Since the world went into lockdown, the online video-calling platform Zoom has suddenly become the go-to app for meetings and keeping in touch with friends and family across the globe.

While the free tier offers plenty of useful features, one that people aren't that keen on is the 40-minute time limit for each call. So, is it possible to get around this restriction without signing up for a pro account? In this article we show how to sidestep the call duration limits on Zoom for Mac.

How can I get around the 40-minute limit on Zoom?

Before we begin, it should be noted that there isn't a way to have a free continuous call longer than 40 minutes on Zoom, but you can make it so that the same call starts again immediately after it reaches the limit. To achieve this, you'll need to schedule a meeting rather than just start one and invite people.

Open the Zoom app on your Mac then click the Schedule button.

How to get around Zoom's 40-minute time limit on Mac: Setting up a call

On the form that appears, copy the Meeting ID and password, then send it to all the people you want on the call. You'll also want to ensure that in the Calendar section the Other Calendars options is selected, plus you'll need to set when the meeting starts and on what date.

How to get around Zoom's 40-minute time limit on Mac: Scheduling the meeting

When all of this is done click the Schedule button.

Once your call starts, chat away as normal, but when the elapsed time nears 40 minutes a countdown clock will appear on the screen to warn you that the call will soon end. When you see this, as the host you'll need to click the Leave Meeting button, careful not to select the End for All option which would scupper the plans.

How to get around Zoom's 40-minute time limit on Mac: Leaving the meeting

This will make it seem as if the meeting has finished, but if everyone now clicks on the link you originally sent then they will all reappear in the 'room' and you can continue uninterrupted for another 40 minutes. Sure, it's not seamless, but with Zoom Pro costing £11.99/$14.99 per month, we think it's an acceptable inconvenience.

What alternatives are there to Zoom on Mac?

Of course, you don't need to use Zoom if the time limit becomes tiresome, as there are some great alternatives available. To see which ones we currently recommend, read Best video-conferencing apps for Mac or FaceTime alternatives for iPad and iPhone.