Services & Software

How to use Zoom Escaper, a sneaky tool for getting out of your video calls

End your Zoom meeting early with an app that gives you an audio excuse to drop off of your video call. Here's how to use it.

"Looks like my connection is breaking up, gotta go!" you can now say with the help of Zoom Escaper.

Tired of the endless parade of Zoom meetings, and the anxiety they can cause? Enter Zoom Escaper, a tool that allows you to sabotage your own audio call with the urgent sounds of a barking dog, crying baby, construction noise or wind, giving you the perfect excuse to drop off a call.

Zoom Escaper is a piece of free software created by artist and educator Sam Lavigne. It works through another piece of software called VB-Audio, which operates under a donation system. 

We don't necessarily recommend downloading free software that doesn't come from an app store, so please make sure to fully vet the software before you do so. Nor do we necessarily recommend misdirecting your coworkers (although at least one CNET producer has tried it), but we do get how exhausting Zoom can be.

Read more: How to use Zoom like a pro: 15 video chat tips and tricks to try today

How to use Zoom Escaper to get out of meetings early

Lavigne offers a step-by-step tutorial video on how to download and use Zoom Escaper on his website. Here's how to do it:

1. Go to the Zoom Escaper website. 

2. Enable microphone access on the site by clicking the Enable Microphone button underneath the first instruction box.

3. Download and install VB-Cable. Then refresh the Zoom Escaper website.

4. Hit the Start button. You'll see eight different audio effects you can try out: echo, upset baby, wind, construction, bad connection, dogs, man weeping and urination (why you'd want the latter two I'm not quite sure). You can change the volume and some other features like feedback on some of the options.

5. Under Output on this page, find VB-Cable on the drop down. Select it and hit Start

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6. Open Zoom, and go to Settings > Audio. Set your Microphone to VB-Cable. Under Suppress background noise, select Low. Under Music and professional audio, select Show in-meeting option..., and make sure all of the boxes under that are unchecked. 

7. Start or join a Zoom call. Go back to the Zoom Escaper site, and check the box or boxes for the audio effects you want to add. 

8. When you've successfully escaped your meeting (or are done playing around with this), hit the Stop button on the Zoom Escaper site. Go back to your Zoom Audio settings and switch your microphone back to the one you typically use. 

Remember: When you apply an audio effect to your call, you won't be able to hear it applied to your own voice, so be careful. 

Looking for more ways to have some fun with Zoom? We've got guides for how to change your Zoom background, and how to use other fun Zoom filters (including how to become a cat like that lawyer accidentally did). Plus, here are all the tips you need to use Zoom like a pro