Zoom, Local Recordings

This document gives a brief overview of recording a Zoom meeting or webinar to your local machine.

IMPORTANT: If you are only intending to produce a recording of yourself, and do not need the live meeting functionality, please use Kaltura, Personal Capture

Before you record please consider the following:

Please review CITL's documentation on copyright best practices.

Illinois is historically a two-party consent state.  Although there has been relatively recent changes to this, it is best practice to receive consent to recording from those present.  If you intend to post your recording publicly, please turn on the Recording disclaimer.  It is the second to last setting in your UIUC zoom recording settings.  It is also best practice to verbally communicate your intention to record at the beginning of the event.

Recording disclaimer setting


  • Local recording allows you to store recorded Zoom meeting audio and video to your local machine
  • Available to free or paid Zoom users
  • By default, all recordings will be placed in the following locations:
    • PC: C:\Users\User Name\Documents\Zoom
    • Mac: /Users/User Name/Documents/Zoom
  • Zoom recordings use the following formats:
    • MP4: Audio/Video file that is named zoom_0.mp4 by default. Each subsequent recording is in sequential order: zoom_0, zoom_1, zoom_2, etc.
    • M4A: Audio-only file that is named audio_only.m4a by default. Each subsequent recording is in sequential order: audio_only_0,audio_only_1, etc.
    • M3U: Playlist file to play all individual MP4 files (Windows only). Named playback.m3u by default.
    • TXT: Text file that is named chat.txt by default. This file contains the in-meeting chat messages.
  • These recordings can then be uploaded to a video management system, preferably Kaltura
  • After the meeting has ended, Zoom will convert the recording so you can access the files.
    • By default, the audio/video file (MP4) will be named Zoom_0.mp4. The audio only file (M4A) is named audio_only.m4a.


  • Setting the default location to a cloud syncing folder (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive), an external drive, or network storage device may cause issues with saving and converting the local recording. Zoom strongly recommends keeping the default location on a local drive for recordings. 
  • Screen sharing recording uses about 20MB of storage per hour while video recording uses about 200MB of storage an hour. This is an approximation, since the resolution and types of video or screen sharing content could change the amount of storage used. 
  • If the meeting unexpectedly shuts down or if the conversion process is interrupted, the recording files could become corrupted and non-recoverable. Restarting or shutting down your computer, putting the hard disk to sleep, or closing your laptop will interrupt the conversion process.
  • If the conversion process is not successful after the meeting has ended, you can try to convert the files again by navigating to the recording location and double clicking the recording files.
  • You can record the meeting in different layouts including active speaker, gallery view, and shared screen. Learn more about recording layouts.

  • Please navigate to Zoom Support for more information about how to complete the following tasks:

KeywordsRecording,   Doc ID98529
Ownerzoom t.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2020-03-07 21:05:01Updated2021-03-01 15:21:26
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback  3   3