When you set up a Zoom meeting to invite different people, especially external contacts, you typically have to enter the email address of each recipient. But you can save time and effort by integrating your contacts into Zoom. You can either add each contact one by one, or you can import your contacts from another service such as Google, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft 365. After you’ve integrated all your contacts, you can then simply select the ones you wish to invite to a meeting or a chat.

SEE: Zoom video conferencing: Cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to add an individual contact to Zoom

By default, your Zoom contacts list already contains the names of those in your organization using the same company-wide Zoom account. You can add an external contact by inviting them via email. After the contact accepts your invitation, you can chat, collaborate in a live meeting, and share files. If the person does not yet have a Zoom account, they can create one when they accept your invitation.

Open the Zoom desktop client. At the main screen, click the icon at the top for Contacts. Click the + symbol. To invite a contact by email, click the option to Invite a Zoom Contact (Figure A).

Figure A

Enter the person’s email address and click the Invite button. The app indicates that the invitation has been sent. Click OK. The person receives the invitation email with a link to click. After doing so, your recipient is asked to sign into their Zoom account or create a new account if they don’t already have one. The person clicks the Approve button to accept your invitation. Your Zoom contact list then shows the name of each person who accepted an invitation (Figure B).

Figure B

After you’ve added a contact, you can run different actions. To chat with the person, click on their name and select the Chat icon. To launch a video chat, click the Meet with Video icon. For other actions, click the More icon. Here, you can opt to meet with or without video, be notified when the person signs into Zoom, add other members to your contacts, star this contact as a favorite, block the contact, clear the chat history, or delete the contact (Figure C).

Figure C

The contacts are also easily accessible when you want to invite people to a meeting. After you start your meeting, click the Up arrow next to the Participants icon and select Invite. Your contacts list appears. Click the people you wish to participate and then click the Invite button (Figure D).

Figure D

Add a contact list to Zoom

More efficiently, you can add an entire address book to your Zoom contact list. You can pull the contacts from Google, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft 365. To do this at the main Zoom window, click the entry for Cloud Contacts and then click the link to Connect a Contact Book (Figure E).

Figure E

The Zoom website pops up with your account settings and information. A Select a Service window also appears with the three services listed—Google, Exchange, and Office 365. Click the service from which you want to integrate your address book of contacts. With Google, you can also opt to incorporate your calendar. Click Next (Figure F).

Figure F

Select your email account if prompted and allow the necessary permissions. Your Zoom account page should now show that the service you selected is integrated with Zoom. Return to the Zoom app. Click on the entry for Contacts under Cloud Contacts, and the name of each integrated contact appears. Click on the name of a specific person to view their contact information (Figure G).

Figure G

You would then continue to manage the contact list in the external service as usual. Any additions, deletions, or modifications you make in the external service are synchronized with Zoom each time you open the Zoom app. If you ever want to remove the external list from Zoom, go to the website for your Zoom profile. At the Calendar and Contacts Integration section, click the Delete link for the external service (Figure H).

Figure H

Finally, to set up a cloud contact as a Zoom contact so they’re available for meeting invitations, you need to invite them as a Zoom contact. To do this, click on the contact’s name and click the button to Invite as Zoom Contact. Send the person the invitation. After they accept, that person will show up as an external contact so that you can easily invite them to any Zoom meeting (Figure I).

Figure I

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