Reducing Zoom Data and Bandwidth Use
Whether because you're getting Zoom's "Your connection is unstable" warning or because you need to reduce your network usage to stay under a data cap, there are several strategies you can try to reduce your bandwidth and data usage during Zoom meetings.
This article applies to: Zoom
Leave video off when you don’t need it
For meetings where seeing each other isn't that important, turning your camera off is the easiest way to reduce the amount of data going in and out of your computer. You can adjust your settings, so you always join meetings with your camera off, and choose to have attendees' cameras off for meetings you set up.
Turn off HD video
Providing video in HD resolution requires significantly more data, so consider turning it off when the quality of the image you're sending isn't critical.
To turn off HD in your Zoom client:
- In your desktop Zoom client, click Settings (the gear icon).
- Click Video in the left-hand menu.
- In the My Video section, uncheck the box beside Enable HD if it is checked.
When you do screen share, only share as long as absolutely necessary
Be sure to stop screen sharing when you no longer need to show your screen. Also, request that other users turn off their screen sharing when they are done with their example.
For details about turning screen sharing on and off, see Share Your Screen on the Zoom website.
Use online collaborative documents rather than screen sharing
Certain services, like Box Notes, Office Online Documents, and Google Apps let multiple people open and edit the file at once. These services can use less data than streaming video, while still allowing everyone to see changes as they happen or close to it.
Mute your audio when not speaking
While it doesn't use as much bandwidth as your video, you can also reduce your bandwidth somewhat by muting your audio when you're not speaking. Use the Mute button in the bottom left corner of the Zoom screen to toggle your audio off and on.
You might also consider using a phone call to connect to Zoom meeting audio instead of using computer audio within the meeting. The phone numbers to connect to a Zoom session are usually included in the invitation you receive from the host under the heading "Dial by your location."
Use the cloud recording option for Zoom meetings
Faculty and staff hosts who record Zoom sessions can take advantage of Zoom's cloud recording option. Cloud recordings are directly transferred to Cornell's Video on Demand service and do not need to be uploaded from your computer. service and do not need to be uploaded from your computer. For more information about cloud recordings, visit Zoom Recording Help.
Improving your Zoom performance overall
Limit high-bandwidth activities by others at your location
Other people using the Internet from your remote location will affect the bandwidth available to your Zoom session. Avoid having others stream video or music, play online games, or upload and download large files, as all of these activities can noticeably impact your Zoom performance.
Avoid running other data-intensive applications during Zoom sessions
Improve your overall Zoom client performance by not running other applications during meetings that might also be using a large share of your bandwidth. Examples of data-intensive programs might include streaming video or music sites, or other websites with dynamic content. You can always check your network usage using Activity Monitor on the Mac or Task Manager in Windows to pinpoint which programs are data hogs.