How to fix Zoom problems on Mac

Zoom’s video conferencing software has been around for a while, but it was during the first wave of the coronavirus in 2020 that it really became popular and Zoom 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😀.

Did you know?

Zoom doesn’t work in browser.

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that to participate in Zoom meetings on your Mac, you’ll need to download the Zoom client. You can’t use a web browser. You will also need to grant Zoom permission to use your Mac’s webcam and microphone. That is usually done when you install the app.

Zoom camera not working

The first explanation when video is not working in Zoom 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 System Preferences’ Security & Privacy pane.

How to check Zoom camera access

Click on Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
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

The 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.

How to check Application permissions
  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 Zoom and click the drop-down arrow next to it.
  4. Make sure the Camera and Microphone are there.

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

How to review Zoom settings

Have you found the video tab?

  1. Make sure the correct camera is selected and that ‘Turn off 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 labelled ‘Automatically join computer audio when joining a meeting’

How to update Zoom on your Mac

In Zoom’s Preferences, click on "Check for Updates".

If it’s 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 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.

How to reset Zoom app


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
  • Other app is using 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 dialog 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 Big Sur update

Shortly after Big Sur was released, there were reports of problems with Zoom from people who had recently installed 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:

Zoom quit unexpectedly

However, an update to Zoom resolved most of those. So, the first step to resolving a problem is to update Zoom to the latest version.

  1. Launch Zoom.
  2. Click on the Zoom menu.
  3. Press Check for Updates.
Tip:

Check your Zoom settings with a test call on 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, and choose About this Mac, then 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 the 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.

How to free up RAM on Mac

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.

CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.