Zoom: Designate an Alternative Host

Use this feature if you want to let someone else host a meeting or webinar that you have scheduled. This may be helpful if you are out of the office or late to your meeting or webinar.

When you designate an alternative host, that user or departmental account will receive an email notifying them that they've been added as an alternative host, with a link to start the meeting or webinar.

Alternative host vs. Co-host

  • Alternative host is a more powerful role than cohost.  
  • Alternative hosts can be designated in advance, whereas cohosts must be assigned during the meeting. 
  • Alternative hosts have full host privileges until the host account joins the meeting and automatically becomes the host.
    • Co-hosts have some additional privileges in a meeting beyond a participant but they don't have full host powers. A co-host cannot start breakout rooms or end the meeting, for example. See the Overview section of Host and Co-Host Controls in a Meeting for more details on the co-host role.

Who can be an alternative host?

  • Any Zoom user who is in the same Zoom account as you can be designated as your alternative host.  For instance, if you are in the UMN HCC instance of Zoom, any other user in the UMN HCC instance can be your alternative host - but anyone in non-HCC Zoom cannot.
  • Zoom users on other UMN campuses, as long as they are in the same Zoom instance (HCC vs. non-HCC) as you.
    Note: Zoom does not use campus specific email addresses. To add someone as an alternative host, add them with [InternetID]@umn.edu, regardless of their actual email address. For example, if I wanted to add [email protected], I would add them as [email protected] in the alternative host field in Zoom, even though their real email address ends in "d.umn.edu". This applies to Morris, Rochester, and Crookston as well.
  • A departmental account can serve as an alternative host. 

See the Alternative Host article in the Zoom Help Center for step by step instructions with screenshots on designating an alternative host based on the device you're using to schedule your meeting.  

Scheduling privileges

You can also give another person or departmental account scheduling privilege over your Zoom account, which will make them an alternative host for all of your meetings and webinars and allow them to schedule meetings for you. They can also schedule webinars for you as long as neither of you are students. Read more about Scheduling Privilege.