How to Zoom in Two Meetings at the Same Time

Three weeks into the Big Quarantine, and my life has become slowly overtaken by Zoom meetings. Each day I have at least two, sometimes as many as six. And sometimes I have two meetings at the same time. Now granted, Zooming into two simultaneous meetings would typically sound like a Bad Idea. If you’ve got two people talking to you at the same time, paying attention to both people is . . . difficult at best.

However, maybe you’re like me. I’m running a Zoom reference desk for a couple of hours each day, and traffic on there is often light. I need to have it open in case anyone comes in to ask a reference question, but if no one’s there, it’s not like I need to be listening to anyone in that Zoom room. If you’re using the Zoom app and there’s a second Zoom presentation you’d like to attend, it looks at first like you’re out of luck. Zoom only lets you into one meeting at a time through its app. (At least that’s what it does on my account. There might be a setting somewhere to make it possible on different accounts, but if there is, I don’t have access to it.)

If there’s one thing I have more of in the Big Quarantine, it’s time in front of a computer screen, with the internet at my fingertips. And so I figured out a workaround for this dilemma. The key is to join the second Zoom meeting not with the app, but through the browser.

Zoom doesn’t like to put this option in an easy to see place. You click a Zoom link, and it automatically wants to load the Zoom app. But if you cancel out of that, you’ll see that on the web page the Zoom link took you to, there’s a second option in tiny writing: “If you cannot download or run the application, start from your browser.”

Click that link, and it bypasses the Zoom app. Voila! You’re in your second meeting, and you still have the other meeting (that you opened first) running in the app.

Make sure to use this power only for good, people. Who knows what nefarious deeds people could get up to if they started wantonly attending Zoom meetings at the same time, left and right? Sounds like the makings of a super villain backstory to me . . .

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