Basic Account Limitations

The one thing about Zoom as a company that I don’t really like, is their lack of transparency and poor communication about the limitations of Basic (free) Zoom user accounts. Most of the information is out there, somewhere (see the comparison chart on Zoom’s pricing page), but really… why is there not one good source of information about all of the limitations?

Well, now there is. Right here.

If you find more, please seek me out on the Zoom Community and let me know. Please be specific about the limitation, how you discovered it and where you found documentation (if any).

And please: no whining. Zoom limits Basic accounts because the number of free users using (and in many cases abusing, to the maximum extent possible) Zoom is a significant drain on Zoom’s networking and computing resources.

Pricing Page Summary

Here are many of the individual items listed from Zoom’s pricing page as of January 31, 2024. Additional details are found in sections below.

  • Meeting Duration: 40 minutes
  • Participant Capacity: 100
  • Recording: Local only [no Cloud]
  • No telephone dial-in to meetings [online/internet-based audio only]
  • No free Essential Apps.
  • Access to Team Chat, Mail, Calendar Client, Notes, Automated Meeting Captions, Access across any device, Clips (5 clip limit).
  • No access to Mail Service (end-to-end mail encryption), Custom Mail Domain, AI Companion, Calendar Service (meeting scheduling and appointment booking), Translated Captions, Workspace Reservation, Zoom Scheduler.
  • No Polling, no Co-Hosts, Alt-Hosts, no assignment of meeting scheduler (Scheduling Privilege), no REST API, no Skype interoperability, no streaming, no reporting, no User Management.
  • No Admin Portal, no LTI integration, no recording transcripts, no branding, no managed domains, no language interpretation, no executive business reviews.
  • No Cloud storage. (Any features dependent on Cloud storage will be affected.)
  • No in-meeting polls and quizzes, no Original sound for musicians.
  • No access to Zoom Phone.

Time Limits

Meeting durations are limited to 40 minutes. This applies to all meetings scheduled by the Basic user, whether or not they started the meeting, and whether or not they are present and/or Host/Co-Host. This does not limit the length of any meeting that a Basic user joins or becomes Host/Co-Host in, as long as the meeting creator has a paid account. Zoom reference:

A waiting period of 10 minutes is required after one meeting before starting another. I can’t find any definitive documentation of this limit, other than frequent mention in the Zoom Community from Zoom employees that “this behavior is not an error message”.


All Basic users are required to use Passcodes on all meetings. Zoom reference:

Access to Support

Basic users have extremely limited access to support. According to the pricing page, only the following are available: Knowledge Base, Zoom Community, Chatbot.

If there are issues with Billing or lost access to accounts, Basic users have the ability to send Support Tickets to the Billing department, but support is often delayed or not responsive.


No Cloud Recording. Zoom reference – see Prerequisites: