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A lot of people and businesses have turned to Zoom as their go-to video-conferencing application. However, Zoom isn’t always perfect. Here are some tips on troubleshooting your Zoom call for a better audio and video call experience.

Review System Requirements

When running any type of software, one of the first things you need to do is check that your device is up to the task. No matter if everything is installed and set up properly, if you’re using old and outdated hardware or hardware that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, it’s not going to run smoothly.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Secure Your Next Zoom Video Call

Zoom conveniently lists out the requirements, from system requirements, to supported operating systems and browsers, to supported devices. Give it a read and make sure your device is up to the task.

Check Your Network

Unsurprisingly, you also need to have a decent internet connection to use video conferencing apps. Zoom lists out those requirements for you as well. We’ll give you the short version here. These are the minimum requirements only. It’s better if you can exceed these numbers:

  • High-quality 1-on-1 video chat: 600kbps up/down
  • High-quality group video chat: 800kbps upload, 1Mbps download
  • Screensharing:
    • With video thumbnail: 50-150kbps
    • Without video thumbnail: 50-75kbps

You can check your internet speed online using Speedtest. Just head over to the site and select “Go.”

Go button on the speedtest site

After a few moments, you’ll get the latency (ping), download, and upload speed results.

Results of the speed test

Cross-check your results with Zoom’s requirements to see if your network speed is the source of your Zoom problems.

If you do meet the network requirements and are having issues, it could be that you need to tweak some Zoom settings.

Adjust Your Zoom Settings to Improve Performance

We mentioned the minimum requirements in the previous section, but that’s only the minimum requirements to be able to use a Zoom call. If you barely meet those requirements but have some other features enabled, then the minimum requirements are going to increase and it’s possible you don’t meet them anymore.

Two of the main features you should disable are “HD” and “Touch Up My Appearance.” We all want to look nice on a Zoom call, but there are other ways. We actually give some tips on looking your best in a Zoom call. Disable these two settings and give that article a read to look great while retaining network speed.

To disable these settings, open your Zoom client, then select the “Gear” icon in the top-right corner to open the “Settings” menu.

Gear icon in Zoom client

Select “Video” in the left-hand pane.

Video option in left-hand pane

In the “My Video” section, uncheck the boxes next to (1) “Enable HD” and (2) “Touch Up My Appearance.”

Enable HD and touch up my appearance options in Zoom

If your video feed isn’t really required for the call, you can also turn it off completely.

Fixing the Audio Echo/Feedback Issue

Audio echo is a common problem people tend to experience with video conferencing software. Echo also includes that really loud screech (i.e., audio feedback) that’s worse than nails on a chalkboard. Here are a few common causes of this issue:

  • Multiple devices with the audio turned on in the same room
  • One participant with the computer and phone audio both turned on
  • Participants have their computers or speakers too close

Make sure you stay spread out if you share a conference room with another attendee, and if you’re not speaking set your mic on mute. We also recommend using headphones when possible.

Your Video Isn’t Showing

This can be caused by several issues. First and foremost, check that your video is actually turned on. During the Zoom call, you’ll know your video is off if the camcorder icon in the bottom-left corner has a red slash through it. Click the “Camcorder” icon to turn on your video.

Start video button on Zoom call

Also, make sure that you have the correct camera selected. To see which camera Zoom is currently using, select the arrow next to the camcorder icon and your currently-in-use camera will be displayed. If that’s not the one you’re looking for, you can select the correct one from this menu (if you have other cameras connected, that is), or you can do so in the Settings menu by clicking the “Gear” icon and then selecting “Video Settings.”

Video settings in call

In the “Camera” section, select the arrow and choose your camera from the menu.

Select the camera in the settings menu

Additionally, make sure that no other program on your device is currently using the camera. If so, close that program. This could fix the issue.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you’ve updated the camera driver to the latest version. You can generally do this from the camera manufacturer’s download and support page on its official website.

If all else fails, restart your computer and try again. If your video still isn’t working, it could be an issue with the webcam itself. Contact the manufacturer’s support team.

Contact Zoom’s Support Team

Word on the street is Zoom has a pretty good team of support members. If you can’t figure out what’s going on with Zoom, it’s always a good idea to contact the experts.

If they aren’t able to fix the issue with you right away, Zoom support can actually send you a troubleshooting package to store log files. Once you’ve installed this package, you can zip the log files and send it over to the support team for further analysis. The company provides instructions on how to do this for Windows 10 PC, Mac, and Linux on its Support page.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell 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 at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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