Local Recording Follow


Published November 2016

How To Record?

Zoom offers the two recording options

Local recording is available to free and paid subscribers. Local recording allows you to record meeting video and audio locally on your computer. The recorded file can then be uploaded to your company streaming server or public streaming server such as Vimeo or Youtube. 

Cloud recording is available to paid subscribers. Cloud recording allows you to record meeting video (active speaker) and audio in the Zoom Cloud where the file can then be downloaded and/or streamed from a browser via HTML 5 or Flash. 

New: Watch the All About Recording video webinar.


  • A Zoom Basic (Free) account is required
  • Account Admin can enable or disable in Account Management
  • User can also enable or disable in Profile page
  • Zoom client version 2.0 or higher is required on PC or Mac

How do I start Local Recording?

Note: You must join the meeting audio either through telephone or computer audio in order to record the meeting's audio.

The host can record. While you are in a Zoom meeting, move your mouse around the screen to toggle the menu bar.

1. Select "Record" 

2. You can also click on Participant to assign someone to record

3. All participants in meeting will see a recording indicator in the upper-left corner of their screen and all dial-in participants will hear a message informing them that the meeting is now being recorded. 



Or, if you're the host you will see this button appear in the upper left corner:


Recording Layout

You can record the active speaker, content sharing with active or sub video panel, gallery view or M4A audio. 

By default, only the host can record each Zoom meeting. This can be changed by having the host allow specific users to record the meeting through the Manage Participants panel. Each resulting recording will be in the layout of choice by the person who is recording.

The Zoom meeting will be recorded in the current layout that the host is recording. For example, if the host is recording in Gallery View the recording will be in gallery view. This is independent of what the participants are viewing, so if I participant is watching the meeting in active speaker view and they start recording because the host granted them recording the resulting recording will be in Active Speaker.


Note: If you move the active speaker display thumbnail to the edge of the screen or to additional monitor from the one you are presenting from the thumbnail will show up in the surrounding black bars on the recording.

Example: Thumbnail on the main display.

Example: Thumbnail moved to another monitor or edge of screen.

Accessing your Local Recording

To access your saved recorded meetings. Open your client menu. Then, select "Meetings" and from here select "Recorded".

All recorded meetings are stored locally on your local device or computer.

Note: Your recorded meeting will be converted and added after the meeting is ended.

Saved Recording Options

Using your mouse, toggle over your saved recording to view your options:

  • Play Video: Selecting "Play" from your zoom client will play the saved meeting with your default media player
  • Play Audio: Selecting "Play Audio" from your Zoom client will play the saved meeting audio with your default media player
  • Open: Selecting "Open" will allow you to view your saved file in your local device or computer's folder
  • Delete: Selecting "Delete" will erase your meeting from your zoom client only

Note: After deleting your saved recorded meeting, it will still be saved to your local device or computer.

Note: If your computer/device unexpectedly loses power during recording Zoom cannot guarantee the integrity of your recording files when you restore power. Your recording will most likely be corrupted. 

Recording Formats

After you have ended your meeting. Your recorded file will be converted and saved to your local device or computer.

To access your recorded meeting folder: please select open from: Meetings >  Recorded > Open. You will have four (4) different file to choose from:


  • M3U playlist (a playlist to play the individual MP4 files - Windows only)
  • MP4 file/s (video file or split video and screen sharing file - Windows and Mac)
  • M4A file (a single audio only file)
  • VLC player (MP4) file (single file for video and screen sharing view via VLC Player- Windows)  (Release 3.0 and below)
  • MP4 file (single file for video and screen sharing) (Release 3.5 and above)
  • Chat (txt) file (single file for in meeting group chat)

Note: Screen sharing recording would take about 20M of storage per hour while video recording would take about 200M of storage an hour. This is an estimation as the resolution and types of video or screen sharing content could change the storage requirements.

Note: The VLC player (MP4) file and single MP4 (mac) file can also be opened by Quicktime player. You can convert the file to .MOV and edit using iMovie. 

Change Location for Recording

You can change the location of where your recorded meeting file gets stored at on your computer.

Open your Zoom client and select "Settings" then select "Recording."  From here you can

  • Change where your recorded file will be stored at
  • Select an option to pop up a location selection each time when meeting ends


Note: We recommend keeping the default location for recordings as the \Documents\Zoom folder. Setting the default location to a cloud syncing folder (i.e. Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive) or an external or network storage device may cause issues with saving and converting the local recording. 

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