Roles in a meeting

Last Updated:

There are multiple roles available for a meeting: host, co-host, alternative hosts, and participants. The role that you have in a meeting is designated by the host.

lightbulb tip icon
Set up, learn, and use Zoom Meetings. Get started with Zoom's virtual meeting platform using our onboarding support experience.
  • Host: The user that scheduled the meeting. They have full permissions to manage the meeting. There can only be one host of a meeting.
  • Co-hosts: Shares most of the controls that hosts have, allowing the co-host to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as managing attendees. The host must assign a co-host during the meeting. Co-hosts cannot start a meeting. If a host needs someone else to start the meeting, they can assign an alternative host.
  • Alternative hosts: Shares the same controls as co-hosts, but can also start the meeting. Hosts can assign alternative hosts when they schedule a meeting.

Note: If you need to schedule a meeting on behalf of another user, use scheduling privilege

This article covers:


The following table compares the meeting controls available to the host, co-hosts, alternative hosts, and participants. 

  • Features with an asterisk (*) can be disabled by the host.
  • Some features are dependent on certain prerequisites. If you do not see a feature, review the article to see if your account meets those prerequisites.
Feature Host Co-host / alternative

Participating in the meeting

Start the meeting see notes  
Mute/unmute themselves*
Start/stop their own video ✔*
View participants list
Share screen ✔*
Request or give remote control
Chat with participants (in-meeting chat)
Save in-meeting chat  
Create or edit polls
(see notes)
Start polling  
Answer polls    
Assign someone to enter closed captions    
Enter closed captions ✔* ✔*
Use call-out to join audio by phone
End meeting    
Reactions and nonverbal feedback
Reorder video    

Managing participants

Mute or unmute participants  
Stop participant's video  
Ask participant to start video  
Spotlight a video  
Promote participant to host or co-host    
Change who attendees can chat with  
Remove attendees  
Put participants on hold  
Rename participants  
Invite others to join
Mute controls for participants (ask to mute, mute all, mute on entry)  
Assign participants to breakout rooms  


Start cloud recording  
Start local recording ✔*
Allow or forbid a participant to start local recording  

Live streaming

Live stream on Facebook (see notes)  
Live stream on Workplace   (see notes)  
Live stream on YouTube   (see notes)  
Custom live stream   (see notes)  



  • Alternative hosts can start the meeting by using the meeting ID or meeting link from the invitation email. The meeting will not display in the upcoming meetings list in the desktop client or mobile app for alternative hosts.
  • Co-hosts cannot start meetings scheduled by the host. Co-hosts cannot be assigned ahead of time. The host has to promote a participant to co-host. Alternatively, the host can assign a user as an alternative host.
  • Currently, hosts and co-hosts cannot start cloud recording and local recording simultaneously. Once the host or co-host begins cloud recording, local recording cannot be started. Additionally, the host and co-host cannot control both cloud and local recording separately.
    • If you start local recording then cloud recording afterward, both the cloud recording and local recording will stop whenever the host or co-host stops recording. You cannot stop the local recording without stopping the cloud recording.
  • Alternative hosts can't add or edit polls unless you click the setting for allow alternative hosts to add or edit polls.
  • Alternative hosts can start live streams, if they are currently the host in the meeting. If the host joins and they are demoted to the co-host role, they will be unable to initiate live streams. 

Zoom Community

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