Roles in a Zoom meeting for host, co-host, alternative hosts, and participants

  1. Various roles are available for those attending a meeting: host, co-host, alternate host, and participant. It is the host who determines the type of role you will have in the meeting.
    • Host: This is the person who schedules the meeting. She or he has full permissions to manage the meeting from beginning to end. However, these meetings can only be hosted by one person.
    • Co-hosts: Co-hosts have most of the administrative control that hosts have, allowing them the ability to keep track of the meeting’s attendees and to manage the meeting’s administrative side. Co-hosts must be chosen by the host for the meeting. A meeting cannot be started by co-hosts. As a host, you can assign another host to start the meeting if you need someone else to do it.
    • Alternative hosts:  Shares the same controls with co-hosts, but he can also start the meeting. Whenever meeting hosts schedule a meeting, they can assign a substitute host.

    Note:  Use the scheduling privilege to facilitate a meeting for another user on their behalf, if you need to do so.

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It follows a comparison between the control options available to the host, co-host, alternative host, and participant during a meeting.


    • In the event that an asterisk (*) appears next to a feature, that feature can be disabled by the host.
    • Certain features are dependent on specific prerequisites before they can be activated. In the event that you are unable to see a feature, make sure your account meets the requirements described in the article.
Feature Host Co-host / alternative

Participating in the meeting

Start the meeting see note
Mute/unmute themselves*
Start/stop their own video ✔*
View participants list
Share screen ✔*
Request or give remote control
Chat with participants (in-meeting chat)
Save in-meeting chat
Create or edit polls ✔ (see note)
Start polling
Answer polls
Assign someone to enter closed captions
Enter closed captions ✔* ✔*
Use call-out to join audio by phone
End meeting
Reactions and nonverbal feedback
Reorder video

Managing participants

Mute or unmute participants
Stop participant‘s video
Ask participant to start video
Spotlight a video
Promote participant to host or co-host
Change who attendees can chat with
Remove attendees
Put participants on hold
Rename participants
Invite others to join
Mute controls for participants (ask to mute, mute all, mute on entry)
Assign participants to breakout rooms


Start cloud recording
Start local recording ✔*
Allow or forbid a participant to start local recording

Live streaming

Live stream on Facebook
Live stream on Workplace 
Live stream on YouTube 
Custom live stream 



  • As an alternative, alternative hosts can access the meeting by using the meeting ID or meeting URL that was provided to them in the invitation email. Unlike the desktop client or mobile app, the meeting will not be listed in the list of upcoming meetings for alternative hosts.
  • Alternate hosts are unable to schedule meetings on behalf of the original host. A co-host cannot be assigned at the beginning of the meeting. A participant has to be promoted to the position as a co-host. If the host desires to appoint an alternative host, the user can do so.
  • For the moment, hosts and co-hosts are unable to start local recording and cloud recording at the same time. It is not possible to start local recording after the host or co-host begins cloud recording. Additionally, the host and co-host are not able to control both local and cloud recording independently of each other.
    • As soon as the co-host or host stops recording, both the local recording as well as the cloud recording will stop. This happens if you start local recording before cloud recording. Once your local recording is started, you cannot stop it unless you also stop your cloud recording.
  • In order for alternative hosts to be able to add polls and edit them, you must enable the setting that allows them to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions


An alternative host can be designated by licensed users on the same account. Meetings can be started on behalf of the host by the alternative host. In order to start the meeting, an email will be sent to this user once they have been added as an alternative host.
During meetings or webinars, participants can be assigned the role of Zoom co-host. Having co-hosts in a meeting is not limited. Recordings can be started and stopped by a co-host.
Co-hosts must be assigned during the meeting, while alternative hosts can be designated in advance. Alternate hosts have full host privileges until the host accounts join and become the hosts. Almost everything a host can do can be done by a co-host. Meetings cannot be started or ended by a co-host.


Your Zoom account allows you to create meetings online or edit them via the My Meetings tab. Go to the Advanced Options at the bottom of the meeting setup page and enter the email address for the person you wish to be an alternative host.


Can a co-host cancel a Zoom meeting?

Waiting Room cannot be turned on by co-host. However, cohosts can admit and send people to waiting rooms, but they cannot disable them. Meetings cannot be ended by co-hosts. Meetings can only be ended by the host.


The account. In case of a conflict, members can turn off Join Before Host by setting it for all members in their organization. To select this for all meetings, this setting must be locked.


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