Online meetings don’t come with a lock on the door; anyone invited to a meeting can join at any time. Someone late to a meeting may be blocked from joining if the meeting is set up with a waiting room. The meeting host has the option to deny entry to users when they arrive in the waiting room. Some meeting tools, like Zoom, do have a way to lock users out.
Zoom: lock meeting
Zoom allows a host to lock a meeting. This is a manual process which means a host is free to lock the meeting whenever they want but they cannot automate it i.e., when a certain number of users have joined or when a certain time has passed.
Zoom lock meeting – Desktop/Web
- Start a meeting and wait for people to join.
- When you’re ready to lock the meeting, click the Participants button.
- In the panel that opens on the right, click the more options button.
- Select Lock Meeting.
- Repeat the above steps and unselect Lock meeting to unlock the meeting.
Zoom lock meeting – Mobile/iOS/Android
To lock a meeting from the Zoom iOS or Android apps, follow these steps.
- Start a meeting and allow participants to join.
- Tap the more options button at the bottom right.
- Select Security from the menu.
- Turn the Lock switch On to lock the meeting.
- Turn the Lock switch Off to unlock the meeting.
Locking out meeting participants
The Lock feature is a useful security feature however, many users may be tempted to use it punitively i.e., to punish those who are late. This may seem like a good idea but if you’re using Zoom for online classrooms, reconsider using the lock feature for this purpose. You can let participants know that you lock meetings before hand or you can unlock it for small intervals that you’ve already announced.
The Zoom meeting lock works regardless if a participant has the link and password for the meeting. Neither the link nor the password guarantee entry to a meeting. When you lock a meeting, everyone is told that it is locked. If you need to lock a meeting to keep unwanted users out, provide participants a communication channel where they can let you know they’re trying to get in so that you can accommodate them.