This article details how to setup Outlook desktop version to start and schedule video conferences with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, the most popular video conferencing apps these days. Even more – during the coronavirus pandemic – video conference is a popular choice while practicing social distancing.
For personal use, there is no need to complicate your life with business video conferencing apps – you can easily use Skype, FaceTime, WhatsUp video calls etc. However, these apps lack features that might be required by businesses in order to run proper video conferences.
Video Conferences with Outlook & Microsoft Teams
In order to see the Microsoft Teams options in your Outlook profile, you must download and install Teams – once you’ve installed it, it will automatically add the Teams add-in to Outlook.
The Teams add-in for Outlook will not be visible on your Outlook toolbars until you sign-in to your Teams account through the main Teams application. You also need to use a Microsoft Exchange email account. Once you’ve signed-in to Teams on Windows, the Teams button will replace the Skype button on your Outlook toolbar:
To send a Teams video conference invitation from Outlook, you have two options:
Using Zoom with Outlook Meetings
In order to see the Zoom video conference options in Outlook, you need to download and install the Zoom plugin for Outlook, then restart Outlook. Zoom will add two new buttons to your main Outlook window: “Schedule a Meeting” and “Start Instant Meeting”:
You also need to install the Zoom client application for Windows, otherwise the Zoom plugin for Outlook will not be able to operate properly. The Zoom client application can be downloaded from the same link as the Zoom plugin.
To schedule an Outlook video conference with Zoom, simply click on the “Schedule a Meeting” button. Alternatively, you can go to the Calendar view, select the date of your video conference, then click on the Zoom Meeting button.
Outlook Video Conferences without Meetings
You don’t need to send the video conference invitation through the Outlook Meetings feature (for example, maybe not everyone is using a Microsoft Exchange account capable of handling Outlook meetings).
You can simply create the video conference session with the Microsoft Teams or Zoom applications, then send the session ID and password by email. You can use an Outlook mail merge add-in to automatically generate and send separate emails to all your video conference members, such as Easy Mail Merge for Outlook.