Instructor Support for Educational Systems

How do I use Zoom in Webinar mode?

Updated Aug 12, 2021

This article explains how to use Webinar mode in Zoom. To use the Webinar mode, a license upgrade is required. Due to the number of limited licenses, it is also possible to mimic a Webinar, if the session has 300 participants or fewer.

The following topics are covered, click on the question to go directly to the question:

How do I mimic a Webinar?

A webinar is a tool for sessions where the goal is to mainly send information to the participants and as such have limited interaction with the participants. However, this option is only available as a license upgrade for sessions of more than 300 participants.

If you plan to organize a Webinar for more than 300 participants, refer to how do I request a Webinar license?

Due to the limited number of licenses available, it is possible to mimic a Webinar for sessions with fewer than 300 users with the following options:

1. Disable annotations (During the meeting):

  • Make sure you share a screen from your meeting.
  • On the bar at the top of the screen, click  More.
  • In the drop-down list,  click  Disable  Attendee  Annotation.

2. Disable Annotation (for all future meetings): 

  • Log in to  universiteitleiden.zoom.us.
  • Go to  Settings.
  • Scroll to  Annotation.
  • Click on the blue button on the right.
  • The change is saved automatically.

 3. To disable File Share: 

  • Log in to  universiteitleiden.zoom.us.
  • Go to  Settings in the top left.
  • Scroll to  File Transfer.
  • Click on the blue button on the right.
  • The change is saved automatically.

4. Mute all participants

  • Click on the  Participants button in the meeting controls.
  • Click Mute All.
  • Click Mute All to mute all current and new participants.

 5. Deselect Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves: 

  • Click on the  Participants button in the meeting controls.
  • Click More.
  • Uncheck Allow participants to unmute themselves.   

6. Deselect Allow  Participants  to  Start  video:

  • Click on the Participants button in the meeting controls.
  • Click More.
  • Uncheck the  Allow Participants to Start Video option.

7. Screen sharing for hosts only: 

  • Click the arrow next to the  Share Screen button.
  • Click   Advanced  Sharing  Options.
  • Select the button for the Only  Host.

 8. Set chat to host only:

  • Start a meeting.
  • Click Chat in  Meeting  Controls.
  • Click on the More menu at the bottom right (also indicated by the three points) and then choose    Allow attendees to chat with.
  • In this case,  the  No one option is the best option or if a Q&A option is desired Host only.

How do I request a Webinar license?

The procedure for applying for a larger Zoom license (500 or 1000 participants) is done by creating a ticket in the helpdeskportal of the ISSC.

The standard university license allows interactive meetings up to 300 participants. If  this is not  enough,    follow    the procedure below:  

A ticket  can be created in two  different  ways:  

  1. ISSC Helpdesk:
    1. Log in to the ISSC  Helpdesk.
    2. Click on the Digital learning environment tile.
    3. Click on the Zoom tile.
    4. Click ask a question/report an issue on the right sidebar.
  2. Send an email to: helpdesk@issc.leidenuniv.nl.

 There are several licenses available on top of the regular license: 

  • 500 participants meeting  (interactive).
  • 1000 participants meeting  (interactive).
  • 500 participants meeting  (not interactive next to the chat).
  • 1000 participants meeting  (not interactive next to the chat).

 Answers the following questions and add them to your request: 

  • Will it be a  webinar or an interactive meeting?
  • How many participants do you expect?  
  • Will it be a recurring session or a one-time-only?
  • Until when do you need the license?  
  •    Enter the university email address of the session host.  

In general,  webinars are only chosen if no interaction with the participants is desired.  

Meeting or Webinar?

In case of doubt when using a meeting or webinar, you can consult this link from Zoom for a comparison of the different characteristics between webinars and meetings.

How do I change a Meeting to a Webinar (and vice versa)?

In order to convert your meeting into a Webinar, you first need an extra license for Webinar. Go to How do I request a Webinar license? if you do not have a license upgrade.

A meeting that has already started cannot be converted to a webinar or vice versa. If this is necessary, the current meeting must be stopped, the schedule has to be converted and the meeting has to be restarted.

You can only create a Webinar by creating a schedule and then go to the Zoom portal and edit the Meeting. Follow these steps:


Convert this Meeting to a Webinar

  • If you don't have a license to host a Webinar, the following pop-up will be visible:



When the correct license is assigned to your account, you will see this pop-up:


  • Click Convert to confirm the conversion.

Convert this Webinar to a Meeting

To convert your Webinar to a regular meeting, follow the exact same steps above. The button Convert this Meeting to a Webinar is now called Convert this Webinar to a Meeting.

  • Click Convert this webinar to a meeting.
  • The next pop-up will be visible.
  • Click Convert.

When converting a Webinar back to a Meeting, your Q&A, Multiple-answer-questions, Webinar-related email settings, and surveys will be deleted.

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