Zoom has become an important part of our day-to-day lives, and we now use it for work, education, and social interactions. Zoom conveniently enables the recording of meetings, making it possible to, for example, give a live webinar and save a copy for people who were not able to attend the livestream. It also provides certain professional groups the ability to save and revisit important information.
Although the Zoom recording and storage options are relatively easy to use, there are some tips and tricks that regular recorders benefit from. Understanding the options and differences gives you the opportunity to choose the best approach.
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The local recording option is available to all Windows, Mac, and Linux users and allows you to store recordings as local files on the computer that you have joined the meeting from.
Local recordings are stored in the following locations by default by Zoom:
- Windows: C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Zoom
- Mac: /Users/[Username]/Documents/Zoom
- Linux: /home/[Username]/Documents/Zoom
To access your locally recorded Zoom meetings you can visit the file directory as described for your operating system. You may need to convert the meeting file first before you can access it in the file directory. To convert the meeting follow these simple steps:
- In the Zoom desktop client click Meetings
- Select Recorded
- Select the meeting you want
- If the meeting has not been converted, you will see the convert option which converts the meeting to an MP4 video file
- Select this option and wait for Zoom to complete the action
Screenshot of Zoom Desktop client showing how to navigate to your recordings
Once the meeting has been converted you will, in addition to being able to access and manage it in the directory, also be able to:
- View the video by clicking play directly in the Zoom desktop client
- Listen to the audio-only version
- Delete the meeting files directly from the Zoom desktop client
You can view a list of your locally recorded meetings with location, name of the meeting, and date in the Zoom web portal.
Sharing Local Recordings
You may wish to share your local recordings with colleagues, friends, or even as a resource for anyone to access. Once the recording is converted you can share it by uploading the file on Dropbox, Google Drive or YouTube, or any other file sharing manager you use. You have access to an M4A audio file as well as an MP4 video file.
Changing the Default Location for your Local Zoom Meetings
You can change the default location if you prefer your meetings to be saved elsewhere by taking the following steps:
- Log into your Zoom desktop client
- Click on your profile picture
- Select settings
- Click Recording
- Two options will be displayed:
- Open: opens the file in which your local recordings are stored
- Change: allows you to select a new location for storing your local recordings in the future
Screenshot showing the recordings settings screen on the Zoom Desktop client
Cloud recording is an option available to paid Zoom accounts, whereby you can record and save meetings to the Zoom Cloud. This is a particularly useful option for businesses, people who travel a lot, or people who want to use other advanced options enabled for cloud recordings by Zoom.
We will discuss some of the benefits of Zoom Cloud recordings later, but let’s review how to access them first:
- Log in to the Zoom web portal*
- In the left-hand panel select recordings
- This will give you option of local and cloud recordings; select Cloud Recordings
- You will then see a list of your cloud recordings that you can order by list and search among by name, host, meeting ID, etc.
*Cloud recordings will be available in the Zoom desktop client, and will be distinguished from local recordings by having the option “open” alongside the other options
Accessing your cloud recordings in the Zoom Web Portal
Benefits of Zoom Cloud Recordings
Cloud recording provides a much more comprehensive and professional recording experience. For example, once the meeting is recoded to you can choose to use any of the following files:
Shared screen with speaker view: MP4 file
Shared screen with gallery view: MP4 file
Active Speaker: MP4 file
Gallery View: MP4 file
Shared Screen: MP4 file
Audio only: M4A file
Audio transcript: transcript of the audio only
Chat file: transcript of in-meeting chat
This is maybe particularly useful for webinar hosts or companies where certain views are of more benefit.
Additionally, if you are an admin you have significant power over how your content is shared and with whom. You can for example password protect your files or, request registration before viewing.
Once you have recorded your meeting, click share to display the recording link information and select the settings suitable for your purpose. In addition to the options mentioned above you can also allow streaming but not downloading by participants.
Zoom also creates analytics for your shared cloud recordings, allowing you to have oversight and understanding of the views and downloads of your shared recordings. To access the analytics:
- Click “access recording management”
- Click Recording Analytics
- Select your desired date range and view and download the desired analytics