Zoom has become a default option for casual, educational, business, legal, and other types of online conferences. It’s clear why, too. A free Zoom account can host up to 100 people at once for up to 40 minutes, and invite anyone to a 1-on-1 call without a time limit. What’s more, a monthly or yearly subscription unlocks more features and longer conferences. Among those features are local and cloud recording, which allow you to tape and store your calls. But it’s only when files disappear that you begin to wonder, “how to restore a Zoom recording?” Well, we have an answer, so let’s proceed.
1. Restore cloud Zoom recording
Cloud Recording is automatically enabled for paid Zoom accounts: Pro, Business, and Enterprise, and on desktop and mobile. However, you can only manage recordings via the Zoom web and desktop apps. With that said, here’s how restoring a cloud Zoom recording works:
Follow these steps to retrieve a Zoom cloud recording via the web app:
- Sign in to your Zoom account (zoom.us/signin).
- In the sidebar on the left, click on Recordings.
- Clarification. After 7 days of staying in cloud storage, every Zoom recording is moved to Trash. A file made via Zoom Cloud Recording remains in Trash for 30 days, after which it gets erased permanently.
- Click on Trash (X) in the upper right corner.
Note. X represents the number of files in the Trash folder.
- Locate the recording you want to restore, then click on Recover on the right-hand side.
- When prompted, click on Recover.
- The file will be back on the My Recordings list, so go back one step.
Zoom desktop apps have a bonus fail-safe – you have 7 more days to recover a recording from Zoom after deletion, as opposed to permanent removal. Here’s what to do:
- Log in to your account within the Zoom app.
- Go to the Meetings or Webinars tab.
- Now, click on Recently Deleted in the top right corner.
- Find the recording on the list, then click the Recover button in the bottom right corner.
- Go back to the Webinar or Meetings section from step 2 to see your recording.
2. Restoring a local Zoom recording
Unlike Cloud Recording, Local recordings are available to both free and paid Zoom accounts. However, they are not available on mobile Zoom apps. With that in mind, follow these steps to restore a local Zoom recording:
1. Locate the local Zoom recordings
By default, the local recordings from Zoom will be stored in the following locations:
- Windows. C:\Users\<account username>\Documents\Zoom
- Linux. home/<account username>/Documents/Zoom
- Mac. /Users/<account username>/Documents/Zoom
2. Convert Zoom recording within the app
For Zoom desktop app 4.6.10 and higher, you can’t simply double-click the recording to convert it. The same applies if the automatic conversion process was interrupted for any reason. Instead, use these instructions for in-app conversion:
- Open your Zoom client for desktop and log in.
- Go to the Meetings tab, then switch to Recorded.
- Locate the local recording in question.
- Click on Convert.
- Wait for the conversion to finish and find the file in the locations above.
3. Convert the .zoom recording files manually
Before they’re converted into the playable file (.mp4, .m4a, .m3u), all recordings have a .zoom file extension. If, for whatever reason, you can’t find them in the list above, don’t despair. Instead, use these utilities to perform manual Zoom recording conversion:
Here’s how the procedure looks on Windows:
- Open the Zoom application installation directory.
- By default, that’s “C:\Users\<account username>\AppData\Roaming\Zoom\bin”
- Note. Make hidden folders appear by following the steps under the headline Recovering hidden files using Windows File Explorer Options in our “recover hidden files from Pendrive” article.
- Take note of the executable named zTscoder.exe.
- Open a new File Explorer window and locate your .zoom files in the location we mentioned in method 1.
- Click, hold, and drag the .zoom file and place it on top of the zTscoder.exe file.
- A new prompt, titled Convert Meeting Recording, will appear.
- After the conversion is complete, find the newly created Zoom recording next to the .zoom file.
The process on Mac works like this:
- Open Terminal in Mac.
- Switch over to the Zoom-Frameworks folder by typing this into the Terminal:
- Now’s the time to prepare to run the Mac equivalent to zTscoder.exe, named Transcode.app.
- Type the following, but don’t press Enter/Return:
- Drag the .zoom file to the Terminal window and release hold. Its file path will be added next to the command. Press Enter or Return now.
- If prompted, click on Open System Preferences to grant access to the Transcode.app.
- Click the padlock in the bottom left corner.
- Go to Full Disk Access in the left sidebar under Privacy.
- Put a checkmark in front of zoom.us.app in the right sidebar before closing the window.
- The conversion will commence. After it finishes, select the location the file will be saved and click on Save.
We’ll show the procedure on Ubuntu, but it should be similar/identical for other Linux distros, so do this:
- Open your Linux console and type the following without pressing Enter:
- Either drag the .zoom file to the console or enter the file path manually like this:
/opt/zoom/zoomlinux /home/<account username>/recordings/file.zoom
- Press Enter and the conversion begins.
- After it’s complete, look for the converted file in the same folder as the .zoom file.
4. Scan using data recovery software
Did you or Zoom delete the recordings or the recordings got corrupted and cannot be opened? We recommend looking into our list of top video recovery software and running a scan of the file paths we mentioned in step 1. For a demonstration of using said software, look at method 4, sub-method 1 of our “YouTube downloaded videos recovery” guide.
3. Reach out to Zoom Customer Service
If you’re struggling with the recovery of Zoom recordings, especially those stored in the cloud, you can contact Zoom Customer Support for help. They can’t perform miracles but might be lenient if you ran out of cloud storage space or ran into problems with online conversion. To do so, check method 3 in our guide on restoring a Zoom account.