How to disable your camera on Zoom meetings

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(Image credit: Zoom)

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the world changed rapidly. New terms and phrases started being used in everyday conversation – unprecedented, self-isolating, lockdown – and we were suddenly forced to conduct our business meetings from our front rooms and chat to our family over screens using Zoom. 

A Zoom meeting wasn't something that many people had heard of before 2020, but it's gone from being a niche tech service to one the biggest virtual meeting services of our time, and the way that people communicate about everything.

Whether you love or hate virtual meetings, it's impossible to deny how handy they are when it comes to catching up with a colleague or relative remotely, or attending an online event that you can't make it to in-person. 

While the best webcam (opens in new tab) for home working and best lights for Zoom calls (opens in new tab) can really improve the Zoom experience, some of us don't want to be visible on a Zoom call at all – and I get that. Perhaps you want to watch a community event like a talk or conference but don't want to actively participate, or, if you're like me and have recently brought home a young puppy, you don't want everyone on an external group call to see said puppy chewing everything in the background.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to disable your camera on a Zoom call (no judgement) it's very easy to do. It's probably best to turn off your video by default (opens in new tab)when joining a Zoom meeting, especially if you're joining late.

Just remember that you'll need to manually enable your video again to turn it back on when you do want to grace other people with your face. Here's how...

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Turn off your video when you join a meeting

To enable the feature Turn off my video when joining meeting:

You can also disable audio or video before joining a meeting by selecting the following options after clicking Join. To disable audio or video before joining a meeting:

Stop sharing your camera with ALT+V

We can't plan for everything in life, and if disaster strikes (the kids are playing up or your housemate walks through the room half naked) you might need to stop sharing your camera immediately. 

You can disable the video camera on a Zoom meeting straightaway by hitting ALT+V on the keyboard or by tapping the “Stop Video” camera icon.

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Lauren Scott
Managing Editor

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 


An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)


In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.