How To Use Zoom To Screen-Share Your Favorite Rom-Com With Friends

Just don't forget the snacks.

by Syeda Khaula Saad and Lauren Grant
Originally Published: 
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We’re all trying to do our due-diligence by staying inside and practicing self-isolation and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but maintaining a sense of normalcy can be difficult. That's why it's especially important to try and keep your favorite activities and traditions going, even if you need to adjust them a little to stay safe. So if you usually have a Sunday movie night with friends, try changing it to a Sunday Zoom movie night instead.

If you've only used Zoom for virtual work meetings, you may be wondering how to watch a movie on Zoom. It can be tricky at first to figure out how to maneuver a movie night with friends but with a little guidance, you'll be Zoom-ing and chilling with friends in no time. The social tool has a lot of wonderful and useful features like recording your meeting, quick invite, and screen sharing. With screen share, you and your friends will have an instant ticket to the movie theatres, provided someone has a login for Netflix, Hulu, or any of the other popular streaming services.

After you’ve sent out your invites and decided on a film, all that’s left to do is enjoy. Here’s how to use screen-share to have a Zoom movie night with your friends.

Discuss Your Movie Night Choices

The hardest part of any movie night (whether in person or via Zoom) is picking which movie to watch. You might want to watch a classic rom-com like The Proposal while one of your friends is feeling more of a meaningful artistic movie like Moonlight. Well, before you can have your Zoom movie night, you should probably hop on a Zoom call and discuss your options with friends. And if you really can't choose just one movie, make your Zoom movie nights a weekly thing so that you can watch your movie this week and your friend's movie the next.

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Schedule A Zoom Meeting

After you eventually come to a consensus on which movie-mood you're in, it's time to set up a date and time to have your movie night. Though you might think that everyone's got a lot more freedom now considering they're stuck at home, you don't know what your friends' quarantine schedule looks like. Schedule a call directly on Zoom ahead of time.

On a desktop, schedule a meeting by going into the Meeting tab on the left side of the screen. Click on Schedule a New Meeting, and you'll be prompted to enter all the information about the meeting, including the date, time, location, and topic. After filling all of this out, enter your friends' emails so that they get a notification about when and where to log on.

If you're scheduling the Zoom meeting through a smartphone, just remember to download the Zoom app beforehand so you're ready. Then, go onto the app and hit the Schedule icon represented by a calendar. Enter all of the information required and then hit Done when finished. Voila! You just scheduled a movie night with only your fingertips.

How To Watch A Movie On Zoom

Once it's time for your movie night, everyone should be able to join the meeting through the invitation you sent out. They can join either through the link, or by logging onto their own Zoom accounts (if they have one) and then entering the Meeting ID after selecting Join A Meeting.

When everyone is logged on and ready, designate one person to play the movie on their screen. Whether they use Netflix, Hulu, or HBO doesn't matter, as long as they have the movie queued up and ready to go. For everyone to be able to watch the movie at once, it's up to the person playing the movie to share their screen.

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If you're sharing your screen on your desktop, go to the menu at the bottom of your Zoom screen once you're in your video call and hit "Share Screen." This will prompt a pop-up that asks you which screen you want to share. Be sure to tap on the window that's playing the movie. Also remember to check the box "Share computer sound" at the bottom of the window so that your friends can hear the movie audio. Once you've checked with your friends to make sure they can see your screen, hit play and get the movie going.

Because you'll be sharing your screen all while still being able to see each other's faces, you and your friends will get to interject with the hilarious commentary that made you love movie nights in the first place.

Don't Forget The Snacks

A real movie night isn't complete without the snacks. Remind your friends to grab whichever goodies they want so that you don't have to keep pausing the movie for refills. Plus, one of the upsides of having a movie night from separate rooms is that you can have your snacks all to yourself!

Whether you watch a movie you're excited to see or just one that you don't hate, the important thing is that you get to spend quality time with your friends doing the activity you all love to do. Happy watching!

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