Zoom has become the new normal for meetings, whether for work, school, or even gatherings among distant friends and family. While I’ve adapted comfortably to this online alternative to in-person get-togethers, I find watching myself on camera to be a major distraction. Call it vanity, self-consciousness, or whatever, I can’t focus as well on the other participants when my face is in one of the boxes.
As most regular Zoom users know, simply turning off your video is very straightforward – just hit the “stop video” button in the lower left corner. But that turns off my video for everyone on the call, and I still want my colleagues or friends to see me. Fortunately, Zoom offers another option that is a bit buried in the menus that allows you to only hide the video from yourself, while remaining visible to others. And beyond limiting distractions, hiding your own camera has the added benefit of freeing up room on your display to see the feeds of the other participants, so their images will be larger and more visible.
How to Hide Your Video from Yourself in Zoom
1. Join or Start a Zoom Meeting
Open the Zoom application on your computer or mobile device.
2. Enter the Meeting
Once you're in the meeting, you'll see your video feed (if your camera is enabled) at the bottom left corner of the Zoom window.
3. Go to the Video Settings menu
To hide your video from your own view while remaining visible to others, locate the "Stop Video" icon in the bottom left corner of the Zoom window.
Click on the little up arrow to display the full video menu and select “video settings”.
4. Hide Your Video from Yourself
Scroll down in the video settings and check “Hide Self View”
5. Continue the Meeting
Carry on with the meeting or webinar as usual. You will no longer see your own video feed, but others will continue to see you as long as your camera remains on.
I’ve found that the Hide Self View option doesn’t always persist from meeting to meeting, so you may need to turn it on again when joining a new one.
[Image credit: screenshot via Techlicious, laptop closeup via Smartmockups