Zoom is available to anyone with a valid Northwestern NetID, and its use is intended for the purpose of conducting University-related activities. To get an account and begin using it immediately, visit the Zoom login page, sign in with your NetID and password, and authenticate using Duo MFA. An account is provisioned automatically upon first login.

This cloud-based audio/video/content sharing conferencing service works through your web browser (Chrome only) or an app that can be downloaded for most desktop and mobile operating systems. It supports HD videoconferencing, screen sharing, breakout rooms, and real-time video sharing. Live chat is available during meetings, and meetings can be recorded. Zoom encrypts all presentation content and telephone audio.

Zoom integrates with Canvas, the University's Learning Management System, allowing instructors to conduct audio, video, and content sharing conferencing within their Canvas courses. Student study groups can virtually meet over Zoom, allowing flexibility when coordinating schedules.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Allows up to 200 attendee endpoints* to connect to a meeting for student accounts and up to 300 attendee endpoints for faculty and staff accounts.
  • Supports HD videoconferencing, screen sharing, and real-time video sharing
  • Live chat is available during meetings and can be recorded
  • Breakout rooms to support collaboration and team projects
  • Intuitive interface
  • Integration with Panopto, Northwestern's desktop recording and media management platform

* An endpoint can be a room H.323 and telepresence systems, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or standard telephone (audio-only connection).

How It Works

To sign up for a Zoom user account, visit the Zoom login and click the Log In button.  Accounts are provisioned automatically after first login.

The first time you log in, schedule, or connect to a Zoom meeting using a computer you will need to download the Zoom desktop application. Downloading and installing the desktop application takes a few minutes so you’ll want to do it ahead of time before first using it. Mobile users will need to download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Schedule a Zoom Meeting

The person scheduling the meeting will receive an automated email from Zoom Network with connection details including a URL to access the meeting. This email can be forwarded to meeting participants or added to a meeting invitation in Outlook. How do I schedule a Zoom meeting?

Meetings and Recordings Privacy

Zoom offers optional settings to increase the privacy of your meetings and recordings. Using these settings is recommended if you are discussing any sensitive or confidential information in your meetings. How do I set privacy for Zoom meetings and recordings, and how do I protect against and respond to "Zoombombing?"

Attend a Meeting

There are two ways to attend a Zoom meeting. You can use the link included in the meeting email invitation or enter a Meeting ID after logging into your Zoom account. A Zoom account is not required to attend a meeting. How do I attend a Zoom meeting?

Access Zoom in Canvas

Northwestern instructors can access Zoom in their Canvas courses. While in Canvas, choose the “Zoom” tab on the left-hand navigation bar. When prompted, click Yes to “Authenticate” and “Authorize.” A new account will automatically be created for first time users. Zoom user guides and how-to videos can be found in the Canvas Learning Center.

Hosting Online Events

Zoom has features to support online events of various sizes with varying degrees of interactivity.

For highly interactive events where all participants will share video and audio, a regular Zoom meeting with attention given to certain settings might be best. Northwestern’s Zoom license allows up to 300 participants in a meeting. Visit the IT Knowledge Base for information on how to securely set up a Zoom meeting for an event.

Zoom’s webinars have a different feature set than regular meetings including:

  • Enhanced registration options
  • Ability to brand email invitations and registration page
  • Q&A and polling features
  • Reporting on registrations, attendance, polling, and Q&A
  • Promote attendee to a panelist to give video and audio capability
  • Attendees’ names won’t be seen by other attendees

Northwestern IT has secured 500 licenses for webinars with up to 500 participants. One license for up to 1,000 participants is available on a first-come-first-served basis.

To request a webinar license at no cost, please fill out the Zoom Webinar Request Form at least one week in advance of the event. Webinar licenses can typically be applied to your account within two business days after submission of the request form. Departments can also purchase webinar licenses for exclusive use.

Visit the IT Knowledge Base to learn more about Zoom webinars, how to request a license, and pricing.

Zoom Cloud Recording Storage Retention

Due to extensive use of Zoom and the high volume of meetings being recorded to Zoom's cloud, measures are needed to stay within contracted Zoom cloud storage limits. Older Zoom cloud recordings will be transferred to the Zoom Trash, as outlined in the following Retention Schedule.

Please note:

Zoom cloud storage is a finite resource and users should be mindful when deciding which meetings to record in the cloud.

2023 Retention Schedule 

  • Before February 17Download any recordings you wish to keep.
  • On February 17: All Zoom cloud recordings made before June 20, 2022, move to the Zoom Trash.
  • From February 17 through March 16: You can recover recordings from the Zoom Trash.
  • March 17: All Zoom cloud recordings that moved to the Zoom Trash are deleted and no longer available.

To help preserve storage space, users are encouraged to record only those meetings that are for university business and to be mindful that storage is limited when choosing to record a meeting to Zoom's cloud.

Please contact the Northwestern IT Service Center at servicedesk@northwestern.edu with questions about saving Zoom cloud recordings.

How-To Videos: "Zoombombing" Protection

Northwestern IT has created the following video series to provide the University community with guidance for protecting meetings against "Zoombombing."

Download the Zoom Desktop Application


Zoom and Regulated Data

Northwestern University has signed a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Zoom.

Zoom commits to protecting the security and privacy of Northwestern data by:

  • Submitting privacy practices to independent assessment and certification
  • Undergoing an annual SSAE-16 SOC 2 audit by a qualified independent third-party
  • Performing regular vulnerability scans and penetration tests to evaluate security posture and identify new threats

HIPAA compliance is available for individual accounts by request. With Zoom HIPAA, there are restrictions with regards to recording, chat, and other areas. Visit the Knowledge Base to learn more about this service.

Zoom Privacy Policy

Zoom and FERPA Compliance

Keeping University Information Secure

The security of University information is of the utmost importance to Northwestern IT and closely managed. Software that is purchased and systems contracted to use externally undergo a two-part review process:

  • A comprehensive assessment related to the company and its IT controls, which includes data handling
  • An Information Security Addendum that addresses: 
    • Network, application, and data security
    • Minimum standards on data depersonalization
    • Storage and transmission restrictions
    • The requirement that any stored data be encrypted
    • The requirement that the data exchanged shall be used for the sole purposes set out and not distributed, repurposed, shared, or used for other purposes
    • End of agreement handling of data: destruction of Northwestern data within 30 days of the termination of the contract
    • Breach notification
    • Other technical control and technical aspects of data controls

The parties in the review process and contracting process include staff in the Northwestern Information Technology information security and contracts offices and the Office of General Counsel.

Integration with Panopto

Zoom integrates with Panopto allowing meetings that have been recorded in Zoom to be automatically uploaded to an active account in Panopto. This integration provides a single location for all of your video content, and allows for the meetings to be transcribed, highlighted, and categorized for better search results.

To access Zoom recordings in Panopto, log in to Panopto using your NetID and password using the NU ADFS option from the Sign In dropdown menu and navigate to the Meeting Recordings subfolder in your My Folder.

Feinberg and Kellogg users: Automatic upload of Zoom recordings to the Kellogg or Feinberg Panopto instance is unavailable at this time. Users must manually download their recordings and upload them to their respective Panopto instance.

Planned Outages

Zoom planned outages will take place as scheduled by the vendor. Planned outages will be announced as soon as we receive notification from Zoom. Outages will be announced via the Status of University IT Services or via the IT Service Alerts section on the IT website home page

Unplanned/Emergency Outages

Zoom unplanned or emergency outages will be announced and posted on the places listed above as soon as possible.



Contact Zoom for basic user support:

  • Call:  1.888.799.9666 ext. 2
  • Support hours: 24x7 (including public holidays)
  • Northwestern How-To Videos

Additional Resources:

Zoom Login Request Zoom Webinar Request Zoom Room


Service ID: 140
Thu 9/15/22 11:25 AM
Mon 9/18/23 10:36 AM

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