Thursday, October 6, 2022
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How To: Zoom’s New Focus Mode

Zoom has a new feature for those who need better control of zoom video during meetings. Focus Mode is the new function that gives hosts/co-hosts a view of all participant’s videos without other participants seeing each other. Today’s post will explain what Focus Mode is, and how you can enable it. Zoom’s New Focus Mode 

zoom icon


According to Zoom, Focus mode is designed with the digital learning environment in mind. It allows students to stay attentive or work on their tasks while under supervision. So that they aren’t being distracted by others and their tasks. However, you don’t have to be in a student environment to use Focus mode.  The feature is available to everyone.


About Focus Mode

The goal of Focus Mode is to give control to the host/co-host of the meeting so that they are able to see everyone, but the others in the meeting will only see the Host/Co-Host video feed, and the participant that is spotlighted by the Host.  The difference (as seen in the example below)


  • This is the view the host would have, where they will see everyone’s video feed


  • This is the view the participants will have when Focus Mode is turned on.  Where only the Host and the highlighted participant video feeds are seen.  The idea is that the limited camera view will keep the Focus on the intended person.


Enabling Focus Mode For Use 

Prior to being able to use Focus Mode, you will need to enable it to feature from the Zoom settings.  To do so

  • Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  • In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  • Click the Meeting tab.
  • Under In Meeting (Advanced), click the Focus Mode toggle to enable or disable it.

zoom focus mode setting

  • If a verification dialog displays, click Enable or Disable to verify the change.
    Note: If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at the account level. This will be for those that have a business or school account, where you have a Zoom administrator.  If you run into Focus Mode being greyed out, reach out to your Zoom admin.


Using Focus mode in a meeting

To engage Focus mode as the host or co-host of a meeting:

  1. Start a meeting as the host or co-host.
  2. Click More  on the meeting toolbar.
  3. Now click Start Focus Mode. zoom focus mode setting
  4. You will get a pop-up. Click Start to confirm, or select the Don’t ask me again check box to skip this confirmation going forward.
  5. When Focus mode begins, you and the participants are notified with a banner along the top of the video window. Additionally, the focus mode  icon is always visible in the top-left corner of the video window, next to the encryption icon, while focus mode is active.


Screen Sharing While In Focus Mode 

If you are using Focus Mode, by default participants’ shared screens are only visible to the host and co-hosts, but the host can allow all other participants to view as well:

  1. Click the up arrow  to the right of Share Screen .
  2. In the Shared screens can be seen by section, click All participants.
  3. (Optional) To return to just host and co-hosts viewing shared content, select Host-only.
    Note: These options are only available when in Focus mode.


*Keep in mind if you arent seeing any of the settings as described, you could be on an older version of Zoom.  Focus Mode requires version 5.73 or higher.   Zoom’s New Focus Mode

To Make Sure You Are On The Latest Version Of Zoom 

To make sure you are on the latest version of the Zoom client

  • log into the Zoom Desktop Client
  • Click on your profile picture and then go down and click on Check for Updates

zoom check for update

This will pop up and give you the option to install any missing updates.


Final Thought 

The idea for Focus Mode was education, to keep the kids focused on the person who is presenting.  However, I have seen more than my share of business meetings where Focus Mode could have come in handy. Fortunately, Zoom has added the Focus Mode feature to all accounts (Education, Pro, and Free).


Zoom’s New Focus Mode

24 Yrs. of professional experience in Technology. Experience with technology implementation and systems management at numerous 5 Star Hotels, and Stadiums across North America. Head of Tech Geek and More since 2009


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