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How to use Zoom Chat Follow

Zoom Chat allows free and paid users to streamline communications between team members and external Zoom users. With Zoom Chat, you can:

  • Quickly find contacts, messages, and files, keeping knowledge and information at your fingertips.
  • Organize what’s most important by using starred chats and customized notifications to help you cut out the noise.
  • Communicate in public or private channels organized by projects, teams, or topics. Share files, emojis, screenshots, and more.

This article covers:

Getting started

Accessing chat

Follow these steps to view a list of your chats:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab. 

Zoom will list the following types of chat. Click on an existing chat to continue your conversation:

  • 1-on-1 chats: Private, direct chat between you and another Zoom user.
  • Group chats: Chats with two or more Zoom users.
  • Channels: Chats for a specific project, team, or topic, which are given a name. Public channels are open for anyone to join, while private channels have invite-only membership.

Starting a new chat

To begin messaging other Zoom users, you can easily start any of the chat types we previously mentioned:

1-on-1 or group chat

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab. 
  3. At the top of the chat panel, click the New Chat button
  4. Enter a name or email address of the Zoom contact you wish to chat with. Add additional names or email addresses as needed.
  5. Enter your message, then press Enter to send it.

Joining a public channel

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. In the chat list next to CHANNELS, click the add button .
  4. Click Join a Channel.
  5. Use the search bar to find a channel, then hover over the channel name and click Join.

Learn more about joining, creating, and using channels.

Adding or inviting an external contact

You can chat with anyone in your contacts directory. If you’re part of an organization that uses Zoom, everyone in your organization is typically included in your contacts directory.

Follow these steps to add external Zoom users to your contacts so you can chat with them. You can also follow these steps to invite someone to Zoom so you can chat with them.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Contacts  tab.
  3. Click the add button .
  4. Click Invite a Zoom Contact.
  5. Enter one email address at a time.
  6. Click Invite.
    • If the person has a Zoom account, they’ll receive a contact request within their Zoom Chat client. Once they accept the request, you can start chatting with them.
    • If the person doesn’t have a Zoom account, they’ll receive an invite email. Once they sign up for Zoom, they’ll be added to your contacts directory so you can chat with them.

Learn more about managing your contacts.

Setting presence status

Your presence status is the small icon that appears before your name in the Chat and Contacts tabs and in the top-right corner of your profile picture. This gives a quick indication to other users whether you are available or unavailable to chat.

To set your presence status:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture or icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Select a presence status.

Learn more about the different presence status icons and what they indicate.

Note: Rather than using presence status, consider changing your display name to indicate that you’re out of office. For example, you can enter (OOO until 5/3) after your display name.

Mentioning users

You can mention users in a chat message to notify them of your message. This is useful to notify a specific person when messaging a group chat or channel.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Click a group chat or channel in the chat list.
  4. Enter the @ symbol followed by the person’s display name to search through users. Zoom will display users in a drop-down menu.
  5. Click the name of the person you want to mention.
    Tip: Press Backspace on your keyboard to remove the person’s last name from the mention. The mention will still notify the user.
  6. Enter your message, then press Enter to send it.

Notes:

  • You can also use @all to mention all users in a channel or group chat. Use this sparingly as it will notify all users in a channel or group chat.
  • To mention a specific user, that use must be a member of that chat channel already.

Learn more about using mentions and other chat commands.

Organizing your chats and driving productivity

Starring chats

You can star chats to move them higher in your chats list to the STARRED section. This allows you to easily access contacts, groups, or channels you frequently chat with.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Hover over a group chat or channel in the chat list, then click the down arrow .
  4. Click Star this Channel.
    The chat will appear under STARRED in your chat list. Chats in the STARRED section are always ordered alphabetically.

Note: You can also click a group chat or channel in the chat list, then click the star button  to the left of the group chat or channel name.

Learn more about managing chat messages, including bookmarking and following messages.

Changing notification settings for all chats

You can customize how you’re notified of unread messages and whether you receive push notifications for new messages. Follow these steps for basic settings to get you started:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner, then click Settings.
  3. Click the Chat  section.

  4. Change these settings:
    • Unread Messages
      • Keep all unread messages on top: Keep chats with unread messages to the top of your chats list. Check this option if you want to bring more attention to chats with unread messages. This setting only applies to chats under the RECENT section.
      • Show unread message badge for channels: Display an icon with the number of unread messages beside each chat. If this is unchecked, you will see a simple red dot to indicate unread messages.
      • Move messages with new replies to the bottom of the chat: Messages that have received additional replies since you last checked are moved to the bottom of the chat. 
    • Push Notifications: Select when you want to receive push notifications. Push notifications are displayed using your device’s push notification system.
      • All messages
      • Only private messages and mentions: Show notifications for private 1-on-1 chats and any time someone mentions your name in a group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing
        Note
        : You can also set exceptions for specific channels. 

Learn more about other chat notification settings.

Changing notification settings for a group chat and channel

You can also change notification settings for specific group chats and channels. Follow these steps for basic settings to get you started:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Click a group chat or channel in the chat list.
  4. Click the down arrow .
  5. Hover over Notifications and change these settings:
    • UNREAD MESSAGE COUNT
      • Show unread message count (): Display an icon with the number of unread messages beside each chat. If this is unchecked, you will see a simple red dot to indicate unread messages.
    • PUSH NOTIFICATIONS: Select when you want to receive push notifications. Push notifications are displayed using your device’s push notification system.
      • All messages
      • Mention me or all members: Show notifications for private 1-on-1 chats and any time someone mentions your name in a group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing

Learn more about chat notification settings.

Turning off all notifications for a group chat or channel

You can mute a group chat or channel to turn off the unread message badge, unread message indicator (red dot), and push notifications.

Note: You will still receive notifications for @(your name) mentions.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Click a group chat or channel in the chat list.
  4. Click the down arrow .
  5. Click Mute Chat or Mute Channel.

Learn more about chat notification settings.

Searching chats globally or for a specific chat

You can enter keywords to search all chats or a specific chat.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Search bar in the top-left corner.
  3. Enter keywords to search for.
    By default, Zoom will search in all chats, channels, messages, and contacts. The following filters are available to narrow your search: 
    • Top Results: Provides the best results of all options based on your search. 
    • Contacts: Provides contacts or multi-user group chats that match your search. 
    • Channels: Provides channels that match your search. 
    • Messages: Provides messages that match your search. Also has the following additional filters: 
      • Ordered by: Choose to sort search results that are Most Relevant or Most Recent
      • Search in: Choose to search all chats or in a specific chat channel.
      • From: Choose to search for chats sent by a specific user or Anyone
      • @me: Check this option to filter messages that contain @ mentions of you. 
      • Only Search in <> channel: Narrows the search to the channel you currently have open. 
    • Files: Provides files that match your search. Also has the following additional filters: 
      • Ordered by: Choose to sort search results that are Most Relevant or Most Recent
      • Search in: Choose to search all chats or in a specific chat channel.
      • From: Choose to search for files sent by a specific user or Anyone
      • Type: Check this option to filter files are a specific file type, such as image, video, etc. 
      • Time: Choose to search for files sent today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, or a custom time range. 
      • Only Search in <> channel: Narrows the file search to the channel you currently have open. 

Using your personal chat space

You can access a personal chat space where you can write messages, take screenshots, and save files that are only visible to you.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. In the STARRED section, click your name.
  4. Enter your notes, then press Enter.

Learn more about your personal chat space.

Pinning a message

Any member of a chat group or channel can pin a message to bring more attention to it. The pinned message appears at the top of the chat window with a pin icon. Only one message can be pinned at a time.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Click a group chat or channel in the chat list.
  4. Hover over the message you want to pin, then click the ellipses button .
  5. Click Pin for Everyone.

Learn more about managing chat messages.

Advanced features

After learning the basics of chat, use these features to get the most out of chat. For example, you can edit sent messages, format messages, and send other items in chat, such as images, emojis, and code snippets.

Editing a sent message

You can edit a message after sending it.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Select a chat.
  4. Hover over the message you want to reply to and click the ellipses button
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Adjust your message, then press Enter or click Save.

Learn more about managing your chat messages.

Formatting a message

You can apply basic formatting to your messages, like bold and italics.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Select a chat.
  4. Enter your message.
  5. Highlight the portion that you want to format.
    Zoom will display these formatting options.
  6. Click a button to format text.

Learn more about managing your chat messages.

Sending a file, screenshot, emoji, animated GIF, or code snippet

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Select a chat.
  4. Click on these buttons above the chat box:
    • Screenshot: Minimize the Zoom window and capture a portion of your screen by clicking and dragging the capture box.
    • File: Display options to attach a file to the message. Click Your Computer or any third party file services to send a file on Zoom Chat.
      Note: If sending a video file, recipients will be able play the video directly in the chat window. 
    • Audio Message: Start recording an audio message to attach to your message.
    • Code: Display a code snippet box where you can paste lines of code.
    • Emoji button: Display a list of emojis. Click an emoji to add it to your message.
      • Click GIF to add an animated GIF to your message.
      • Click the heart button to view your saved emoji.

        Click Edit then Upload Emojis to add a custom emoji.

Learn more about sending a file, screenshot, emoji, or code snippet, sending files using a file sharing integration, and sending a video in Zoom chat

Following a message

Follow a message to receive push notifications for all replies to that message.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Hover over the message you want to follow.
  4. Click the ellipses button .
  5. Click Follow Message.

Learn more about managing your chat messages.

Sharing a sent message

Share a sent message to easily copy and paste it to another chat.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Hover over the message you want to share.
  4. Click the ellipses button .
  5. Click Share Message.
  6. Select the chat you want to share the message with.

Learn more about managing your chat messages.

Setting a notification when a user is available

If a user’s presence status is not set to Available, you can let Zoom notify you when that user is available.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Hover over a 1-on-1 chat.
  4. Click the down arrow.
  5. Click Notify Me When Available.
    Zoom will display a push notification when the user’s presence status is set to Available.

Learn more about the different presence status icons and what they indicate.

Inviting chat members to a meeting

You can easily start a meeting from any chat, including all members in a group chat or channel to a meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Select a chat.
  4. Click the video button  in the top-left corner.
  5. (Optional) Click the down arrow button next to the video button, to decide if you want to meet with video or not. This is simply the default for the meeting and participants can enable their videos after joining. 
  6. Click Yes to confirm to inviting all members of the chat group or channel to a meeting. 

Blocking contacts

Block a contact to prevent receiving messages from them. This will also prevent you from sending messages to them, or inviting them to a meeting from chat.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Hover over a 1-on-1 chat.
  4. Click the down arrow .
  5. Click Block Contact.

Accessing and installing chatbots

Third-party services can develop chatbots that are integrated in Zoom Chat. For example, you can install the Twitter chatbot to tweet, get retweets, and search for tweets from the Twitter chatbot in Zoom chat.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Chat  tab.
  3. Scroll down to the APPS section.
  4. Click a chatbot to interact with it.
    Note: Some chatbots may have been deployed by your admin.
  5. Click the add button  to open the Zoom Marketplace where you can install chatbots.

To learn more about a specific chatbot, visit the Zoom Marketplace.