Many GoogleMeet users have noticed that their camera automatically zooms in when they join a video conference. This problem not only lowers the quality of the video but also causes discomfort to the users. While there's no direct way to shrink the camera in Google Meet, there are a few quick fixes you can try to get your video back to normal.
In this article, we talk about different methods that can restore your camera to its original settings. We will also discuss why the Google Hangouts zooming in issue might occur during Google Meet video conferences with your camera.
The zoom-in problem on Google Meet
Google Hangouts was integrated with Google Meet and Google Chat in November 2022. While Google Chat is a messaging app, Google Meet is a video communication and online meeting service. Even before the integration was complete, some users complained about the video quality during their video conferences on Google Hangouts.
What happens is that their camera unexpectedly zooms in as soon as the meeting starts. In addition, the camera can even zoom to a random spot, which distorts the quality of the video. The same people found that this problem doesn't occur when using other video services like Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. So the problem isn't with their camera, it's with this particular video platform.
This might not be a big problem if you use Google Meet for a regular video chat. However, if you have prepared visual content such as a presentation or infographics and are sharing your screen, the enlarged video will prevent your colleagues from seeing the full picture. This seems to happen on both Windows and Mac computers.
This problem usually occurs when you join a meeting. When not video chatting with someone on Google Meet, the camera quality is normal.
There are many reasons why your video gets cropped on Google Meet and we will go through all of them in this article. Unfortunately, there is no direct way to prevent this. But here are a few suggestions you can try to fix this problem:
Check other video apps
Checking other video apps is not a solution per se. It's more of a precautionary step that you need to take to check if the problem is with Google Meet or your camera.
First go to your webcam settings. The location may vary depending on the device and operating system. You can easily look for camera settings on your computer if you don't know where they are. If you're using a webcam because the built-in camera isn't good enough, the autofocus feature could be the culprit.
To enhance your online video conferencing experience, many webcams come with custom settings. The autofocus function is one of them. It is used to keep your face sharp automatically. So if you're moving a lot in your video, the camera may be trying to focus on you by zooming in on the image.
Some video chat apps like Zoom and Pan also have the auto focus feature. Because of this, you need to check each video app individually.
If you've checked all the video apps you're using and your webcam's settings and the camera seems to be working normally, then the problem is with Google Meet.
Check the resolution settings before the meeting
The first thing you can try is manually changing the quality of the video in the Google Meet settings. If you've ever adjusted your video and audio settings in Google Meet, you should already know where the settings are. But if this is your first time, follow the steps below to see how it's done.
- Go toGoogle Meetin your preferred browser.
- Proceed to the Settings tab in the top right corner of the screen.
- Proceed to the Video option.
- Select the Send Resolution option.
This is the picture quality from your device that other people in the meeting will see. Video resolution is set to Auto by default. This problem seems to occur when you set the video resolution to high definition. So we will set the video resolution to low resolution.
- Set the resolution to Standard Definition (360p).
- Select the Done button.
That's all there is to it. You can also set the resolution of the video in the middle of a meeting. How to do it.
- Join a meetingGoogle Meet.
- Click on the three dots in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Select "Settings" from the list of options.
- Go to the "Video" tab in the left sidebar and proceed to "Camera".
- Under Send Resolution, change High Definition to Standard Definition.
That's all there is to it. Now that your video is low resolution, your camera won't zoom in anymore.
Disable the video framing feature
Google Meet recently introduced a new feature to increase your visibility in hybrid meetings called video framing or camera framing. When you join a meeting on Google Meet, the video frame feature automatically centers you in the video tile.
Google Meet will automatically refocus you if you're too far from the camera or off-center. This could be the reason why your camera keeps zooming in when you join a meeting.
To turn off the video framing feature in Google Meet, here's what you need to do.
- Go toGoogle Meetand join a meeting.
- Click the three dots under the video tiles.
- Select "Settings" at the bottom of the list.
- Select the "Video" option in the left sidebar.
- Toggle the "Framing" feature to disable it.
- Click the "X" in the top right corner of the screen.
If your device has a pan-tilt-zoom camera, you can control the camera manually while in a meeting. This is done using Google Meet hardware. Follow the steps below to see how it works.
- Join a meetingGoogle Meet.
- Click the Control Camera icon on the bottom menu of the video. This will take you to the in-room controller.
- Go to the zoom out icon under the video tile.
- Select the "Home" button in the right corner below the video.
You can also use the controller to pan the video left or right in the room.
Use the keyboard to zoom out
If these two methods don't work, you can try to shrink the video using keyboard shortcuts. This method works for Google Meet, other video chat apps, and pretty much anything on your display.
All you have to do is press the Ctrl or "Ctrl" key and the minus key on your keyboard at the same time. Similarly, if you want to zoom in, press the "Ctrl" and "+" keys at the same time. This may only shrink the Google Meet window, not your video. In any case, this is another option to troubleshoot Google Hangouts zooming in.
Use a different browser
If the previous solutions don't work, you can try using a different browser for your next meeting. People who have had similar problems with Google Meet have found that this only happens when using Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
Try using Google Meet in other browsers like Safari, Firefox or Opera.
Update your drivers
If none of these solutions work for you, the last resort is to update your graphics drivers. If they haven't updated for a long time, this may be the reason why your camera keeps zooming in on you. Here's what you need to do if you have a Windows computer.
- Type "device manager" in the search bar at the bottom left of your screen.
- In the right pane, choose Open.
- Find and double-click "Cameras" in the list of options.
- Right-click the webcam you are using.
- Proceed to "Properties" in the pop-up menu.
- Select the "Drivers" tab at the top of the window.
- Select "Update driver".
- Click the "OK" button below.
If the Update Driver box is grey, it means you are already using the latest version of that driver. In this case, go to the webcam manufacturer's website and follow their instructions to update the driver.
This process is different on macOS since the graphics driver is part of the operating system. In other words, you can only update it by updating to the latest OS version.
Restore the original quality of your video
If you've ever used Google Meet, you might have noticed the camera zoomed in and cropped your video. While there are some methods you can try to fix this problem, there is no guarantee that any of them will work. While there is no easy solution to this problem, Google will likely fix the zoom-in issue in the near future.
Has your video been zoomed in during a Google Meet video conference? Have you tried any of these methods to fix the problem? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.