Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

What's the best way to record my Zoom sessions?

Updated

Zoom offers two ways to record your sessions: Local recording and Cloud recording.

  • Local recording saves your meeting video and audio directly to your computer or local drive.
  • Cloud recording saves your meeting video and audio to the Zoom cloud storage (online) and includes some additional options and layouts.

This guide compares the features available for local and cloud recordings so that you can select the recording option that will work best for you.

NOTE: Zoom cloud storage is for temporary storage only- it is not a long-term archiving solution. Zoom cloud recordings should be downloaded for long term access. Starting in July 2022, the University of Toronto (U of T) is implementing a 365-day retention update on Zoom recordings.

  • Recordings created after July 5th, 2021, will be held on the Zoom Cloud for 365 calendar days and will then be deleted. 
  • Recordings created prior to July 5, 2021, will be deleted on July 5, 2022

For full details about Zoom storage and retention limits at UofT, see ACT's Zoom Information website.

Before you begin

  1. Download the Zoom desktop app for access to settings for local recordings and additional settings: Visit the Zoom download centre and select the Zoom Client for Meetings option
  2. Ensure you have updated to the latest version of Zoom: Upgrading Zoom to the latest version
  3. Sync your UofT OneDrive account to your computer to be able to set up a download location where you will save your recordings: How to Sync OneDrive to your computer
1. Local vs Cloud Recordings Feature Comparison

Local recording Cloud recording
Recording Quality & Size  Potentially better quality recording when internet connection is not stable.

If the meeting unexpectedly shuts down or if the conversion process is interrupted, the recording files may become corrupted and non-recoverable.
Depending on the settings selected, a cloud recording can take a long time to render.

Recordings may be easier to recover even if the meeting unexpectedly shuts down or the host is  kicked out of the meeting.
Who can start the recording The host must start the local recording or grant the ability to record to a participant during the meeting.

The recording will be saved to the designated local folder of the person who started the recording.
An alternative host or co-host can start a cloud recording.

The cloud recording will still be saved in the original host's Zoom cloud.
Layout options Recording layout options include:  Active Speaker, Gallery View, and shared screen More layout options are available but the more options are selected, the larger the file size and processing time.
Transcription/captions

Using  Zoom live transcription will not save to a VTT file for local recordings. Generating a captions file for local recordings requires manual transcription or the services of a 3rd party service. 

When the option to save an Audio Transcript is selected in the Cloud recording settings, Zoom will generate an audio transcript file in VTT format.

This file can be downloaded and then uploaded (along with the video) to the hosting service where the video will be shared (i.e., captions do not appear on the recording itself, unless the recording is viewed in the Zoom cloud).
Storage & retention Storage is limited to the maximum space in the location where the local files are saved.

There is no retention policy applied to local recordings- you can keep them as long as you like.

Starting in July 2022, the University of Toronto (U of T) is implementing a 365-day retention update on Zoom recordings.

  • Recordings created after July 5th, 2021, will only be held on the Zoom Cloud for 365 calendar days prior to subsequent deletion. 
  • Recordings created prior to July 5, 2021, will be deleted on July 5, 2022. 

For full details about Zoom storage and retention limits at UofT, see ACT's Zoom Information website.

2. Local Recordings Workflow

Your local Zoom recordings are stored to your computer hard disk. If you are interested in using this option, please see our guide: How do I make a local recording in Zoom?

3. Cloud Recordings Workflow

Zoom cloud recordings are stored online on the Zoom cloud and are subject to the University of Toronto's 365-day retention update. They must be downloaded for long-term retention. If you are interested in using this option, please see our guide: How do I make a cloud recording in Zoom?

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