How to Use Focus Mode in a Zoom Meeting

As much as the pandemic has hit working people, it is having the same impact on students. During these troubled times, Zoom has become the premier video calling or meeting app for most people.

Although there are several alternatives like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, people still prefer Zoom because it gets new features very often. Zooming Focus mode is one such feature that prevents students and workspace professionals from being distracted during an online course or meeting.

This guide shows how to use Focus Mode in the Zoom app and avoid the distractions that could get in the way of your meeting or live session. So let’s jump right in.

What is focus mode and how to use it?

According to the official support site, the focus mode on zoom was developed with the “digital learning environment” in mind. However, this feature is not limited to student use.

Workspace pros, streamers, webinar hosts, etc. can also take advantage of this great feature to stay away from distractions. Especially when you are giving a presentation or explaining something important in a meeting, you can use this mode so as not to be distracted by others or their actions.

Once the zoom focus mode is enabled, only hosts and co-moderators can view all participants’ videos. But neither participant can see each other’s videos, which avoids distractions.

In addition, the screen sharing feature is locked to everyone except the host and co-host. If you’re a participant, you can only view your content, not anyone else’s.

In addition, when focus mode is activated, you are not listening to any other participant. This means that only non-verbal responses such as raising hands or other reactions are visible.


Fortunately, this advanced focus mode feature is available for all zoom account levels. This also includes free or simple account holders. Another important note is that you can only enable and use focus mode in the Zoom desktop client app. It is not currently available for the Android or iOS Zoom mobile app.


To use Zoom Focus mode, you must download the Zoom desktop client version 5.7.3 or higher for Windows and Mac. If you’re running an older version of the Zoom client, you can also use focus mode.

However, you cannot turn the feature on or off. Plus, you won’t see any focus mode notifications either. It can only be activated from the host running Zoom desktop client version 5.7.3 or higher.

How to activate focus mode while zooming

Now that you understand the uses and benefits of Focus Mode on Zoom, let’s look at the steps to enable it for your Zoom account.

Step 1: Go to the Zoom website and log into your account.

Step 2: Click the My Account button in the top left corner of the interface.

My account

Step 3: In the left pane, select Settings.

Zoom account settings

Step 4: You need to click the In Meeting (Advanced) button on the right side of the interface. Scroll down here and look for the focus mode switch. Turn it on

Focus mode activated zoom account

Step 5: After you have activated the function, leave the website. That’s it! The focus mode feature is now activated for your account.

How to use focus mode during a meeting on Zoom

Below we will now look at the steps on how to use the focus mode feature on Zoom during a meeting. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Download and install the required version of the Zoom Desktop Client.

Step 2: Launch the desktop client app and join a meeting or class.

Step 3: In the lower menu bar you need to click the More button.

More button zoom

Step 4: Once you hit the More button, a list of options will appear. All you need to do is select the Launch Focus Mode option.

Start focus mode

Step 5: A confirmation dialog will appear on your screen. It gives you all the information about the focus mode function. Click the Start button. If you do not want this confirmation to appear the next time you use the function, activate the Don’t ask again button.

Confirm focus mode

Voila! You have just activated the focus mode feature on zoom. A focus mode icon appears at the top of the user interface. Once you enable this feature, attendees will only see the host and their video thumbnail. In comparison, the videos of other participants are blackened.

Focus mode icon

How to enable Spotlight mode

Once focus mode was started, in focus mode attendees could only view the host and co-host screen along with the attendee’s screen highlighted by the host. Of course you can also watch your video.

When you host a Zoom meeting and turn on Spotlight mode for a participant, everyone can see their feed or screen. Here’s how to enable Spotlight mode in Zoom.

Step 1: During a meeting, click the small arrow icon on the Split Screen button in the bottom menu bar.

Share screen

Step 2: When a list of options appears, click the All Attendees button that is listed under the shared screen can be viewed by title.

All participants in Spotlight mode

There you have it. This highlighted participant’s video feed is now visible to all.

Concentrate on the essentials

Hopefully the guide above has helped you understand Focus Mode and how you can use it to your advantage. This way, you can minimize distractions during a meeting or online class and focus on the task at hand. Hence improve productivity.

Related Posts