Zoom is a powerful and well-utilized teleconferencing tool. You can buy a license for very broad functionality, but you must sacrifice features and talk time if you use the free version. You can get around the 40-minute talk time issue by running back-to-back meetings.

Hi, I’m Aaron. I’ve used Zoom for the better part of five years. It’s a fantastic tool and I think worth every bit of the $149/year license fee. 

Let’s dig into why there’s a license fee and what you can do via workarounds if you can’t afford the license. 

Key Takeaways

  • Zoom has a time limit because Zoom is trying to sell a product. 
  • If you have professional needs, you’ll need to pay to fulfill them. Otherwise, the free version is great!
  • If you’re dismayed by the short meeting time, you can always run back-to-back meetings to extend the time. 

Why Does Zoom Have a Time Limit?

Zoom has a time limit because it’s a business and not a public service. Ultimately, Zoom makes money by selling licenses to its teleconference platform. If Zoom offered unlimited functionality for free to any commercial user (as opposed to a business user), then there would be no business users. Everyone would use it for free.

Consequently, Zoom employs a model commonly used in the software as a service industry, which is the differentiation between free and professional tiers. The free tier allows unimpeded use of the software with certain constraints, like time-limiting use or cutting functionality. 

The professional tier or tiers, then, offer unimpeded use of full functionality, differentiating based on different levels of professional use. In Zoom’s case, that is catering to more enterprise functionality like single sign-on, softphone functionality, and attendee count, to name a few. 

How to Get Around the Time Limit in Zoom

You can’t. The time limit is imposed by the service and there’s no hack you can use to circumvent it.

That being said, Zoom places no limit on how many meetings you have and whether or not you hold them back-to-back. You can have as many 40-minute meetings chained together as you want. 

To do so, you’ll need to schedule independent meetings. Also, if you share files or have a chat in the meeting, you’ll lose that information from being displayed meeting-to-meeting, though all participants should have copies. 


Here are some questions related to Zoom time limits and their answers.

What can I use instead of Zoom time limit?

Google Meet has no time limit and anyone with a Google account can use it. There are limitations and differences between Zoom and Google Meet, so carefully evaluate if those matter to you and your needs. 

Is Zoom getting rid of the 40 minute time limit?

No and, in fact, all users default to that time limit. It’s unlikely Zoom will get rid of the time limit, though they may change it. 

Does Zoom cost money?

Yes. Plans range from $149/year to $250/year, depending on which plan you select. There’s also an unpriced enterprise plan which is negotiated on a per-organization basis.

Final Words

Zoom is a wonderful telecommunications product that has, along with its ilk, made telework and easy videoconferencing possible. If you’ve used the free version, though, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that it places a 40-minute time limit on calls.

Have you used Zoom? What were your impressions? Share in the comments below!