Zoom Now Offers a Feature That Makes Users Less Distracted in Meetings


Zoom is bumping up supervision and attentiveness on its platform with a new Focus mode feature.

Normally, participants in a meeting on the platform can see videos of each other and the host during a meeting.

In the new focus mode, however, Zoom is giving hosts and co-hosts the power to switch from giving all participants the ability to see each other, to blocking them from that.

In their blog, the company says this feature was created with the digital classroom in mind.

Since the onset of Covid-19, the schooling environment has been flexible to offer virtual class sessions held on various platforms like Zoom.

Teachers have had to struggle with ensuring sessions run as smoothly as they do during in-person supervision in a physical classroom.

The Zoom focus feature makes certain that participants, especially students, are not getting distracted by each other’s videos and only concentrating on what is coming out of the host’s screen.

The host and the co-host will be the only ones able to access the videos coming out of the screens of each participant, which they can then choose to share with the rest.

Participants in Focus mode will retain the ability to see their video, the names of the other people in a meeting, the non-verbal reactions of other participants, their voice if unmuted, and video only when the host spotlights a participant. 

To enable focus mode, the host must be on a computer with Windows/macOS 5.7.3 or higher.

The Zoom Focus mode can be enabled or disabled in the Zoom web portal under Account management settings.

Using Focus mode in a meeting

  • Start a meeting as the host or co-host.
  • Click More on the meeting toolbar.
  • Click Start Focus Mode.
  • Click Start to confirm, or select the Don’t ask me again check box to skip this confirmation going forward.
  • 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 the focus mode is active.

To end Focus mode

  • Click More on the meeting toolbar.
  • Click Stop Focus Mode.