Enabling webinar chat

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The webinar chat feature allows webinar attendees to chat with others while in a webinar. As the host, you can control who panelists and attendees are allowed to chat with or disable the chat feature for all attendees. 

Account owners and admins can enable or disable webinar chat for all users in the account or for specific groups in the account. Disabling webinar chat prevents the host, co-hosts, panelists, and participants from chatting in any webinars. The Chat option will no longer appear in the webinar controls.

This article covers: 

Prerequisites for enabling or disabling in-webinar chat

  • Host privileges in a webinar
  • Zoom desktop client for Windows or macOS, version 4.x for host to control chat access
  • Zoom mobile app for iOS or Android, version 4.x for host to control chat access

Notes:

  • Disabling webinar chat entirely requires version 5.6.0 or later. Users who join webinars on older versions will still be able to chat with others.
  • Some webinar chat features require client version 5.7.3 or higher. Hosts, panelists, and attendees using older versions will be asked to update before joining a webinar that has settings that require the latest version.

How to enable or disable in-webinar chat

Account

To enable or disable Webinar chat for all users in the account:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an admin with the privilege to edit account settings.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings.
  3. Click the Meeting tab.
  4. Under In Meeting (Basic), click the Webinar chat toggle to enable or disable it.
  5. If a verification dialog appears, click Enable or Disable to verify the change.
  6. In the Panelists can chat with drop-down, choose if they can chat with Hosts and all panelists or Everyone (including attendees).
  7. In the Attendees can chat with drop-down, choose if they can chat with No one, Hosts and panelists, or Everyone (including other attendees).
  8. (Optional) Select the Allow panelists to send direct message to other panelists check box to enable the ability for panelists to privately chat with each other.
  9. (Optional) Select the Allow users to save chats from the webinar check box to enable the ability to save the chat transcript, then select which users can save the chats:
    • Host and co-hosts: Only the host and co-hosts can save the chat transcript. This option requires client version 5.7.3 or later.
    • Hosts and all panelists: The host, co-hosts, and panelists can save the chat transcript.
    • Only users in your account: Prevents any external attendees from saving meeting chats. This option requires client version 5.11.3 or later.
  10. (Optional) Select the Automatically save chat messages to a local file on the host's computer when the webinar ends.
  11. Click Save.
  12. (Optional) To prevent all users in your account from changing this setting, click the lock icon , and then click Lock to confirm the setting.

Group

To enable or disable Webinar chat for a group of users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an admin with the privilege to edit groups.
  2. In the navigation menu, click User Management then Groups.
  3. Click the applicable group name from the list.
  4. Click the Meeting tab.
  5. Under In Meeting (Basic), click the Webinar chat toggle to enable or disable it.
    Note: If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at the account level and needs to be changed at that level.
  6. If a verification dialog appears, click Enable or Disable to verify the change.
  7. In the Panelists can chat with drop-down, choose if they can chat with Hosts and all panelists or Everyone (including attendees).
  8. In the Attendees can chat with drop-down, choose if they can chat with No one, Hosts and panelists, or Everyone (including other attendees).
  9. (Optional) Select the Allow panelists to send direct message to other panelists check box to enable the ability for panelists to privately chat with each other.
  10. (Optional) Select the Allow users to save chats from the webinar check box to enable the ability to save the chat transcript, then select which users can save the chats:
    • Host and co-hosts: Only the host and co-hosts can save the chat transcript. This option requires client version 5.7.3 or later.
    • Hosts and all panelists: The host, co-hosts, and panelists can save the chat transcript.
    • Only users in your account: Prevents any external attendees from saving meeting chats. This option requires client version 5.11.3 or later.
  11. (Optional) Select the Automatically save chat messages to a local file on the host's computer when the webinar ends.
  12. Click Save.
  13. (Optional) To prevent all users in the group from changing this setting, click the lock icon , and then click Lock to confirm the setting.

How to control chat access during a webinar

Depending on account or group settings, webinar hosts can control who panelists and attendees can chat with during the webinar. 

  1. Start a webinar as the host. 
  2. In the webinar controls toolbar, click Chat.
  3. Towards the bottom of the in-meeting Chat window, click more-button (More).
  4. Choose an option for Panelists Can Chat With:
    • Hosts and panelists: Panelists can only chat with hosts and other panelists. They can't chat with attendees.
    • Everyone: Panelists can chat with everyone in the webinar, including attendees.
  5. Choose an option for Attendees Can Chat With:
    • No one: Attendees can't chat with anyone. 
    • Hosts and panelists: Attendees can only chat with hosts and panelists.
    • Everyone: Attendees can chat with everyone in the webinar, including other attendees publicly.
      Note: Webinar attendees can't privately message other attendees.

Learn more about using in-webinar chat.

How to prevent users from sharing unwanted messages

Account owners and admins can use the Chat Etiquette Tool to create policies that identify defined keywords and regular expressions to help prevent users from inadvertently sharing unwanted messages while chatting in meetings, webinars, and/or Zoom Chat. When a user sends a message that triggers a policy, the message will be blocked or a warning prompt will be displayed for the user to confirm that they want to send the message, depending on what the admin set. Learn more about managing Chat Etiquette policies as a way to secure Zoom for your users.

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