Have you recently upgraded to Windows 10 version 20H2? You may have noticed a new feature in your system tray. The Meet now The button is Windows 10's answer to Zoom and is intended to help you with the video conference right away.
Here's everything you need to know about Windows 10 Meet Now, plus how to hide or remove it.
What is Windows 10 Meet Now?
Windows 10 Meet Now is a Skype feature that is now built into Windows 10. You may have noticed a new icon on your system tray after the Windows 10 20H2 update that was introduced in October.
Despite the integration into the Windows 10 operating system, Meet Now is a new Skype feature that enables Zoom-like conferences for users without a Skype account.
Once you start a Meet Now video call, you can send the link to anyone using a direct link, email, or other messaging apps.
How to use Meet Now in Windows 10
In Windows 10, choosing the new icon gives you two options: Meet now or Attend a meeting.
If you have Skype installed on your system, selecting Meet Now opens the Start Meeting dialog box. From here you can set a meeting name, share your meeting link, set your camera and audio inputs, and choose a background effect for your video.
If you don't have Skype installed on your computer, Meet Now options will open in your web browser. You still have access to the same video and audio settings, plus the option to connect to audio only.
With either option, you'll be live and stream after entering the Meet Now conference call. Within the call, you have options like viewing and managing participants, sending responses, and raising your hand to ask a question.
Attend a meeting
Selecting "Attend a Meeting" opens Skype with the option to Join a meeting with one click. If someone sends you a Meet Now link, you can copy and paste it into this field. Alternatively, clicking on the link will automatically open the meeting with the Skype app (if installed) or the Skype web application in your web browser (if not installed).
How to hide Meet Now in Windows 10
Many users will enjoy adding a new video conferencing option to Skype. However, many Windows 10 users will not be happy to see a new icon added to their system tray, especially one that was added without warning.
If you don't want the Meet Now button on your screen, here's how to remove or disable it.
1. Hide the Meet Now icon
The easiest way to remove the icon is to right-click and select Hide. This will remove the Meet Now icon from the system tray where it will no longer bother you.
Another, slightly longer winding option is to squeeze Windows Key + I., Input System icon in the search box and select the option to Turns the system icons on or off. From here you can switch off Meet now to hide the symbol.
2. Use Group Policy Editor to remove Meet Now
If you want to go a step further, you can use Group Policy to remove Meet Now. Creating a group policy can change a setting for the entire computer that affects each user, not an individual Windows account.
However, Group Policy Editor is only available to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education users, although some workarounds are available for Windows 10 Home users.
To remove Meet Now using Group Policy Editor:
Art gpedit Then select the best match from the search bar on your Start menu.
Now go to User Configuration> Administrative Templates> Start Menu and Taskbar.
Browse and find Remove the Meet Now iconDouble click to open and set the function to activated.
You may need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
3. Use the Windows registry to remove Meet Now
Your final option is to use the Windows registry to remove Meet Now. This is the least recommended option because changes to your registry can have unintended consequences if you change the wrong setting.
In this case, you can safely use the registry to hide Meet Now from yourself or from everyone on a shared computer.
Art regedit Select the best match in the search bar on your Start menu to open the Registry Editor.
To block Meet Now, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer in your Windows account
Right click on the Explorer window and select New> Dword (32-bit) value.
Name it HideSCAMeetNow, then set the value to 1.
To hide the Meet Now prompt for every user account on your PC, follow the instructions above but navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer in step 2. The Dword creation, name and value all stay the same.
Can you completely remove Meet Now from Windows 10?
No. Meet Now is a Skype video conferencing feature that belongs to the Skype app or is accessible through the Skype web app.
The Meet Now icon that pops up on your screen with no warning is without a doubt an annoyance. However, you cannot dig your way into Skype and remove the functionality of this tool. Hiding the icon and forgetting that it exists is the best option.
How does Meet Now compare to Zoom?
In terms of functionality, Meet Now is decent. You can host between 30 and 50 people on a single Meet Now group video call, and the video quality remains decent throughout (local connectivity issues where allowed). In addition, you don't need a Skype account or Skype client to join a Meet Now conference call, which makes it very easy to use.
However, Meet Now is missing some useful and important features. For example, unlike most other video conferencing apps, you cannot password protect a Meet Now video call. A spate of Zoom bombings forced Zoom to put in place stricter rules on password protection and room name creation during the COVID-19 pandemic. While you can create a custom name for your Meet Now call, you can't protect the room from strangers guessing your meeting URL.
Overall, Meet Now is a decent Zoom alternative for hosting a video call that people can hop on and off.
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About the author
(632 articles published)
Gavin is the junior editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing with Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills and over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.
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