Carrying the Message On Zoom

This page, together with Newcomer Support, has been put together by the E-Comms Service Team as a guide for keeping online meetings both secure and accessible. If you’re after practical help with how to use Zoom, have a look at this simple YouTube video guide.

Shared Intergroup Zoom account
Recurring meetings: updating expiry date
Updating Zoom software
Guidelines for online meeting Hosts
Moderating meetings
Apply Settings on host Zoom account
References and sources

Shared Intergroup Zoom account

We’re running an intergroup Zoom Pro account, and making this available to local online meetings. The schedule is quite full, but do contact us if you’d like to see about taking a slot (the meetings time can’t run concurrently).

Recurring meetings: updating expiry date

Don’t forget to regularly edit your group’s date stamp and keep it scheduled well into the future. Otherwise it will time out and you’ll have to set up a new meeting on Zoom, with new joining details to tell everyone about. To do this go to ‘EDIT’ for your meeting. See below for how you can do this via the Zoom website. If you’re setting it up on the Zoom app, you should be able to leave the end date open.

Updating Zoom software

For optimum performance of the software, make sure your have the latest version of Zoom installed.

Guidelines for online meeting Hosts

Most meeting seems to be following the format of having a role for Host separate from the Secretary role, which we recommend. Ideally, particularly for larger meetings, you will also have a Co-Host. The roles of Host and Co-Host are great opportunities for service.

These roles require a basic level of confidence with IT. The E-Comms Service Team can provide training and support if you would like some help.

Host Role Description

The role of the Host is to open the Zoom meeting (usually 15-30 minutes before start), to support the secretary, and to admit people from the waiting room (if this function is enabled – see below). They will also act as moderator, keeping an eye on activity during the meeting and holding the boundaries to keep it safe.

We suggest, as a general guideline, the Host has at least 12 month’s continuous sobriety and is working the steps with a sponsor. As ever, there’s discretion within this, and your group conscience will know when to be flexible.

The Host’s role is also to train up and work with a Co-Host, sponsoring them into service. If a permanent Co-Host isn’t available, we suggest the Host asks for a volunteer at each meeting to step into this role.

Co-Host Role Description

The role of the Co-Host is to assist the Host in the above responsibilities, and to step in when they are unavailable. We suggest, as a general guideline, the Co-Host has at least 6 month’s continuous sobriety and is working the steps with a sponsor. As above, this is down to the discretion of the group conscience.

Moderating meetings

Enable Waiting Room

Experience has shown that, on the rare occasions when meetings have been subject to Zoombombing (malicious disruptions from unwelcome intruders), the waiting room feature is an effective way of dealing with this.

The Host can message a person in the waiting room if they feel uneasy about admitting them or if the person is unknown to the group. Participants can also be removed from the meeting into the waiting room.

Mute participants

During the meeting, keep an eye open for when participants who are not speaking are unmuted and disrupting the meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, and apply the mute override.


Participants can rename themselves and hosts can do this for participants too. Encourage members to use this option if they have a generic username name such as ‘iPad2’. This helps create safety.

Remove Participant

The Host has the power to remove individual participants, either completely, or to the waiting room. This of course should only be done in exceptional circumstances, where an individual is being disruptive or inappropriate. Another option is for the Host to turn off the person’s video and mute them.

Apply settings on host Zoom account

Recording Settings
  • Go to: Account Management / Account Settings / Recording
  • Disable all Local and Cloud recording features.
Meeting Settings

Go to: Account Management / Account Settings / Meetings

Disable the following settings:

  • Auto saving chats
  • File transfer
  • Feedback to Zoom
  • End-of-meeting feedback survey
  • Screen sharing (or set to ‘host only’)
  • Desktop/screen share for users
  • Remote control
  • Allow Removed Participants to rejoin
  • Virtual background


Of course groups should follow their own conscience on this, but, for what it’s worth, we believe that the combination of moderating meetings and adjusting settings is sufficient for keeping meetings both safe and accessible without the need for passwords. As well as being difficult to administer, passwords can create a barrier for both newcomers and members.


As ever, these are suggestions, and your group conscience is your key resource in helping you navigate this terrain. We would welcome input in developing these guidelines, so please get in touch to share your experience and expertise with us.

Thank you for being part of this amazing fellowship as we make the most of online platforms as a way to ensure the hand of AA continues to be there for anyone who reaches out for help.

References and sources

Meeting Hosts: Protecting Anonymity & Default Settings in Zoom

NYIG Toolkit for Handling Unwanted Meeting Disruptions

How to Get Your 12-Step Group Online Quickly

Anonymity & Suggested Default Zoom Setting