[Zoom] What is a host key? Explanation of operation procedures and usage scenes

[Zoom] What is a host key Explanation of operation procedures and usage scenes

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From July 15, 2022, Zoom will have a 40-minute limit even for meetings with two participants if you have a free subscription. (Previously, it was only for meetings with 3 or more people.)
Companies and organizations using Zoom for business should consider switching to a paid license at this opportunity. 

Zoom Meeting has a function to set another user as the host when the user (host) who started the meeting is not available.

In this article, we introduce an overview and detailed usage of the “host key” used to grant host authority.

Let’s check all the operations necessary to assign a host key so that we can respond smoothly even if the host is absent during the meeting.

What is a Zoom host key?

What is a Zoom host key

A host key in a Zoom meeting is a 6-digit PIN (personal identification number) required to grant host control of the meeting .

First, let’s take a closer look at the scenarios in which host keys are required and the prerequisites for their use.

Overview of host keys and usage scenes

The Zoom meeting host is usually the person who launched (scheduled) the meeting.

However, if for some reason you are unable to host, you can grant hosting privileges to another user.

Scenes where host keys are used include:

  • When joining a meeting with the “Join before host” setting enabled (using the Zoom desktop client)
  • After joining a meeting by phone
  • When starting a meeting from a SIP/H.323 device or using the host option during a meeting
  • After joining a meeting scheduled in Zoom Rooms (Join by entering meeting ID or Personal Meeting URL in Zoom Room Controllers)
  • After joining a meeting using the meeting list in Zoom Rooms (if multiple Zoom Rooms are joined, the first Zoom Room joined will be set as the host)
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In addition, for Zoom license administrators, advanced security settings can be locked so that users cannot arbitrarily change the host key.

Also, if the original host joins the meeting and “reclaims host” after a non-host participant has used the host key, the host privileges will be transferred to the original host and the alternate host will be able to join the general meeting. Note that you will be demoted to

Prerequisites for using host keys

In order to issue a Zoom meeting host key, you must have an account with a paid Zoom license (Professional, Business, Enterprise).

The version of each tool required for requesting the host key is as follows.

Zoom desktop client Windows: 4.6.0 or later Mac OS: 4.6.0 or later Linux: 3.5.33016601202 or later
Zoom mobile app Android: 4.6.0 or later / iOS: 4.6.0 or later
Zoom Rooms for conference rooms PC: 4.6.0 or later Mac OS: 4.6.0 or later

How to use host key in Zoom

How to use host key in Zoom

Next, let’s take a closer look at the operating procedures for actua

lly issuing/editing host keys and requesting host keys.

Edit host key

The procedure for editing any 6-digit host key is as follows.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal (https://zoom.us/)
  2. Click Profile from the navigation panel
  3. Scroll down to the “Host Keys” section and click “View” to see your current PIN settings
  4. Click “Edit” and enter any 6-digit host key
  5. Click “Save”

Request host privileges from a desktop client

If the “Join before host” setting is enabled, you can request host privileges if necessary.

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The procedure for requesting host privileges from the desktop client is as follows.

  1. Join a meeting from the Zoom desktop client
  2. Click “Participants” from the menu at the bottom of the screen
  3. Click “Request Host” at the bottom of the list
  4. Enter the given host key and click “Request Host”

After accepting the host key, you will be able to use the host controls.

Request host privileges from H.323/SIP devices

Host join from H.323 or SIP devices is possible by entering the host key in the dial string.

If the “Join before host” setting is enabled, you will be prompted to enter the host key when accessing the host menu within the meeting.

Use one of the following dial strings when joining as a host:

passcode dial string example
H.323 device none [IP Address]##[Meeting ID]##[Host Key]
can be [IP Address]##[Meeting ID]#[Password]#[Layout]#[Host Key]
SIP device none [meeting ID]…[host key]@[IP address] 123456789…123456@zoomcrc.com
can be [meeting ID]…[password]..[host key]@[IP address] 123456789.12345..123456@zoomcrc.com

Request host permission when starting cloud recording

If you do not enter the host key when you join the meeting (if you move the host authority during the meeting), you will be prompted to enter the host key when starting cloud recording.

Be careful if you plan to use cloud recording.



  • When conducting a meeting without a host, it is necessary to share the host key with the alternate host in advance
  • In order to use the host key function, it is a prerequisite that you have a Zoom paid license.
  • The host key can be used not only for regular meetings, but also when joining meetings with H.323/SIP devices and telephones
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A Zoom meeting will always be controlled by one of the users as the host, so if there is a possibility of leaving or re-entering the room during the meeting, make sure that you can use the host key.

NEC Networks & System Integration provides installation and operation support for Zoom paid licenses, which are prerequisites for using host keys.

It is also possible to combine with various DX tools such as webinars and DocuSign, so please contact us if you are considering digitizing your business.