Now that “Zooming” is a verb, knowing how to make video calls via Zoom is becoming an important life skill. The truth is Zoom is extremely easy to use, which is why it became so popular during COVID. But some people still have difficulties with some aspects.
My Mom has a real problem trying to find the Zoom link in email
While Zoom is a great free video chatting tool that runs on many platforms, it can be a bit daunting for your loved one when trying to join a Zoom Meeting. Unlike other video meeting software such as Skype, Zoom has become popular because you don’t need an account. If you send a link to someone who doesn’t yet use Zoom, it guides them through the Zoom app installation without asking them to create a free account.
The standard way is to send a Zoom web link to your loved one through an email. The problem is that they may misplace the email when it’s time to join the meeting. Even if you send them a calendar link in advance so that the meeting pops up on their calendar at the right time, they may have forgotten to click the link when they received the email to add it to their calendar.
How can I make this easier for Mom?
While one of Zoom’s benefits is that you don’t need an account to use it, there are advantages if you do create an account for your loved one. If they have a free Zoom account, you can then add them as a Contact, allowing you to have a live “popup meeting” with a meeting notification.
Here is the interface you will see when sending a live “popup meeting” request to contacts:
Instead of using the usual email tab, you will use the Contacts tab to send a live “popup meeting” invitation.
Here is a YouTube video if this in action:
OK, how do I add my Mom as a Zoom Contact?
Your Mom will need a Zoom account before you can add her as a Zoom Contact.
If you feel that she can’t handle the steps below, you could log into her email to do this for her if you have access to her email account.
She will receive an email from Zoom asking her to activate her account
Accept the terms & conditions
Add a password
Don’t invite anyone else (Skip)
Now that Mom’s Zoom account is set up, you can add her as a contact
Open the Zoom app on your PC or Mac
Click Add a Contact
Enter your Mom’s email address
Accept Contact Request
The next steps require a response from HER Zoom account as that is where the Contact request is sent.
If you feel that your Mom is not capable of doing this step, you will need to sign out of the Zoom account on your device and sign in as her to accept the Contact request. The Contact request appears in her Zoom account, not in her email.
Open the Zoom app
Tap on the Contacts Request from you
Tap the checkmark
Accept the terms
Your Mom should now appear as a Zoom Contact in your Zoom app. When you start a Zoom meeting, be sure to click Mom’s contact name, not her email address.
What Will Mom See?
Great. I did all that. Now, what exactly will my Mom see when it’s time for a Zoom meeting?
Depending on the device your Mom is using, she will see one of the above screens:
The screen on the left has a repeating sound indicating an incoming message.
This is shown on Android versions, including Amazon Fire Tablets
The screen on the right shows only a notification
This is shown on older IOS versions
Check the video shown higher up this page to see the variations based on the device and OS version.
Once she sees the notification and clicks on it, she will see the following screen to join the Zoom meeting.
She can then click “join with the video” to start her camera with audio auto-enabled
Wait a minute!. I know that notifications are usually concise, and she could miss them. Is there a way to make the notifications repeat?
If you have access to your Mom’s device or believe you can walk her through these steps:
For IOS devices
For iPhones and iPads, you can make the notification persistent as follows:
Scroll down to the Zoom app
Change Banner Style to persistent
For Android devices
For Android devices, you can make the notification persistent as follows:
Enable the Zoom app
Scroll down to Notification reminders
Tap Select apps
Scroll down to Zoom
Tips & Tricks
If you Mom ever reboots her device, she must start the Zoom app and sign into her Zoom account.
There is no need to keep the Zoom app open on the screen, as it will run in the background.
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Retired Intel Engineer wanting to share DIY technology tips for the children of parents wanting to remain living independently. I like posting ideas and answering technical questions. If a product or software has an issue making it hard for seniors to use, I try to offer workarounds and also try to contact the manufacturer for solutions. I write a column for this website in the Innovation- Homebrew Solutions & Ideas section