How to Fix Common Zoom Problems

Thanks to the rise in telecommuting in the Coronavirus pandemic era, Zoom is experiencing a massive increase in prominence for remote work, along with casual and personal use. While it's one of the top ten most-downloaded applications globally, it's not perfect software and users may experience bugs. The most common glitches are easy for even novices to solve.

Audio is one area where many users experience difficulties. If the user shares the screen, sound-sharing isn't automatic. Users can enable it by selecting 'Share computer sound' from Zoom's 'More' button. The total absence of sound in all contexts also might be due to Zoom's having the wrong audio device selected. Zoom's 'Audio' sub-menu inside 'Settings' includes a device-selecting option to the right of the speaker-test button.

Webcam problems also may occur in some Zoom installations. Webcam-display errors can include the application not detecting the device, no display after a connection or the 'share screen' feature's failing. They're often due to the user not having the latest drivers for their webcam or graphics card – check the manufacturer websites for the newest patches. Naturally, users also should make sure that their webcams are turned on and receiving power. Users also may consider changing some of the default settings on their graphics cards, such as Nvidia's 'automatic switching.'

However, some Zoom users never get that far. Those who encounter installation, launching, or connectivity problems should run through solutions from least invasive to most. Always install applications like Zoom from trusted websites or storefronts, and make sure that your device has space available first.

Most launch failures are from a minor corrupted installation or update, and users can resolve them by reinstalling the application from scratch.

Lastly, Zoom connectivity errors have many possible causes. Check any firewall policies that might block unidentified third-party applications. Depending on the firewall and environment, most users should have the option to create a whitelist entry or exception for Zoom and all necessary ports. Simultaneously, anti-virus and other security products that focus on threat detection may flag Zoom's connection attempt as a danger to the device incorrectly. Most security services with the latest threat updates encounter minimal false flags of this nature, although users can always disable them temporarily.

A Virtual Private Network or VPN application is another possible conflict source, and users should test deactivating them after they experience any connection problems with other programs.

Perhaps most obviously, Zoom users can't join a password-protected Zoom session without the credentials. For more information on this possibility, test entering the Zoom ID manually instead of clicking a link to it.

As a rule of thumb, Zoom users, like any other software user, should maintain the most up-to-date version of their application that's possible. Outdated programs, Zoom or otherwise, harbor both a collection of potential problems and not-insignificant security risks. Users that do themselves the disservice of using old applications can become targets for threat actors with ransoms, spying and other attacks on their minds.

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