Compare Join Methods

GoToWebinar lets you join sessions from anywhere, no matter what kind of device you're using. You can join using the desktop app, the browser-based Web App, or your phone or tablet.

When you join a webinar, the features and tools that are available to you will vary depending on various things (like your operating system or web browser type). See below to learn more about the different join methods, as well as the differences between join methods.


Available join methods

There are 3 basic ways that you can join a session, as shown below.

Instant Join app Desktop app Mobile apps
No download required – Join online from a web browser on your Windows, Mac, Linux or Google Chrome OS computer
Desktop app required – Join from software downloaded onto your Windows or Mac computer Mobile app required – Join on the go from your mobile phone or tablet


  • Get into session quickly and easily

  • Join from almost any computer, even if not compatible with the desktop app


  • Access the full suite of features and tools

  • Use the full Control Panel to facilitate meetings


  • Join sessions on the go with one click

  • Present content using a virtual whiteboard (iPad only)





Which method will I join with?

If you join using a computer, then the way that you will be launched into session will vary depending on your operating system and web browser. Use the chart below to see which method you will use. Learn more about system requirements.

Operating System Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Other browsers

Compatible with the desktop app:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later
Desktop app*
Computer or phone audio
Desktop app*
Computer or phone audio
Desktop app*
Computer or phone audio

Not compatible with the desktop app:

  • Windows Vista or earlier
  • Mac OS X 10.8 or earlier
  • Linux/Ubuntu
  • Google Chrome OS
Instant Join app
Computer or phone audio
Instant Join app
Phone audio only
Not available

* If the desktop app doesn't download properly, the attendee will automatically be launched into session using the Instant Join app instead.


Join Methods: Feature comparison chart

The features that are available to you will vary depending on how you join!

In addition, Web App features will vary depending on your web browser and mobile app features will vary depending on your operating system.

Session Features Desktop


Join a session (attendee) Varies by browser
Join a session (panelist)
Host a session (organizer)
Be promoted to co-organizer
Connect via mic and speakers (VoIP) Varies by browser
Connect via telephone (PSTN) Cellular plan required
Be muted upon joining

Screen and content sharing
View the Presenter's screen
Share your screen

Varies by device
Share multiple screens
Share screen in "screen clean" mode
Share an application

Share a video
Share a real whiteboard
Share content from a virtual whiteboard Varies by device
Share content from the cloud Varies by device
Webcams (HDFaces)
Share your own webcam

Varies by device
View shared webcams

Varies by browser

Varies by device
Hide webcams Varies by device
Features and tools
Ask questions
Take keyboard and mouse control
Use drawing tools Varies by operating system
Raise your hand
Download handouts
Take polls


Using the Control Panel (Windows and Mac)

Mobile Feature Comparison

Instant Join Feature Comparison