video clip will be shared in full screen mode. If you do not check this box, the screen will be blurry and it may cause the viewer to lose focus.
    • Share to breakout rooms: Share your screen from your main session directly to the open breakout rooms so you can have a look at your screen from wherever you are.
  4. Click Share.
    The sharing process starts when you start the app, and after 80% of devices recognize that the shared screen has been received, you will see a message that says Participants can now view the shared screen, or whatever you have chosen to share.

Notes:

  • When Zoom is opened, the shared screen view will automatically be switched to full screen, so it is optimized for sharing. Press the Esc key or click on the Exit Full Screen button in the top-right corner of the screen to disable full-screen mode.
  • The easiest way to stop auto full screen when sharing a screen is to set your desktop client’s settings to Disable automatic full screen when sharing a screen.
  • Click on the Switch Camera button in the top-left corner of the screen to change the shared camera if you selected content from the second camera.

Controls when screen sharing

In the future, you may be able to share your screen through a feature that allows you to move the meeting control menu around your screen as you need it.
Note: Due to account administrator restrictions, some of the features discussed below may not be visible to all meeting participants. Others may only be available to meeting hosts and co-hosts.

  • Mute/Unmute: The microphone can either be muted or unmuted.
  • Start/Stop Video:You can start or stop the video in your meeting.
  • Security:You can access in-meeting security options.
  • Participants: As the host, you can view and manage a list of participants.
    • You can invite other people to attend the meeting by clicking the downward-pointing arrow located in the menu bar.
  • Polling: Here you can create, edit, and launch polls which are populated in the main interface. Creating or launching a poll will open up the Zoom web portal in your default web browser once you click the options. You will have the ability to view the results and download the entire poll report when the poll closes. The host and co-host will both be able to launch a poll if one has already been created; however, only the host will be able to edit any already created polls or add new ones.
  • New Share: Start a new screen share. You will be prompted to select which screen you want to share again.
  • Pause Share: You will be prompted to pause the current screen share.
  • Annotate: Using the annotation tools, you can draw on the screen, add text, and so on.
  • More: If you click on More, you will find additional options.
    • Chat:Click here to open the chat window.
    • Record:Select whether you want to record locally or to the cloud.
    • Meeting Info:You can view the meeting ID, meeting host, meeting passcode, invite link, and encrypted meeting status for the active meeting.
    • Closed Caption / Live Transcript (only available to the host): The options to access closed captioning and live transcription can be found here, if you have enabled those options for your account.
    • Breakout Rooms: Create a breakout room.
    • Enable annotation for others: In the breakout room, you can enable or disable annotations on your shared screen.
    • Show/Hide Names of Annotators: When annotating on a screen share, the name of the participants can be shown or hidden. By setting this option, the name of the participant will be displayed alongside the participant’s annotation if it is set to display.
    • Hide / Show video panel
    • Hide / Show Floating Meeting Control
    • Share Sound
    • Optimize for video clip
      Note: If you cannot share a full screen video clip, you shouldn’t enable this setting as it will blur your screen share if it’s disabled. If you wish to play a video, you must enable/disable this option before and after the video has begun.
    • Live on Facebook: Broadcast your meeting live on Facebook.
    • Live on Workplace by Facebook: Use Workplace by Facebook to broadcast your meeting in real time.
    • Live on Youtube: You can stream your meeting live on Youtube.
    • Live on Custom Live Streaming Service: Use a custom live streaming service to stream your meeting live.
    • End Meeting: You can either end the meeting or you can leave the meeting after the meeting has ended.

Showing Zoom windows during screen share

If you choose to share your screen, the Zoom window will not be shared by default. During a screen share you can show the Zoom window so that a participant can assist you in navigating the Zoom interface.

Screen sharing can be done by showing the Zoom windows as follows:

  1. You will need to sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Settings from the main navigation menu.
  3. If show Zoom windows during screen share is enabled in the In Meeting (Basic) section, then this will be what you should do. By doing this, the setting will be made available to your desktop client.
  4. Please close Zoom desktop client and sign in again after doing so. If you prefer, you can exit and reopen the client after closing.
  5. To do this, you need to click your profile picture and then select Options.
  6. Make sure the option Show Zoom Windows During Screen Sharing is enabled on the Share Screen tab when you open the screen sharing screen.

When using dual monitors

The screen sharing feature on one monitor will show the screen sharing on the other monitor and participants will appear on the third monitor if you are using a dual-monitor setup.

Note: If you wish to share your screen with Zoom under Mac OS 10.15 Catalina, you must enable Zoom access to screen recording. To do so, you need to go to the System Preferences window. Select the Security and Privacy option from the top menu, click on the Privacy tab, find the Screen Recording option, and finally check the checkbox next to Zoom.us.

Linux

Share your desktop, screen or content

You can share content or your screen by following these simple steps:

  1. You can share the screen from your meeting controls by clicking the Share Screen button.
  2. You can choose from the following options to share your screen:
    • Basic: There are a number of options for sharing your screen, such as sharing the whole screen, sharing a specific application window, or sharing a white board.
    • Notes:
      • It is not possible to share from an iPad or iPhone on Linux.
      • Linux sessions running under Wayland can share an entire desktop or whiteboard with other Linux sessions running under Wayland. As a result, you will need to launch your Linux session with Xorg instead of launching its session with a specific application.
    • Advanced
      • Portion of Screen: A green border will appear around the screen when you share a portion of it. By clicking and dragging any side or corner of the border during the share, the border can be adjusted as needed.
      • Music or Computer Sound Only: You will only be able to share the audio from your computer (the speaker you selected in the audio settings). To view audio options and switch between Mono and Stereo (high-fidelity) audio options, you need to select the Down Arrow * just to the right of the Music or Computer Audio option.
  3. Ensure that these options are turned on, located at the bottom-left of the share window, and then click on OK.
    • Share Computer Sound: You can choose this option if you want to share your computer’s sound with the meeting if it is playing. In order to switch between Mono and Stereo (high fidelity) audio options, just select the downward pointing arrow located just to the right of Share Computer Sound.
    • Optimize Screen Sharing for Video Clip: Using this feature, you will be able to share a video clip in full screen mode. If you do not wish to check this, you should not do so, as this may cause a blurred image on the shared screen.
    • Share to breakout rooms:During the main session, the host or co-host can share the screen of their computer if necessary directly into any breakout rooms that are open for that session.
  4. To do so, click the Share button.
    The sharing process will begin, and, as soon as the sharing starts, you will see a message that Readers can see the screen that you have chosen to share, or whatever you have chosen to share.

Notes:

  • In order to optimize the screen view of the shared screen, Zoom will automatically transition to full screen mode. It is also possible to exit fullscreen by clicking the exit fullscreen button in the top-right corner or pressing Esc.
  • Your desktop client settings will allow you to adjust the window size when screen sharing behavior in your desktop client so that you are not automatically shown a full screen when viewing a shared screen.
  • By clicking Switch Camera to the far left of the top-left corner, you will be able to switch the camera from which the shared audio is coming.

Controls when screen sharing

The meeting controls will appear within a menu once you have started sharing your screen; you can drag the menu around your screen as needed.

Note: Due to account administrator restrictions, some of the features discussed below may not be visible to all meeting participants. Others may only be available to meeting hosts and co-hosts.

  • Mute/Unmute: You can mute or unmute your microphone at any time.
  • Start/Stop Video: You can start and stop your in-meeting video at any time.
  • Security: Access options for security in meetings.
  • Participants: View or manage the list of attendees (if you are the host).
    • You have the option to add other people to the meeting by clicking the down arrow next to Invite.
  • New Share:You can start a new screen share. The new screen share will prompt you to select once again which screen you want to share.
  • Pause Share:The current screen share will be paused.
  • Annotate:
  • You will be able to use the annotation tools in order to draw, write, etc., on your pictures.
  • Polling: Using the Polling feature you can create, edit, and launch polls on your pictures. You can also launch a poll in either your default browser or by using the options to create or launch polls in Zoom. As soon as the poll closes, the results will be available, as well as a full report on the poll. The person who created the poll can launch the poll and the person who created the co-host can edit or add polls to the meeting. However, the person who created the poll can launch the poll.
  • More:
  •  You can see more options when you hover over them.
    • Chat: Select “Chat” from the menu.
    • Record on this Computer: Select the option to record locally.
    • Record to the Cloud: Select the option to record to the cloud.
    • Meeting Info: Contains information about the current meeting, such as the host ID, the passcode, your invitation link, and the encryption state.
    • Allow/Disable participants annotation: Select whether you want participants to be able to annotate on your shared screen.
    • Show/Hide Names of Annotators: When a participant is annotating on a screen share, you can choose to show or hide their name. The name of the person who made the annotation will display briefly beside it if set to display.
    • Hide / Show video panel
    • Audio Settings: In the client, click on the audio settings icon.
    • Video Settings: In the client, click on the video settings icon.
    • Share Computer Sound
    • Settings “Optimize Share for Full-screen Video Clips”
      Note:When a video clip is not being shared, this setting should be disabled, as it will cause your screen share to appear blurred. If you wish to play a video then you need to enable or disable this option before and after the video is played.
    • End Meeting: The participant must leave the meeting or end the meeting when this option is enabled.

When using dual monitors

The screen sharing feature on one monitor will show the screen sharing on the other monitor and participants will appear on the third monitor if you are using a dual-monitor setup.

Android

Note: Under the Integrations section of your account settings, you can disable some of these options.

How to share content

The following steps should be taken in order to share content:

  1. The meeting controls will give you the option to tap the Share button.
  2. Once done, select the content type you would like to share.
  3. Simply select an option from the list below.
    • Photos: Using a file manager or photo app, you can share photos with other people (for instance Google Photos). Your Android device may show you different options for sharing, depending on what apps you have installed on it.
    • Documents: Choose whether to share a PDF or an image that you have stored locally.
    • Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Microsoft OneDrive for Business: Using the file sharing service you have selected, choose a file to share. In order for Zoom to access your account, you will have to grant it access.
    • Note: Zoom can only work with PDF and image files.
    • Website URL: If you enter the URL of another website, it will be opened in a browser.
    • Bookmark: Using the Zoom app, you can share bookmarks.arks.
    • Note: If you sign out of the mobile app before you sync your bookmarks with your account, then they will be deleted.
    • Screen: Send a view of the entire screen of your phone.
    • Camera: You can share a video from your video camera or a webcam that you have connected.
    • Share Whiteboard:A whiteboard that can be annotated can be shared..

How to share your screen

In order to share your entire screen, including any application on your Android device, please follow these steps:

  1. Share can be accessed in the meeting control panel.
  2. Simply tap the screen.
    The Android system will display a notification informing you of the information that will be made available to you through the screen share.
  3. To begin, tap on Start Now.
    After a moment, Zoom will start functioning in the background and the screen share will begin. From this point on, you will be able to choose the application you would like to share.
  4. If you tap on Annotate at the bottom of the screen, the annotation tools will open, while tapping Share Stop will put an end to sharing and return you to the meeting controls.

How to share device audio

Note:

It is important to check if the application you are sharing is allowing its sound to be captured by applications that are not part of the system. Some applications may block the sharing of sound in terms of security and privacy.

To share the audio from your device, follow these steps:

  1. Start sharing your screen by following the instructions that appear on the screen.
  2. To share an audio file, tap on the Share Audio option which is found between the options for Annotation and Stopping Sharing.
  3. You can tap again to disable or stop sharing completely by tapping Stop Share.

iOS

On iOS, you can share the following options:

  • Screen (requires iOS 11 or higher)
  • Photos
  • iCloud Drive
  • Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Microsoft OneDrive for Business : From the file sharing service you have selected, choose a file to share. Upon granting Zoom access to your account, you will be able to share files. However, PDFs and images are the only files that can be shared.
  • Website URLs
  • Bookmark
    Note:  There is no way to sync bookmarks between your account and mobile app, so when you sign-out of your account, bookmarks will be removed.
  • Whiteboard (iPad only)

Note:

Under Integrations, under Account settings you will be able to disable some of these options. Depending on your Zoom version, you might be able to share the whole screen using an older version of Zoom.

 Sharing content

The following steps should be taken in order to share content:

  1. In the meeting controls, click the Share Content button.
  2. Now you will need to select the kind of content that you wish to share.
    Once you have chosen to share documents the Sharing a document option, you will be presented with a series of documents that can be shared once you have chosen this option.
  3. In the top right corner, click Share if you want to share the document you selected.
  4. It is now shared with all participants in the meeting.

Notes:

  • A device that has an iOS operating system will not allow you to annotate when sharing your entire screen into a meeting. In case you need to annotate a whole iOS screen when sharing it, check out sharing iOS applications.
  • The video preview window will disappear when you swipe towards the edge of your screen, while you are sharing your screen. You can also hide your self-view of the video while sharing your screen.