With the latest Windows 10 20H2 update, Microsoft is now re-releasing a video-conferencing feature called “Meet Now,” first introduced with Skype in April this year. Whether you are on the latest public Windows 10 build or still using last year’s 1903/1909 version, you should see the Meet Now icon next to the system tray in the taskbar.
The following feature has been added to Windows to take on Zoom’s immense popularity. In case you didn’t know, Meet Now lets users easily create video chat rooms without downloading or signing up for Skype. All you need to do is create a web link and share it with the participants so that they can join the virtual meeting or conference over a compatible web browser.
Participants can join the video meetings from Android and iOS devices as well. However, they will have to install the Skype app even though it isn’t necessary to create an account. When they tap the shared link to the video chat room, Skype will auto-launch and redirect them to it.
If you aren’t sure how to use the Meet Now feature in Windows 10, consider checking out this guide to learn more.
Guide to create a video chat room with Meet Now
Let’s start with creating a video chat room with the Meet Now feature. Before we begin, make sure that your default web browser is either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. To confirm it, go to Start > Settings > Home > Default apps and check whether one of the following browsers is set as default. Currently, Mozilla Firefox is unsupported with the Meet Now feature.
After that, find and click the Meet Now icon in the taskbar. The icon looks like a video camera with curved lines surrounding it from above and below. If you don’t see it, right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings, then scroll down to the Notification area row and click the ‘Turn system icons on or off’ link. You should be able to toggle ON the slider next to the Meet Now option.
When you click the Meet Now icon in the taskbar, it will bring up a small window. Click the Meet Now button, and it should open up Skype in your default web browser.
A pop-up will also appear in the navigation bar of the Chrome or Edge window, asking you to give the Skype webpage access to your microphone and camera. Click Allow to grant the permissions.
On the Skype webpage, enter your name in the following field, then click the clipboard icon next to the unique invite link to copy it. You can now send the link to the participants over any messaging platform you use. Alternatively, click the Share invite button to directly share the invite link from your default email client app or Facebook. Note that anyone with the link can join the chat room, so be careful who you share it with.
That’s it! When you are ready to begin the video conference, click the Start Meeting button. You should see an interface with your video feed, as well as the options to toggle the chat sidebar and send reactions. You can also mute your microphone or disable the camera when needed.
If someone else wishes to join in the middle of the video conference, all you have to do is click the Chat button, copy the invite link at the very top of the chat history, and share it with the participant.
To leave the meeting, click the red phone hang-up button at the bottom of the interface. You can simply close the browser tab to go back to the desktop.
Guide to join a video chat room with Meet Now
Joining a video chat room with Meet Now on Windows 10 is straightforward. The hoster of the chat room needs to share the meeting link with you, which should look something like this: http://join.skype.com/A1b2Cd3e4f5.
To join the meeting, click the Meet Now icon in the taskbar, followed by the Join a meeting button. A Skype page will open up in your default browser. In case the webpage asks for microphone and camera permissions again, click Allow.
After that, copy the shared meeting link and paste it into the field on the following Skype webpage. Click Join to enter the meeting.
The next page looks the same as if you were the hoster of the meeting. You just have to enter your name and click the Start Meeting button below. Once again, you will see the video chat interface with your and other participant’s video feeds on the screen.
When you are done with the conference, click the red phone hang-up button. Video chatting with friends, families, and colleagues is now as simple as that.