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Zoom offering unlimited video calls for holiday season — these are the dates

best free zoom backgrounds
(Image credit: Zoom)

Zoom promised to make it easier to connect with family over Thanksgiving by scrapping its 40-minute time limit for free users. With even more holidays coming, Zoom is doing it again.

Zoom has released a list of times free users across the world will be able to enjoy unlimited call times, covering Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, plus the last day of both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Zoom’s free tier normally has a 40-minute time limit on calls of three or more people. Obviously that’s not so convenient when you’re separated from your family over the holidays, and want to get a significant amount of face to face interaction throughout the day. 

So, like Thanksgiving, that time limit is being temporarily waived over the following dates:

Zoom lifting 40-minute call limits: Days and times

  •  10 a.m. ET on December 17 to 6 a.m. ET on December 19 
  •  10 a.m. ET on December 23 to 6 a.m. ET on December 26 
  •  10 a.m. ET on December 30 to 6 a.m. ET on January 2 

Zoom has promised the time limit will be lifted automatically during these three periods, so you won’t have to do anything beyond logging in and calling your family. And of course don’t forget to get your themed-backgrounds ready to add a bit more seasonal cheer to your calls.

Of course if Zoom isn’t your thing, there are plenty more Zoom alternatives out there. So check out the other best video chat apps and figure out if any of them work out better for you. Especially if you want big long calls outside of Zoom’s new unlimited hours. 

New to the service? Here's our guide on how to use Zoom, how to change your Zoom background, and the best free Zoom backgrounds.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.