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How do I make a cloud recording in Zoom?

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This guide outlines the basic workflow for recording, saving, and sharing your recordings made using Zoom's cloud recording option. Zoom's cloud recording option lets you save your meeting video and audio to the Zoom cloud storage (online) and includes several additional options and layouts.

Notes on Zoom Cloud recording policies at U of T

  1. Zoom Cloud Storage Retention Policy at U of T: Zoom cloud storage is for temporary storage only- it is not a long-term archiving or video hosting/sharing solution. Zoom cloud recordings should be downloaded for long term access. Starting in July 2022, the University of Toronto (U of T) implemented a 365-day retention update on Zoom recordings. Recordings are held on the Zoom Cloud for 365 calendar days and are then deleted.
  2. Zoom Cloud Recordings no longer available for undergraduate students: Starting May 1, 2023, undergraduate students will not be able to save recordings to the Zoom cloud. They will still be able to save local recordings on Zoom.

For full details about cloud recording policies at U of T, please visit CTSI's  Zoom Tool Guide page. 

Before you begin

  1. Download the Zoom desktop app (select the Zoom Client for Meetings option) for access to settings for recordings and other settings.
  2. Upgrade Zoom to the latest version.
  3. Sync your U of T OneDrive account to your computer to be able to set up a download location where you will save your recordings.
1. Before your meeting: Configure your cloud recording settings

1.1. Enable cloud recordings in the Zoom web application

Sign in to the UoftT Zoom web portal:, then:

  1. In the navigation menu, select Settings.
  2. Select the Recording tab.
  3. Select the Cloud Recording toggle to enable it.

1.2. Select your cloud recording settings on the web application

Cloud recordings offer several options for which aspects of the meeting should be recorded. These options can be selected and changed at any time for future recordings (changes made while a meeting is in progress will not apply to that meeting).  The number of settings you enable will affect the size and processing time of your recordings.

Under Settings>Recordings (see previous step for how to access the Recordings tab), select from the 5 suggested options below and then Save to apply your changes:

  1. Record active speaker with shared screen: Records both the active speaker view and any shared content on the same video.
  2. Record active speaker, gallery view and shared screen separately: Records the active speaker, gallery view and shared screen as separate videos. This option provides more customization of recordings to download and share. For example, if you are sharing the recording more widely, you may only wish to share the content that was shared on-screen and not share the speaker or gallery view of participants who were present at the meeting.
  3. Save chat messages from the meeting/webinar: Saves chat messages from the meeting as a TXT file. Includes only chat messages sent to everyone. Private messages sent between individuals are not saved on the cloud. 
  4. Create audio transcript: Automatically transcribes the meeting audio and saves the transcription as a VTT file. Transcription files include speaker names.
  5. Save closed captions as a VTT file: If you enable captions in your meeting settings, this option will automatically transcribe the meeting audio and save the captions as a VTT file. Captions files do not include speaker names.
  6. Select Save to confirm your changes.

1.4. Set up a download location for storing your recordings (e.g., a OneDrive folder)

Although you can download your Zoom cloud recordings to a local folder on your computer, these files can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. For this reason, we recommend  saving to a folder in the cloud (e.g., OneDrive). By syncing your OneDrive account to your computer, you can then access your files from both the cloud and your computer:

  1. See: Sync files with OneDrive in Windows
  2. See: Sync files with OneDrive on Mac OS X
2. During your meeting: Start, pause, or stop the recording

2.1. Start the recording

After starting your Zoom meeting as the host,

  1. Select the Record button from the options at the bottom of your screen.
  2. If a menu pops up select Record to the Cloud (the menu will appear if you've also enabled local recordings)

An alternative host or co-host can also start a cloud recording. The cloud recording will still be saved in the original host's Zoom cloud.

2.2. Pause or stop the recording

  1. You can pause or stop your recording at any point during the meeting. Selecting End Meeting will also stop the recording.

What is the difference between using "Pause" and using "Stop"?

  • If you pause and then resume recording during the meeting, the recording will continue to the same video file.
  • If you stop the recording and then start recording again in the same meeting, a new video file will be created.
3. After your meeting: Manage your Zoom recording

3.1. Find and download your recording on the Zoom web application

The easiest way to access your Zoom cloud recordings is from the U of T Zoom web application.

To download your Zoom cloud recordings, login to the U of T Zoom account and:

  1. Use the left sidebar menu to select Recordings.
  2. Your cloud recordings will be listed under the Cloud Recordings tab.
  3. When you find the video you'd like to download, select the More option (3 horizontal dots), then select Download to save your recording to the location set up previously (e.g. a OneDrive folder).

Selecting the Download option from the More options menu will download all the files associated with the video, including different views, audio only files, and transcript and captions files. To download specific files only, select the video title and select from the available files.

3.2. Edit your recording (optional)

If you want to edit some sections of your recording before sharing (e.g., to remove any sections showing information or content you don't wish to share), have a look at our guides for self-editing using:

  1.  no-cost software editing tools or
  2.  paid editing tools.

Looking for some help to edit your video content? If you have any questions about how to edit your Zoom recordings, please book a consultation and we'd be happy to assist you.

3.3. Upload the recording to a hosting service

Uploading your recordings to a hosting/streaming service will allow you to archive your recordings for re-use, and create links that can be easily shared with your students. If you're unsure which service to use, see Select a video/hosting streaming service for a comparison of options.

ETO's Recommended Video Hosting Solutions:

  1. See How do I upload a video or audio file to MyMedia? (If you are using MyMedia in a course, we recommend requesting a course-based MyMedia account instead of tying your content to your personal UTORid.)
  2. See How do I upload a video to OneDrive?

Why don't we recommend uploading videos directly to Quercus? Not only will this chew through your course's storage quota, Quercus is not optimized for video playback and does not archive your videos for re-use.

After uploading your recordings to a hosting service, you can share recordings with your students in your Quercus course, using one of the following options (the guides below  include steps for both MyMedia and MS Stream):  

  1. Using the share link (URL): How can I copy the share link for my video?
  2. Using the video embed code: How can I copy the embed code for my video?
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