Avoid the 40-minute limit when zooming: Here's how it works

Avoid the 40-minute limit when zooming: Here's how it works

In the home office era, zoom has become one of the most important tools for video conferencing. With the free version, however, meetings are limited to 40 minutes. We explain how you can bypass the 40-minute limit with Zoom.

You can do that with the free zoom version

Downloading and using Zoom is in itself free. In the free basic version of the program, however, a few functions have been restricted. The following can be done with the free version:

  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Hold group meetings with a maximum duration of 40 minutes
  • Two-way meetings are limited to 24 hours

Bypassing the 40-minute limit with zoom: this is how it works

In particular, the 40-minute limit for Zoom meetings with more than two people severely limits the usability of the free version of the tool for many users. If the time has expired, the meeting is automatically ended.

However, there is a trick you can circumvent the time limit: Instead of joining a Zoom meeting immediately, you have to schedule a meeting. Here are the step-by-step instructions using the macOS app from Zoom as an example:

  1. Open Zoom and log in.
  2. Click the "Calendar" button. In other Zoom versions, the option can also be called "Plan" or "Plan a meeting".
  3. Define the topic, date and time of the meeting.
  4. Set the item "Meeting ID" to generate automatically.
  5. Scroll down to "Calendar" and select "Other calendars".
  6. Click on "Save". In the next window you will get all the information about the meeting in the overview including the meeting ID and link to join.
  7. Send this join link to all participants in the meeting.
  8. Now comes the crucial point! As soon as the 40-minute limit approaches in the meeting and a countdown clock appears, you, as the host, have to click on the "Leave meeting" button. You are NOT allowed to select "End for Everyone".
  9. The meeting is apparently over. However, if all participants click on the original join link again or enter the same meeting ID, a new 40-minute time slot starts. So practically endless zoom meetings are possible.
Bypass the 40-minute limit when zooming

If you plan a Zoom meeting in advance, you can bypass the 40-minute limit. Image: © Zoom / Screenshot 2021

Alternative: take out a paid subscription to Zoom

If the route described above is too cumbersome for you, you can of course also take out a paid subscription to Zoom or make your employer aware of the advantages. The following paid subscriptions are available at Zoom:

  • Zoom Pro: Up to 100 participants, 30-hour meetings, 139.90 euros per year
  • Zoom Business: Up to 300 participants, 30-hour meetings, 189.90 euros per year
  • Zoom Enterprise: Up to 500 participants, 30-hour meetings, 223.20 euros per year


  • In the free version of Zoom, meetings with more than three participants are limited to 40 minutes.
  • However, there is a trick that can circumvent this limit.
  • To do this, you have to plan a meeting instead of joining directly. The host must then leave the meeting before the end of the countdown (not "End for All"), after which anyone can continue the meeting with the original join link.
  • Alternative: switch to a paid Zoom version with 30-hour meetings.

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