Launched in 2013, and quickly successful thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has now become a household name. In fact, even by December 2020, Zoom had 350 million daily visitors. 

Yet, many users still don’t know how to make the most out of this popular and powerful platform. 

This short guide is intended to be a quick introduction into the recordings feature. We’re going to walk you through three ways to record your future Zoom meetings, and five tips to make the most of your next calls! 

Why you should record your Zoom meetings 

No matter what industry you work in (education, corporate, government, or other), the need to record your Zoom meetings remains the same. Zoom recordings can be used to share content, recall information, and help build on past learnings. Some examples of great things you can do with Zoom recordings include:

  • Sharing the results of a town hall or annual general meeting with a wider audience
  • Sharing a webinar with attendees or registrants who couldn’t make it
  • Building training content for future employees, customers, or partners
  • Collecting snippets to build marketing or sales content
  • Sharing the meeting’s discussions with another relevant party

Zoom meetings worth showing up to

Host productive Zoom meetings with a meeting agenda that all attendees can contribute to. Try a tool like Fellow today!

How to record when you’re the host 

Recording as the host is the easiest and most straightforward approach. Little to no pre-planning is required unless you want to change specific settings. 

Once you’ve started the meeting, you can start the recording anytime. When you’re the host, the ‘Record’ button will be found on the menu bar, near the middle-right. It will be accompanied by a concentric circle icon. Click this button once to start recording. 

If you’re muted when you launch the recording feature, you’ll have the choice to unmute yourself and record with audio, or remain muted to record without audio. 

When the recording is started, you’ll see two changes:

  1. What used to be the ‘Record’ button is now two different buttons. These buttons are to either ‘Pause’ or ‘Stop’ the recording. Pausing the recording allows you to resume it later, all within the same recording file. Stopping the recording means it will completely end, and if you press ‘Record’ again, it will create a new file. In most cases, you will want to press ‘Pause’ to keep the recording in one file. 
  2. In the top left corner, you’ll see a red dot. This is present whenever you’re actively recording. Near the red dot, you can also access more ‘Pause’ and ‘Stop’ buttons which have the same purpose as above. 

Note: If you end the meeting at any time while you’re the host, the recording will automatically stop as well. By default, the recording will save to your computer anytime the recording stops. 

How to record when you have host permission

Recording with host permission is nearly the same as when you’re the host. There are a few ways to actually get host permissions:

  1. The host may grant you permission ahead of time by adding you as a co-host. 
  2. The host can change your permissions mid-meeting. 
  3. You can press “Share Screen” to prompt a request to become a co-host, which the original host can then approve. The “Share Screen” button is universally available on everyone’s Zoom menu in meetings, but oddly enough, only hosts can actually use this feature. As such, when you attempt to use the feature, it will request a higher permissions level from the host. Once you have access to “Share Screen,” you’ll also be granted access to record on this higher permissions level. The “Record” button will appear, and you can follow the steps as if you were the host. 

How to record when you don’t have host permission 

Without host permissions, there is currently no way to start a recording in Zoom. In this case, you’ll need to leverage third-party tools that can record your screen. Tools will vary greatly in price, features, and the way that they integrate. 

On one hand, some tools may record everything that takes place on your screen, whether you’re in the Zoom call or switching out to other tabs. This may be helpful if you’re recording demo videos for customers, but it may not be suitable for all situations. 

On the other hand, you may choose a recording method that is not on your computer, such as a microphone nearby that can pickup the audio from the call. 

While there are certainly many third-party solutions to choose from, please remember that any program that isn’t offered directly through Zoom may not provide a warning to attendees that they are being recorded. For privacy reasons, always keep your attendees in the loop if they are being recorded, and let them know through which specific platform(s). 

How to avoid common issues with Zoom recordings

1Ensure you have host permission

Having host permission is the easiest way to record a Zoom meeting. Whether you’re the one setting up the meeting, or the meeting host is able to grant you permissions ahead of time, it’s important to ensure you have access to this feature as early as possible (ideally before the meeting even starts). Doing so helps you minimize delays during your call. 

2Know to where the recording is being saved

Knowing where your recording is going to be saved ensures that you know where to find it after the call. In your Zoom account settings and within each meeting’s settings, you can change whether the recording will be saved locally (to the device you use to run the meeting) or to the cloud (on the Zoom account). 

Note that your account admin has the ability to restrict access, edit, or delete your cloud recordings, so it’s best to get aligned with them if you’re using the cloud option.

3Use a meeting management software 

Using Fellow, you can integrate with Zoom to have your meeting agenda embedded into your Zoom meeting. This is a great way to ensure that your meeting link is readily available for your meeting time. During the meeting, your Fellow notes will be available directly within the Zoom platform, making it easy to follow your trusty meeting agenda.  Post-call, automatically send the recording over to your Fellow account so you can easily access the content again anytime. 

4Do an audio check ahead of time

Even nearly three years into a global remote work shift, tech problems still happen. Tech challenges tend to come up last minute, and especially when you’re working with a new technology for the first time. Both Zoom and your own hardware (your laptop, phone, or tablet) will update frequently, and recent updates may cause a shift in your settings. Therefore, it’s important to be regularly checking your audio capabilities before each call. On that note, this is also a good time to check your camera and any other connected features before the call!

5Confirm you have a strong internet connection 

If you want to efficiently record your Zoom meeting, a strong internet connection is a vital piece of the puzzle!

Great internet connection is required to ensure that the meeting stays online and running smoothly, and to ensure the recording doesn’t quit mid-call. Since the recordings feature requires so much data, it’s usually the first to shut down when you have slow internet, which will negatively impact your ability to accurately record discussions or share content post-call. The specific amount of bandwidth you need ranges greatly, depending on whether you’re an attendee or host, and whether you’re attending a one-on-one meeting or a group call. 

Parting advice

Zoom has many powerful features, but the recordings feature is one of the most popular. Understanding how to make the most out of this feature can help your teams better reflect on past discussions, share content to other teams and stakeholders, and even use past calls as training materials for future employees, customers, or partners. The possibilities are almost endless!