How to use Zoom Chat

This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2022

With Zoom Chat, team members can communicate more effectively with external Zoom users, whether they are paying or free users. You can do the following with Zoom Chat:

  • Keep knowledge and information at your fingertips by finding contacts, messages, and files quickly.
  • By using starred chats and customized notifications, you’ll be able to effectively manage your time and be less distracted.
  • Public or private channels can be used to communicate about projects, teams, or topics. Get in touch with friends and family by sending files, emojis, and screenshots.

This article covers:

  • Getting started
    • Accessing chat
    • Starting a new chat
    • Joining a public channel
    • History of recent chats, groups, and channels
    • Adding or inviting an external contact
    • Setting presence status
    • Mentioning users
    • Viewing your mentions
    • Quoting messages
  • Organizing your chats and driving productivity
    • Starring chats
    • Changing notification settings for all chats
    • Changing notification settings for a group chat and channel
    • Turning off all notifications for a group chat or channel
    • Searching chats globally or for a specific chat
    • Using your personal chat space
    • Pinning a message
  • Advanced features
    • Editing a sent message
    • Formatting a message
    • Sending a file, screenshot, emoji, animated GIF, or code snippet
    • Following a message
    • Sharing a sent message
    • Setting a notification when a user is available
    • Inviting chat members to a meeting
    • Blocking contacts
    • Accessing and installing chatbots

Getting started

Accessing chat

To see a list of all your chats, follow these steps:

  1. Using the Zoom desktop client, sign in to your account.
  2. Select the Chat tab on the left hand side of the screen.

There are several types of chat you can have with Zoom. You can continue a conversation with an existing chat by clicking on it:

  • 1-on-1 chats: You can chat privately with another Zoom user in a direct and private manner.
  • Group chats: Two or more Zoom users can chat with each other in a Zoom chat room.
  • Channels: There are chats for specific projects, teams, or topics, each of which has a name. A public channel is open to anyone, whereas a private channel is restricted to those that have been invited.

Starting a new chat

You can easily start a Zoom chat with any of the types of chats we previously mentioned to begin chatting with other Zoom users:

1-on-1 or group chat

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and sign in to your account.
  2. You will find the Chat tab on the left hand side of the screen.
  3. On the chat panel, you will find a new chat button located at the top of the screen.
  4. The Zoom contact you wish to chat with needs to be identified by a name or an email address.
    If there are additional names or emails that need to be added, please do so.
  5. Send your message by typing it in the box below, then pressing the Enter key.

Joining a public channel

  1. Open the Zoom desktop application and sign in to your account.
  2. To start a chat session, click on the Chat tab.
  3. Click the down arrow next to Chat at the top of the panel, and then click Join a Channel from the menu that appears.
  4. When you find a channel by searching for it, hover over the channel name and click on the Join button to join that channel.

Take a look at our guide on how to join, create, and use channels.

History of recent chats, groups, and channels

There can be a challenge to quickly locate and return to the previous conversation when you are messaging between multiple contacts, chat groups, and channels at the same time. If you want to go back to a previous chat contact, group, and channel that you have previously visited, you can easily locate these contacts, groups, and channels.

  1. Start Zoom’s desktop client and sign in with your Zoom account.
  2. Select the Chat tab from the menu.
  3. You will find the chat history button next to the search bar.
    As you scroll down, you will be able to see the 10 most recent chat contacts, groups, and channels that you’ve seen previously.
  4. To return to a chat that you have already started, simply click on the listing.

Adding or inviting an external contact

Contacts in your contact directory can be chatted with. Zoom usually includes everyone in your organization in its contact directory if you belong to an organization that uses it.

These steps will allow you to chat with external Zoom users. The steps below may also be followed to invite someone to Zoom for chatting.

  1. Zoom desktop client should be opened.
  2. The Contacts tab will appear.
  3. Click on the add button.
  4. Inviting a Zoom Contact is the next step.
  5. Each email address should be entered one at a time.
  6. Click on Invite.
    • Zoom Chat will send the person a contact request if they have a Zoom account. You can begin chatting with them once they accept your request.
    • Those without Zoom accounts will receive an invitation email. You’ll be able to chat with them once they sign up for Zoom.

Find out how to manage your contacts.

Setting presence status

In the Chat tab and on your profile picture, your presence status is indicated by a small icon before your name. Your availability to chat is indicated by this quick indicator.

Setting your presence status is as simple as:

  1. Open Zoom on your desktop.
  2. Go to the top-right corner and click your profile picture.
  3. The presence status can be selected.

Find out what each of the presence status icons indicates.

Note:

If you are out of the office, consider changing your display name rather than using presence status. After your display name, you can enter (OOO until 5/3) for example.

Mentioning users

It is possible to mention users in a chat message so that they are notified of your message. You can use this feature in order to notify a particular person when you are messaging a channel or group chat.

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client on your computer and sign in.
  2. Click on the Chat tab in the menu bar.
  3. In the chat list, click on the name of a group chat or channel to join.
  4. It is possible to search through users by entering the symbol followed by the display name of the person. Users will be displayed in a drop-down menu when you click on Zoom.
  5. You can mention a person by clicking their name on the list of people.
    Tip:
  6. To remove the last name of the person from the mention, simply press the Backspace key on your keyboard. Users will still be notified of the mention.
  7. Send your message by entering it and pressing Enter.

Notes:

  • A channel or group chat can also be mentioned with @all. You should use this sparingly, as it will send a message to everyone in a channel or group chat.
  • It is only possible to mention a specific user if he or she is already a member of the chat channel.

Get more information about how to use chat commands, such as mentions, in your chat room.

Viewing your mentions

Your @ mentions in messages can be viewed. The message list shows which messages you were mentioned in, as well as which ones you haven’t read yet.

  1. Open Zoom on your desktop.
  2. Select Chat from the tabs.
  3. On the left-hand side of the chat panel, select Mentions.
    A red indicator indicates that the message has not been read, and your @ mentions are listed from newest to oldest.
  4. You can react and/or respond directly to a message by hovering over it and clicking Jump.

A message you were mentioned in will be temporarily highlighted when viewing a chat group or channel with the message.

Quoting messages

It is helpful for others to be able to identify what your message is in response to when you respond to a specific message in a complex chat thread by quoting that message. The following is a quote:

  1. Quote the message by right-clicking it
  2. You are prompted to enter your message in a new reply.
  3. Post your response by clicking the send icon. Your response will appear below the quoted message in the default text color, while the quoted message appears slightly above it in gray.

Organizing your chats and driving productivity

Starring chats

It is possible to star chats in order to move them higher in the list of chats so that they appear in the STARRED section. Using this feature, you can easily access the contacts, groups, or channels with whom you frequently communicate.

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client on your computer and sign in.
  2. Go to the Chat tab and click on it.
  3. You can open a group chat or channel by hovering over it in the chat list, and then clicking on the down arrow.
  4. Click the star icon to mark this channel as your favorite.
    In your chat list, you will be able to see the chat under the STARRED section. STARRED chats are always ordered alphabetically in the list of chats in this section.

Note:

The star button is also located to the left of the group chat or channel name if you click on the name of the group chat or channel in the chat list.

The best way to manage chat messages, including bookmarking and following messages, is to learn how to manage them.

Changing notification settings for all chats

Whether you receive push notifications for new messages and how you’re notified of unread messages can be customized. You will need to follow the following steps to get started with basic settings:

  1. Using the Zoom desktop client, sign in to your account.
  2. On the top-right corner of your profile picture, click the Settings button.
  3. You will be directed to a section called Chat when you click on it.

  4. These are the settings you need to change:
    • Unread Messages
      • Keep all unread messages on top:
      • Keep your unread chats at the top of your chat list so that they are easy to find. Make sure this option is selected if you want to make sure that unread chats are given more attention if you check it. The setting only applies to chats that are listed under the section RECENT in the chat window.
      • Show unread message badge for channels:
      • Next to each chat, you should display an icon that shows how many unread messages there are. The unread message indicator will be simply a red dot if this option is left unchecked.
      • Move messages with new replies to the bottom of the chat:
      •  As soon as you last checked the chat, you will see all messages that have received additional replies.
    • Push Notifications:
    • Push notifications can be received when you select them. Devices with push notification systems display push notifications.
      • All messages
      • Only private messages and mentions:
      • You will be notified whenever someone mentions your name using the @ symbol in a 1-to-1 chat or group chat.
      • Nothing
        Note:
      • Channel exceptions can also be set.

Find out more about other settings for chat notifications.

Changing notification settings for a group chat and channel

It is also possible to change the notification settings for specific groups and channels within a group chat. To get you started, here are the steps to follow in order to set up the basic settings:

  1. Please sign into the Zoom desktop client by clicking the button below.
  2. You will find the Chat tab on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click on one of the group chats or channels in the list of chats.
  4. You can do this by clicking the down arrow.
  5. Change the following settings under Notifications by hovering over them:
    • UNREAD MESSAGE COUNT
      • Show unread message count ():
      • There will be an icon displayed beside every chat that will indicate the number of unread messages. An unread message will be indicated by a simple red dot if this is unchecked.
    • PUSH NOTIFICATIONS:
    • Activate push notifications when you want them to appear. The push notification system on your device displays push notifications.
      • All messages
      • Mention me or all members:
      • When someone mentions your name using the @ symbol in a group chat or channel, show notifications.
      • Nothing

Check out the settings for chat notifications.

Turning off all notifications for a group chat or channel

When you mute a group chat or channel, you’ll no longer see unread messages or red dots indicating unread messages.

Note:

@(your name) mentions will still be notified to you.

  1. Zoom desktop client should be opened.
  2. Select the Chat tab.
  3. The chat list will display a list of channels and group chats.
  4. The down arrow will appear.
  5. To mute a chat or channel, click Mute.

Check out the settings for chat notifications.

Searching chats globally or for a specific chat

All chats or a specific chat can be searched by entering keywords. The search history will show you the last 10 searches you have conducted (version 5.9.0 or higher required)

  1. Open Zoom on your desktop.
  2. In the top-left corner, click the Search bar. You will be able to see up to ten of your most recent searches.
  3. You can perform the same search again by clicking on one of your previous searches.
  4. You can search for keywords by entering them.
    All chats, channels, messages, and contacts will be indexed by Zoom by default. You can narrow your search using the following filters:

    • Top Results:
    • Based on your search, it returns the most relevant results.
    • Contacts:
    • Matches your search criteria to contacts or multi-user groups.
    • Channels:
    • Channels matching your search are provided.
    • Messages:
    • Matches your search with messages. Filters are also available for:
      • Ordered by:
      • Search results can be sorted according to Relevance or Recentity.
      • Search in:
      • A chat channel can be searched or all chats can be searched.
      • From:
      • Specify the user or anyone who sent the chat.
      • @me:
      • If you want to filter messages containing @ mentions of you, check this option.
      • Only Search in <> channel:
      • A channel you currently have open is used to narrow the search.
    • Files:
    • Files matching your search are provided. In addition to these filters, it also has:
      • Ordered by:
      • Using the Sort by Relevance or Sort by Recent option will allow you to sort search results based on their relevance.
      • Search in:
      • Whether you want to search for a particular chat channel or all chats, you have the option to do so.
      • From:
      • Using the search box below you can select either the user who sent the file or Anyone who sent it.
      • Type:
      • If you check this option, the files will only be filtered based on their file type, for example, images, videos, etc.
      • Time:
      •  You can search for files that were sent today, yesterday, within the last week, within the last month, or even within a specified time frame.
      • Only Search in <> channel:
      • Specifies the current channel you have open in order to narrow the search for files to that channel.

Note:

It is also possible to view the number of unread messages for each of your contacts and channels within the search results for contacts and channels.

Using your personal chat space

In addition, you can access a private chat space in which you can chat with others, review screenshots, and save files that are only visible to you.

  1. Launch Zoom’s desktop client and sign in with your Zoom account.
  2. Select the Chat tab from the menu.
  3. Click on your name in the STARRED section of the page.
  4. Press the Enter key once you have entered your notes.

Take a look at your personal chat space and learn more about it.

Pinning a message

In a chat channel or group, any member can pin a message to increase the visibility of that message. In the chat window, pinned messages appear with a pin icon. Messages can only be pinned once.

  1. Open Zoom on your desktop.
  2. The Chat tab will appear.
  3. The chat list will display a list of group chats or channels.
  4. You can pin a message by hovering over it and clicking the ellipses button.
  5. If you want everyone to see the pin, click on the button.

Take a look at how you can manage chat messages by clicking here.

Advanced features

After learning the basics of chat, use these features to get the most out of chat. For example, you can edit sent messages, format messages, and send other items in chat, such as images, emojis, and code snippets.

Editing a sent message

After sending a message, you can edit it.

  1. Log in to Zoom’s desktop client.
  2. Select Chat from the menu.
  3. You can select a chat from the list.
  4. You can reply to a message by clicking the ellipsis button over the message.
  5. Click the Edit button.
  6. Once you have adjusted your message, click Save or press Enter.

Chat messages can be managed in a number of ways.

Formatting a message

Bold, italic, and list formatting can be applied to your messages.

  1. Using Zoom’s desktop client, sign in.
  2. Select Chat from the menu.
  3. Choose a chat.
  4. You can enter a message here.
  5. You can format a portion by highlighting it.
    The following formatting options will be displayed by Zoom:

    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
    • Strikethrough
    • Highlight color
    • Text Color
    • Font size
    • Paragraph (rich style)
    • Clear all formatting
    • Decrease/Increase indent
    • Bulleted list
    • Numbered list
    • Quotes
    • Insert link
    • Insert table
    • Files
    • Hyperlink
  6. Format text as needed using the available options.

Chat messages can be managed in a number of ways.

Sending a file, screenshot, emoji, animated GIF, or code snippet

  1. Zoom desktop client should be open.
  2. Select Chat from the tab menu.
  3. Choose a chat.
  4. Above the chat box, you will find the following buttons:
    • Screenshot: By clicking and dragging the capture box, you will be able to capture a portion of your screen without minimizing the Zoom window.
    • File: Attach a file to the message using the options displayed. You can send files using Zoom Chat by clicking Your Computer or third party file services.
    • Note: Upon receiving a video file, recipients can watch it directly within the chat window.
    • Audio Message: Attach an audio message to your message by recording one.
    • Code: A box for pasting code snippets will appear.
    • Emoji button:
    • You will be able to see a list of all the emojis available. To add an emoji to a message, simply click on the emoji you wish to use.
      • Adding a GIF to a message is as simple as clicking on the GIF button.
      • You can view your saved emojis by clicking the heart icon on the left side of the screen.
        For adding a custom emoji, click Edit and then click Upload Emojis.

In this article, we will discuss how you can send files, screenshots, emojis, and code snippets, how to use a file sharing integration to send files, and how to send a video in Zoom chat.

Following a message

All replies to a message will be sent to your mobile device when you follow it.

  1. Log in to Zoom on your desktop.
  2. Select Chat from the tabs.
  3. You can follow a message by hovering over it.
  4. Simply click the ellipsis.
  5. Follow the message by clicking it.

Chat messages can be managed in a number of ways.

Sharing a sent message

By sharing a message sent to another chat, you can easily copy and paste what has been sent there.

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and sign in to your account.
  2. Go to the Chat tab by clicking on it.
  3. Click on the message you would like to share and hover over it.
  4. Click on the ellipsis button to open the menu.
  5. To share a message, click the Share Message button.
  6. The message will be shared with the chat you have selected.

Take a look at how you can manage your chat messages in this article.

Setting a notification when a user is available

You can let Zoom notify you when a user becomes available if their presence status is not set to Available.

  1. Open Zoom on your desktop.
  2. The Chat tab will appear.
  3. Select a one-on-one chat by hovering over it.
  4. You can do this by clicking the down arrow.
  5. When available, click Notify Me.
    When the user’s presence status is set to Available, Zoom will send them a push notification.

Find out what each of the presence status icons indicates.

Invite chat members to a meeting

Any chat can be used to start a meeting, including group chats and channels.

  1. Using Zoom’s desktop client, sign in.
  2. Choose Chat from the menu.
  3. Pick a chat to join.
  4. In the top-left corner, click the video button.
  5. To decide whether to meet with video, click the down arrow next to the video button. Participants can enable their videos after joining the meeting if this is the default.
  6. The group or channel will be invited to a meeting if you click Yes.

Blocking contacts

If you want to prevent receiving messages from a particular contact, you can block them. You will also be unable to send them messages or invite them to a meeting via chat, which will also prevent you from sending them messages.

  1. You will need to sign into the Zoom desktop client in order to use it.
  2. Select the Chat tab from the menu.
  3. A 1-on-1 chat will appear when you hover over it.
  4. You can do this by clicking the down arrow.
  5. After clicking Block Contact, you will be able to block that contact.

Accessing and installing chatbots

You can integrate third-party chatbots that are developed by third-party services into Zoom Chat using the integration API. By installing the Twitter chatbot in Zoom Chat, for instance, you can tweet, retweet, and search for tweets that are posted through the Twitter chatbot.

  1. Using the Zoom desktop client, sign in to your account.
  2. Select the Chat tab from the menu.
  3. You can find the BOTS section by scrolling down the page.
  4. To interact with a chatbot, you will need to click on it.
    Note:
  5. It is possible that your admin has deployed some of the chatbots on your behalf.
  6. You can install chatbots in the Zoom Marketplace by clicking the Add button and you will be taken to the Zoom Marketplace.

Visit the Zoom Marketplace if you would like to find out more about a particular chatbot.