Zoom FAQ for Faculty and Staff

Zoom provides an excellent FAQ. For more Johns Hopkins-specific questions, see below:

For questions related to student Zoom accounts, see the Zoom FAQ for Students.

Account Management

Q: How do I get a Zoom account?
A: Sign up for an account through the JHU IT Service Catalog! Once your account is provisioned, you’ll receive an email with instructions on logging in.

Q: What is the difference between a Basic and a Licensed account?
A: Basic: A Basic user is user without a paid license. While a Basic user can host meetings with up to 300 participants, if 3 or more participants join, the meeting will time out after 40 minutes. They cannot utilize user and account add-ons such as large meeting, webinar, or conference room connector.

Licensed: A Licensed (formerly known as Pro) user is a paid account user who can host unlimited meetings on the public cloud. By default, they can host meetings with up to 300 participants and large meeting licenses are available for additional capacity. Pro/Licensed users have these additional features available:

  • Customize Personal Meeting ID
  • Record to the Zoom cloud (unless you’re in the JHM (HIPAA) instance)
  • Be an alternative host
  • Assign others to schedule and schedule on behalf of
  • Utilize account add-ons such as conference room connector
  • Be assigned user add-ons such as large meeting, webinar, or personal audio conference
  • Customize Personal Link, if on a business or education account

Q: How do I upgrade my Zoom account from Basic to Licensed?
A: You can upgrade your account to Licensed by going through the account setup process in the JHU IT Service Catalog again, and choosing Licensed as the account type.

Q: How do I downgrade my Zoom account from Licensed to Basic? How do I change my cost center?
A: You can downgrade your Licensed account to Basic or change your cost center in the JHU IT Service Catalog.

Q: How do I cancel my subscription?
A: There are two ways to cancel your subscription. You can downgrade your account from Licensed to Basic, or you can deactivate your account. Either action can be accomplished in the JHU IT Service Catalog.

Q: Are service accounts available?
A: The use of service accounts are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Can my team share a Zoom account?
A: We don’t recommend sharing accounts, as it would increase the risk that two groups/users might be trying to run different meetings from the same account simultaneously, Zoom does not support concurrent meetings. We suggest testing out the Join Before Host or Alternative Host features to allow participants to join without you!

The Alternative Host feature requires that both the original host and the alternative host have Licensed Zoom accounts.

Q: Is there a minimum or maximum on how many accounts we can get?
A: Accounts are tied to the user’s JHED ID, so each user can only obtain one account.

Q: What’s the price structure?
A: You can find account pricing through the JHU IT Service Catalog.

Q: Who at Johns Hopkins can register for a Licensed Zoom account?
A: Anyone, enterprise-wide, with a valid cost center should be eligible for a Licensed Zoom account! Students will automatically obtain a Licensed Zoom account upon logging in for the first time.

Q: What’s the difference between a user, an admin, and an owner?
A: An account owner has no restrictions, an account admin can add, remove, or edit users and manage advanced features like API, SSO, and Meeting Connector. Users, however, have no administrative privileges.

Audio Options

Q: What audio options do I have through Zoom?
A: Please see Audio Options.

Q: Unable to dial into the toll-based Conference lines or getting a busy signal?
A: We recommend using Computer or Device based audio when available, please see Zoom’s guide for connecting and testing your device audio in a meeting. If you need to dial-in to a meeting and receive a busy signal, please try an alternative dial-in number. Included below is a list of US toll-based dial-in numbers that you can select from:

Q: How do I add Premium Audio to my Zoom account?
A: For instructions on how to request the Premium Audio feature add-on, please refer to Accessing Premium Audio. You must have a Licensed account to request this add-on.

Q: How can I revoke Premium Audio access from my Zoom account?
A: You can remove Premium Audio by visiting the Zoom Resource Manager page.

Q: Do all meeting participants need to have Premium Audio to access the toll-free numbers?
A: No, only the host needs Premium Audio.

Q: Can Premium Audio be billed to a separate Cost Center/IO?
A: Yes, this add-on does not need to be billed to the same Cost Center/IO used for your Zoom account.

Q: Does Premium Audio need to be enabled for every meeting I host?
A: No, Premium Audio can be configured to be included on a meeting-by-meeting basis. It can also be configured to be included for all future meetings. For more details, refer to the Premium Audio Settings page.

Q: Will Zoom replace our current AT&T conference line?
A: No, Zoom is not a direct replacement for AT&T conference lines. Zoom has replaced Adobe Connect. Zoom does offer VOIP and an integrated toll-based PSTN conference line which could negate the need for an AT&T conference line in many cases.

Q: How do I dial toll free?
A: In addition to Zoom’s free global dial-in numbers (toll applies), you can also subscribe to Premium Audio rates for toll-free numbers, premium dial-in numbers for additional countries, call-out numbers, and dedicated dial-in numbers. This feature can be added at additional cost through the IT Service Catalog.

Desktop Client

Q: How do I install the desktop client?
A: See our desktop client setup guide.

Q: Where can I find Johns Hopkins virtual backgrounds?
A: You can find Johns Hopkins virtual backgrounds on the JHU Facebook page.

Q: I’m getting an error installing the client. It says I don’t have administrative privileges.
A: Contact your LAN Admin/Desktop Support team and ask them to install the desktop client package on your computer.


Q: Is Zoom through Johns Hopkins HIPAA-compliant?
A: Yes, we do have a HIPAA-compliant instance! Members in a security group that falls under the scope for HIPAA are automatically pushed into a protected instance to comply with HIPAA. More on Zoom’s HIPAA compliance can be found here.

Q: Why do I have restriction on encryption and recordings on my account?
A: Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a contract between a HIPAA covered entity and a HIPAA Business Associate (BA). The contract protects personal health information (PHI) in accordance with HIPAA guidelines. More on Zoom’s HIPAA compliance can be found here. The following features have been enacted for accounts residing within the HIPAA instance:

  • End-To-End Encryption is enabled for all meetings
  • Cloud Recording is disabled, only local recording is available
  • Device and user information is not captured in logging and reporting
  • Encrypted Chat is enabled. Please note if chat has been disabled, please submit a request to have it enabled.

Q: How do I know I’m in the HIPAA-compliant instance?
A: The HIPAA-compliant instance, also known as the JHM instance, is denoted by the following URL for all meetings hosted from this instance: “https://jhjhm.zoom.us/”.

You can see the URL in your Zoom profile on the web:

Profile page

You can see the URL when in a meeting via Zoom’s desktop client (video off, nothing being shared):

Invitation URL in a meeting in the desktop client

You can see the URL when launching your meeting:

A meeting join link in the browser's address bar

Q: Can I transcribe a local recording?
A: With a HIPAA account, you will not have access to record to the cloud, but you can record locally. With local recordings, you are able to download the recording and share the file. Additional features, such as transcription, are not available. If you wish to share your recordings, you can upload them to a HIPAA-compliant file storage service, such as OneDrive.

Local recording is not supported on iOS or Android.


Q: Does enabling Join Before Host allow meeting participants to start without the host actually being present?
A: Meeting participants will be able to talk, but the host is required for many meeting controls, such as screen-sharing and recording. See Join Before Host for more details.

While there are no limitations on how a user can schedule meetings, their back-to-back and concurrent meetings can be disrupted prematurely if they are configured to allow Join Before Host, as the first participant to join the meeting can start the meeting, which would end the existing meeting.

Q: What is an Alternative Host?
A: If you have a Licensed Zoom account, you can designate another Licensed Zoom user as an Alternative Host for your meeting. This will allow the other user to start and host the meeting in your stead.

Q: What is the Scheduling Privilege?
A: If you have a Licensed Zoom account, you can assign another Licensed Zoom user the Scheduling Privilege. This will allow the other user to schedule meetings on your behalf.

Joining a Meeting

Q: Do I need a Licensed account to join meetings?
A: Joining a meeting is free with Zoom. If you’re looking to host, we recommend a Licensed account. You can order your Licensed account from the IT Service Catalog, or if you’re with a school or division of JHU, contact your school/divisional IT team for information on how to obtain an account.

Q: Do users joining a meeting need to download the Zoom client?
A: While we recommend using the desktop client for the best in-meeting experience, it is not required to join a meeting as you can join directly from a browser. Optionally, meeting hosts can choose to make it easier for participants to join from their browser by enabling the “Join from your browser” option on their meeting settings.

Meeting Settings & Controls

Q: If an instructors shares a PowerPoint slide show (which would be full screen), is the zoom toolbar still accessible or would the instructor have to exit out of the slideshow to access the toolbar?
A: The toolbar is always accessible but if you don’t set it to always show control bar, it will disappear/hide and you will need to locate again.

Q: When I schedule a meeting it makes an arbitrary meeting name. How do I get it to reflect my customized link?
A: The customized meeting link only applies to your personal meeting room (or PMI).  Here’s an article that provides a better explanation of this. If you want to schedule a meeting that uses your PMI, then you can use the personalized meeting link. You may want to review the previous link and also this link for other options when scheduling a meeting.

Meetings & Webinars

Q: Do I need a Zoom account to join a meeting/webinar?
A: No, you are not required to sign in to join the meeting/webinar. You may see a message if you try to sign in to Zoom before joining the meeting. When your Zoom client opens, if you’re not connected to the meeting immediately, please select the join meeting option and paste in the meeting ID (the last 9-10 numbers in the meeting URL).

Q: Do all panelists/speakers need the webinar license add-on?
A: No, panelists can be invited to participate in the webinar using only their name and an email address, a Zoom account is not required.

Q: If I assign an alternative host to my webinar, do they need to have the webinar license add-on as well?
A: No, alternative hosts do NOT need to have the webinar license to be assigned. However, they will need to be Licensed user (cannot assign Basic users).

Q: Is it possible to allow a participant (non-panelist or attendee) to speak?
A: Yes, attendees can be promoted to a panelist role or you can simply allow them to talk during the webinar using the ‘Manage Participants’ tab.

Q: If my webinar is going to run over the scheduled time, will it end automatically?
A: No, your webinar will remain active and in-session until you end it. The time and duration is more for scheduling purposes.

Q: If I need to upgrade to a larger size webinar license (to accommodate more attendees) and I already have a webinar scheduled with confirmed registrations, do I need to cancel and create a new webinar?
A: No, do not cancel the webinar. Please contact zoom@jhu.edu for assistance with upgrading.

Q: Can panelists use the Virtual Background feature?
A: Yes. However, they must have either the desktop client or mobile app installed to select a background.

Q: Can attendees view the names and/or phone numbers of other attendees during the webinar?
A: No, attendees are kept anonymous. However, if they choose to ask a question via the Q&A and do not select “ask anonymously”, other attendees will be able to see their name.

Mobile App

Q: How can I access Zoom’s mobile app?
A: You can go to the Play Store or the App Store and search for Zoom (the app has a video camera icon). Please log in using the following instructions: https://uis.jhu.edu/zoom/zoom-mobile-application/

Q: How can I edit/delete meetings from my phone?
A: On the bottom of the your mobile app, you’ll see a “Meetings” icon – click that… any of the meetings you have created will show up with a “Start” button. Click the meeting, not the Start button, and scroll down, this will give you options like “Add invitees” or “Delete”.


Q: How long will my recordings be saved in the cloud?
A: Cloud recordings are automatically deleted after 180 days. Local recordings will not be deleted automatically.

If your account resides in the HIPAA instance, you will not be able to record to the cloud, but you can record locally.

Q: Can a meeting be recorded without the host?
A: By default, only the host can initiate a Local Recording. If another participant would like to record, the host will need to provide permission to that participant during the meeting. The host will need to join the meeting to give the other participant recording permission, or set the participant up as an Alternative Host. If the host can record to the cloud, then they can also Enable Automatic Cloud Recording for the meeting. For more information, see Recording without the Host.

Q: Can an Alternative Host access the meeting’s cloud recording?
A: Only the user who scheduled the meeting will have access to the cloud recording.

Q: How do I change what I see in a recording?
A: You can record the meeting in different layouts including active speaker, gallery view, and shared screen.


Q: Will there be training and tutorials?
A: Check out our Zoom Help Page for training and tutorials, including a link to the most recent vendor-hosted training for Johns Hopkins. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please check out Zoom’s help site.