How to fix Zoom problems on Mac

Zoom’s video conferencing software has been around for a while. Still, it was during the first wave of coronavirus in 2020 that it grew really popular and became synonymous with online meetings, whether for work or fun. Most of the time, it works really well. But occasionally, things can go wrong. In this article, we’ll show you how to fix those problems and get Zoom up and running again on your Mac. So let’s zoom in😀.

Zoom camera not working

When the video is not working in Zoom, the first explanation is that your camera isn’t set up. The second thing to do is to check Zoom has permission to access your camera. You can do this in the System Preferences’ Security & Privacy pane:

  1. Click on Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  2. Select Camera in the sidebar. Is the Zoom option checked? ✅ Un-check it and check it back again.

One more way to update your camera permissions

A popular Mac troubleshooting app, CleanMyMac X, has a nice tool to manage permissions. It’s free to download. Now you can manage all the permissions for every app on your Mac with just a few clicks:

  1. Download and install CleanMyMac X, if you don’t already have it, then launch it.
  2. Choose Privacy and press Scan.
  3. With Applications Permissions checked, scroll down to Camera and Microphone. 
  4. Press Show for both and make sure Zoom is on the list and checked.
CleanMyMac X - Application permissions

Once you’ve verified that Zoom has permission to access your camera and microphone, check that it’s set up properly.

Review Zoom settings

Now, let’s open your Zoom app and go to its settings. Launch Zoom, click on the Zoom menu, and choose Preferences.

Have you found the video tab?

  1. Make sure the correct camera is selected and that ‘Stop my video when joining a meeting’ is not.
  2. Choose Audio from the sidebar.
  3. Make sure the correct microphone and speakers are selected. If not, choose them from the drop-down menu.
  4. Use the ‘Test’ button to test your microphone and speakers.
  5. Check the box labeled ‘Automatically join computer audio when joining a meeting.’

Check Camera

Sometimes, it is not Zoom. If you followed all of the above steps, check if your camera is working. You can use either Photo Booth or FaceTime to do it. If the camera works, try reinstalling the app by downloading the installation package from the official website.

If the app is still not working, restart your Mac and try again.

How to reset Zoom when it’s not working

There is a way to reset Zoom without uninstalling the app itself. Resetting the app will hopefully delete some corrupted log details and cache files.

I’ll show you how to reset Zoom with CleanMyMac. This Mac tool sometimes helps to fix even completely “dead” applications.

1. In CleanMyMac X, click on the Uninstaller tab (download the app for free here).

2. In the search bar, type in Zoom.

3. Click on the drop-down button next to Zoom — you should see the “Reset” option.

All apps selected in the Uninstaller module of CMMX

This should clear Zoom’s preference files and make it work again.

Why is Zoom video not working?

Possible reasons:

  • You haven’t granted access to your camera.
  • You haven’t clicked the Start video button.
  • Another app uses the camera.

If you’re trying to access a meeting by clicking a link in an email or message, and you use Safari as your default web browser, you should see a dialogue box that asks you if you want to ‘allow this program to open the page ‘zoom.us.’ You need to click Allow. If this doesn’t work, launch the Zoom application from your Applications folder.

You should see a message telling you that you have joined the meeting and the host will let you in soon. You may then have to confirm you want to use computer audio if you haven’t selected that as the default in Preferences (see above). If you don’t see that message, paste or type the Meeting ID or personal link name into the box that appears.

Is any other app running at the moment? It could be Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or anything else that uses Mac’s camera.

Zoom crashing after macOS update

Some users reported problems with Zoom after installing the new version of macOS. More specifically, Zoom would crash after you tried to replace a virtual background.

When Zoom quits unexpectedly, it looks like this:

However, an update to Zoom resolves most of those issues.

How to update Zoom on your Mac

Click zoom.us in the menu bar and navigate to "Check for Updates..."

    Tip

    Check your Zoom settings with a test call on the Zoom website: https://zoom.us/test

    Mac slow during Zoom calls

    Zoom places quite a heavy burden on your system resources. If you share your screen or use a Zoom background on calls, it will demand a great deal of your Mac’s GPU. Here’s what to do if your Mac is slow during calls or if Zoom is not responding:

    • Make sure you are running the latest version of macOS: go to the Apple menu, choose About This Mac > Software Update...
    • Close all apps you’re not using.

    Free up virtual memory, or RAM

    Zoom calls are quite a heavy toll on Mac’s memory, so slowdowns are possible. To counter that, you can, once again, use CleanMyMac X:

    • When you experience a Zoom lag, open CleanMyMac X.
    • Click on the Maintenance tab, and click Free up RAM.

    This action frees up the memory buffer to give your apps an extra kick.
    Unfortunately, this is only a short-term solution, so better give your Mac a full cleanup and delete system junk using the same app.

    Or try one of the following:

    • Close browser tabs you’re not using.
    • Use CleanMyMac X’s Optimization module to remove login items and launch agents you don’t need.
    • Restart your Mac.

    Zoom not connecting

    1. Make sure you are using the correct link. If you typed it or the link name manually, retype it or paste it into the box. If you clicked on a link in an email, check with the host that it’s the correct link.
    2. Check your Mac’s Wi-Fi connection.
    3. If your Mac’s Wi-Fi is connected, but you still can’t get online, try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router. If that doesn’t help, restart the router.

    Most of the time, Zoom just works. It’s one of the reasons it has become so popular. However, when it doesn’t, it can be a real problem, especially if you have a meeting or class to attend. As we’ve seen, sometimes Zoom can be fixed with an app or even a basic restart.

    Laptop with CleanMyMac
    CleanMyMac X

    Your Mac. As good as new.