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Zoom Roles and their Meeting Controls - Knowledgebase / Phones & Conferencing / Zoom Web Conferencing / Overview for Zoom at Brown - OIT Service Center

Zoom Roles and their Meeting Controls

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Zoom Meetings are generally hosted by the person scheduling their meeting.  However, there are times when the meeting may need to have an alternative host, a co-host or another scheduler.  This article will provide an overview of the different roles Zoom has to offer.  For hands-on learners, you can join a test meeting hosted by Zoom to gain a deep understanding of meeting controls prior to hosting your own Zoom meeting.

Host Role

A Zoom meeting is run by a host who will control the meeting’s functions like sharing their screen, muting/unmuting, and managing the general features in the Zoom interface. The host, by default, is the scheduler of the meeting.  

  • To see an overview of the Host role and controlled settings, please visit here.
  • To begin hosting a Zoom meeting, login at with your Brown username and password.  If you are new to Zoom, your account will be created the first time you log in.   

When scheduling the meeting in advance, the host has the option to allow users to join before host or select an alternative host.    

Join Before Host Setting

If the host is unable to attend the meeting, it can proceed without them by enabling the join before host option in your invite*. In this scenario, participants will have very limited control since they are basically just video chatting without an administrator running the meeting. 

Please review this article to see some considerations you should be aware of when using the join before host setting. 

*Please note that the “waiting room” option overrides the join before host setting and requires a host to be present.  

Alternative Host Option

The alternative host option allows you to schedule meetings and designate another user account to start the meeting or webinar if you are unable. This user will receive an email notifying them that they've been added as an alternative host, with a link to start the meeting. 

  • For an overview of the Alternative role, please follow this Link.

Co-host Role

The Co-host role will have all the abilities a Host has, a Co-host can ONLY be assigned by a Host live during a meeting (in advance for webinar users only).   Your meeting can have multiple Co-hosts.

  • To learn how to assign a participant to the Co-host role during a meeting, follow this Link
  • Overview of Co-hosts controls in a meeting can be found here.
  • To learn about webinar meetings, visit this Zoom article.  To ask for webinar access, email


Once given Scheduler privileges by another user, the Scheduler role can set meetings on behalf of other users. The Scheduler role can start meetings for the Host just as an Alternative Host role can.  Please note, both the scheduler and the person being scheduled for, must have a Zoom account with Brown that they have logged into before.

Learn more on how about the Scheduler role and How to grant Scheduler Privileges, by following this link.

Comparison of Permissions for a Zoom Meeting





Answer poll


Ask poll


Designate co-host

End meeting

File sharing

Lock meeting

Lock screen sharing

Modify meeting settings

Mute/unmute all

Put participant on hold

Raise hand

Remove attendee

Share video

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