When using Zoom, you may want to give other users the ability to control your meeting as a host. There are two ways to accomplish this: Making a user a co-host or making a user an alternative host.


Co-hosts are assigned DURING a meeting. When you assign a co-host, you remain the Host with full control over the meeting. The co-host has many, but not all, of the controls that you have as the host.

Co-hosts can:

  • Share Screen
  • Start/Stop Recording
  • Start Polling
  • Manage Participants
  • Manage Breakout Rooms

Co-hosts cannot:

  • Start the meeting
  • Make another user a co-host
  • Start a waiting room
  • End the meeting for all participants

To assign a co-host:

Click on Manage Participants in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window.

zoom menu

Hover over the name of the participant who is going to be a co-host, and choose More. Click Make Co-Host.

make cohost

Alternative Host

Alternative hosts are assigned BEFORE a meeting begins by entering their email address when setting up a meeting.
*Note: A user must have a Zoom account with the MGH Institute to be an alternate host. The alternative host will receive an email indicating that have been given alternative host access to the meeting.

An alternative host can start and end meetings without the meeting owner being present. 

If an alternative host starts the meeting, they will become the host and have full host privileges. While in this mode, they can assign co-hosts, start/manage breakout rooms and perform other host functions. If the meeting owner enters the meeting after the alternative host, the alternative host will automatically become a co-host and the meeting owner will become the host. 

If an alternative host joins the meeting after the meeting owner has started it, the alternative host will automatically become a co-host. 

A Note About Cloud Recordings

Cloud recordings will always be associated with the meeting owner. This is true regardless of who starts the cloud recording in the meeting. For example, if a co-host starts the cloud recording, the recording will only be made available to the meeting owner. The co-host will not receive the cloud recording. Similarly, if the alternative host starts the recording, the meeting owner will receive the recording after the fact. The alternative host will not receive the cloud recording. This is the case whether the meeting owner attends the meeting or not.