May 2020: Passcode and security settings

To provide additional security and privacy for Zoom meetings and webinars, we are updating our default passcode settings for all account types. Zoom will require passcodes for meetings and webinars, including previously scheduled events. In addition to passcodes, we are also making the below changes:

These changes will take effect on May 9th, 2020 for all free/basic accounts. The strategy for Pro, API, Business, Education, and Enterprise accounts is being evaluated. (It was previously stated as taking effect on May 30th, 2020. Based on customer feedback we have decided to delay this and re-evaluate.) 

This article covers:

Changes to settings

Passcodes for Meetings and Webinars

As a part of the passcode changes, the following settings will be enforced for all meetings. Due to this change, the settings will be removed from the web portal, and will be a required setting when scheduling:

While the passcode is required, it can still be set by the host or there is the option to have it randomly generated automatically. These changes are being made to prevent unwanted participants from joining your meeting or webinar.

If you do not already have passcodes set for your currently scheduled meetings or webinars before this change takes effect, we recommend deleting the existing meeting and scheduling a new meeting and re-sending the invite to your participants.

Manually entering a meeting/webinar ID will always prompt the user to enter the passcode. By default, Zoom embeds the passcode into meeting/webinar links, if participants click the link they will not be prompted to enter a passcode when joining. However, you can disable this setting at the account, group, or user level by turning off the setting Embed passcode in-meeting link for one-click join.

Screen sharing

For free accounts, screen sharing will be set to host only by default. This is to ensure security during the meeting and remove potential disruption. The host, however, can still allow participants to screen share from the meeting controls, or change the default behavior from the web portal. However, we recommend leaving screen sharing to “host only”.


Waiting Room

Zoom is also enabling the Waiting Room feature by default for Personal Meeting rooms (PMI). Waiting Room allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. Waiting Room is one of the best ways to control who’s entering your Zoom meeting by giving you the option to admit participants individually or all at once. We highly recommend using this feature to secure your meetings and prevent unwanted participants if a link is shared outside of the intended participants. Learn more about Waiting Room.


Frequently Asked Questions

How will this affect participants joining my meetings?
This change will not affect participants who join by clicking the meeting or webinar link with a passcode embedded, or through the desktop calendar integration if you send the new invitation with the meeting passcode. Participants who join by manually entering the meeting ID will need to enter the passcode manually as well.

Where can I find the meeting passcode as the host or alternative host?
For scheduled meetings, the meeting passcode will be in the invitation. The passcode will be available as well on the meeting details page itself (accessible by the host only). The passcode is also included in the meeting join URL and invitation sent to the alternative host when they are assigned to the meeting.

For instant meetings, the passcode will be displayed in the Zoom Client in the invite section of the participant controls.

Where do I find the meeting passcode as an invitee?
As an invitee, the passcode can be found in the invitation sent to you by the host. The join link will also have the passcode embedded in it if the host chooses to have it embedded.

If you do not see a passcode in the invite, please contact the host for the updated invite, or passcode information.

Can I apply passcodes in advance for my existing meetings before the change takes place?
Yes, you can edit your currently scheduled meetings, and add passcodes to your existing scheduled meetings before the change takes place. This will also need to be done with your Personal Meeting Room, if you do not have a passcode required. This will minimize any potential disruption to your scheduled meetings, after the change. Learn more about adding passcodes to meetings and webinars.

This will also need to be done for Personal Audio Conferences as well (PAC) if you utilize those as well. Learn more about adding passcodes to PAC meetings.

Can I apply passcodes in advance for my new meetings before this change takes place?
Yes, when scheduling a new meeting you can add a passcode to the meeting or webinar. If the meeting is scheduled for after the change, the passcode set when scheduling will be used still. Learn more about scheduling meetings.

How will this affect my Zoom Rooms?
For paid accounts that utilize Zoom Rooms (software-based conference room systems), the Zoom Room will automatically detect the meeting passcode in a calendar invite and enter it when joining. Participants joining from a room with an older version of Zoom Rooms or entering the meeting ID manually will need to enter the passcode manually. Instant meetings started from the Zoom Room will require participants to enter a passcode when entering the meeting ID manually as well.

How will this affect participants dialing in by phone?
With these changes, participants that join via phone will have to enter a numeric passcode before entering the meeting.

For scheduled meetings, including meetings using Personal Meeting Room IDs (PMI) or using Personal Audio Conferences (PAC), the meeting invitation will contain a numeric passcode for participants joining via phone, within the dial-in information.

For users that join scheduled meetings from a Zoom client by clicking the join link and choosing to dial-in via phone for audio, the phone passcode will be in the dial-in information under the Phone Call tab of the Join Audio option in the meeting controls. During the audio prompts, when prompted for the passcode, enter the passcode followed by #.

For instant meetings using your PAC account or PMI, the host will need to send the phone passcode to participants. We recommend retrieving the passcode by clicking the “copy invitation for participants” link in the Personal Audio Conferencing section of your account, or within the Personal Meeting Room tab within the Meetings section of your account. 

How will this affect H.323/SIP devices joining by Conference Room Connector or Zoom Connector for Cisco and Polycom?
Devices configured with Zoom Connector for Cisco and Polycom will automatically detect the meeting passcode in a calendar invite and enter it when joining. For participants dialing in manually from an H.323 or SIP device, they will need to include the passcode in the dial string or enter it manually after dialing into the Zoom meeting. Any instant meetings started by a H.323/SIP endpoint using the Polycom/Cisco room connector will also have passcodes set for those meetings.

How will this effect screen sharing for my participants?
For free accounts, while by default screen sharing will be set to the host only, participant screen sharing can be enabled or disabled completely. For paid accounts, the current screen sharing settings will not be changed.

How will this affect current integrations?
Because passcode settings will no longer be able to be disabled within account settings, meetings that were previously scheduled will require a passcode to join. While the host can still launch a meeting using the start_url, attendees will not be able to join using the join_url, without a passcode. For more information on how this change will affect API, Web SDK, and Chatbot/Marketplace apps, and the actions need to be taken to ensure integration functionality, please see our developer blog post regarding the change.