With Audio And Video Lock, Google Meet Hosts Can Permanently Mute Participants

Google Meet

As video conference and remote working have become common, Google Meet has become one of the bigger player in the industry.

Allowing people to hold group video calls, with its various features, Google Meet is having an update which should make it even more handy in video conference involving lots of people.

At times, during online meetings or classes, some attendees may forget to turn off their microphones. Sometimes, as people are adjusting themselves to the digital workspace post-'COVID-19' coronavirus pandemic, they may not understand why they were muted in the first place when joining a conference.

As a result, accidents can happen.

At other times, some people can be annoying that they are a distraction.

Google Meet has a feature that allows people to mute any meeting participant. However, it can be a pain if a host wants to mute all participants after the conference has been made. Moreover, after being muted, call attendees could just unmute themselves and carry on.

This time, Google updates that, to allow hosts to force mute anyone in the call, and more importantly, keep them muted.

Calling the feature the “Audio lock” and “Video lock” options, they are simply switches that should save speakers a ton of headaches.

Once muted, the target remains muted until the host unmutes them manually.

"The meeting host is the only user in a meeting who can use the 'mute all' feature. Once all participants are muted, the meeting host cannot unmute them. However, users will be able to unmute themselves as needed. The mute all feature will only be available for hosts who are joining from a desktop browser, but will be launching on other platforms in the coming months," Google said in a blog post.

The audio and video lock feature, once enabled in the main meeting room, should also be active in breakout rooms.

It should be noted though, that any changes made to a lock setting within a breakout room won't affect the settings of other breakout rooms or the main meeting.

Google explained in another blog post that the audio and video locks should give hosts more control over their meetings by letting them decide when they want to allow different levels of participation from users.

This should also give them the ability to address disruptive meeting participants.

Additionally, the host can also decide on allowing different levels of participation from attendees.

Google Meet, audio and video lock
Host control screen. (Credit: Google)
Google Meet, audio and video lock
Host control screen to mute all participants. (Credit: Google)

More or less, the feature is similar to a child lock feature, where only the host has the control of it.

It should be noted though, that users using unsupported mobile versions of the Meet app should be dropped from the meeting automatically when the host enables the audio and/or video lock.

According to Google, when these users attempt to join a meeting with active locks, they'll be prompted to update their Android or iOS app.

Hosts do have the ability to turn off the locks to allow these participants to rejoin the meeting.

Google Meet hosts have long wanted to have the ability to better control their meeting participants. And this feature here should help Meet compete with other popular video-conferencing platforms, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Google said that the feature has been added to Google Workspace, G Suite Basic and Business users on the Rapid Release domains.

The feature should be available to all users weeks after that.