Zoom: Third-Party Apps/Bots Join Meetings Without an Invite


U-M Zoom


Sometimes, when I host a Zoom meeting, there are third-party apps/bots as participants, and I don't invite them.

  • Why are they joining my meeting if I didn't invite them?
  • What should I do to prevent them from joining?


U-M Zoom users have the ability to install third-party apps, integrations, and bots to their individual accounts. Some third-party apps a user can install add bots as participants to every Zoom meeting they join. This can cause confusion and concerns from the host(s) who did not explicitly invite these bots to their meeting.

Tips for Hosts

Ultimately, you decide whether to keep any third-party bots that join your meeting as participants. If you feel that the bots would be disruptive or may violate sensitive data policies (such as if you are discussing PHI), there are a couple of ways to prevent them from joining or remove them after they've joined. However, please keep in mind that some bots are used by users with accessibility needs. (If you are unsure what the purpose of a user's bot is, you can always reach out to the user who manages that bot. Their first and/or last name should be in the bot's name.)

To prevent bots from joining your meeting:

  • You can enable the Zoom Waiting Room feature for all meetings you host. Enabling the Waiting Room allows you to view each participant who attempts to join the meeting and only admit those who should be there. Bots will join the Waiting Room just as any other participant, and you can choose to remove them.
  • If your meeting is exclusively or mostly U-M Zoom users, it's recommended that you require participants to authenticate in order to join. This setting can be enabled for single meetings or automatically for all new meetings you host. Because the third-party bots cannot authenticate through a U-M Zoom account, they will be blocked from joining.

To remove a bot after it has already joined:

  1. Click Participants (people icon) in the Zoom meeting toolbar.
  2. Find the bot's name you want to remove and click the More icon (three dots) next to their name.
  3. Select Remove from the drop-down menu to remove the bot from the meeting.

(If the "Allow removed participants to rejoin" setting is enabled in your account settings, the bot may try to rejoin the meeting. To prevent this, ensure the setting is not enabled before starting your meeting.)

Tips for Participants

  • Be mindful that if you have a third-party app/bot installed and it joins meetings when you do, a host might ask you about it, such as its intended purpose.
  • As a reminder, all third-party apps, integrations, and bots installed on an individual's Zoom account cannot be used with sensitive data, such as PHI or FERPA.
    • U-M Zoom is approved for some types of sensitive data, including PHI. However, third-party apps are NOT covered and should NEVER be used with sensitive data.
    • If you intend to join a Zoom meeting with a third-party app/bot and the meeting involves PHI, FERPA, or other sensitive data permitted for use in U-M Zoom, you should either remove the app from your account before joining the meeting OR ask the host to remove the bot from the participant list at the beginning of the meeting.

Additional Information

Examples of third-party apps that add a bot to meetings:

Learn more about how to secure your U-M Zoom meetings.

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.

Print Article


Article ID: 11523
Wed 1/24/24 3:57 PM
Wed 2/14/24 10:48 AM

Related Articles (3)

We highly encourage our community to do everything possible to secure their meetings, participants, and data. Follow the link in this article for information on how to secure meetings in Zoom.