Zoom Not Working: How To Fix 10 Common Issues

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Are you having a hard time because Zoom is not working, and you don’t know what to do?

That sucks! This platform has become an essential part of everyone’s productive day in the last few years, as it allows for seamless communication in the blink of an eye.

I get how it can be very frustrating to have this happen, especially when you already set up a time to meet with someone, and you’re worried you won’t be able to make it.

But don’t worry, you came to the right place for answers. Below, I’ve prepared a list including the 10 most common issues you might encounter on this communications platform and some simple ways to address each one.

When Zoom is not working, you might encounter camera issues, a flickering screen, microphone malfunction, audio playback difficulties, incompatibility with many of your devices, and many more obstacles.

Keep reading to get back to your meetings!

The 10 Common Issues That Keep Zoom From Working

When you think about it, considering that millions of people use this platform on a daily basis for their work and personal meetings, it really doesn’t fail as often as something with this user volume should. That being said, technical difficulties can put a dent in your productivity, so here are the 10 most common issues behind Zoom not working, so you can get everything back to normal in no time.

#1 Camera Issues

Let’s face it, very few people like to keep their cameras on while in a Zoom meeting. It’s simply awkward and uncomfortable to give other people an in-depth look into your life and your home.

However, sometimes this might be necessary as certain jobs require people to keep the cameras on, or you might be presenting an important annual brand plan. Whatever the case may be, it’s key that you can control when your camera is on, and how bright or dark it looks. So, when you’re having trouble doing this, things can quickly get frustrating.

Something like this could be happening due to poorly-adjusted camera settings on Zoom, choosing the wrong place to sit (like directly in front of a window), outdated software, and much more. In any case, our guides for when the camera is too dark, too bright, or zoomed in can certainly help!

#2 A Flickering Screen

Few things can be as annoying as a screen that’s constantly flickering while you’re trying to explain something important or take notes during a key meeting for a project.

When something like this happens you can quickly realize how underappreciated having a steady screen really is. Especially when, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to be able to figure out what’s causing the issue.

Normally, in this scenario, you can blame failing servers on the company’s end, your Firewall, the Hardware Acceleration feature on the platform, and many other factors. If you want to discover them all and get a detailed walkthrough on how to address them, make sure to check out our guide on a flickering screen while on Zoom.

#3 Microphone Malfunction

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably not too fond of speaking while in a Zoom meeting, as it can sometimes be awkward and everything stays on the record.

However, in some cases, it’s necessary to speak up to give a personal opinion, add something to the dynamic, or simply answer a question someone asked you. In situations like this, having your microphone working is critical, as otherwise, you’ll just be a talking head that no one can understand!

Microphone issues can happen due to things like improperly configuring your audio settings on the platform, outdated software, a strict Firewall, and even the host accidentally muting you. There are many more elements to this, so please make sure to check out our guide for when Zoom keeps changing your microphone volume, muting you, or randomly unmuting you.

#4 Audio Playback Difficulties

Just like speaking on the microphone, being able to listen to what other people are telling you while on a Zoom call is critical to great teamwork and quick results. And even in personal situations, communicating without issues is very important.

So, when you start having audio playback technical difficulties, things can quickly get annoying, and you might feel the need to end the call and talk later.

As frustrating as this is, there are some common culprits in this scenario, such as the background noise-canceling feature on the platform, outdated audio drivers, a background process crash, and more.

If you’re interested in getting to the bottom of this as soon as possible, please take a look at our guides for when your Zoom audio is too quiet, or it won’t play via headphones.

#5 Incompatibility With Some Devices

Given how widely used Zoom is for both professional and personal purposes, the developers behind the platform have worked very hard to ensure that it’s fully compatible with most modern devices out there.

Unfortunately, achieving this is easier said than done, as making compatibility work requires several hours of coding and large teams of people.

And even when the code has been cracked and everything seems to be working smoothly, issues can still arise and make things difficult for you, the user.

Some devices people tend to have a lot of trouble with are iPads and not just the older generation. Although they’re supposed to be 100% compatible with the communication platform, technical difficulties are well known to happen, and this can be due to strict privacy settings, failing servers, as well as outdated software.

To get the full picture and some simple solutions to each potential culprit, make sure to take a look at our guide on Zoom not working on your iPad.

#6 Network Disconnection

Have you ever had Zoom tell you that you have no internet connection, even when you know that you do and that it’s working perfectly?

If so, then this section is for you.

Modern communications platforms are designed to be efficient, easy to use, and compatible with all sorts of networks, both wired and wireless. However, as you’ve probably learned thus far, things can always go wrong and stop working as intended.

If you’ve noticed that Zoom keeps disconnecting you for no good reason, it might be due to using a VPN, strict Firewall settings, a coding bug, and even background process crashes. Please check out our guide on Zoom disconnecting you, even on good Wi-Fi to get to the bottom of this and stay online.

#7 Raising Your Hand Randomly

During the pandemic, Zoom became the norm for all sorts of online communication and responsibilities. Whether you were required to use it for work or to join a class for school, I’m sure you saw your fair share of embarrassing moments as the result of accidentally unmuted microphones, activated cameras, and raised hands.

Out of all the possible scenarios I can think of, the raised hand is the least embarrassing in my opinion. But even then, it could still get you in a lot of trouble if you were distracted, as it could draw all the attention to you.

If this ever happened to you, it might have been due to a software bug, a faulty camera, outdated software, or some other factors. Provided this still occurs, and it has grown increasingly annoying, make sure to check out our guide for when Zoom is raising your hand when you don’t want it to.

#8 Faulty Blurry Background

Homes are supposed to be private spaces where we can relax, be ourselves, and not have to worry about what other people might think. But sadly, this sense of peace and quiet is disrupted when we have to work/study from home and keep our cameras open for monitoring.

If you’re a very organized person, this has probably never bothered you too much, as the background of your video is likely nice and tidy at all times.

But if you’re like me, you might have an unmade bed or a pile of unfolded clothes that you don’t want your boss/teacher to see. And this is where the “blur background” feature comes in handy.

Unfortunately, sometimes this feature can fail and leave you “exposed”, which is unacceptable. This can happen due to a computer that’s not powerful enough for blurring the background, strict antivirus settings, a bad internet connection, and several other factors. Luckily, our guide for when you can’t blur your Zoom background has all the answers you need!

#9 Login Issues

Being in the middle of an important job presentation or a midterm exam is nerve-wracking enough as it is. But if you add to that the annoyance of being constantly signed out of Zoom for no apparent reason, things can truly get hairy.

There are many factors that could be causing you to be stuck in this situation, including using a VPN, strict Firewall settings, a Zoom installation error, being logged into the same account on two separate devices, and much more.

To get a full list of possible causes and solutions, as well as useful information, make sure to check out our guide on Zoom always signing you out.

#10 Can’t Leave a Meeting

Unless you’re using the platform for personal reasons, ending a work/school Zoom call brings about a sense of relief and relaxation like no other, as in most cases, this means you’re done for the day.

But when, no matter what you do, you can’t leave a meeting, things can get really frustrating and take away some of the free time you were all ready to enjoy.

A scenario like this could be happening due to a faulty internet connection, failing servers on the platform’s end, strict Firewall settings, outdated software, and many other factors. For a full explanation of the potential culprits and detailed instructions on how to address them and prevent them from happening in the future, please check out our guide for when you can’t leave a meeting on Zoom.

Bonus Guide

#11 How to Enable “Always on Top”

Productivity is all about being able to multitask without missing out on what other people are saying during a virtual meeting. We’ve all been there, in class or at work, trying to get other projects done while also listening carefully to our classmates/coworkers.

However, when Zoom keeps getting lost in the background or gets buried under a ton of other open windows, getting back into the meeting quickly can be challenging.

Luckily, there’s the “always on top” option, which basically means that every time you click on Zoom, the meeting window will pop up above anything else you might be working on. By enabling this option, you’ll never be caught off guard again when someone asks you a question.

To discover the exact steps to use this feature, make sure to check out our guide on how to enable Zoom always on top in 3 easy steps.


That about covers it!

When Zoom is not working, what should be a simple work/school meeting for collaborating with your peers can turn into one of the greatest challenges of the day.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you see, addressing the most common causes behind this situation is very easy and quick. In most cases, something as simple as clearing the platform’s cache, updating it, and double-checking your Firewall/Antivirus settings, will do the trick.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was helpful and piqued your interest, you’ll be glad to know that there’s new content to keep learning from every week. While we finish typing our latest work, please check out our other incredible resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!

I wish you all the best.

— Gerry.