Hello, Zoom! My Name is ...

Zoom LogoIf you have a Zoom account, either free or paid, then you can set your displayed name in your Zoom profile on the Zoom website.  However, most Zoom participants in meetings sponsored by non-profit groups don’t have, and don’t need, Zoom accounts.  The name displayed for these people, by default, probably isn’t very user friendly.  Let’s see how Zoom gets the default displayed name and, more importantly, how we can change it to better suit all meeting participants.

How Zoom Gets the Default Name

The Zoom program/application/app, call it what you will, gets the default name from the device it is running on, be that a PC or laptop (Windows or Mac based), tablet (iPad or Android) or smartphone (iPhone or Android).  On Windows based computers the default is probably related to the currently active username.  On Apple products the default is frequently derived from the device’s name or owner information.  Regardless of device it usually isn’t what we want.

When someone joins a Zoom meeting by following the meeting’s hyperlink, the screen that allows the name to be set is usually bypassed.

How Can We Set the Displayed Name, if We Don’t Have a Zoom Account?

The process to set the displayed name is remarkably similar regardless of the platform.  Once set, the displayed name will be remembered for future Zoom meetings. The screenshots in this tutorial come from a Windows 10 system with Zoom Version 5.2.3 and are indicative of what is shown on other platforms.

  1. Start the Zoom program/application/app, it’s called Zoom on all platforms.  You will see a screen similar to this:

    First Zoom Screen

  2. Click Join a Meeting. You will see a screen similar to this:

    Zoom Join Meeting Screen

  3. You need to enter a valid Meeting ID in the first box. If you have ever been in a meeting, you can simply click the down arrow and select any Meeting ID from the list. If you don’t find one in the dropdown list, and don’t have another one you know is valid, you can try 883 4259 9338, it’s one of my Meeting IDs and should be valid through January 2021. You’re not going to actually join a meeting now, but you have to go through some of the motions.
    • Enter the name you want to have displayed in the second box, the one that says “some unfriendly name” in the screenshot above. I strongly recommend using your real name, or a well known in your community, nickname. E.g., if your name is William Smith, you might enter “William Smith,” “Willy Smith,” or “Bill Smith.” Other acceptable forms include joint names, e.g., “William and Mary Smith,” or “Bill and/or Mary Smith.”  Please use proper capitalization.
    • Make sure the Remember my name for future meetings checkbox is checked.
  4. Click Join. You’ll see a box asking for the Meeting Passcode, like this:

    Zoom Enter Passcode Screen

    Click Cancel.

That’s it! You have now set your Zoom displayed name whenever you join a Zoom meeting without signing into a Zoom account on this device.

I, and your fellow Zoom meeting participants, thank you.