In the past two years, Zoom has seen a massive influx of users downloading and jumping onto the platform either to complete their jobs in work-from-home roles, to complete online education, or to connect with friends and family. Unfortunately, many users reported that Zoom keeps freezing or crashing during particular circumstances, like connecting a microphone or joining a meeting. If you’re one of those experiencing the dreaded Zoom crash, then read on to find out the main reasons why your Zoom keeps freezing while audio continues and ways in which you can fix the problem.
What causes Zoom to freeze or crash video and audio?
There are many possible reasons as to why Zoom keeps freezing upon you, but some of the most common culprits are:
- Issues with your Zoom app. The most likely culprit that made your Zoom keep freezing is app-related issues. For instance, Zoom may cause your audio to lag or prevent your webcam from turning on because of app setting conflicts. Or, if you have several applications running in the background similar to Zoom, this can also cause problems. Not updating to the latest version of Zoom can similarly cause hiccups.
- Device-related issues are hindering Zoom. If your Zoom video keeps freezing, this is mainly related to the device you’re using to run Zoom. On mobile devices, instability in your internet network can cause audio to lag out or crash entirely, while video conference calls can crash due to conflicting computer settings. Another example is if your computer’s memory is full, and there isn’t enough RAM to process your video call – this can cause a crash.
How to fix Zoom when it keeps freezing or crashing
If your Zoom keeps freezing or crashing, there are a few things that you can do to try to fix the problem.
Before you begin: Do you see a message in Zoom stating that your internet connection is unstable? Click through to our dedicated article for more specific solutions to that problem if you see the notification on your screen.
1. Restart your computer first
If you’re experiencing multiple crashes, it could be because your computer is using up all the available memory and processing power to run Zoom, or minor software conflicts are happening in the background that causes Zoom to freeze and crash. By restarting your computer, you can get rid of any app or window-related issues by instigating a clean slate.
2. Close unnecessary programs that are hogging computing
If you typically run many resource-intensive programs that put a strain on your graphics unit (GPU) and central processing unit (CPU) while you’re also trying to run Zoom, then this could be why Zoom keeps freezing on you. Your computer may not have enough resources to run all of the programs simultaneously, or there may be conflicts between the programs. We recommend running minimal programs when using Zoom to see if this resolves your issue.
Google Drive and Zoom
For example, running Google Backup and Google Sync can result in Zoom freezing as these programs cause your computer to constantly upload to the cloud, putting a strain on your internet bandwidth.
You can pause Google Sync/Drive uploads on Windows 10 and Windows 11 by right-clicking on the little cloud icon in your taskbar and choosing to pause the syncing for 2, 8, or 24 hours. If this resolves Zoom’s issues, then consider deactivating Google Drive completely. You can do this by downloading the Google Backup and Sync App and using the settings to turn off syncing entirely or for specific folders. You can find the Google Drive App for desktops here.
3. Check for Zoom Updates
If your Zoom App is outdated, this may be the reason your Zoom keeps crashing. Since Zoom regularly puts out updates that are tagged as new, mandatory, or optional, you should have a notification pop up when you launch Zoom if you need to update. But, you can also check by opening up the Zoom client, clicking on your profile photo, and then clicking on the check for updates option.
4. Update your camera drivers
If you find that your Zoom video keeps freezing, flickering, or lagging during video calls, then it may not be an issue with Zoom but an issue with outdated webcam drivers. Whether you’re running an integrated webcam (say on a laptop) or a dedicated webcam on a desktop, you can check to see if you need to update the drivers by doing the following:
- In your Computer’s Search Bar, type in “Run” to get the run dialogue box.
- Type in the command “devmgmt.msc” to pull up Device management.
- In Device Management, look for sub-headings labeled Cameras.
- Expand the Camera’s subheading and right-click on your Camera.
- Choose the Update driver option from the list and Update.
You can also uninstall the previous drivers and then update to the latest version to avoid conflicting issues with old drivers. Once the drivers are updated, test them by connecting to a Zoom video call and see if your problem persists.
5. Unblock Zoom from Windows Privacy Settings
If your Zoom video meetings are not working at all, and the app just crashes or won’t connect, then it may be because your Windows privacy settings are blocking Zoom from accessing the webcam. Luckily, this is easy to fix.
- In your Computer’s search bar, type in “Settings” and open it.
- Click on the Privacy and Security option in the left-hand sidebar.
- Scroll until you see an app permissions list.
- Find the Camera option in the list and expand it.
- Toggle the camera On, and then toggle Let apps access your camera.
- Now find Zoom in the list and toggle it On as well.
It’s extremely common for the camera to already be toggled On, but for the app access for Zoom to be disabled. If this is your case, just simply toggle the access On for Zoom, and you’ll be good to go. You may want to toggle Off other apps in the list, such as Skype or Google Duo, so there aren’t any conflicting issues.
6. Disable Visual Effects if on Windows 10 or 11
Another option to try if Zoom keeps freezing, especially if you are on an older system, is to disable Windows Visual Effects for a smoother video experience. These animation effects are primarily there to boost the video for the best quality. Here is how to disable them on Windows 10.
- In your Computer’s Search Bar, type in “adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”.
- Click on the best match result.
- In this new window, click on the Visual effects tab.
- Now make sure that the Adjust for best performance option is selected.
- Once it is, apply the changes, and restart your computer.
Once your computer is restarted, launch Zoom, and see if Zook still keeps freezing.
7. Use Zoom’s advanced features to disable video acceleration
Zoom has several advanced features that are On by default, boosting audio and video quality. However, if you have a weaker computer, these features may be causing your Zoom to keep freezing. To turn these off:
- Open up Zoom on your computer, and find the Settings option.
- In settings, look for Video and select it. Then choose Advanced.
- In the options that you see, Deselect the following:
- Enable hardware acceleration for video processing.
- Enable hardware acceleration for video sending.
- Enable hardware acceleration for receiving the video.
Make sure to apply the changes, and then restart Zoom. See if it continues to crash, and if it does, consider deselecting HD and Touch Up My Appearance in the Video settings options within Zoom.
8. Does Zoom crash when joining a meeting? Change video rendering settings
You might be noticing that Zoom crashes specifically when you attempt to start or join a meeting. It is possible that the video is not properly rendering when this happens, so check these settings.
- Start by opening up Zoom on your computer and then choose the Settings/Gear icon in the top right of the window.
- Navigate to the video settings, then click the Advanced button at the bottom.
- In this new window, scroll down until you see the video rendering section, and choose Direct3D11 from the drop-down menu.
- Restart your Zoom App to see if it keeps freezing up on you.
9. Use Zoom’s built-in troubleshooter
If none of the options above have worked, you can try Zoom’s built-in troubleshooter to see if there is something else behind Zoom freezing on you.
- Open up Zoom on your computer. Note: If you’re on a call and it is freezing, you can still troubleshoot while the call is active.
- On the right-hand side of Zoom, find the Settings option and open it.
- In the Settings panel, click on the Video option.
- Then, near the right-bottom side of the panel, click on Troubleshoot.
- Wait for Zoom to troubleshoot and respond with an answer.
- From here on out, follow Zoom’s instructions.
Keep in mind that if your webcam isn’t toggled On for the troubleshooting session, you may get an inconclusive result. So, make sure that your webcam is turned on and active during the troubleshooting phase.
10. Reinstall Zoom
When all else fails, reinstalling Zoom is a last resort option to fix the freezing problems. To uninstall, do the following:
- In your Computer’s Start Menu, find Zoom or search for it using the Search bar.
- Right-click on Zoom in the results, and choose to Uninstall it.
- You can also uninstall it from the Control Panel – Programs – Uninstall.
- Restart your computer once Zoom has successfully been uninstalled.
- Re-download Zoom from their website and test to see if your video has stopped freezing.
Conclusion: Zoom keeps freezing solved
Zoom has proven itself to be an invaluable tool, so knowing how to fix it when something goes wrong will save you precious time and frustration. Following the above steps should allow you to quickly diagnose and correct most freezing problems, allowing you to get back to your busy schedule uninterrupted.