Is your computer getting slow? Here are some ideas to help you improve your computer speed.
My computer is slow to start up…
Review your computer for any unwanted startup programs. Be careful when doing this because you don’t want to get rid of needed system files; otherwise, your computer won’t work right. If there are any programs that you know that you don’t need, you can get rid of them. Right click on the bottom right corner and choose Task Manager to help you remove a program from startup.
We recommend running your computer at least once a week. If you do that, the updates won’t all pile up at once but will (usually) be smaller chunks that your computer can run faster. You also need to allow updates to happen and can’t keep it on all the time.
Clean your computer of viruses and malware. Run your antivirus program for a full scan. Make sure your computer is running apps to rid yourself of these things. These things can cause your computer to be slow to start up.
Consider an upgrade. Solid state drives are 2.5 times faster than typical hard drives in startup. Some older computers can’t handle everything that’s needed to start up fast, but an upgrade of RAM will serve them well.
Still having issues? Rather have someone else do it? Bring your computer to Tech Lab, and our techs will look into what’s going on with your computer at a deeper level. Call us at 414-208-4682 or contact us.
May is Healthy Vision Month and we want to address eye problems related to screens.
According to the American Optometric Association, symptoms of computer vision syndrome are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. This can be caused by poor lighting, glare on a digital screen, being too close or too far away from the screen, poor posture, air moving past the eyes, and uncorrected vision problems. Most of these problems stop when people stop looking at devices, but some people continue to experience problems. Continuing screen use despite problems can lead to worsening of symptoms.
The American Optometric Association recommends taking a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes in order to protect your eyes. They additionally recommend resting your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. They make apps and programs to remind you to do this.
To prevent dry eyes, you can blink frequently. If your eyes feel dry, you can use artificial tears. You can also use a humidifier. Contact lens users are more likely to experience these problems. If you wear contact lens, giving your eyes a break, cleaning your contact lens regularly, and not sleeping in your contact lens will help as well.
You may also want to get your eyes checked for vision problems. Yearly eye exams are recommended. Some glasses and contact lenses filter out the blue light of computer screens that heavily contributes to eye strain. Even if you don’t need glasses, glasses are made which filter out blue light from screens. There are additional apps or settings to filter out the blue light on mobile devices and the monitor of your computer may also be able to be adjusted to filter out blue light.
In order to reduce glare on the screen, you can move the computer screen or use curtains on windows or use lower watt lamps. Or you can use a screen glare filter. Also, keep your computer screen clean, as dust and dirt can increase glare.
Optimally, the computer should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and 20-28 inches from the eyes. Keep any work that you have as close to the computer so that your eyes don’t have to switch focus as much. As a rule of thumb, the larger the monitor, the farther away from the screen you should be. If you find yourself leaning forward to read, move your face closer to the screen. If you find yourself leaning backward, move your chair farther away from the screen. If you find yourself craning or slumping to see the computer, you will want to adjust your viewing angle.
Finally, blue light exposure can make it difficult to sleep at night. It disrupts our bodies’ natural sleep-wake cycle. It is recommended to turn off screens at least two hours before bed. If you absolutely have to use the screen before bed, turning on night mode (or high contrast mode) and lowering the brightness of the screen will help. These days, many phones automatically adjust the brightness of the screen, so you may have to turn this off, or you may find that the brightness of your screen is already adjusted. Many browsers have extensions that will do this also. Doing these things during the day may also help with eyestrain, but you may find that you have difficulty seeing the screen in the sunlight.
If you need assistance setting up blue light filters on your devices or need other things made accessible on your device, contact Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 or fill out our contact form. If you experience computer vision syndrome, consult your eye doctor.
(The American Optometric Association website was consulted to write this blog post.)
So many options are available for Cloud storage options. How do you choose which one to use? Here are some of the most popular options and their pros and cons.
Size availability: 15GB free with a free Gmail account but paid accounts give greater amounts of space
Space is determined by where the document is housed and not by what has been shared with you
15GB free is shared among Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos
Resources needed: The Google Drive was traditionally based on the Internet. Now mobile apps exist to access Google Drive. Backup and Sync from Google app allows you to access and use the Google Drive as if it were a drive on your computer and keep your files up to date.
Size availability: 5GB free, but paid accounts give greater space, and you can buy more.
Resources needed: Windows 10 computers come preloaded with Microsoft OneDrive that you can access as if it were a drive on your computer. Each Microsoft account has its own access to OneDrive. OneDrive is also the default location for any files saved in Microsoft Office. Mobile apps also exist to access OneDrive on other devices.
Size availability: 5GB free but can pay for more & plans can be shared with family
Resources needed: iPhones and iPads automatically back up to the iCloud through the Apple ID that you used to access them. You can access the iCloud by going to the Settings and then Manage Storage or iCloud Storage directly on your iPhone or iPad. If you access the iCloud through this drive, it acts much like a typical drive on a computer.
Size availability: 2GB free but can pay for or otherwise get access to more when you initially sign up
Resources needed: There is a Dropbox app available for mobile devices and for computers. This program acts more like a folder than a drive. You will need a Dropbox account to use it.
Size availability: free photo storage for Prime Members, plus 5GB, but you can pay for more space
Resources needed: There is an Amazon Photos app and an Amazon Drive app available for mobile devices and for computers. The Amazon Drive app acts much like a folder. The Photos app is more customized for photos.
Before choosing any of these solutions, we highly recommend reading the license agreement. Dropbox owns anything that is put onto it. This may make it not the best place to store confidential documents.
Note on sharing files: When you share a file with someone else, generally this does not count against their space. Users have the ability to download a copy of files or to save a copy to their own account, in which case it would count against their computer’s space. File sharing is a great way to keep access to something you fear you might lose. However, when you save a copy locally the changes are no longer synced in the document.
Because these are Cloud solutions, these generally require the Internet to work properly. It is possible to make the programs available for use offline, but when you make changes offline, these changes will not be reflected in the files online until the device where you have made the changes goes back online.
It is also possible to download the documents from the Cloud as files to your computer. However, if you do this, changes will no longer be synced with the Cloud. You will need to resync them to have your changes saved with others.
If you have questions about which service is best for you and your company call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 or fill our our contact form and we can work with you to pick the best solution for you.
What is the purpose of using the Cloud or a server?
First, let’s talk about why you’d want to use the Cloud or servers. The reason is because you want to share information in a secure way across your company or across your employees. E-mail works for this when you have few people and few documents, but the more documents you have and the more employees you have, the more you’ll find out its limitations. Another reason is cloud services or a server give you a place to store your backups.
Why a server?
Servers serve multiple functions in IT. If you already have one, it’s not difficult to store information on it. If you need to work off-location and access information stored there, you’ll need a VPN in order to do so.
If you don’t already have a server however and don’t need it for other IT reasons, I would only use a server for company data storage for security reasons. A server is much more secure than the Cloud. It’s a lot harder to get into a server than it is a Cloud account. If you intend to store a huge amount of data or have many users, you may also find that it’s cheaper to do so on a server. You can also customize a server much more than you can the Cloud.
Why the Cloud?
If you have a Microsoft account (e.g., an Office 365 subscription) or a Gmail account, you have access to Cloud storage. It’s called Microsoft OneDrive in Microsoft, and Google Drive in Google. It’s more secure to use team paid accounts – that is, business Office 365 accounts and GSuite accounts – than it is to use unrelated accounts, but you can use either. However, the amount of storage you get with your account is typically limited. Many businesses also don’t have accounts for every one of their employees, which limits its usability.
The Cloud tends to be more reliable than an on-site server. If you don’t have a dedicated IT staff and you need to be up as much as you can, you will find that the Cloud better meets your needs. If you are not doing off-site backups and a natural disaster happens to your location, having your files in the Cloud will be better. The Cloud also allows for real-time file collaboration.
Could I use both the Cloud and a server?
Absolutely! Often Tech Lab prefers a hybrid approach where both Cloud solutions and onsite solutions are used.
No matter which option you prefer, Tech Lab can work with you to assess your needs and set you up so you can work on documents seamlessly with your team and so you have adequate backups. Call us at 414-208-4682 to schedule your consultation.
IT providers can offer a wide range of services. Not every provider is going to work for every company. Consider these areas to see which are important to you as you look for your next IT provider.
This is one of the most important aspects for a business. IT Consulting is the area where business and IT meet. An IT consultant will align IT priorities with business needs. Examples of this may include meeting industry-specific requirements for IT systems, planning for future IT which is customized to your niche and where you want to go with your business, and alerting you of opportunities for IT to advance your business. A recent example would be how to help you move your business remote when the pandemic hit.
2. Technical Support
This is what most people look for in an IT provider – someone that you can call when you have a problem with your technology. Problems look different depending on the company but often include fixing broken computers, getting new people set up on computers, and helping individuals with any specific issue they may have with their IT equipment. A common thing to look at is when is the IT provider available to help and when you need them to be available.
When you have your own computer, you are vulnerable to viruses, malware, and hacking. Most people are familiar with antivirus software for home computers. In a business, because there is more to lose and more moving pieces, an IT provider will usually put more protections in place. This includes making sure that there are protections in place on all computers, making sure that employees are using IT systems safely, doing security updates on all systems, and planning systems to avoid problems.
4. Crisis Planning
Most businesses call their IT provider when there is a problem, as they should. However, having a plan for what to do when there is a problem will enable you to get back to working sooner. Planning for problems can help you avoid the problems in the first place and give you more warning about them. Examples of crisis planning include setting up backups so that you’ll still have your data if your computer dies and what to do when the Internet goes out along with disaster planning recovery as well.
5. IT Architecture
Before you have an IT provider, you make your IT work however you can. An IT provider, on the other hand, knows all the ways to set up and transform an IT system. Planning your IT architecture is one of the first tasks a good IT provider will do to make it easier and faster for them to manage your IT systems. How you collaborate on and share files are things you’ll plan for as well.
6. IT Administration
IT administration is the day-to-day running of a business IT system. Making sure that everyone has what they need to do their job on an IT system while keeping the system safe is one of the things that an administrator provides. IT service providers also plan and execute the changes that are decided to be best for the system in as seamless and painless a way for the company including planning timelines, doing training, and convincing people to be on board. They will also know who to call if there is a problem and how to talk to them.
7. IT Asset Management
The longer a company exists, the more technology you will have – and the harder it can be to keep track of. Some of it may be old and no longer used; what do you do with it? An IT provider will keep track of all your systems. They will get rid of old ones for you in a way that protects your data and can help the environment. They will let you know when systems need upgrades and when to get new equipment and help you source new equipment that fits your needs.
In a company with on-site IT, often these areas are what your IT is doing for you already if you are allowing it. In a smaller company, your IT provider can fulfill these roles. IT can span many technologies, and it will depend on the provider what technologies they are able to service (e.g., computers, Internet network, mobile devices, website, phones, printers, etc.).
If you are currently missing any of these areas from your IT provider or you are in the market for an IT provider for your small business, call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 to discuss your options of how Tech Lab can work with you.
Recently, we are seeing some more sophisticated scam e-mails, this is a good time to discuss e-mail safety.
First, if you’re not sure about an e-mail, contact Tech Lab at 414-208-4682, and we’ll take a look at it for you.
Now let’s talk about what’s safe and unsafe to do in an e-mail:
It’s safe to open an e-mail. So if you are freaking out because you opened a scam e-mail, relax because you’re fine.
It may not be safe to download a file, reply, open or click on a link, or call a phone number, and it’s definitely not safe to do any of these things with a scam e-mail. If you have done this in an e-mail that you’re unsure about, contact Tech Lab.
Let’s take a look at some sample scam e-mails that we have seen more than usual lately:
1) The fake order
The formula for this e-mail is, “Here’s the receipt for the order you placed,” and it’ll look like a receipt. Like any other receipt, it will have a way to dispute the order somehow in the e-mail.
Why this looks like a scam:
Check the e-mail address on an e-mail like this. Usually the e-mail address is not what you’d expect when you’d place an order.
There are many typos and things like highlighting to draw your attention that you wouldn’t typically see on a legitimate order.
While some receipts do come with PDF attachments, most don’t. Remember, attachments can contain viruses.
When to worry:
When the receipt looks legitimate and you didn’t order it. For example, if you have an Amazon account and the e-mail looks like it came from Amazon (e.g., came from firstname.lastname@example.org). Check your financial statements and your account. If it looks like there was activity, you’ll want to kick everyone out of your account, change the password, and consider higher security (like 2-factor authentication) for your account.
Occasionally, when you open an e-mail like this, the last four digits of your credit card number will be inside. If they are, check your accounts.
What to do if you think it might be legitimate.
Check your financial statements. If you have paid for anything, that’s how you’ll know. If something unexpected is showing up on your statements, cancel it through your financial institution and let them know it’s fraud.
If something is showing up that is unexpected, you’ll need to do some securing of your digital self, so give Tech Lab a call.
2) Fake e-mail problems
The formula for this e-mail can look a couple of different ways. The most convincing one I ever saw was, you need to change your password, but the most common I have seen is, you need to verify your account. I have also seen ones that say, you are running out of space in your e-mail account.
Why this looks like a scam:
Usually if you have to verify your e-mail address or change your password, it doesn’t come as an e-mail. It comes before you open any e-mail. So don’t trust any kind of e-mail like this.
My e-mail is provided by Tech Lab, so any e-mail I would get about my e-mail should likewise come from an e-mail address ending in techlabhq.com. (Actually, Tech Lab will call you if there are any issues with your e-mail account.)
There are many typos and things like bolding that I wouldn’t normally see on a non-spam e-mail.
When to worry:
If your password or another password that you use is contained in the e-mail, first scan your computer, but then you’ll want to change the password on any account that uses that password.
If you can’t open any other e-mails or send e-mails, it’s more likely that there is an issue with your e-mail. Call your e-mail or IT provider.
What to do if you think it might be legitimate.
You can log in on the portal page to your e-mail. In my or our customers’ case, that is mail.techlabhq.com. In the case of Gmail, this is mail.google.com, and in the case of Outlook or Microsoft, this is outlook.office.com. If there is an issue with your e-mail, your provider will prompt you when you log in to do whatever.
You can also call your e-mail provider. Find a phone number for your e-mail provider that is not in the e-mail, and call it.
If you’re not sure about your e-mail provider, you can call them, Tech Lab, or your IT provider, and we’ll be able to help you check this.
I clicked on a link/replied/downloaded the file/called the phone number, and now I think it was a scam… Now what???
Call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682. Some actions are riskier than others. Our technicians will help you determine the extent of the damage, and suggest some next steps. They will be able to answer your questions about your situation.
The short answer is, if you are asking this question, you need one. But you may not be sure how to find one and what questions to ask to find out if they are the right fit for you.
The long answer is, does whoever you are working with meet your needs? Let’s talk about a few things that go into that:
Do you have IT hardware?
In this digital age, we all need and have computer(s), so I’m skipping the question we once asked – do you have a computer. Even if you don’t have a computer, pretty much everyone has a smart phone or a tablet, which all falls under IT. Everyone, by the way, includes the people who don’t really know how to use them.
Do you need an IT service?
If you have IT hardware, you bought the hardware from a provider. Some of these providers will provide repair services, and some of them won’t. Because you need the hardware, you have to work with some kind of a provider, even if all they do is sell you a new device.
The question is, is the provider a good fit for your company?
What services do they provide?
If we all need someone to purchase our equipment from, as a business it’s also great to have someone who can make the technology work the way it should. Some home customers that we know just buy new and never repair, but this can lose you a lot of data if you haven’t set your IT up right. A good IT service can help you move data from one device to another and help devices talk to each other. Some good home IT services do provide these kinds of services, but a business service definitely will.
Additionally, as businesses get larger, the more devices (e.g., Internet equipment, computers, printers, etc.) your business will accumulate. The more devices, the more things that can go wrong. Residential IT services will involve you in many more decisions than a business IT service will want to do. The business IT service can just take care of IT issues for you but will also consult you as needed along the way. The more parts of this that your IT service provider can you do for you and the more skilled your IT service provider, the more peace of mind that you will have that everything works together in a secure manner.
You’ll also want to make sure that the service provider you choose to work with can cope with your systems. Some providers don’t handle Ethernet networks. Some don’t handle Windows computers.
Can the IT provider you choose fix your problem?
There are some providers who don’t fix the problem you brought the computer in for. Even if you bring it in multiple times and complain, it still doesn’t get fixed. That’s an example of an IT service that doesn’t work.
Bring the same computer into a reputable provider, on the other hand, and he might tell you it can be fixed. Let the reputable provider take a look at it, and it gets fixed after a few days instead of spending days not working. As a business grows, you as the business owner understand that time is money. Getting the computer fixed in an efficient manner allows you to make more money.
This isn’t to say that everything IT-related can be fixed because it can’t. Quite a lot can be fixed but sometimes it costs to fix more than you want to pay. As your business grows, the more crucial the latter (and the prevention of problems) can become. That’s what a good business IT service can provide you – the choice of the best solution for your business from many options.
How well do they know you, your system, and your business?
There are some places you will go, and you get a different person every time. The bigger your business becomes, the more complicated and idiosyncratic your IT system becomes. Someone who understands your system has a huge advantage in knowing what went wrong and how to fix it. They also know how to prioritize the work. Someone who understands what it means to you when your computer goes down is in a much better position to do what they can to get you going than someone who doesn’t.
In closing, some residential IT providers can provide good service to micro-businesses in their early days if they are knowledgeable and responsive. However, the quicker you can get a business IT service involved, you will be making smarter IT decisions, and you will have fewer headaches later on. They understand how important it is for you to stay in business and how to get you ready for the growth you want to see.
Call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 to see if we fit you and your business!
As 2020 closes out, Tech Lab would like to thank those businesses and people who have worked with us during the year. Pat Miller, The Idea Coach, helped propel us into a strong start for 2020 and to think big as we strategized. We held our first seminar in February and could not have done it without Claire Lauer with CL Content Marketing and Mike Mitchell and his staff at Celtic MKE. On April 30, Ask the Techsperts webinar series started. This series started thanks to Jennifer Buchholz from Excel & Flourish and her belief in us and has continued to make as lasting impact to all our viewers. Thank you to Rosie Brucker from All About Your Biz who continues to deliver solid graphics for us. Kristina Koslosky from Kreative Solutions, thank you for being a website partner and for regularly speaking on Ask the Techsperts. Joe Fricano with Decided Excellence, Employ Milwaukee, Keystone Click, and Robb Fallon with Pressing On thank you for your continued support of Tech Lab. Finally thank you to Michael Rampolla & Darren Fischer and the staff at Spearity as Tech Lab makes big goals for 2021. Businesses do not take place in a bubble and we are all stronger when we work together.
In previous posts, we have talked about how to join a meeting and how to troubleshoot going to the meeting. In this post, we are going to discuss some basics on how to schedule a meeting.
You need a Zoom account in order to do this, but it can be a free one. You also need to be signed into it wherever you are scheduling it:
You can either open the Zoom app and click schedule a meeting. Or you can go to zoom.us and click on My Account on the top right and then click Schedule a Meeting.
This is the picture from the Zoom app, but the one on the zoom.us page has the same information.
At the very least, you want to make sure to adjust the time and date for when you want the meeting to be. This is how participants can verify the meeting time, especially when you have participants from different time zones. You can see on the above meeting that the time will be in CST because Central Time (US and Canada) is selected. Then you can hit save, and you’ve scheduled your meeting.
But let’s go into a little more detail about this screen…
I can select recurring meeting if I am going to have the meeting again. On zoom.us, you have more control over this, and you can select how often it recurs and for how long. There is also the option for no fixed time, which is the default in the app. “No fixed time” means that you can just let people know when it will be. You’ll be able to start it whenever.
Personal meeting ID vs. generate meeting ID automatically
It’s also possible to use your personal meeting ID or to generate a meeting ID automatically. Let’s talk a little bit about the differences:
Generating a meeting ID automatically gives you a random meeting ID. You can customize the password. Having different meeting IDs for every meeting that you have means that there is no risk of participants bumping into each other. So this is the method I use for personal meetings.
Using a personal meeting ID uses the same meeting ID every time you use it. From meeting to meeting, the meeting ID and password shouldn’t change.* Having the same meeting ID for multiple meetings means that people from different meetings can bump into each other. For people who struggle to get into Zoom, keeping the meeting ID and password the same can be easier to get into. Using a personal meeting ID or a recurring meeting without a fixed time can provide this same functionality. I’ve often seen people use their personal meeting ID for office hours or for recurring meetings.
*You can customize your personal meeting ID (e.g., phone number) and password, which can be a good method of branding. Keep in mind that if you change the password or meeting ID, you will change it for all meetings that use your personal meeting ID. So if you change the password or meeting ID of your personal meeting room, you’ll have to let people you’ve already scheduled with on that room that you’ve done that. However, doing so is a good way to get rid of Zoom bombers if your personal meeting room has been hacked.
If you want custom passcodes for different meeting rooms, I highly recommend setting up the recurring meeting with “no fixed time”. That way, they will not interfere with one another.
Now let’s talk security. Security requires there to be a passcode on every meeting. Zoom passcodes will automatically be a series of numbers. You can customize the passcode to make it easier for people to type. If you have a personal meeting ID, we don’t recommend changing it from meeting to meeting (see * above for why).
You can also turn on or off a waiting room. If you are in the meeting room and the waiting room is off, anyone who has the passcode and meeting ID can walk right in. This may be the right atmosphere for an office hour or a large event. However, for most things, for security, I recommend a waiting room, especially if you use your personal meeting ID for all your meetings. Most event organizers will keep the waiting room on to make sure that the participants are who they are supposed to be. This is especially true when ticketing (though some people won’t be named correctly so check). This is also super helpful if you want to wait to let the participants in because you want to chat with e.g., the organizers ahead of time.
Video and Audio
Having the video on or off can set the tone for the meeting – how much participation you expect from participants. I tend to set it as on, especially for one-on-one meetings. However, if you are doing a webinar, you may prefer to set it as off.
I always select Telephone & Computer Audio. This provides the most flexibility for participants. However, if you need people to use their phones or their computers, you can set it accordingly.
The calendar option only shows up on the app – not on zoom.us. What it does is shows you where it will put the meeting information. I usually use zoom.us because I don’t have these set up. However, this can be a great way of integrating with other software that you use.
Let’s talk briefly about the Advanced options on the app and Meeting options on zoom.us because they are mostly the same.
If you let participants to join anytime, they will join the meeting immediately if you don’t have a waiting room and join the waiting room if you do. For security’s sake, I don’t recommend the first option. However, the second option can be a good plan in some circumstances. For a recurring meeting without a fixed time, I usually have this on with a waiting room on. That way people can join whenever and I can let them in whenever. If people get confused about timing, keeping this off can be a good way to remind them of when the meeting is.
Muting participants upon entry is a good way to let people know what the expectations for participation are. Most people will chitchat when they first get in, unless they are muted. If people don’t know how to mute themselves, this can be a good way to automate it.
Requiring authentication to join can be a way of improving security because it requires signing into Zoom. However, if you have individuals who are not tech-savvy attending, I don’t recommend it because it can mean that they can’t get in. So I always leave that unchecked.
You can also automatically record meetings and set an alternative host. Note that the alternative host must have a Zoom account.
If you are on the app, you will now have an e-mail or a calendar event. You can send it.
If you are on zoom.us, you will now have meeting info. You can edit it if you typed something wrong. At this point though, I usually hit “Copy invitation” and send it off to the participants.
About sending out invitations
Sometimes e-mails go to spam, or people don’t check their e-mails. If you have someone you really want to be at your meeting, it’s a good idea to confirm with them that they got the e-mail. It can also be a good idea to offer a Zoom testing session, especially if you are offering a paid session or if someone will struggle with Zoom. For paid sessions, this is often a group session, but I have done it one-to-one with family members.
Hopefully you gained more knowledge on the setup of a zoom meeting and what to check and what it all means. If you have questions or need help scheduling zoom meetings, call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682.
+13017158592,,84946207497#,,,,,,0#,,982993# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,84946207497#,,,,,,0#,,982993# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 849 4620 7497
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kd0vXh6U1X
The easiest way is to share your meeting is to give all of this information with everyone. Then they click on the link at the top to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84946207497?pwd=YzhRa0ZCRTlJSFpvcmNSUVZWbUlDQT09 If you can’t click on it, then you can just copy it into your browser.
It is also possible to open the Zoom app and click Join. This is often used when you don’t have access to the invitation on a different device or if you have trouble clicking on links. When you click Join, it will ask for the meeting ID and the passcode. Based on this invitation, I would type in 84946207497 as the meeting ID and 982993 as the passcode. Then press Join.
You can also dial into meetings. Dialing in does not allow you to use video, but it is a great choice if you don’t have great Internet access. To dial in, choose the location that is closest to you, and dial the phone number. In this case, because I am close to Germantown, I would dial 301-715-8592. Then it will ask for your meeting ID followed by the # key, so I would dial 849-4620-7497#. Then it will ask for a participant ID, which you might not have. I don’t have a participant ID, so I dial #. Finally, it will ask for the passcode if there is one, followed by the # key. I dial 982993#, and I am in the meeting.
Sometimes, however, the person who invites you will only share the link and the passcode:
It’s still possible to join in all ways from this information. I’ve highlighted the meeting ID in the URL. If you have the meeting ID and the passcode, you can join in the Zoom app. You can take the phone numbers to dial into Zoom from this page or another invitation. When it asks for meeting ID, input that, and when it asks for passcode, input that. You won’t have a participant ID, so you’ll dial #.
If you have Internet issues, it is also possible to have audio through your phone and video through your computer. Some people will join with two different devices to accomplish this, but it is also possible to split the video and audio between two devices. Before joining audio, you can click Phone Call, and it will show you the information you need to dial in. If you’ve already joined with your computer, you will click the ^ next to Mute and then click Switch to Phone Audio… This will bring up the same information. This will give you a participant ID. If you don’t input the participant ID, you will show up as a second person.
Need help setting up the meeting or getting a computer set up for online video conferencing? At Tech Lab, we have worked with many people to get them a webcam and microphone and learn how to use online video conferencing. We have also helped them check their audio or video settings. Call us at 414-208-4682 to have us help you!