Zoom Video Share Screen Feature: Share Your Screen in a Meeting

Zoom share screen and video at the same time

Sometimes, it would be more useful than seeing someone’s video feed on a Zoom call if you were able to see what else was on their device’s screen. Or a photo worth bragging about. Or an important business document to analyze. Or a cool new website. Or even a whiteboard that you can write on!

Fortunately, Zoom makes all of that possible. Instead of (or in addition to) your Zoom video, you can share your screen to show others in the call things that just aren’t done justice unless they’re seen. You can even share sound from your device in some cases! And we’re going to show you how to do it all.

What is covered in this article

Let’s start off our lesson on how to share a screen in a Zoom video call with a discussion of what it actually does and what you need to make it work.

 

What is Zoom’s Screen Share feature?

The Share Screen feature in Zoom allows users to project their device’s screen (or part of it), audio, and more into a meeting for other participants to see. It’s commonly used for sharing additional visual or audio information that adds context to what is being discussed in the meeting.

 

What you can share in a Zoom meeting

You can actually share more than just your screen in Zoom! However, the exact options available to you will depend on whether you’re using Zoom on desktop, iOS, or Android. So we’ll get into the specifics a bit later. But here’s a quick list of some of the things you can share with Zoom:

  • Your whole desktop computer or smartphone screen
  • A window from a specific application
  • Audio from your device
  • The Whiteboard feature
  • Photos and other documents on your device
  • Files from a cloud storage service (e.g. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive)

 

Requirements for sharing your screen

To share your screen in a meeting or webinar, you must be using the Zoom desktop client or mobile app, version 5.0 or later. In addition, participants other than hosts, co-hosts, and panelists cannot share their screen during a webinar. However, participants may be able to screen share during a meeting if the host allows it.

To allow attendees to share their screens while hosting a meeting:

  1. Click the arrow beside the Share Screen button and select Advanced Sharing Options from the menu that appears.

    Advanced screen sharing options for a Zoom host

  2. In the box that pops up, below the “Who Can Share?” heading, click the radio button beside “All Participants”.

    Setting to allow attendees to screen share in a Zoom meeting

 

How to share screen and video on Zoom

Zoom video conferencing screen sharing is arguably most functional when you do it from the desktop client. So we’ll cover the basics first, and then go over some popular advanced features that make screen-sharing more accessible.

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and log into your account.
  2. Join or host a Zoom meeting, or host a Zoom webinar. (Hosting makes things easier, because you won’t need permission from someone else to share your screen.)
  3. While in a meeting, click the Share Screen button in the main meeting control panel.

    Screen share button on Zoom desktop client

  4. A window will pop up letting you select what you want to share, as well as configure some other sharing options. From the Basic tab, you can choose to share an entire screen, a specific app you have open, Zoom’s Whiteboard feature, or the screen from a connected iPhone or iPad.

    PRO TIP

    iPhones and iPads running iOS 11 or later can share their screen directly, without needing the Zoom desktop app, by using the Screen Recording function. See our section on screen sharing with iOS for the exact process.

    Basic screen sharing options on Zoom desktop app

    There are two other options you can enable or disable here by clicking their respective checkboxes. If you enable the “Share Computer Sound” setting, then any sound played by your computer’s audio output will also play in the Zoom meeting. This is a must if you’re trying to share a video, podcast, or other piece of content where attendees need to be able to hear what’s going on.

    If you enable the “Optimize for Full Screen Video Clip” setting, Zoom will adjust its resolution to better display motion in a video clip that takes up a full screen. This setting may end up blurring your screen if you share something else, though, so only turn it on when you need it.

    IMPORTANT

    One or both of these options may be disabled depending on what you choose to share.

    When you’ve made your selections, click Share.

  5. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the Basic tab, there are additional sharing options in the Advanced tab.

    Advanced screen share options on the Zoom desktop client

    For instance, you can click Portion of Screen to create an adjustable rectangle on your screen. By moving and resizing it, you can share specific parts of your screen while excluding other parts that you may not want people to see.

    Or, you can click Music or Computer Sound Only to shut off your video and only share your audio. This may be useful if you’re playing a podcast or other audio clip, and you don’t want any visuals distracting attendees from listening to it.

    You can even click Content from 2nd Camera to share a video feed from a camera connected to your computer, like a document camera for when you’re working with physical pieces of paper. Or try PowerPoint as Virtual Background to turn a presentation into a lecture-like scenario that makes it easy to point important information out!

  6. There are still further options in the Files tab. Here, you can log into a cloud storage service and share a file from there. Note that you will have to give Zoom permission to access the service you choose, if you haven’t already.

    Sharing a file from cloud storage over Zoom on the desktop app

 

Navigating the share screen menu

When you start sharing your screen in Zoom, the standard control bar may look a little bit different than what you’re used to. It should look something like this:

The control bar when sharing your screen in a Zoom meeting

The white numbers in the red circles in the screenshot above indicate the primary functions in the shared screen control bar. The table below will identify what they are and explain what they do. 

ButtonDescription
1.
Zoom Mute/Unmute button
Enable or disable your microphone.

You can also click the arrow beside it to select a different microphone or speaker, test your sound setup, disconnect your audio, or adjust other audio settings.
2.
Zoom Start/Stop Video button
Enable or disable your webcam.

You can also click the arrow beside it to select a different webcam, apply a virtual background or filter, or adjust other video settings. 
3.
Zoom Security menu button
A menu that allows you to lock or unlock the meeting and enable or disable the Waiting Room feature.

It also lets you control whether or not participants can share their screen, use the chat function, rename themselves, unmute themselves, or use annotation tools.
4.
Zoom Participants menu button
Show or hide a list of participants in the meeting. If you are the host, you can manage participants using this list.

Also if you are the host, the arrow beside this button allows you to invite other people to the meeting.
5.
Zoom New Screen Share button
Stop sharing your current screen and start sharing something else. You will need to re-select what you wish to share.
6.
Zoom Pause Screen Share button
Temporarily stop your screen sharing without losing track of the screen you are currently sharing, or to resume sharing that screen.
7.
Zoom Annotation/Whiteboard button
If annotation is enabled, clicking this button brings up tools for drawing notes on your screen.

NOTE: This button will be labeled “Whiteboard” instead if you are sharing a Zoom Whiteboard.
8.
Zoom More Screen Share Options menu button
This menu lets you do a host of other things, such as:

- Open the Chat window
- Start Breakout Rooms
- Start a local or cloud recording of the meeting
- View meeting info
- Enable or disable annotation tools for participants
- Show or hide people’s names when they make an annotation
- Hide the shared screen control bar
- Share or stop sharing audio from your computer
- Optimize or de-optimize your screen share for a full-screen video clip
- Leave the meeting, or end it for everyone
9.
Zoom handle for moving the shared screen control bar
Click, hold, and drag this green strip to move the control bar around so that it’s out of your way while you share your screen. You can also click the arrow here to quickly dock the control bar at the top or bottom of your screen.
10.
Zoom Stop Screen Share button
Stop your screen sharing and return to the main meeting window.

 

How to use Zoom screen share on mobile (Android and iOS)

Zoom video call screen sharing is significantly different between the two major mobile operating systems. Android makes things fairly simple, while iOS requires you to do a bit of prior setup. Also, there are certain things you can share on one platform that you can’t on the other, and sometimes certain requirements for doing so.

We’ll start with instructions for Android, since they’re pretty straightforward.

 

How to share your screen in Zoom on Android

  1. Open the Zoom app on your device and log into your account.
  2. Join or host a Zoom meeting, or host a Zoom webinar. (Hosting makes things easier, because you won’t need permission from someone else to share your screen.)
  3. Tap the Share button in the main meeting control panel.

    Sharing screen button in Android Zoom app

  4. Next, select what content you want to share.

    Selecting content to share on the Zoom Android app

    Microsoft OneDrive / Google Drive / Box: a .PDF file or image file from one of these cloud storage services.

    Photo: an image file using a photo management app on your phone.

    Document: a .PDF file or image file on your device’s local storage.

    Web URL: a hyperlink that opens a browser on a specific web page.

    Bookmark: an image, document, or website you have saved a shortcut to on the Zoom app.

    Screen: your device’s screen, or an application running on your device.

    Camera: your device’s camera feed.

    Share Whiteboard: Zoom’s Whiteboard feature, which you can annotate.

  5. If you choose to share your Screen, a dialog box will appear notifying you that Zoom will have access to any information displayed while you screen share. If you’re able to work with that, tap Start Now.

    Disclaimer box when starting a Zoom screen share on Android

  6. You can now use your device as you normally would, and all that you do will be broadcast to your Zoom meeting.

    Controls for screen sharing on the Zoom client for Android

    The screen-sharing controls for Zoom will be tucked away in the lower-left corner of your screen. If you can’t see them, tap the arrow beside them to open the control tray.

    From here, you can annotate your screen, share your device’s audio, or stop your screen share.

    IMPORTANT

    Sharing your device’s audio while sharing your screen is only available on Android version 10 or later. You must also allow Zoom permission to record audio on your device when prompted (if you haven’t already). In addition, note that some apps may still disallow the sharing of audio for privacy and security reasons.

 

Next, we’ll walk you through iOS screen sharing. This is a bit more difficult because you can’t do it directly through the Zoom app. You have to use your device’s Control Center to start a screen recording, and then tell it to broadcast to Zoom. While that may sound complicated, know that parts of it only need to be done once. Then, once you’re set up, you can skip those steps the next time you want to screen share. 

 

How to share your screen in Zoom on iOS

  1. Open the Zoom app on your device and log into your account.
  2. Join or host a Zoom meeting, or host a Zoom webinar. (Hosting makes things easier, because you won’t need permission from someone else to share your screen.)
  3. Tap the Share Content button in the main meeting control panel.
  4. Choose what you want to share from the list that appears:

    Select content to share when sharing screen on iOS
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

    Screen: your device’s screen, or an application running on your device.

    Photos: an image file using a photo management app on your phone.

    iCloud Drive / Box / Dropbox / Google Drive / Microsoft OneDrive: a .PDF file or image file from one of these cloud storage services.

    Website URL: a hyperlink that opens a browser on a specific web page.

    Bookmark: an image, document, or website you have saved a shortcut to on the Zoom app.

    Share Whiteboard: Zoom’s Whiteboard feature, which you can annotate.

    IMPORTANT

    Sharing your screen is only available on devices running iOS version 11 or later, as well as version 4.1.18611.1228 or later of the Zoom app. Also, the Whiteboard feature is only available on iPad.

  5. If you choose to share your Screen, and this is the first time you have done so, you will need to add Screen Recording as a function to your device’s Control Center. You will also need to enable access to the Control Center from within other apps. If you have already done these two things, then skip to step 9.

    To start, go back to your device’s “home” screen and open the Settings app.

    The general Settings manager for iOS devices
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  6. Next, tap Control Center.

    Settings for the iOS Control Center
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  7. On the next screen, make sure the toggle button labeled “Access Within Apps” is turned on, like it is in the screenshot below. If not, tap it to turn it on. Then, tap Customize Controls.

    Customize settings that appear in the Control Center
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  8. Finally, scroll until you find the “Screen Recording” option, and tap the “+” icon beside it.

    Add Screen Recording controls to the iOS Control Center
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  9. Now, open your device’s Control Center. The way to do this is a bit different depending on what device or operating system version you are using.

    If you are using an iPhone 8 (or older), or an iPad running iOS 11, swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen.

    If you are using an iPhone X (or newer), or an iPad running iOS 12 (or newer), swipe downwards from the top-right corner of the screen.

  10. Once you’re in the Control Center, press and hold the Record button.

    The Record button in the iOS Control Center
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  11. This will bring up a window where you can choose an app to broadcast your screen recording to. Tap Zoom, and then tap Start Broadcast.

    Starting a screen recording broadcast to Zoom on iOS
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  12. After a brief delay, you will be broadcasting your screen to Zoom. If you tap the middle of your screen, you should see the Zoom meeting controls appear. You can tap the Share Device Audio button to toggle sharing audio from any other apps you’re using on or off.

    Sharing your device’s audio while screen-sharing in Zoom
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

  13. To end your screen share, tap the red bar at the top of the screen, and then tap Stop in the dialog box that appears.

    Ending a Zoom screen share on iOS
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

 

How to share multiple Zoom screens simultaneously

Under certain circumstances, more than one person can share their screen at the same time in a Zoom meeting or webinar. You might want to use this, for example, to compare documents or other pieces of content in real-time with a team or client.

To do it, you’ll need two things:

  • Zoom MacOS / Windows client 3.6.17038.1226 or higher, OR Zoom Linux client version 3.0.285090.0826 or higher
  • The Remote Support setting disabled for the host

 

How to enable multi-screen sharing in a Zoom meeting

  1. Use the Zoom desktop client to host a meeting.
  2. Click the arrow next to the Share Screen button, and select “Multiple Participants Can Share Simultaneously” from the menu that appears.

    Allowing participants to share multiple screens at once

    PRO TIP

    To reverse this setting, repeat this step, but click “One Participant Can Share at a Time” instead.

 

What participants see when multiple screens are shared at once

SetupWhat They SeeAble To Switch Screens?
Single monitor (desktop / Zoom Room)Most recent shared screenYes, with View Options menu
Dual monitors (desktop / Zoom Room)Two most recent shared screensNo
Zoom Mobile AppMost recent shared screenNo

 

Limitations to multi-screen sharing

There are a few things to keep in mind when multi-screen sharing:

  1. If this setting is enabled, the “Optimize for Full-Screen Video Clip” option will not be available.
  2. While multiple screens are being shared, the “Share Computer Sound” option will automatically be disabled.
  3. Attendees using Zoom Rooms or the Zoom mobile app are able to participate in a meeting that has multi-screen sharing enabled. However, they can only share their screen if nobody else is sharing a screen at the same time.

 

How to share your screen and video at the same time

By default, while you are sharing your own screen on the Zoom desktop client, it replaces the main Zoom meeting window (unless you’re using a dual-monitor setup). However, there is a setting you can enable that allows you to view both at the same time.

There are two parts to setting this up. The first is enabling it on your profile.

  1. Go to Zoom’s website at Zoom.us and log into your account.
  2. From your main dashboard, click Settings, and then click the Meeting tab (if it isn’t already selected).

    Allowing participants to share multiple screens at once

  3. Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Basic)” header and find the toggle button labeled “Show Zoom Windows During Screen Share”. If it’s off, like in the screenshot below, click it to turn it on.

    Toggle to enable showing Zoom window during screen share

 

The second part is turning on the feature in your Zoom desktop client.

  1. Open your Zoom desktop client and log in. If it was already open, log out and then log in again, or close it and then re-open it.
  2. Click the gear (Settings) icon underneath your profile picture in the top-right corner of the main window.

    Settings button for the Zoom desktop client

  3. Click the Share Screen tab, and then click the checkbox labeled “Show Zoom Windows During Screen Share” to mark it if it’s unmarked (like in the screenshot below).

    Setting on the Zoom desktop client to show Zoom windows during screen share

Now, when you share your screen on the Zoom desktop client, it will open the shared screen in a separate window while leaving the main meeting window intact.

Main Zoom meeting window appearing while sharing a screen

This is a handy feature if you want to keep an eye on the other participants while still sharing your screen. A good use for this would be, for example, if you’re still not all that familiar with Zoom and one of the other attendees is coaching you on how to use it.

 

How to screen share using dual monitors

If you have more than one monitor for your desktop computer, you can set up the Zoom desktop client to automatically use an extra monitor when screen sharing. This allows you to have a shared screen on one monitor, while keeping the main meeting window open on the other. 

So, for example, if you’re running a presentation but don’t want the other attendees to see the notes you’re reading off of or writing, this setting helps you do that.

Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and log in.
  2. Click the gear (Settings) icon underneath your profile picture in the top-right corner of the main window.

    Settings button for the Zoom desktop client

  3. Click the General tab (if it isn’t already selected) and click the checkbox beside “Use Dual Monitors” to mark it (if it isn’t already marked, like in the screenshot below).

    Enable the dual monitors setting for the Zoom desktop client

 

IMPORTANT

Your computer needs to have at least an i5 Quad Core CPU – or a i5 Duo Core CPU with a speed of at least 2 GHz – and 4 GB of RAM in order to use a dual monitor setup on Zoom. Use the following links if you need instructions for configuring dual monitors for your operating system:

 

How to view a shared screen and participants’ video on a Zoom meeting

Zoom’s Side-by-Side Mode allows meeting participants to view a shared screen and the main Zoom meeting window next to each other. This is opposed to the default of having the main meeting window shrunk and pinned to the top of the screen, while the shared screen dominates the majority of their screen space.

To do this, you need two things:

  • The Zoom desktop client, version 4.1.8826.0925 or later 
  • The “dual monitors setup” setting disabled

 

How to manually enable Side-by-Side Mode during a meeting

  1. Host or join a Zoom meeting, or join a Zoom webinar.
  2. When another participant shares their screen, click View Options beside the screen-sharing notification (in green) and click Side-by-Side Mode to enable it.

    Turning on Side-by-Side Mode during a meeting
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

    PRO TIP

    You can repeat this step to exit Side-by-Side Mode if you currently have it enabled.

  3. While in Side-by-Side Mode, you can switch the layout of the main meeting window (on the right) between Active Speaker View and Gallery View, as per usual.

    You can also adjust the size of both windows. To do this, move your cursor to the space between the two windows. You should see a grey line appear, and your cursor should change to a double horizontal arrow, like so:

    Adjust window size during Side-by-Side Mode
    (Image credit: Zoom Help Center)

    From here, click and hold down the mouse button, and then drag your mouse to the left or right to increase the size of one window and decrease the size of the other.

 

How to automatically use Side-by-Side Mode when someone shares their screen

You can also set things up so that Zoom will automatically turn on Side-by-Side Mode whenever someone else in a meeting shares their screen. Here’s how: 

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and log in (if you haven’t already done so).
  2. Click the gear (Settings) icon underneath your profile picture in the top-right corner of the main window.

    Settings button for the Zoom desktop client

  3. Click the Share Screen tab, and then click the checkbox next to “Side-by-Side Mode” to mark it if it isn’t marked (like in the screenshot below).

    Enabling automatic Side-by-Side Mode for screen sharing

Those are the two ways you can let someone in Zoom share their screen and video together.

 

That’s more-or-less everything you need to know about sharing your screen, audio, or whatever else you want in Zoom! Whether you’re using it for a seminar at work, a virtual classroom lesson, or just a fun socially-distanced get-together, you’ll find that screen sharing is a powerful and flexible feature that adds that little something extra to your meeting. Check out some of the other cool things Zoom can do!

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