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Unexpected emergencies may come up, causing you to need to cancel your Zoom meeting. Don’t just leave the other attendees in the dark—let them know you won’t be able to make it. Here’s how to cancel a Zoom meeting.

How to Cancel a Zoom Meeting

Open the Zoom application, and select the “Meetings” tab.

Meetings tab in Zoom client

Your upcoming meetings will appear in the left-hand pane. Select the one you would like to cancel.

Schedule meeting in meetings tab

The selected meeting’s options will appear on the right. Here, select the “Delete” button.

Delete button on meeting options

A pop-up window will appear, telling you that you can recover the meeting within 7 days from the “Recently Deleted” page.

Go ahead and click the “Yes” button to confirm the deletion.

Confirm deletion of meeting

The Zoom meeting will now be canceled.

General Meeting Cancellation Etiquette

Now let’s talk about the proper etiquette of canceling meetings. No matter which level of the corporate ladder you stand, everyone’s time is equally valuable and important and should be treated as such. A simple “Sorry, I can’t make it. Let’s cancel.” at the very last moment is considered extremely inconsiderate—not to mention people will lose faith in your reliability.

Respond to Invitation Requests

All popular calendar systems provide at least these three methods of response: Accept, Decline, or Tentative. Responding to these invites is important, not only for you to be able to keep track of your own schedule, but so others can see who can/can’t attend and prepare the meeting appropriately.

Here’s when you should respond with each:

  • Accept: Only respond with this if you’re 100 percent sure you will be able to attend the meeting. The only time you should ever cancel is if a real emergency arises. People will understand.
  • Decline: Respond with this if you’re sure you won’t be able to attend the meeting. Be sure to leave a note as to why you won’t be able to attend. If it’s essential that you attend this meeting, send some available time slots to the organizer and ask them if it’s possible to reschedule.
  • Tentative: If you’re pretty sure you can make it, you should still respond with Tentative. Let the organizer know the potential conflict and be sure to update them as soon as you are able to. Tentative responses always require a follow-up.

RELATED: How to Schedule a Zoom Meeting

If an Emergency Arises, Let People Know

Any good manager will understand that sometimes, life happens. When it does, it’s always best to let people know as soon as you are able, especially if you’re one of the key attendees of the meeting. While it may still be an inconvenience to suddenly reschedule, that’s okay. Again, life happens sometimes.

It’s not always possible, but you should try to give at least a 24-hour notice to the organizer about your sudden cancellation. Be sure to send a brief explanation as to why you suddenly need to cancel so that they know it’s a warranted reason.

Update Your Calendar Status—Even Before You Get an Invite

If you know you’re going to be busy at a specific time on your calendar, go ahead and block that time off. Closing off 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday because you know you have to drive your grandma to the doctor will prevent the possibility of you having to explain to a meeting organizer why you won’t be able to accept their meeting invite in the first place. They’ll see on your calendar that you’re busy at those times.

RELATED: How to Stop Someone Forwarding a Meeting Request in Outlook

If you’ve already accepted a meeting invitation but something came up, update your status on that request. As we said before, if you change your status from Accept to Tentative, let people know why.

In general, just be as respectful as possible.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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