5 Powerful Zoom Hacks You Probably Don’t Know

In the age of digital life – where remote work interviews, meetings, and happy hours happen online; it is becoming increasingly important to be well-versed in video conferencing software. Surely, you’ve heard of Zoom, right?  Well, while you may be familiar with the go-to platform for video meetings; there are a few hacks that many people do not know. In this post, we’ll explain 5 ways to make your Zoom call go as smoothly as possible! Just keep reading.

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Top 5 Zoom Hacks Everyone Should Know

So, you’ve used Zoom once or twice? Or perhaps, it’s been hundreds of times by now. Whatever your experience may be, we’re confident that the hacks listed below will help you in your next Zoom meeting.

  1. Use keyboard shortcuts to turn off your video and microphone in a flash.
  2. Change video settings to adjust for low lighting situations.
  3. Spotlight the mouse to keep the other participants engaged.
  4. Add captions to make meetings more accessible.
  5. Use presentation slides as a virtual background.

Use keyboard shortcuts to turn off your video and microphone in a flash.

Have you ever had to hurriedly walk away from a video meeting? Perhaps your doorbell rang or your kid made a mess in the other room and needs a bit of assistance. Who knows? Unexpected things happen all the time! And when they do, you might have to dash off-screen in the middle of a video meeting – which is not ideal. Instead of fumbling around and distracting the other participants, use the following keyboard shortcuts to turn video-streaming off and mute microphone settings quickly.


  • ALT + V (Windows)
  • COMMAND + Shift + V (Mac)


  • ALT + A (Windows)
  • COMMAND + Shift + A (Mac)

Change video settings to adjust for low-lighting.

Sometimes, we can’t find a light-filled room to have our meetings in. Sometimes, we end up in a dark space with low lighting and we simply don’t have time to fix it. When that occurs, do not make panic! Instead, head to the Zoom video settings menu and adjust for low light. Here’s how to do it.

To fix low-lighting:

  • Click video settings
  • Then click ‘adjust for low light’
  • Lastly, manually adjust the settings to achieve your desired look.

Note: This will help improve poor lighting. However, it may not illuminate your face the way a ring light or sunlight from a window can.

two people and a cat have a video chat

Spotlight the mouse to keep participants engaged.

Giving a long presentation? Hosting a meeting and need a simple way to keep the attention of the attendees? Use Zoom’s annotation tools to explore cursor options that will captivate your audience.

If you are the meeting host, make sure your annotation tools are enabled before the meeting. You can check this by clicking account management in the navigation panel and then account settings. Once you’re in the account settings, you’ll see annotation options under the meeting tab. Verify that your annotation tools setting is toggled on and begin your meeting with confidence.

Once you’re in the meeting and viewing a shared screen, you’ll be able to spotlight the cursor, and use an arrow or a vanishing pen to keep your audience’s attention!

Add captions to make meetings more accessible.

Video meetings come with their fair share of hiccups. Sometimes virtual meeting participants miss pertinent information due to connectivity issues or because something on-screen or in their environment is distracting. Whatever the case may be, this hack can surely help. 

To ensure that everyone is heard, consider adding live captions to your next Zoom call. This can be achieved by doing the following:

  • Sign in to Zoom’s desktop client
  • In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings
  • Click the Meeting tab
  • Under In meeting (Advanced), click the Manual Captions or Automatic Captions toggles. 
  • For live transcription, you copy and paste an API token such as Marsview or Otter AI that will enable live notes. 

Use presentation slides as a virtual background.

Prepared a long slide presentation but don’t want to lose eye contact with your audience? You can have an immersive meeting experience thanks to Zoom’s advanced screen-sharing settings. To show your face while you present a slide deck, do the following:

  • Click screen share > advanced settings> then click slides as a virtual background

This will show your video imposed on the slide presentation you are sharing.