Zoom updates for Spring 2021: what you need to know

A UB student watches a lecture via Zoom on her laptop.

Published January 20, 2021

On January 25, 2021, UB Zoom will be updated with new features for better security, breakout rooms, polling and more. Zoom cloud recordings will now also be automatically deleted after 270 days (but they’ll still be available in Panopto).


To get the latest information and answers to your questions about using Zoom at UB, visit the UBIT website.

Cloud recordings automatically deleted after 270 days

Once this new feature is activated, any recording made prior to April 7, 2020 will be moved to the trash. Recordings remain in the trash for 30 days, at which time they are permanently removed. You will receive a warning seven days before your recording is permanently deleted from the trash. 

All UB Zoom cloud recordings are automatically saved to the Panopto cloud service. If you need to retrieve a Zoom recording after it has been deleted from the Zoom cloud, log into Panopto and find the recording there. 


  • Security requirements for scheduled and Personal Meeting ID meetings: Every new meeting you schedule, as well as meetings using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) must have one of three security measures: a passcode, a waiting room, or only authenticated users can join.
  • Passcodes required for joining by phone: If a passcode has been set, participants joining by phone will need to enter it. Phone participants can find a numeric version of the meeting passcode in the invite, under the list of telephone numbers.
    • Note: If you enable “Only authenticated users can join” without a passcode, anyone joining the meeting by phone will be allowed in automatically. 
  • New ‘Suspend participant activities’ option: Use this option, accessible from the Security button in your Zoom meeting, to immediately mute all audio and video, stop screen sharing, and pause recording.
  • ‘Allow participants to join before host’ off by default: Zoom hosts may choose to turn this on for individual meetings or in their meeting settings.
    • Note: Turning this setting back on can cause problems with recordings and pre-assigned breakout rooms. Instructors should use with care.
  • ‘Allow removed participants to rejoin’ off by default: If you remove someone from a meeting, they will not be able to come back in.  
    • Note: If you remove someone from a recurring meeting, that person will be able to join any of the remaining sessions of that meeting. If you are uncertain about removing someone from any meeting, we suggest placing them into the Waiting Room instead.
  • Allow participants to rename themselves’ off by default: If someone using UB Zoom has a preferred name, they can change it in their Zoom profile settings. You may turn this option back on in your Zoom profile settings. 
  • China and Hong Kong data centers: China and Hong Kong SAR data centers will be disabled by default. You can enable in your Zoom profile settings or for an individual meeting under the Advanced settings section.

Breakout rooms

  • Co-hosts can now assist the host with running breakout rooms in a meeting
    • Note: If you pre-assign breakout rooms while scheduling a meeting, the Host must open them herself. Then, co-hosts can assist with moving people around or assigning attendees to rooms. 
  • Moving participants back to main session from breakout room: Hosts and co-hosts now have the option to assign one or more participants back to the main session, rather than ending all breakout sessions.

Reactions and non-verbal feedback

  • Reactions and non-verbal feedback will now be available under the Reactions button
  • All reactions and feedback shown in corner of participants’ video and disappear after 10 seconds (excluding Raise Hand): The host will see each participant’s reactions in the participant list, as well as the aggregate numbers of each reaction at the bottom of the list.
    • Note: meeting participants who are not updated to the latest version of Zoom will not have their nonverbal reactions (with the exceptions of hand raises) appear to meeting hosts who are on the latest version of Zoom.   


Participants will be able to select stereo audio or original audio during a meeting. These settings may be helpful for music instruction or performance.