The guide here walks you through every step of muting your Zoom meetings as a host or participant. You learn how to mute microphones or speakers using in-app features or your device options.
Muting Your Voice as a Participant or Host
There are two ways to disable your mic, using Zoom features or your PC settings. Here is how each of them works.
Method #1: Using in-app options.
To mute the Zoom microphone, tap/click on the mic icon on the bottom left of the page. (Your voice is muted when there is a line on the microphone icon).
As a host or co-host, open the Participant panel to see every attendee. From there, hover over their name and press “Mute” or scroll down to see “Mute All.” The latter disconnects every participant’s mic while the former only affects the person you choose.
Method #2: disabling your Windows/Mac microphone.
Windows 10 users should right-click on the speaker icon on the taskbar and select ‘Open Sound Settings.’ From there, you can scroll down to the ‘Input’ section and click on ‘Device properties’ under the ‘choose your input device’ tab. Now, you can select ‘Disable’ to mute your mic.
If you are a Mac user, go to ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Sound.’ Choose the ‘Input’ tab on the far-right side of the navigation bar. Now, lower your Input Volume to the least amount possible. This should mute you on Zoom without changing your in-app mic icon.
Note: Muting your device’s microphone means that you cannot use it in other applications or software.
Can the Host or Your Teacher Hear You After Muting?
No. The Zoom host cannot hear you while you are muted. The only way to hear your voice while on mute is to install third-party software on your device. You will face no privacy issues if you have no unapproved apps installed on your phone or laptop.
There has been news about schools and organizations that spied on the meeting participants without their consent. However, it was later exposed that all of them used additional spying software to do so.
Be more cautious with the mute button if you’re using a device your school or organization has given to you.
How to Mute Others on Zoom as a Participant
While you cannot disconnect other members’ mics, you can mute the Zoom app. To do so, you need to:
- open the ‘Volume Mixer’ on your Windows or Mac.
- Choose the app you want to make silent
- Click on the speaker icon or mute.
This will allow you to hear other voices on your device, excluding unwanted meeting noises.
How to Mute Participants While Hosting a Zoom Meeting?
As a meeting host, you have three options to disconnect participants’ microphones. You can either mute them one by one (individually) or have them muted on entry or even during the meeting.
First, open the Participant tab. Here, find the person you want to disconnect from the voice chat and hover your mouse over their name. You will see a ‘Mute’ button under their username. Tap or click on it to remove their access to their mic.
Open the Participant tab in the meeting controls. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Mute All.” By choosing this option, no one will have permission to talk. However, you can ‘allow the participants to unmute’ at their own will. To do so, just check the small box that appears on the mute all tab before pressing ‘Continue.’
One way to mute Zoom is to send a permission request before creating a meeting room. This way, you can control who should speak and have access to their mic and vice versa.
To do so, go to the Meetings section in the Settings. And toggle the ‘Request permission to unmute’ under the ‘In Meeting (Advanced)’ bar.
Enabling this option will send a request to the participants before they join your room. It will ask them to “Allow the host unmute you in any meeting scheduled by [X].” The users can select ‘Allow’ to let you control their microphone afterward.
How to Remove the Host’s Access to Unmute You?
You can always revoke the permission you give to a host. There are two ways to do so. If you are in the meeting, press the little arrow ‘^’ beside the mic icon. From the new tab, select ‘View People Who Can Unmute You.’ Now you will see a list of people who have permission to toggle your mic on or off. You can ‘Remove’ them from here to revoke the consent.
If you are not in a meeting, open your desktop app, go to Settings > Audio > People Who Can Unmute You > Manage. You can remove any unwanted hosts here.
Ask Your Participants to Unmute Zoom
Open the Participants tab and select the option that says ‘More’ on the bottom-right part of the page. Then, choose ‘Ask All to Unmute.’ It will send a request to all the members, asking them to connect their microphones and speak.
Things to Keep in Mind About Zoom Mute Option
Now that you know all the nitty-gritty of how to mute Zoom like a pro, it’s a good idea to have these additional tips in mind, too.
You cannot mute others unless you are the host or co-host.
You may want to cut a participant’s access to their microphone. But that’s only an available option when you’re the room owner (also referred to as a host). If you want to have the ability to mute others, ask the host to promote you to a co-host.
Pre-approved consent remains active for all the meetings of that host.
Keep in mind that when you allow a person to control your mic, the consent applies to all their meetings. So, it’s NOT one-time-only permission. You can always go to your settings to revoke your consent, though.
Why Did Zoom Remove the “Unmute All” Option?
Unmuting all the participants in a meeting without the persons’ permission raised lots of privacy concerns. That’s why Zoom decided to drop the option and add pre-approval instead.
What if the Mute Option on Zoom Is Not Working?
You can always troubleshoot your audio issues and ask for the Zoom team’s support. To do so, visit support.zoom.us and fill out a ‘Technical Request’ from the ‘Submit a Request’ section. You can provide them with screenshots and other additional files to help resolve your issues faster.
Here are some possible reasons for such an issue:
1- Your mic is not connected.
Go to meeting controls and check if you see a ‘Join Audio’ icon. If yes, tap on it and proceed to select ‘Call Over the Internet.’ Then the app asks for your permission to access your device’s microphone. Giving it access will most likely resolve the problem and fix the mute button.
2- You don’t have permission to unmute.
You have already given the meeting host permission to control your mute/unmute button. And that’s why the mute button does not work. To revoke the permission, go to Settings on the desktop app > Audio > People Who Can Unmute You > Manage. You can remove any unwanted hosts here.
4- Other apps are using your phone’s microphone.
It’s best to close all other apps while you’re on a Zoom call. Do so, tap the home button on your iPhone twice and remove every open tab except for Zoom. You can do the same thing on an Android device by tapping the multi-task button.
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