Sharing your screen or desktop on Zoom

Screen sharing is a powerful feature on Zoom that allows users to share their computer screen or a specific application with others during online meetings, presentations, or collaborative sessions. Whether you need to showcase a document, demonstrate a software application, or collaborate on a project, screen sharing provides a visual means to effectively communicate your ideas and information. In this article, we will explore the various screen sharing options available on Zoom, provide a step-by-step guide on how to share your screen, discuss advanced features and settings, and offer troubleshooting tips to overcome common issues. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to confidently utilize screen sharing on Zoom and enhance your virtual communication and collaboration experiences.

With Zoom, share your screen, desktop, or other content during a meeting, even while your video is on.

Screen sharing during Zoom meetings is designed with a collaborative environment in mind. This feature gives only the users, who choose to share their screen, full control over their own screen and what other meeting participants can or cannot see. Additionally, meeting hosts cannot monitor your screen activities unless you choose to share your screen.

Zoom video conferences allow you to share content including:

  • Entire desktop or phone screen
  • One or more specific applications
  • A portion of your screen
  • Content from a second camera

Sharing your desktop, screen, or content

To share your screen or content:

  1. Click Share Screen  located in your meeting controls.
  2. Select one of these screen share options:
    • Basic: Share your entire desktop, specific application windows, whiteboard, or iPhone/iPad screen. Hold the Shift key (macOS) or the Ctrl key (Windows) to select more than one application.
      Note: Users can select multiple desktop programs at once instead of sharing their entire desktop, but all selected programs must be on the same screen to be visible.
    • Advanced
      • Slides / PowerPoint as Virtual Background: Allows you to utilize a slideshow presentation as your virtual background, providing a more immersive presentation.
      • Portion of Screen: Share a portion of your screen represented by a green border. The border can be adjusted as needed during the share by clicking and dragging any side or corner.
      • Computer Audio: Only share your computer’s audio (your selected speaker in your audio settings). Select the down arrow to the right of Computer Audio option to view audio options and switch between Mono and Stereo (high fidelity) audio options.
      • Video: Share locally stored video content through Zoom’s native video player.
      • Content from 2nd Camera: Share a secondary camera connected to your computer; for example, a document camera or the integrated camera on your laptop.
    • Files: Share a file from a third-party sharing service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign in to the third-party service and grant Zoom access.

      • These options may be disabled by account Admins, so available options may vary.
      • Alternatively, you can open the file in a web browser then share the browser window. For example, to share a Google Doc, open the Doc in Chrome, then share the Chrome window. The end result is the same as using the sharing options in the Files tab.
  3. (Optional) Enable these features, located in the bottom-left corner of the share window:
    • Share sound: If you check this option, any sound played by your computer will be shared in the meeting. Select the down arrow  just to the right of the Share Sound option to switch between Mono and Stereo (high fidelity) audio options.
    • Optimize for video clip: Check this if you will be sharing a video clip in full screen mode. Do not check this otherwise, as it may cause the shared screen to be blurry.
    • Share to breakout rooms: Allows the host or co-host to share their screen from the main session directly into all open breakout rooms.
  4. Click Share.
    When the sharing process is started and 80% of devices acknowledge receiving the shared screen, you will see a notification banner stating Participants can now see your shared screen, or whatever you have chosen to share.
  5. (Optional) On the meeting controls menu, hover over You are screen sharing, then click the drop-down arrow , to view the screen shared with your participants. To stop viewing the screen shared, click the up arrow


  • Zoom will automatically switch to full screen to optimize the shared screen view. To exit full screen, click Exit Full Screen in the top-right corner or press the Esc key.
  • To disable automatic full screen when viewing a shared screen, adjust the Window size when screen sharing behavior in your desktop client settings.
  • If you selected Content from 2nd Camera, click Switch Camera in the top-left corner to switch the shared camera.
  • The preview of your shared screen is available when doing a simultaneous screen share, and sharing a video.
  • Advanced screen sharing settings, controlling who and how many can share, as well as who can interrupt someone else’s share, are also available for the host.

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