How to Create a Free Zoom Account + What Your Free Account Includes

Laptop with Zoom sign up screen

You will need to download and install the Zoom client for the device you’re using in order to attend meetings. You will also need to create a Zoom account if you want to start, schedule, and invite others to meetings. However, you don’t need a Zoom account to join another person’s meeting.

This article will cover how to sign up for a Zoom account for free, so you can get a richer Zoom experience.

What is covered in this article

Let’s get right to it! Below are instructions on how to create a free Zoom account. After that, we’ll cover common problems with signing in, as well as how to upgrade your account.

 

How to create an account on Zoom using your email address

Creating an account signs you up for a Basic Zoom Meetings plan, which is completely free to create and operate. With this, you’ll get the basic version of Zoom, with core features and functionality.

  1. From your web browser, go to Zoom.us. Then click Sign Up, It’s Free in the top right corner.

    Website with Sign Up, It’s Free

  2. You will be asked to provide your date of birth. Click the drop-down menus labeled “Month,” “Day,” and “Year,” and select the information relevant to you. Then click Continue.

    Sign up birthday confirmation screen

  3. Type your email address into the box labeled “Your Work Email Address” (click this box to select it if you need to) and then click Sign Up.
    Sign up enter email

  4. Check your email inbox for the email address you entered, and you should have an email from Zoom (no-reply@zoom.us).

    “Sign up activate account email

    PRO TIP

    If you don’t receive the email within 2-5 minutes, check your spam filter, or click Resend Another Email back in the sign-up window.

    Once you find that email, open it and click the big blue Activate Account button. There’s also a big, long, fancy URL below it that you can click — or copy and paste into your browser’s address bar — if this doesn’t work.

  1. You may be asked if you are signing up on behalf of certain types of organizations, such as a school. Make your choice using the provided circle buttons, and then click Continue.

    Sign up on behalf of school question

    IMPORTANT

    If you are signing up on behalf of a specialized industry, signing up may come with other instructions and/or additional privileges, such as an exemption to the 40-minute time limit on group calls for elementary and secondary schools using Basic accounts.

  1. Next, you’ll be asked to set up your account’s basic parameters. Click in each of the boxes provided and type in, respectively: your first name, your last name, a password for your account, and a copy of that password.

    Input account information

    IMPORTANT

    Pay attention to the rules for what a password can and can’t include. Not only are they good general practices for creating passwords, but you won’t be able to continue if you don’t follow them!

  1. You’ll be asked if you want to invite your friends to create their own Zoom accounts. If you do, click in the provided boxes and type in their email addresses. Click Add Another Email if you want to invite more people.

    Sign up invite friends screen

    If you choose to send out invitations, you will have to pass a security check so Zoom knows you aren’t an automated program sending out unsolicited emails. Begin by clicking the box that says “I’m Not A Robot.” You may be asked to solve a simple puzzle; if you are, just follow the instructions. Either way, a green checkmark should appear when you’re done. Then click Invite.

    If you don’t want to invite anyone else to Zoom right now, just click Skip This Step.

  2. The next screen will show you the URL for your personal meeting room (blotted out in the screenshot below for privacy reasons). You can either click on it, or on the Start Meeting Now button to launch a test Zoom meeting in your personal meeting room. Or click Go To My Account to view your account settings. Either way, your account is now ready!

    Start a test meeting screen with personal meeting URL

How to join someone else’s Zoom account

If another person in your organization invites you to Zoom, you’ll receive an email similar to the one in step 4 above (again, it should be from “no-reply@zoom.us,” Zoom’s official email address). Click Activate Account; if that doesn’t work, copy and paste the long, complicated URL below it into your browser’s address bar and press the Enter/Return key. 

From there, the rest of the process is pretty similar, though there may be some differences (e.g. you may not have to do step 5).

 

Zoom sign up not working? Here’s what to do

If you run into problems while signing up for Zoom, you may benefit from the solutions below. These are some common problems that people encounter when signing up.

  • Activation email not received – Typically, activation emails will be sent within seconds, and received well within a minute. However, they can take up to 30 minutes. Check your spam and request another email to be sent if one is not received.
  • Age restrictions – To create a Zoom account, you need to be 16 years old. There are exceptions for education level accounts, so ensure you sign up properly to be able to create an account. 

 

Do you need an account to use Zoom?

A Zoom account is not required to join a meeting that is being hosted by another person. To host and schedule meetings, you will need to create an account. You can join a meeting without an account through the Zoom app or browser client. You will be required to enter a name and verify that you are a person.

It’s important to note that someone has to host a meeting, so a meeting cannot consist of all guests; at least one person will need to have a Zoom account to run the meeting. A Zoom account can be created for free, which lets you create, host, and schedule your own meetings. It will also let you create a profile so you will not need to enter your name every time you join a meeting.

 

How to upgrade your Zoom account from Basic to Pro

If you’ve signed up for a free Zoom account, you are automatically subscribed to a “Basic Zoom Meeting” plan. With this level of account you get access to:

  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Have unlimited 1-on-1 meetings
  • 40 minute limit on group meetings (i.e. more than 2 participants)

You also get access to basic video conferencing, web conferencing, and group collaboration features. For more information on what is included in each plan, compare the available Zoom subscription plans.

Upgrading your Zoom account from a free account will remove the 40 minute limit on group meetings, grant access to a custom personal meeting ID, authorize someone to schedule Zoom meetings on your behalf, give access to cloud storage, and more.

Follow the steps below to upgrade your Zoom account from a Basic plan to a Pro plan.

  1. Click the Settings button (the gear symbol) in the top right corner.

    Desktop client with settings button

 

  1. From the settings menu, tap Profile along the left side.

Settings screen with Profile tab

 

  1. Click Upgrade to Pro. This will open a link in your browser. You will need to complete the rest of the process in your browser.

    Settings tab with Profile tab selected, and Upgrade to Pro

 

  1. Sign in to Zoom using your email address and password or a connected account (SSO, Google, or Facebook).

    Browser sign in page with fields and buttons

 

  1. You will be taken to the Billing tab, under “Admin,” within your account profile. Here, your current plan details will be displayed. Click Upgrade Account.

    Current plans with Upgrade Account

 

  1. Next, you will be taken to the Upgrade your plan screen. Here, you will see a comparison of the available Zoom plans. Choose the plan you want and click Upgrade.

    IMPORTANT

    For Enterprise plans, you will need to click Contact Sales, and go through a much more customized experience according to your specific business needs.

    Upgrade your plan screen with Upgrade button

 

  1. You will proceed to the checkout process, at “Step 1: Select a plan.” Choose between monthly and annual billing by clicking on the option you want.

    Browser checkout monthly and annual billing options

 

  1. Click on any of the Available Add-ons tabs to view the options that you can add to your plan. Click any to select them, adding them to your purchase.

    Browser checkout available add-ons tabs

 

  1. Once you’ve made all the selections and are happy with your plan, click Continue.

    Checkout with Continue button

  2. You will proceed to “Step 2: Payment.” Enter the personal information of the billing contact. If the user will be different than the person paying, click to unmark the checkbox for Same as Bill To Contact, and enter the required user’s personal information.

    Checkout with billing contact form fields

 

  1. Next, you’ll need to choose a payment method and input your credentials. Choose between credit card and PayPal using the radio buttons. Enter the information for the form fields, click the I’m not a robot checkbox, click the I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service checkbox, and then click Upgrade Now.

    Checkout payment method with Upgrade Now

 

  1. You will be given an order summary, displaying the total cost and plan type. Click Continue to finalize the purchase and proceed. An email confirmation will be sent to you.

 

Now that you’ve created a free Zoom account, you can access more features than as a guest user. Create and host your own meetings, schedule meetings with other users, and get access to basic video conferencing, web conferencing, and group collaboration features. Once you’ve set up your account, you can schedule a meeting and learn the available features.