Using focus mode in a Zoom Room

There is a special mode in Focus that was designed with the aim of keeping students’ attention in a digital learning environment, allowing them to work on their assignments under supervision without being distracted by others or other students. By using this feature, the host and co-hosts have access to all of the participants’ videos without having to see the other participants’ videos. This also applies to screen sharing, as the co-host and host can switch between each participant’s shared screen, while participants can only see their own content when on screen. It is very easy for the host to share an attendee’s screen with others at any time if he or she feels that the attendee’s content should be shared with others.

While attendees can still see their own video in focus mode, they can only see and hear other attendees’ names, their non-verbal feedback or reactions when unmuted, with the exception of the host, co-moderators, and attendees who presented by the host.

In this article we will cover the following topics:

  • How to activate focus mode
    • Account
    • Specific Zoom Rooms
  • How to use focus mode in a Zoom Room
    • How to enable focus mode as a meeting host or co-host
    • How to exit focus mode

Requirements for focus mode in Zoom Rooms


  • In older client versions, attendees still experience the effects of focus mode (their videos are hidden from others, videos and shared content are only visible to the host and cannot be viewed by others), but they don’t see notifications related to the focus mode . Focus mode can only be initiated from a host running the required version of the software.
  • In addition to initiating focus mode from within Zoom Rooms, the desktop client as well as the mobile app can also be used to initiate focus mode.

How to activate focus mode


In order for all users and Zoom Rooms in our account to have focus mode enabled, we need to follow these steps:

  1. If you are an admin with permission to edit account settings, you can access the Zoom web portal by logging in as an admin.
  2. Select Account Management in the navigation pane, and then click Account Settings in the Account Management pane.
  3. Select the Meeting tab on the left side of the screen.
  4. To enable or disable focus mode for a meeting, click the toggle under In Meeting (Advanced).
  5. You may be prompted to confirm the change by clicking Enable or Disable in a confirmation dialog box that appears.
    Note: In the case of a grayed out option, the option has been locked at the account level and needs to be changed at that level if you want to change it.
  6. You can optionally make this setting mandatory for each user in your account; You can do this by clicking the lock icon and then clicking Lock to confirm that you want to make this setting mandatory.

Specific Zoom Rooms

A Zoom Room can be enabled or disabled using the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal by entering your email address and password.
  2. You can access Zoom Rooms by clicking the Room Management tab in the navigation pane.
  3. Find the Zoom Room you want to edit and click its name to open it.
  4. If you click on the Zoom Room name, you can access the room settings for that Zoom Room.
  5. Go to the Meetings tab and click on it.
  6. It’s possible to enable or disable focus mode under In Meeting (Basic) by clicking the toggle next to it.
  7. If a change has been made, a confirmation dialog box will appear and you must click Enable or Disable to confirm.
    Note: If greyed out, the option may have been locked at the account level and therefore needs to be changed at that level.

How to use focus mode in a Zoom Room

How to enable focus mode as a meeting host or co-host

  1. As the meeting host or co-host, you can start the meeting.
  2. You can access Zoom Room Controller by tapping More on the screen.
  3. You can start focus mode by tapping the Start focus mode button.
  4. You must tap Start to confirm your action.
  5. Once focus mode is enabled, a banner will appear at the top of the video window to notify you and attendees of the change. In addition, while focus mode is active and you are in the video window, you can always see the focus mode icon in the top left corner next to the video window’s scramble icon.

When focus mode is triggered, only the host’s video, the co-host’s video, and any participants highlighted by the host are visible to attendees. Each participant can also see their own video once focus mode has been activated. When muted, they can only see the other participants’ names, hear their non-verbal feedback, and their non-verbal reactions.

A host and co-host can only see the participants’ shared screens, but the host can allow all other participants to also see:

  1. Click the Share Screen button.
  2. From the Sharing Options menu, choose Advanced Sharing Options.
  3. The shared screens can be viewed by section by tapping All Participants in the Shared Screens menu.
  4. The host can select Hosts only if they don’t want to see shared content with their co-hosts.
    Note: when you are in focus mode, you can only access these options.

How to exit focus mode

  1. You can do this by tapping the More button on the Zoom Room Controller.
  2. To stop focus mode, you need to tap Stop focus mode button.

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