How to open multiple instances of Zoom [WINDOWS]?

How to open multiple instances of Zoom [WINDOWS]?

Guide
Step 1: Create a "dummy" user account in Windows. You can use an existing account if you like (it has to be a different account). Whichever you pick, it MUST have a password. Make one for each extra instance of Zoom that you need (e.g. if you need three instances of Zoom, make two accounts).

Step 2: Press the Windows Key to bring up the Start Menu, and search for "Zoom". Click the "Open file location" in the sidebar (you may need to click the arrow to bring up other options).
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The file explorer should open, showing where Zoom is installed.
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Step 3: Go up by one folder by clicking the "Up" arrow beside the address bar.
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Step 4. Right-click the "bin" folder and select Properties.
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Step 5: In the popup window, click Edit.


Step 6: Click Add.
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Step 7: Type in the name of the dummy user account. My dummy account's name is "dummy". Click Check Names to verify that you typed the correct name. If another popup appears, you mistyped it.
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Step 8: Click OK.

Step 9: Ensure that the entries for "Read & execute", "List folder contents", and "Read" are checked under "Allow", and that "Write" is unchecked (otherwise, the dummy account will be able to modify that folder, which is a potential security issue). This is usually the default, so you can leave your settings as is. Click OK on all popups.
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Step 10: Go back to where the Zoom app is (see Step 2).

Step 11: Right-click the Zoom executable, select "Send to", then click "Desktop (create shortcut)". This will create a shortcut for the app on your desktop.
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Step 12: Go to your Desktop and right-click on the newly created Zoom shortcut, then click Properties.

Step 13: In the Shortcut tab, go to Target, and paste this IN FRONT of the path (do not replace the path).
Code:
runas /user:dummy /savecred
Change "dummy" to the name of your dummy account name.
Make sure that there is a space after /savecred.
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Note: /savecred will save your dummy account's password after you enter it once correctly, so that the next time you run the shortcut, it won't ask you for the password again. You can remove it if you prefer typing it every time you run the shortcut.

Step 14: Run the shortcut. A command line window should appear and ask for the dummy account's password (if you didn't remove \savecred, it will only ask you once). Enter it, and the second instance of Zoom will appear.

Step 15: Do steps 2-14 for every additional instance of Zoom that you want to use.

Additional Notes for Capturing with OBS
Usually, both Zoom windows will have the same title. In this case, OBS will list both as options in a Window Capture, but selecting either will only point to the most recent Zoom window that you focused on.
This would result in you not being able to capture both even with two Window Captures in OBS. Here's what you can do to fix it.

Step 0: Open two instances of Zoom (one, by opening it normally. the other by running the shortcut we made). Have two window captures in OBS (they should have different names in OBS). Have three or more if you will open more instances of Zoom.

Step 1: Go to the first Zoom window (you can check the Participants list to see if you're on the correct instance).
Step 2: Go back to OBS and select the first Window Capture.
Step 3: Go to its properties and select the Zoom window. If the preview doesn't change, try the other choices with the same window title.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3, but this time, do it for the second instance of Zoom (i.e. select the second Zoom window and the second Window Capture in OBS). Do not change the window of the first one.

You can do the same even with multiple instances of Zoom, even with "Use dual monitors" on in Zoom.


Even More Additional Notes
  • You can not use the same Zoom account on both instances.
  • You can use different Zoom accounts for each instance, or even use it without logging in. You can even join the same meeting with the two instances.
  • Each instance will have a tray icon in the taskbar (click the up arrow near the system date and time). You can use these to open the open ones already, or quit them completely.
  • Each instance will have different window sizes, so adjust accordingly.
  • Of course, more Zoom instances opened at a time means more cpu/gpu usage, so use sparingly according to your hardware capabilities (or get higher specs).
  • Most webcams can't be accessed by multiple programs at once. This includes using the same webcam on two different instances of Zoom. Sometimes, it will work only for a while, then one of them freezes. I'm not sure if the built-in virtual camera in OBS is an exception, but you can use this plugin for additional virtual cameras.
  • If you don't see anything (or some parts black) being captured by OBS, select the source, go to its Properties, and change Window Capture method to Windows 10. It does require Windows 10 though.

Conclusion
I use this approach because I've found that Sandboxie has issues with the virtual camera (it will not work for the instances spawned by Sandboxie; at least, not out-of-the-box). It also won't allow multiple accounts to be logged in. If you are able to make the virtual camera work with Sandboxie, let me know!

Have any questions? You can ask me in the Discussion tab here in the forums. Have fun streaming!
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