Using Webinar practice session

Last Updated:

A webinar practice session allows you to set up and get acquainted with webinar controls before starting your webinar. The practice session is accessible by the host, alternative host, and any panelist.

To enter the practice session, the host, alternative host, and panelist need to simply join the webinar before the host begins broadcasting the webinar live to attendees, as the webinar will begin in the practice session when started. The host or co-host can start broadcasting when everyone is ready.


  • You can use the practice session days before the actual webinar. You can start the practice session, broadcast, and end the event hours or days ahead of the scheduled date, without impacting your ability to start the webinar at the actual start date/time.
  • Panelists joining the webinar practice session must use the unique panelists join link sent to them by the host, or be signed-in to their Zoom account on the desktop or mobile app with the email matching the panelist assignment. If not signed-in or signed-in with a different Zoom account, they will be directed to join as an attendee and will not be able to join the practice session. 
  • Even if you have automatic recording enabled, it will not start for a webinar practice session.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for webinar practice session

  • Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise account with Zoom Webinars add-on
  • Zoom desktop client
    • Windows: version 5.8.6 or higher
    • macOS: version 5.8.6  or higher
    • Linux: version 5.8.6 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • Android: version 5.8.6 or higher
    • iOS: version 5.8.6 or higher

How to enable a webinar practice session

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  3. Schedule a webinar, or click the title of a webinar that's already scheduled.
  4. Click Edit this Webinar. 
  5. In the Webinar Options section, click the Enable Practice Session check box.

How to start a webinar practice session

Attendees will not be able to join the practice session, only the host, alternative host, or panelists. There can only be one active practice session for each webinar. For example, if the host starts a practice session and then an alternative host starts one, they will be in the same practice session.

Desktop client

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. In the Home or Meetings tab, start the webinar.
    The host, alternative host, and panelists will see a banner at the top of Zoom window that lets them know they are in practice mode. 

Web portal

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  3. Click a webinar with a practice session.
  4. Click Start Practice Session.

How to start a webinar from within a practice session

  1. Start a webinar practice session.
  2. In the top banner, click Start Webinar.
  3. Click Start to begin the webinar and allow attendees to join the webinar. 
    The host and other panelists will see a banner at the top of the Zoom window that lets them know the webinar is now live. 

Note: This will not change the original start time that you set when scheduling the webinar. We recommend coordinating with panelists when you wish to join the practice session ahead of the scheduled start time so that the practice session does not go into the scheduled start time. 

Zoom Community

Join the 250K+ other members in the Zoom Community! Login with your Zoom account credentials and start collaborating.