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4. Get Past Technical Difficulties

This article applies to: Zoom


This page is part of Zoom for Courses, a summary of commonly used options to help you get started. Other resources are available to help instructors. 

Cornell’s Center for Teaching Innovation supports the Cornell teaching community with individualized services, programs, institutes, and campus-wide initiatives. Their comprehensive Preparing for Alternative Course Delivery during Covid-19 includes information about Canvas, Zoom, Panopto, Kaltura, and more. They also have a guide for Getting Started with Zoom

Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) manages Zoom for the university and has a Zoom service website that outlines a wider range of features and options.

When running an online meeting, technical issues may crop up. Taking certain steps may resolve them.

Your Internet Connection is Unstable

Fluctuations in internet service can cause this message, sometimes accompanied with stuttering video or audio issues. Zoom prioritizes audio continuity so that audio should in many cases continue even if video deteriorates. 

If you see this message and are transmitting your camera, try turning off your video. The bandwidth freed up by doing this may help improve the quality of remaining meeting components such as audio and screen sharing.

For more tips about things to try when you need to reduce your bandwidth or data usage, see Reducing Zoom Data and Bandwidth Use.

Audio Issues

There are many different ways you can improve audio quality.

When possible, use a wired network connection, rather than a Wi-Fi connection. This will generally provide a more consistent and better quality network connection.

During the web conference, don't run any network-intensive applications on your computer, such as Internet radio or streaming video, or run significant uploads or downloads that might compete with your Zoom audio.

Connect any external audio devices such as a USB microphone and headset before you start your meeting. If you connect devices after the meeting had started, Zoom may not detect them.

To take it further, see Audio Best Practices: Minimize Background Noise

Sharing Pre-Recorded Video 

If you need to share pre-recorded video during a Zoom session, familiarize yourself with the following features:

When you are sharing a YouTube video, consider exiting the PowerPoint presentation and showing the YouTube video directly from your web browser rather than through a link in the presentation.

Virtual Backgrounds

Don't have any perfect-looking office space where you are? As long as you have a uniformly colored wall or background, Zoom can supply a virtual background.

Disconnection Insurance: Set an Alternative Host or Co-Host 

If you set up an alternative host or co-host, your meeting will continue even if you get disconnected.( If you're the only host, the meeting will end for all attendees if you lose your connection.)

About this Article

Last updated: 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - 3:13pm

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