How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

Seemingly everybody knows about Zoom because it’s easy to use and free for anyone to host virtual meetings, digital clubs, family reunions and even weddings.

However, there are certain features in the video conferencing software that not everyone is acquainted with like Zoom breakout rooms or custom Zoom backgrounds.

One of the most common features that can be confusing for a first-time Zoom user is the little digital hand. This hand allows you to interact with the meeting host to alert them that you’d like to share a concern or contribute to the subject matter. 

If you don’t know where to find the Zoom hand, you may find yourself raising your physical hand each time and the host may not notice you, especially in a large meeting.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to raise a hand in a Zoom meeting on your computer or mobile device. 

How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

If you’re attending a Zoom meeting from your Windows or Mac computer, use the instructions below to raise your hand and request for a chance to speak. 

Raise a Hand in Zoom on Windows PC or Mac

  1. To get started, launch Zoom via the app or on your browser and select Join a Meeting as a participant. 

Note: You can’t access the Raise Hand option if you’re the meeting host.

  1. Select Participants from the meeting controls at the bottom of your screen.
  1. Select Raise Hand from the several options that appear inside the Participants panel. 

Note: There are keyboard shortcuts you can use on your Windows PC or Mac to raise your hand in Zoom. On your Windows PC, press Alt+Y and toggle the Raise Hand option to On or Off. You’ll see the little blue hand icon next to your name when the option is enabled.

Note: If you’re using a Chromebook, turn to our guide on how to use Zoom on Chromebook.

Raise Your Hand in Zoom on Android or iPhone

If you’re using Zoom from your Android smartphone or iPhone, you can raise your hand using the Zoom app for mobile devices. 

  1. To do this, open the Zoom app on your phone, select Join a Meeting (as participant), and tap More from the meeting controls at the lower right side of the screen.
  1. Tap Raise Hand from the popup menu, and the meeting host will be alerted that you’ve raised your hand.

Note: When your digital hand is up, you’ll see a little blue hand icon on your screen, and the host will also see the hand next to your name. Zoom lists participants based on the order in which they’ve raised their hands. 

How to Raise Hand in Zoom Dial-In Calls

If you want to join a Zoom meeting by dialing in with a phone number, the steps you’ll take to raise your hand are slightly different. 

Once you join the meeting, dial *9 on your phone’s dial pad to raise your hand, and do the same to lower your hand. 

What to Do When You Can’t See the Raise Hand Option in Zoom

If the Raise Hand option isn’t available in your Zoom meeting, it could be because the meeting host disabled nonverbal feedback or you’re in fullscreen mode. 

In full screen mode, the bottom toolbar is minimized but you can reveal it on your computer or mobile device by moving your mouse on the screen or tapping the screen. Once the toolbar appears, select or tap Participants and the Raise Hand option will appear. 

If the meeting host has disabled nonverbal feedback, you won’t see the Raise Hand option. In such a case, you can always request the host to enable the nonverbal feedback to enable the Raise Hand feature.  

If you’re the meeting host and you need to enable the Raise Hand feature for your meeting participants, you can do so inside the Participants panel. 

  1. To do this, sign into Zoom on your browser and select My Account
  1. Under the Personal tab, select Settings.
  1. Find the Meeting tab and then scroll down to the Nonverbal feedback option.
  1. Toggle the switch on to enable nonverbal feedback for your meeting participants.

How to Lower Your Hand in a Zoom Meeting

You may have raised your hand or you accidentally raised it and don’t know how to lower it. Whatever the case may be, here’s how you can lower your hand in a Zoom meeting.

  1. On your Windows PC or Mac, select Participants and then select Lower Hand.
  1. You can also lower your hand on your Android phone or iPhone by tapping More and select Lower Hand.
  1. To lower your hand using a keyboard shortcut, press Alt+Y on your Windows PC or Mac, and then toggle the Lower Hand option to Off.

Note: If you’re the meeting host, you can lower a participant’s hand by selecting Participants from the meeting controls, and then hover over the participant’s name and select Lower Hand. On your Android phone or iPhone, tap on the Participants tab, tap on the user’s name, and select Lower Hand from the popup menu.

Meeting hosts can also view all the participants who raised their hands in the Zoom meeting by selecting the raised hand icon on the screen, or look for the Raised Hand icon next to the participants in the Participants menu.

Catch the Meeting Host’s Attention

The raise hand feature is a quick and easy way to catch the host’s attention in a Zoom meeting, compared to raising your physical hand or unmuting your microphone to request to speak. We hope you were able to find the feature on your device and now know how to use it to your advantage. 

Check out more of our Zoom guides including 7 Zoom tests to perform before your next meeting or what to do when your Zoom microphone isn’t working to help you navigate the application. 

How to Set Up Direct Deposit With IRS

If you’ve hit working age and pay taxes every year, you’ll need to know how to go about paying any taxes you owe to the IRS.

In the past, paying taxes meant completing the 1040 income tax return every year, and if you owed the IRS anything, you’d simply write a paper check and send it in. If you owed more than you could pay, then the IRS would set up a payment plan and you’d have to send in a check every month.

In the past few years, times have changed. The IRS has caught up with the rest of the world and now everything is electronic. You can make the one payment each year, or set up your installment payments – all electronically.

Logging Into Your IRS Account

The IRS now offers a dashboard not unlike your banking account or other company websites where you can pay bills electronically.

You can access this dashboard at the IRS View Your Tax Account page. To access your account, select the Create or view your account button.

If this is your first time visiting your IRS account online, you’ll need to select the Create Account button and go through the setup process. This includes providing your social security number, birthday, and other identifying information so the IRS can locate your tax account.

Once you’ve created the account with both the Username and password, you can login and view your account.

Your IRS Account Dashboard

Whenever you log into your IRS account dashboard, you’ll need to enter a 6-digit passcode that the IRS sends to your phone. The IRS uses the phone number you used when you first lined up.

The Account Home tab of the dashboard has four main sections.

  • Current account balance
  • Payment plan information including due date and current status
  • Links to get access to your own past tax records
  • A Go To Payment Options button view your payment alternatives and past payment activity

Select the Account Balance tab at the top to switch to a more detailed breakdown of your overall tax bill by year. The list will show you the balance of remaining taxes you owed in that year and how much you have left to pay it off. 

You can select the + icon next to any of those years to see a breakdown of penalties and interest that were charged to the balance.

Select the Payment Activity tab to see all payments you’ve sent into the IRS. This is a useful feature for keeping track of which years you’ve sent in payments toward, and how much you’ve paid in Estimated Tax Payments to the next year. This is helpful when you’re going to do your taxes and didn’t keep a receipt for those estimated payments.

How to Set Up Direct Deposit With the IRS

One thing that’s important to know if you’re trying to set up direct deposit with the IRS for things like stimulus checks, that’s handled in different ways depending on your tax situation.

Direct Deposit for IRS Stimulus Checks

If you’ve filed taxes in the past and haven’t moved or otherwise needed to change your address or bank information, the direct deposit details you provide in the IRS Direct Pay system when you pay your taxes is all you need. The IRS will get your direct deposit information from there.

If you are a first-time filer and the IRS doesn’t have your information yet, then you need to provide it manually at the IRS Get My Payment page.

You’ll need to provide your social security number, birthday, street address, and zip code. The IRS will then tell you if you qualify for a stimulus payment, and you’ll be prompted for direct deposit information if they don’t already have it on file.

Direct Deposit for IRS Direct Payments

To set up a direct deposit payment via the IRS Direct Pay system, log into your IRS account and go to the Account Home tab on your dashboard. Select the Go To Payment Options button.

Scroll down the page and select Go To IRS Direct Pay under the Pay by Bank Account section.

On this page you’ll see a couple of options halfway down the page. Select the Make a Payment button to continue.

This will take you through the IRS Make a Payment wizard. This consists of several steps where you need to enter information about yourself and your payment.

The first step involves selecting why you’re making a payment. The most common selections people make under Reason for Payment is either an Installment Agreement or a Tax Return or Notice.

Whichever selection you choose will populate the next dropdown box. In the Apply Payment To dropdown, select the type for your payment. The most common choice here is 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ – essentially paying against a specific tax return.

Finally, you need to choose the tax year that you’re paying against using the Tax Period for Payment dropdown.

Keep in mind that this is the year of the tax return that you want to pay. So check this against the balances you saw in your account details for each year that you owe. Select the oldest year to pay off, since the IRS wants to apply payments to those years before the most recent. 

Select Continue, then confirm your selections and continue again.

The next page is the Verify Identity page. You’ll need to select the tax year (select the most recent for your address verification), your filing status, name, social security number, and address.

Select Continue to move on in the process. Finally, you’ll need to enter your direct deposit information.

First enter the amount you want to pay, then the routing number and account number of your bank account.

Select Continue again. The next few screens will just require you to confirm the payment amount and bank details. Then you’ll need to type your name to “electronically sign” for the payment.

Now that you’ve made a payment via the IRS Direct Pay system, the IRS has your direct deposit information for future reference.

Making Direct Payments to the IRS

Just remember to always select the Payment year as the same as the year from your account dashboard where you owe a balance to the IRS. Always select the Verification year as the latest year you filed taxes, and use your latest address so the IRS can confirm your identity for payment.

Unfortunately, the process of providing your direct deposit information to the IRS isn’t as straightforward as it could be. It’s not intuitive that to receive payments from the IRS that you would have had to have made a payment already. Thankfully, if you’ve never made any payment (only received refunds), the IRS does have the direct deposit information from your Tax Return that it used to give you that refund.

And if you don’t have anything on record either way with the IRS but you’re owed a stimulus payment, at least you now have the IRS Get My Payment page to provide your direct deposit details.

10 Zoom Presentation Tips for Your Next Big Meeting

After you learned how to set up and use Zoom, you might feel you’re ready for your first big online meeting. However, a good host knows that a successful Zoom presentation requires a lot of preparation, as well as following a few rules. 

If you’re looking to ace your next big meeting in Zoom, here are some tips that you can use to make sure everything runs smoothly and you come across as a confident and engaging presenter.

Check Your Equipment

The first thing to do to avoid hiccups during your Zoom presentation is to check your equipment. There are various tests you can perform to check if your webcam is working as well as fixes that you can perform if your mic doesn’t seem to work properly. 

After you test the webcam, make sure you position it so that people can see your face rather than just your forehead or your shoulders. To do that, first decide whether you’re giving the presentation standing or sitting and then adjust your camera level. 

A few other important things to check include your laptop battery. Plug it in if you’re not sure the battery will last the entire duration of your presentation. Also check your internet connection. Lagging video or audio will make it harder for the participants to stay focused. 

Dress to Impress

Once you’re done with the technical side of things, take a critical look at yourself and your environment. If you’re planning to have your video on, it might be wise to change out of your PJs even if you’re at home. Dressing up will help you feel more confident and give you the right motivation. 

If you’re not happy with your surroundings, you can always use Zoom’s excellent virtual background feature and make sure there’s nothing behind or around you that can distract the attendees from your Zoom presentation. 

Rehearse Your Presentation Beforehand

Even if you’re a confident public speaker, it never hurts to rehearse a few crucial moments of the presentation. It’s impossible to predict every single issue that might arise, especially with Zoom presentations, so it can be difficult to improvise on spot if you haven’t rehearsed the whole thing in advance. 

A good idea is to do a demo presentation at home with a family member, or with a friend over the internet. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect from your future meeting and what kind of challenges you need to overcome before doing your presentation. 

Turn Off Meeting Entry Notifications

One way to minimize the distractions during your Zoom meeting is to disable the entry notifications for attendees. Not everyone will show up on time, and depending on the size of your team, hearing that ring and seeing the notification for every new entry pop up might not just disrupt your presenting process but also annoy you. 

To disable these notifications, go to your Zoom account Settings > Meeting > In Meeting and toggle the Sound notification when someone joins or leaves setting off. 

Ask Someone to Monitor the Waiting Room

Zoom has a Waiting Room where every participant gathers before entering the meeting. It’s an effective strategy to avoid random people joining in and ruining your presentation. The downside of this system is that you have to manually approve every request from the Waiting Room. If someone is late or tries to rejoin the meeting after it’s already started, you might not notice the notification and leave the person stuck in their personal Zoom limbo. 

To avoid that, you can ask one of your colleagues to watch the Participant window to allow other attendees in from the Waiting Room. 

Learn Essential Zoom Shortcuts

Learning the most useful shortcuts in Zoom can help you ace your presentation and become a pro host. Plus, some of them will help you quickly resolve any unexpected issues and save time during your presentation. Here are some of the most essential Zoom shortcuts you need to know.

  • Alt + M (for Windows) or Cmd + Ctrl + M (for Mac) 

This shortcut will mute everyone at once except the host (you). 

  • Alt + M (for Windows) or Cmd + Ctrl + U (for Mac)

This will unmute everyone for everyone except the host. 

  • Alt + Shift + T (for Windows) or Cmd + T (for Mac)

A handy shortcut for when you need to take a screenshot of your Zoom meeting.

  • Space (for Windows, Mac)

If you’re on mute and need to quickly answer a question and then go back to mute, hold space while talking to temporarily unmute yourself. 

You can learn the rest of the useful Zoom keyboard shortcuts in the app’s Settings. Open the Zoom app on your desktop, log into your account, and go to Settings. Select Keyboard Shortcuts to view the full shortcuts list. 

Ask the Attendees to Mute Their Audio

Asking people to mute their mics during your Zoom presentation might seem like an obvious tip. However, if you have people that aren’t used to this format of online presentations on your team, we’d recommend making a point out of this before you start presenting. 

You can help them by pointing out how to do this in Zoom. 

You can mute your audio using the shortcut Alt + A (for Windows) or Cmd + Shift + A (for Mac), or through the Zoom app’s Settings by following the path Settings > Audio > Mute my mic when joining a meeting

Pause Your Presentation to Answer Questions

No matter how detailed you think your presentation is, your audience might have questions or remarks throughout it that they want to share with the team. It helps to pause your presentation frequently to clarify if the information is clear to everyone and if your colleagues have anything to add. 

Save the Chat Log for Follow-Ups

It’s important to take notes during the presentation even when you’re the one hosting it. Important questions and remarks that your attendees make throughout the meeting can be great for a future follow-up. Luckily, Zoom can do it for you with the feature that allows you to save your chat log. 

Zoom won’t save your chat history automatically though, you have to enable this function in advance. 

To do it, go to your Zoom account Settings and follow the path Meeting > In Meeting (Basic) > Auto saving chats. This will automatically save all the messages in the chat, even the ones sent privately between the attendees. 

Record Your Zoom Presentation

One final tip is to record your Zoom presentation. It can be beneficial on more than one level. You can send the recording to the people who couldn’t make the meeting, as well as to the attendees who wish to go over certain parts in more detail. You can also use the recording to analyze your presenting skills and improve your skills as a public speaker. 

If you’re worried that you’ll forget to record your meeting, you can go to Zoom Settings > Recording and enable Automatic recording of your Zoom meetings as they start. 

Time to Improve Your Zoom Presentation Skills 

Holding big work meetings in apps like Zoom is the new reality. Whether we like it or not, we have to adapt to it. The good news is, Zoom is pretty intuitive and easy to use. As long as you perform all the tests and checks in advance, your presentation is certain to run smoothly. 

Have you ever hosted a big meeting in Zoom? What are some tips that you’d like to share with someone who’s about to hold a presentation in Zoom for the first time? Share your Zoom knowledge with us in the comments section below. 

How to See and Share Your Spotify Wrapped

Ever wonder how often you might be listening to a certain artist, song, or music genre? If you have Spotify, you can actually find this out at the end of every year. The music app puts out what they call your Spotify Wrapped, which is a collection of your listening habits.

It’s become very popular on social media to post your Spotify Wrapped so your friends can see what you’re listening to most often. So, how do you get to and view it yourself, and how do you share it? 

How to See Your Spotify Wrapped

You can find your Spotify Wrapped by going to the website Spotify has created to showcase your very own slideshow. You can access this website on any device, as long as you log into the Spotify account you wish to see your Wrapped slideshow for. 

You can also find your Spotify Wrapped in your Spotify feed within the mobile app during the time it’s being promoted at the end of the year. It should show up as a collection of playlists based on the music you listen to. If you tap on the header of this collection, you’ll see the entire Wrapped collection. Tap on the top banner to find your slideshow. 

If you still can’t find it within the app, you can also tap on the Search icon in the bottom bar and scroll down to find the Wrapped icon. You can also search for “(Year) Wrapped” and it should come up as a result. 

How to Share Your Spotify Wrapped

If you want to show some parts of your Wrapped to your friends or share it on social media, it’s easy to do so. It just depends what method you are using to watch your Wrapped.

If you’re using the Spotify app on your phone, you’ll see a share button at the bottom of each slide. When you tap on this, you can share the slide directly to multiple other platforms. If you tap on More, you can also share them directly to your friends if you wish. You can also select Copy Link to share anywhere else you want. 

How to Find Your Past Spotify Wrapped

Unfortunately, you can’t access past Spotify Wrapped stories as they are only available for a short amount of time around the end of each year. You can generally find your Wrapped starting early December and you’ll no longer be able to see it after the beginning of January.

However, no matter the date, you can still find past Spotify Wrapped playlists. These are playlists that Spotify creates based on the top songs you’ve listened to throughout the year. To find these in Spotify, go to the search screen and type the year of the playlist you want to see. Then it should come up in the search results. 

How Is Spotify Wrapped Created?

Spotify tracks your listening habits from January 1st through October 31st to create your Wrapped content for each year. This includes songs, albums, artists, and genres you’ve listened to on your account.

In order to receive a Wrapped, you need to have created a Spotify account before November 1st of that year, and have listened to at least 5 artists, 30 songs, and have listened to music on Spotify for at least 60 minutes. If you’re not seeing your Spotify Wrapped, it could be because your account is too new or you haven’t listened to enough content. 

If you find that your Spotify Wrapped is not what you expected it to be as far as your listening habits, there could be a few reasons for this to take into account. If your friends or family use your Spotify account, if you’ve left Spotify playing unmonitored for a while at times, or you’ve allowed others to add songs to your queue that play on your account; all of these things could influence the outcome of your Spotify Wrapped. 

Also, if you’ve ever transferred your data to a new account for any reason, the history of songs you’ve listened to will get reset once you have the new account. 

Once October 31st comes around, all the data from your Spotify listening habits is compiled and analyzed to create your Wrapped. Spotify creates a playlist of your top songs that you’ve listened to throughout the year, from most listened to least. 

So, tell us if you have caught up with this special Spotify playlist and discovered something about your listening habits.

How to Change Google Drive Backup and Sync Folder Location

If you’re pressed for storage space on your PC or Mac, then syncing Google Drive via Backup and Sync can only end up worsening the situation. Thankfully, you can shift the Google Drive folder to a different location within your computer’s internal storage or an external drive whenever you want.

Below, you’ll find three methods that you can use to change the default Google Drive Backup and Sync folder location in Windows and macOS.

The first method shows how to specify a different folder location while setting up Backup and Sync on your PC or Mac. The second and third methods will show how to change the Google Drive folder if you’ve already begun to sync your Google Drive contents locally.

Method 1: Change Google Drive Folder Location During Setup

When you set up Google Drive Backup and Sync for the first time, it will attempt to set your Google Drive folder under the user account of your PC or Mac by default. 

To change that, simply select the Change option (listed next to Folder location) when you get to the Google Drive screen. Then, pick a different folder on your computer. Ideally, the folder should not have anything in it. 

Then, either choose to sync everything in Google Drive locally or select Sync only these folders and pick the items from Google Drive that you want to sync. Finally, select Start.

Method 2: Quit Backup and Sync and Relocate Google Drive Folder

The Backup and Sync client does not allow you to change the Google Drive folder location after you’ve started to sync your Google Drive contents locally. 

However, you can use a workaround that involves quitting the Backup and Sync client, shifting the Google Drive folder to a new location, and then re-opening the sync client and pointing out the new location. 

Not only is it easy to perform, but you also don’t have to waste any time or bandwidth by having to re-sync your files or folders from the very beginning.

1. Select the Backup and Sync from Google icon on the system tray or menu bar. Then, open the Settings menu.

2. Select Quit Backup & Sync and wait for the Backup and Sync client to shut down completely.

3. Copy the Google Drive folder to the new location.

If you have trouble locating the Google Drive folder, here’s how to get to it quickly:

Windows: Press Windows+R to open the Run box. Then, type %userprofile% and select OK.

Mac: Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder. Then, type ~/ and select Go.

4. Once you’re done copying, delete the Google Drive folder from its original location.

5. Re-open the Backup and Sync client. It should ask you to locate the missing folder. Select Locate.

6. Pick the Google Drive folder from the new location and select OK.

7. Select Confirm.

The Backup and Sync client will then compare the files within the directory to ensure that there’s nothing amiss. That usually takes a few minutes. You can then start using Google Drive normally.

Method 3: Disconnect From Google Account and Reconnect

If you’ve already started syncing your Google Drive contents to your computer but want to start all over from scratch with a different folder, you must disconnect your Google account, sign back into the Backup and Sync client, and re-configure your sync preferences. 

You can also choose to move any locally synced Google Drive contents to the new location and merge with them afterward. But if that’s the only thing that you want to do, then the method above is far more convenient.

1. Select the Backup and Sync from Google icon on the system tray or menu bar. Then, open the Settings menu.

2. Select Preferences.

3. Switch to the Settings side-tab and select Disconnect Account.

4. Select Disconnect to confirm. Backup and Sync will sign you out of your Google Account. It won’t delete any of your locally synced files and folders, however.

5. Move the contents within the Google Drive folder into a new folder within the location that you want to switch to. Skip this step if you want to sync everything from scratch.

6. Select Backup and Sync from Google from the system tray or menu bar again and select Sign in.

7. Enter your Google Account credentials and set up your sync preferences. Once you get to the Google Drive tab, select Change, and pick the new location.

8. Determine what you want to sync from Google Drive and select Start to begin syncing.

9. If you copied any previously synced files and folders into the new location, select Continue to merge them with the rest of the contents.

Note: Feel free to delete the Google Drive folder from its original location.

Switched to External Drive? Keep This in Mind

As you just learned, it’s ridiculously easy to shift the Google Drive folder to a different location. If you ended up switching to an external drive, however, just remember to keep it connected to your PC or Mac to avoid any sync issues. If you do want to remove it, make sure to exit the Backup and Sync client first. When you reconnect it again, simply re-open the sync client to continue syncing as usual. 

If you run into any sync issues later on, here’s how to fix Google Drive Backup and Sync. It might also be a good time to optimize your Google Drive storage.