Use Zoom for online office hours

Last updated: August 16, 2022

To hold online office hours using Zoom, you will want to do two things:

  1. Schedule recurring meetings
  2. Turn on the Zoom Waiting Room

Note: To maintain student privacy, do not record office hour meetings.

Schedule a recurring meeting

Follow the steps in this Zoom guide to schedule a recurring meeting during your appointed office hours.

Following these steps will allow you to use a single link and meeting ID across all of your office hours sessions, making it easier to share the same set of instructions with students across multiple events, and making it more likely that students will find their way to online office hours.

Turn on the Waiting Room

The Zoom Waiting Room feature allows you to control when a participant joins the meeting. With Waiting Room, you can admit attendees one by one or hold all attendees in the Waiting Room and admit them all at once. You can send all participants to the Waiting Room when joining your meeting or only guests, participants who are not on your Zoom account or are not logged in. The Waiting Room needs to be enabled first in your Settings, then turned on when scheduling (or during) an individual meeting.

First, turn on the Waiting Room feature in your user settings:

  1. Go to to sign into your Zoom account online.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Settings
  3. Waiting Room is at the top of the page. Toggle the switch to turn on the Waiting Room. The Waiting Room is now default enabled for your meetings.

If you don’t want Waiting Room for a particular meeting, you can disable Waiting Room for an individual meeting:

When scheduling the meeting or editing meeting settings, scroll down to the Security section and uncheck the Waiting Room box to disable, or check the box to enable.

Enable or disable Waiting Room during the meeting:

  1. At the bottom of the Zoom meeting window, click the Security button.
  2. If there is no check mark next to Enable Waiting Room, your Waiting Room is disabled. To enable Waiting Room, select it in the menu.

When the Waiting Room is enabled, participants will see the following screen when joining the meeting:

Waiting Room Message

Once you have started the meeting as the host, at the bottom of the Zoom window, click Participants to see the full list of participants in the meeting, including the list of people waiting to join the meeting in the Waiting Room.

To add a participant from the Waiting Room, hover your cursor over their name in the Participant list and click Admit. You can also message people in the waiting room before letting them into the meeting.

Move student into meeting

The meeting host or co-host can admit everyone in the Waiting Room at the same time. 

  1. During the meeting, select the Participants button. participants-icon
  2. In the participants window, select Admit All.


To move a participant from your meeting back into the Waiting Room

  1. Hover your cursor over their name in the Participant list.
  2. Click More >.
  3. Select the menu option Put in Waiting Room.

Move back into waiting room

For more information on how to set up, use, and customize your Waiting Room, see Zoom’s guide for Waiting Rooms.