What is the Zoom host "key" for?

Zoom provides each user with a host "key" (i.e. password) which allows you to become the host of any of your Zoom meetings, even if you have accidentally joined the meeting as a "participant". This can happen when you join one of your own meetings without first signing into Zoom.

The host "key" is essentially a password which allows anyone who has it to take over all of your Zoom meetings. For this reason, it should never be shared.

It's important that you keep the host "key" private, to avoid Zoom-bombing and other unwanted behavior in your meetings.

To be sure you always log in correctly and join your meetings as host, see:

How do I join my Zoom class meeting as Host?

If you accidentally joined your meeting as "participant" rather than host, you can reclaim the host role.  See:

How do I reclaim the Host role in my Zoom class meeting?

If you would like to designate another user to be the co-host or alternative host of your Zoom class meetings, we recommend that you do not share the host key, but instead designate hosting duties as described here:

How do I designate another person to share hosting of my Zoom class meetings?

If you do need to access, change, or use your host key, this guide explains how:

Using your host key