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Allow participants to join before host Follow

Overview

The allow participants to join before host feature permits attendees to join the meeting before the host joins or when the host cannot attend the meeting. If you select this option, then the participants can join the meeting before the host joins or without the host. This can be enabled to allow participants to join anytime before the scheduled start time, or just 5, 10, or 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. 

If you do not select join before host, the participants will see a pop up dialog that says "The meeting is waiting for the host to join." If you are the host, there is a login button to login and start the meeting as the host.

You can also enable email notifications when participants join before host.

This article covers:

Prerequisites

  • Zoom account
  • Host permissions for the meeting
  • Custom Join Before Host time limit requires Zoom client version 5.4.0 or higher

Enabling join before host

To see the join before host option when scheduling meetings, you need to enable it in the web portal.

Account

If you turn on Join Before Host for all members on your organization, it will be on by default for any newly scheduled meetings, but members will be able to uncheck it when scheduling a meeting. To force this setting on for all meetings, you will need to lock the setting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit account settings.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings.
  3. In the Meeting tab, verify that Allow participants to join before host is enabled.If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
  4. (Optional) To allow custom Join Before Host time limits, check the Participants can join
    () minutes before start time option. 
  5. (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click Lock to confirm the setting.

Group

Note: If you signed up for a new Zoom account after August 21, 2021; or the New Admin Experience is enabled on your account, the Group Management page has been renamed to Groups.

If you turn on Join Before Host for all members of a specific group, it will be on by default for any newly scheduled meetings, but members will be able to uncheck it when scheduling a meeting. To force this setting on for all meetings, you will need to lock the setting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit user groups.
  2. Click User Management then Group Management.
  3. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.
  4. In the Meeting tab, verify that Join before host is enabled.
  5. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    Note: If the option is grayed out,  it has been locked at the Account level, and needs to be changed at that level.
  6. (Optional) To allow custom Join Before Host time limits, check the Participants can join
    () minutes before start time option. 
  7. (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in this group, click the lock icon, and then click Lock to confirm the setting.

User

If you turn on Join Before Host in your meeting settings, it will be on by default for any newly scheduled meetings, but you will be able to uncheck it when scheduling a meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Settings.
  3. In the Meeting tab, verify that Join before host is enabled.
  4. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    Note: If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at either the Group or Account level, and you will need to contact your Zoom administrator.
  5. (Optional) To allow custom Join Before Host time limits, check the Participants can join
    () minutes before start time option. 
  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click Schedule
    This will open the scheduler window where you can select your meeting settings.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Check . You can select 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or Anytime. 
  5. Click Schedule.
Notes:
  • You can also turn on before start time for any already scheduled meeting. Click Meetings at the bottom of the Zoom application. Hover over the meeting you want to turn it on for and click on Edit, then Advanced Options, check before start time, choose how long before you want to allow them to join, and click Save.
  • Custom join before limits cannot be used with your PMI and cannot be utilized when using End-to-end encryption
  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Meetings.
  3. Schedule a meeting, or select an existing meeting and click Edit this meeting.
  4. Under Meeting Options, check before start time and choose how long before you want to allow them to join. 
  5. Click Save.

    Note: 
    Custom join before limits cannot be used with your PMI and cannot be utilized when using End-to-end encryption
  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click on Schedule .
  3. This will open the scheduler window where you can select your meeting settings.
  4. Click Advanced Options.
  5. Check before start time and choose how long before you want to allow them to join. 
  6. Click Schedule.
Notes:
  • You can also turn on before start time for any already scheduled meeting. Click Meetings at the bottom of the Zoom application. Hover over the meeting you want to turn it on for and click on Edit, then Advanced Options, check before start time, choose how long before you want to allow them to join, and click Save.
  • Custom join before limits cannot be used with your PMI and cannot be utilized when using End-to-end encryption
  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap Schedule .
  3. Tap Advanced Options.
  4. Toggle Allow Participants to Join Before Host to on.
  5. Click Done to finish scheduling.
  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap Schedule
  3. Tap Advanced Options.
  4. Toggle Allow Participants to Join Before Host to on.
  5. Click Done.

Notes:

  • If the host does not join the meeting or is not logged in when joining, there are no host controls, such as recording, mute/unmute all, lock meeting or remove attendees.
  • Custom join before limits cannot be used with your PMI and cannot be utilized when using End-to-end encryption
  • When  before start time is enabled, the host can join the meeting without being logged in. If you are the host, but do not have host controls, such as recording, leave the meeting and login in the Zoom application. Start the meeting again from your Meetings list.
  • If one meeting is running and someone tries to start a second meeting with join before host on scheduled by the same host:
    • If started by a Zoom Room, the second meeting will start and close the first meeting without warning.
    • If started by the host, they will have the option to close the first meeting and start the second.
    • If started by a participant, they will receive a message that the host has another meeting in progress.
  • If Waiting Room is enabled in your meeting settings, Join Before Host will not work for your meetings, unless you have Waiting Room set to allow certain users to bypass. 
  • If you would like the meeting to be recorded without the host attending, you will need to turn on automatic cloud recording for the meeting.