Getting started with Zoom Team Chat

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Zoom Team Chat allows free and paid users to streamline communications between team members and external Zoom users. With Zoom Team 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, folders, and customized notifications to help you filter out the noise.
  • Send text, audio, and video messages, as well as share files, emojis, screenshots, and more.

Prerequisites for using Zoom Team Chat

Note: Zoom Team Chat is enabled by default, but admins can disable it for the account or certain groups of users.

Understanding 1:1 chats, group chats, and channels

You can send chat messages to 3 different recipient groups: a single contact directly, a group of contacts, or an established chat channel with multiple contacts.

One-on-one chats

1:1 chats with other Zoom contacts are the quickest and easiest way to message someone outside of a Zoom Meeting. These conversations will remain available and searchable, even if the other contact is deactivated or deleted.

Group chats

Group chats are similar to 1:1 chats, but with multiple contacts involved in the conversation. If you add a contact to a 1:1 chat, a separate group chat will be created, so that the private 1:1 conversation is preserved and kept private to those involved. Group chats are great for quick team discussions about short-term issues or decisions. Additional members can be added by current members, but the discussion cannot be searched for and joined by outside users. Since group chats do not require a dedicated name, as a chat channel would, these are searchable by the names of members involved.

Chat channels

Chat channels are best suited for long-term projects or teams, as they are created with a name, a channel admin, and can be private or public.

  • Private channels cannot be searched for and found by users not already a member of the channel, and current members must add additional members to give them access.
  • Public channels are searchable and joinable by all members of an account, and do not need any special invitation to join.

Channels are also great for announcements.You can designate specific members to have the ability to post, while everyone else can only view and react to messages.

How to start a new 1:1 or group chat

To begin messaging with one or more Zoom users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab  .
  3. At the top of the chat panel, click the new chat icon .
  4. Enter the 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 the Enter key or click the send icon  in the lower-right corner of the chat compose box.

How to join a public channel

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. At the top of the chat panel, click the down arrow icon  next to Chat.
  4. Click Join a Channel.
  5. Use the search bar to find a channel.
  6. (Optional) While hovering the cursor over the channel details, click Preview to see the channel description, members, and recent messages.
  7. While hovering the cursor over the channel details, click Join.
    You will join the channel and can begin messaging those members.

Learn more about joining, creating, and using channels.

How to view your recent history of chats, groups, and channels

When messaging between multiple contacts, chat groups, and channels, it can be difficult to quickly find and return to a previous chat. You can view the 10 previous chat contacts, groups, and channels that you accessed, and jump back to those with a click.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. Next to the Search bar, click the chat history icon .
    The 10 previous chat contacts, groups, and channels you've viewed will be listed.
  4. Click on a listing to return to that chat.

How to add an external contact

If you’re part of an organization that uses Zoom, everyone in your organization is typically included in your contacts directory automatically, allowing you to begin chatting with anyone in your contacts directory. If you need to chat with someone outside of your organization, you will need to manually add them as a Zoom contact.

Follow these steps to add external Zoom users to your contacts. You can do this even if the other contact does not yet have a Zoom account.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Contacts tab .
  3. Click the add icon .
  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 Zoom Team Chat. After 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 to create a Zoom account so they can connect with you. Once they sign up for Zoom, they should click on the link in the email again to confirm the connection.

Learn more about managing your contacts.

How to adjust notifications for chats

You can adjust chat notifications for all chat and channels at once, as well as at the individual chat level. This allows you to prioritize chats and channels that need your immediate attention when there is an update, while setting defaults for new channels you are added to.

Adjust default 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 Team Chat tab .
  4. Adjust the following settings to manage your notifications:
    • Unread Messages
      • Keep all unread messages on top in chat and channel lists: Keep chats with unread messages to the top of your chats list. Select this option if you want to bring more attention to chats with unread messages. This setting only applies to chats under the Recents section.
      • Show unread message badge for channels: Display an icon with the number of unread messages beside each chat. If this is not selected, you will see a 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.
      • When viewing unread messages in a channel:
        • Start at the first unread: Choose this option if you want to go directly to the first unread message in the channel.
        • Start at the latest: Choose this option if you want to go to the most recent unread message in the channel.
    • 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 or mentions: Show notifications for private 1:1 chats and any time someone mentions your name in a group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing: By default, no Zoom Team Chat messages will be displayed through push notifications.
        Note: You can also set exceptions for specific channels or keywords.

Learn more about other available chat notification settings.

Adjust notification settings for specific group chats and channels

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

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. Hover your cursor on the chat channel or group chat and click the down arrow icon .
  4. Hover over the Notifications section 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 not selected, you will see a 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 any time someone mentions your name or tags everyone in the group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing
        Note: Adjusting the notification setting for an individual chat channel or group chat will create an exception to the default notification settings for Zoom Team Chat. 

How to search for contacts, group chats, channels, or specific messages

You can enter keywords to search all chats or a specific chat group or channel. When searching, up to 10 of your most recent searches will be shown for quick access to resume an earlier search.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. In the top-left corner, click the search bar. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Command(⌘)+F (macOS) or Ctrl + F (Windows and Linux) to quickly jump to the search box. 
    Up to 10 of your most recent searches will be shown.
  4. (Optional) Click on one of your previous searches to perform that search again.
  5. 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.
      • Type: Filter by chat messages or SMS messages (requires Zoom Phone)
      • 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: Click this option to filter messages that contain @ mentions of you.
      • Only Search in <> channel check box: 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: Click this option to filter results for a specific file type, such as image, video, or presentation.
      • Time: Choose to search for files sent today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, or a custom time range.
      • Only Search in <> channel check box: Narrows the file search to the channel you currently have open.
  6. (Optional) Based on what you’re searching for, you can hover over the search result to view more information or take quick action. For example, when searching for messages, you can hover over a message and click View Context to expand the message or Jump to go directly to that message’s location.

Note: The search results for contacts and channels include a badge, noting how many unread messages you have for each listing.

How to send files, video or voice messages, screenshots, emoji, animated GIFs, or code snippets

In addition to regular chats, you can use the chat compose box to send additional types of messages or files to enhance your Zoom Team Chat experience. Some options listed below may not be available, depending on your personal settings in the desktop client or any admin settings at the account or group level.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. Select a chat.
  4. In the chat compose box, click one of the following options:
    • Screenshot : Minimize the Zoom window and capture a portion of your screen by clicking and dragging the capture box. Once you take the screenshot, you can add arrows, shapes, and text to the image.
      Note: Click the down arrow icon  next to Screenshot to choose if you want to hide the Zoom Team Chat window in the screenshot.
    • File : Display options to attach a file to the message. Click Your Computer or any 3rd-party file services to send a file on Zoom Team Chat.
      Note: If sending a video file, recipients will be able play the video directly in the chat window.
    • Voice Message : Start recording an audio message to attach to your message.
    • Video Message : Start recording a video message to attach to your message.
    • Emoji : 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 icon  to view your favorite GIFs.

How to invite chat members to a meeting

You can easily start a meeting from any chat conversation, which will automatically invite all members in a group chat or channel to a meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Team Chat tab .
  3. Select a chat.
  4. In the top-left corner of the chat window, click the video icon .
  5. (Optional) Click the down arrow icon  next to the video icon 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 inviting all members of the chat group or channel to a meeting.

How to start a new 1:1 or group chat

To begin messaging with one or more Zoom users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Team Chat tab .
  3. At the top of the chat panel, click the new chat icon .
  4. Enter the 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. 
  6. In the lower-right corner of the chat compose box, tap the send icon .

How to join a public channel

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Contacts tab .
  3. At the top of the chat panel, tap the plus icon , and tap Join a Channel.
  4. Use the search bar to find a channel.
  5. Tap a channel to view more information about the channel.
  6. Tap Join Chanel.
    You will join the channel and can begin messaging those members.

Learn more about joining, creating, and using channels.

How to add an external contact

If you’re part of an organization that uses Zoom, everyone in your organization is typically included in your contacts directory automatically, allowing you to begin chatting with anyone in your contacts directory. If you need to chat with someone outside of your organization, you will need to manually add them as a Zoom contact.

Follow these steps to add external Zoom users to your contacts. You can do this even if the other contact does not yet have a Zoom account.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click the Contacts tab .
  3. Click the add icon .
  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 Zoom Team Chat. After 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 to create a Zoom account so they can connect with you. Once they sign up for Zoom, they should click on the link in the email again to confirm the connection.

Learn more about managing your contacts.

How to adjust notifications for chats

You can adjust chat notifications for all chat and channels at once, as well as at the individual chat level. This allows you to prioritize chats and channels that need your immediate attention when there is an update, while setting defaults for new channels you are added to.

Adjust default 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 mobile app.
  2. Tap the More tab .
  3. Click the Team Chat tab .
  4. Adjust the following settings to manage your notifications:
    • Receive notifications for: Select when you want to receive push notifications. Push notifications are displayed using your device’s push notification system.
      • All messages
      • Only private messages or mentions: Show notifications for private 1:1 chats and any time someone mentions your name in a group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing: By default, no Zoom Team Chat messages will be displayed through push notifications.
        Note: You can also set exceptions for specific channels or keywords.
    • Unread Messages
      • Keep all unread messages on top in chat and channel lists: Keep chats with unread messages to the top of your chats list. Select this option if you want to bring more attention to chats with unread messages. This setting only applies to chats under the Recents section.
      • Show unread message badge for channels: Display an icon with the number of unread messages beside each chat. If this is not selected, you will see a 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.
    • When viewing unread messages in a channel:
      • Start at the first unread: Choose this option if you want to go directly to the first unread message in the channel.
      • Start at the latest: Choose this option if you want to go to the most recent unread message in the channel.

Learn more about other available chat notification settings.

Adjust notification settings for specific group chats and channels

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

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Team Chat tab .
  3. Tap the chat channel or group chat.
  4. In the top-right corner, tap the information icon .
  5. Adjust the following settings:
    • Show unread message count (): Display an icon with the number of unread messages beside each chat. If this is not selected, you will see a red dot to indicate unread messages.
    • 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 any time someone mentions your name or tags everyone in the group chat or channel using the @ symbol.
      • Nothing
        Note: Adjusting the notification setting for an individual chat channel or group chat will create an exception to the default notification settings for Zoom Team Chat.

How to search for group chats, channels, or specific messages

You can enter keywords to search all chats or a specific chat group or channel. When searching, up to 10 of your most recent searches will be shown for quick access to resume an earlier search.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Team Chat tab .
  3. Tap the search bar.
  4. (Optional) Click on one of your previous searches to perform that search again.
  5. 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:
    • All: 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.
      • Type: Filter by chat messages or SMS messages (requires Zoom Phone)
      • 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: Click this option to filter messages that contain @ mentions of you.
      • Only Search in <> channel check box: 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: Click this option to filter results for a specific file type, such as image, video, or presentation.
      • Time: Choose to search for files sent today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, or a custom time range.
      • Only Search in <> channel check box: Narrows the file search to the channel you currently have open.
  6. (Optional) Based on what you’re searching for, you can hover over the search result to view more information or take quick action. For example, when searching for messages, you can hover over a message and click View Context to expand the message or Jump to go directly to that message’s location.

Note: The search results for contacts and channels include a badge, noting how many unread messages you have for each listing.

How to send files, video or voice messages, screenshots, emoji, animated GIFs, or code snippets

In addition to regular chats, you can use the chat compose box to send additional types of messages or files to enhance your Zoom Team Chat experience. Some options listed below may not be available, depending on your personal settings in the desktop client or any admin settings at the account or group level.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Team Chat tab .
  3. Select a chat, group chat, or channel.
  4. To the right of the chat compose box, tap the mic icon to start recording an audio message.
  5. In the chat compose box, tap the smiley icon .
    • Click GIF to add an animated GIF to your message.
    • Click the heart icon  to view your favorite GIFs.
  6. To the left of the chat compose box, tap the plus icon  and choose from the following options:
    • Send a File : Display options to attach a file to the message. Click Your Computer or any 3rd-party file services to send a file on Zoom Team Chat.
      Note: If sending a video file, recipients will be able play the video directly in the chat window.
    • Video Message : Start recording a video message to attach to your message.

How to invite chat members to a meeting

You can easily start a meeting from any chat conversation, which will automatically invite all members in a group chat or channel to a meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom mobile app.
  2. Tap the Team Chat tab .
  3. Select a chat, group chat, or chat channel.
  4. To the left of the chat compose box, tap the plus icon .
  5. Tap Video Meet .
  6. Click Yes to confirm inviting all members of the chat group or channel to a meeting.

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