Making a Mute Hotkey for Zoom Meetings with AutoHotKey

Leading meetings involves a lot of typing on screen shares. Zoom lacks a global hotkey for mute that is accessible while the meeting window is not in focus, but I found a way to add one.
Update 2020-03:

With the recent WFH surge following COVID-19, this old post has seen a lot of traffic. Thankfully, Zoom has added this option natively since I wrote this. Visit the Zoom applications’s Preferences/Settings → Keyboard Shortcuts. From there, check the “Enable Global Shortcut” box and edit the assignment for “Mute/Unmute My Audio.”

Thanks to the comment from Tony for pointing this out to me.

Best wishes to you, your families, and your team.

We love Zoom for videoconferencing, but it lacks a hotkey to mute when Zoom isn’t in focus. Which is anytime you’re sharing your screen or taking meeting notes, so… always. A hardware mute isn’t as good because allowing other participants to see when you’re muted is useful for facilitation. Having been recently reintroduced to the joy of mechanical keyboards, my colleagues have pressed me to be better with muting while typing.

Zoom’s hotkey list offers CTRL-ALT-Shift to focus the meeting toolbar, then ALT-a to mute. Then presumably ALT-Tab back to where you were, but I don’t like playing ALT-Tab roulette on screenshare. Using AutoHotKeys for Windows, I made a global mute toggle regardless of the focused window by pressing F9, though this assignment could be easily changed.

; A system-wide mute toggle for Zoom Meetings.

   ; Zoom appears not to accept ControlSend when in the background, so
   ; we isolate the Zoom and current windows, switch over to Zoom, send
   ; its own mute-toggle hotkey, and then switch back.
   ; Get the current window
   WinGet, active_window, ID, A
   ; First check if we're sharing our screen and capture the toolbar:
   zoom_window := WinExist("ahk_class ZPFloatToolbarClass")
   ; If we aren't sharing our screen, pull the Zoom window:
   if (zoom_window = "0x0") {
      zoom_window := WinExist("ahk_class ZPContentViewWndClass")
   ; Do we know we have a zoom_window? If not, bail.
   if (zoom_window = "0x0") {
      Send {F9}
   ; Whichever we have, switch over to it:
   WinActivate, ahk_id %zoom_window%
   ; Toggle Mute
   Send !a
   ; Go back
   WinActivate ahk_id %active_window%
  • Save it and double-click it on run the script. Spin up a meeting to test it.
  • If all’s well, “Copy” the script in Explorer, then navigate to C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and “Paste Shortcut” to have the script auto-start with Windows.