How do I host an instant meeting?

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Once you have created an account with Zoom and installed the application, it is simple to host an instant video meeting. An instant meeting allows the host to start a meeting immediately without scheduling or inviting participants beforehand. You can invite others to join an instant meeting at any time. Invitations to the meeting must come from the meeting control bar on your screen.

Note: An instant meeting ID started from Zoom Desktop Client or the Zoom mobile app will expire as soon as the meeting has ended. Instant meeting IDs scheduled through the API will expire after 24 - 48 hours.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for hosting an instant meeting

  • Zoom desktop client
    • Windows: 5.0.0 or higher
    • macOS: 5.0.0 or higher
    • Linux: 5.0.0 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • Android: 5.0.0 or higher
    • iOS: 5.0.0 or higher

How to host an instant meeting through Zoom Desktop Client

Note: If you do not have the Zoom Desktop Client installed, access the Zoom homepage and select Host a Meeting to start the installation.

Home tab

To start an instant meeting from the Zoom Desktop Client Home tab:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom Desktop Client.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. (Optional) Click the down arrow down-arrow-button.png for the following instant meeting options:
    • Start with video: This begins your instant meeting with your video enabled.
    • Use My Personal Meeting ID: Your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) accesses your personal meeting room which is a virtual room that is permanently reserved for you.
  4. Click New Meeting new-meeting-with-video-button.png to start an instant meeting.


To start an instant meeting while in a chat with a contact or channel:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom Desktop Client.
  2. Click the Chat tab.
  3. Select a contact or channel name to open a chat.  
  4. (Optional) By the video camera button video-on-button.png, click the down arrow down-arrow-button.png to select the Meet with video option.
  5. Click the video camera button video-on-button.png to start an instant meeting. 

How to host an instant meeting through Zoom mobile app

Meet & Chat tab

To start an instant meeting from the Zoom mobile app's Meet & Chat tab:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. In the Meet & Chat tab, tap the New Meeting icon new-meeting-with-video-button.png.
  3. Ensure that Video On is toggled on-toggle-button.png.
  4. (Optional) Ensure that Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) is toggled if you want to use your personal meeting room on-toggle-button.png.
  5. Tap Start Meeting.

    Note: If this is your first time starting a Zoom meeting from this device, you will be asked to allow Zoom permission to access the camera and microphone. Tap OK to confirm.

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