Why zoom meetings have start_url if host can start meeting with join_url

I want to understand the exact use of zoom start_url(and how it is differ from join_url).
I do understand:

  • Start URL is for meeting host to start a meeting. The URL will contain a ZPK section which is used for Zoom web backend to authenticate the host. Start URL should not be shared with anyone except host.
  • Join URL is used for meeting attendees. It contains join meeting link along with meeting ID. Everyone can join the meeting as long as he/she has the join URL

What I am more interested in knowing is: If host can start a meeting with join_url - then why we need start_url.

The only difference i know so far is: With start_url host did not need to logs-in to zoom to start a meeting, but with join_url host needs to logs in to zoom to start a meeting.
So host can start a meeting with start_url or join_url.

More specifically: Lets say there is a

  • zoom meeting (as m1)
  • start_url (as m1_start_url)
  • join_url (as m1_join_url)
  • host (as m1_host)


  • m1_host can start a meeting with m1_start_url without logging-in to zoom.
  • m1_host can also start a meeting with m1_join_url but m1_host needs to log-in to zoom to start it.

Is there is any other difference than that, i.e. if host start meeting with join_url(provided host is logged-in before starting meeting): host still has all privileges of that meeting?

Reference: What's the difference between join_url and start_url

Hi @aditya.vikram,

Good questions, and happy to clarify. First, I should note that your understanding so far is correct. The difference between the start_url and join_url (from a host perspective) is that the start_url includes a token ensuring the host can start the meeting without requiring login.

As you mentioned, the host can also start a meeting using the join_url, however they will need to be logged in as the host in order for the join_url to interpret their host status. If they’re logged into the Zoom profile that is the host of the meeting and they use the join_url, they will have all the same host privileges as if they used the start_url.

I hope this helps!


1 Like

Thank you @will.zoom!

No problem, glad I could help :slight_smile:

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