8 Free Ways to Record Zoom Meetings

Edited by Ben Jacklin

September 29, 2021

Video conferencing software like Zoom has never been so topical. Zoom makes long-distance gatherings easy and safe in a post-pandemic world. But can you record Zoom meetings? The short answer is yes! Discover eight ways to record a Zoom meeting for free.

Recorder

Best for

OS

Features

PC built-in Zoom recorderZoom Cloud usersWindows, macOS, Linux

Simple to use

Requires permission from host

Movavi Screen RecorderRecording and editing video streamsWindows, macOS

Full HD 1080p

Not compatible with Linux OS

OBSRecording audio and video from multiple sourcesWindows, macOS, Linux

Audio and video from multiple sources

Not compatible with Windows XP

EaseUSUsers with some video capturing/editing experienceWindows, macOS

Converts video to multiple formats

Not user-friendly

Game BarRecording video game footageWindows

Control over audio and video quality

Only compatible with Windows 10

QuickTimeMac usersmacOS

No recording time limit

Only compatible with Mac products

This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to record a Zoom meeting with these options, including built-in features on PCs and mobile devices as well as recording software for computers or devices. These options make recording Zoom meetings with sound simple at no cost to the user.

This article will also answer some frequently asked questions, including where to find Zoom call recordings once they have been created and how to give permission to record a Zoom call.

Being so much more than just a Zoom call recorder, this program allows users to create their own screencasts and explanatory videos. Here’s what you can do with Movavi Screen Recorder:

  • Capture video from the screen or webcam
  • Capture in “audio-only” mode
  • Record video calls
  • Capture webinars
  • Record video instructions
  • Schedule recordings

How to record Zoom meetings with the built-in feature on a desktop сomputer

Best for: Zoom Cloud users

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Using the built-in feature on a desktop is the simplest way to record a Zoom meeting. It does not require the user to download any additional programs, and the process is relatively intuitive. The recording function is initiated with a simple process, and the resulting video is automatically saved either locally or in the Zoom cloud.

There are a few drawbacks to using the built-in feature, however. This feature will not provide timestamps, audio transcripts, or participant names. It also requires that permission be granted by the host in order to record.

Step 1. Start the Zoom call

Open the Zoom software and choose the meeting you want to join from the menu under the Upcoming menu. Click Start.

Step 2. Click the record icon

The record icon is a black square with two concentric circles, one much thinner than the other, inside.

Step 3. Select Record on this computer

Hosts and participants will be visibly notified that the session is being recorded. Dial-in participants will receive an audio notification.

Step 4. Click Participants

This will show which participants are recording the meeting.

Step 5. The recording will be automatically converted

After the meeting ends, the Zoom software will convert the file to make it accessible to the user.

Step 6. The folder containing the file will automatically open

The MP4 file is saved locally and can be uploaded to cloud storage or video streaming services.

Download Zoom

How to record a Zoom meeting without permission

Only the host is allowed to record meetings in Zoom. Also, by recording a meeting via the built-in Zoom tools, you agree to Zoom storing your recordings. If you disagree with these rules, you can record the session with alternative software.

However, you should comply with the state laws on recording personal conversations. They may differ: in some states, one-party consent is enough; in others, you need all the parties to agree.

Using alternative software to record a Zoom meeting provides more freedom in how/where the recording is stored. At the same time, this practice could run afoul of state laws, depending on the state in which the recording is made.

If you cannot obtain permission from the host of a Zoom meeting to make a recording, the following programs make it possible to record the session anyway.

Best for: Recording and editing video streams

OS: Windows, macOS

G2 rating: 4.5/5 stars, 44 reviews

Movavi Screen Recorder provides a recording feature for video as well as screen capture capability and video editing options, all of which can be exported directly to YouTube and social media sites.

The screen and audio can be recorded separately or simultaneously. Recordings can also be scheduled ahead of time, and a time length can be set. The program can also be set to show keystrokes and mouse movements and even offers an option for drawing on the videos.

This desktop screen recorder can also capture webcam footage without recording the screen and take photos through the webcam. The interface is user-friendly and offers multiple export options, including YouTube.

At 60 frames per second and with full HD 1080p, this software creates clean, well-defined screen capture videos. However, the full features are not available on the trial version, and this program is not compatible with Linux OS.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Recording in Full HD 1080p
  • 60 frames per second
  • Capable of recording audio from webcam, microphone, or operating system
  • Multiple export options, including YouTube
  • Easy-to-use editing capabilities

Cons

  • Full features are not available on the trial version
  • Not available for Linux OS

Step 1. Install the software

Install Movavi Screen Recorder for Windows or Mac. For the installation, you’ll need just 280 MB of available hard disk space, and 2 GB more for ongoing operations.

Step 2. Adjust the capture parameters

First, check the Settings menu to customize the recording parameters. Here you’ll find effects for mouse and keyboard, time scheduler, control panel settings, etc. If you have no preferences and you need just a simple recording, you can skip this step.

If you want to include your face and voice, you need to activate Microphone and Webcam. You’ll find these buttons on the main recording panel. To include voices of other participants, enable System Audio, too.

Step 3. Record your Zoom webinar

Start recording by hitting the REC button. The process starts automatically after three seconds. Hit the same icon to stop capturing.

If you want to grab screen captures, use the Screenshot icon.

Step 4. Save the recording and share it with colleagues

When the meeting is over and you have the recording, you can edit the video. You can trim it with Scissors and Trash Can.

Click on the Export button and choose the format for saving. If you want to share the recording with other participants, you can do so right in the preview window using the Share icon.

Best for: Recording audio and video from multiple sources

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

G2 rating: 4.4/5 stars, 45 reviews

Designed to stream or record computer gaming, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a user-friendly program that can be used to record a Zoom call. Its HD screen captures offer recording without a time limit.

This program offers hotkeys, which can switch between screens, mute audio, or stop or start recording, and countless other functions. OBS also allows users to set video and audio quality preferences for each video they capture. This software features an intuitive audio mixer, a high-level view of recordings, and an easy connection with streaming services.

OBS is not compatible with Windows XP. Its audio files cannot be linked as sources, and it cannot network across multiple devices.

Pros

  • Easy connection with streaming services
  • Intuitive interface
  • Functionality can be enhanced with over 20 plugins
  • Easy-to-use audio mixer
  • Capable of recording audio and video from multiple sources

Cons

  • Not compatible with Windows XP
  • Audio files cannot be linked as sources
  • Cannot network multiple devices

Download OBS

Best for: Users with some video capturing/editing experience

OS: Windows, macOS

G2 rating: 4.5/5 stars, 51 reviews

The EaseUS RecExperts allows users to choose which part of the screen they want to record and supports multiple formats, including MP4, AVI, and MOV. The program offers an option that allows users to set it to record ahead of time. Another option enables users to add arrows, lines, and text to screen capture videos.

EaseUS RecExperts’s editing capabilities include adding a watermark and trimming video length. This software can remove background noise, boost audio, and compress footage without sacrificing its quality. EaseUS RecExperts exports to multiple video and cloud services, including Google Drive, Vimeo, and YouTube.

While it offers an impressive array of features, this software is not as user-friendly as some of the other programs listed in this article, and its recordings are limited to two minutes at a time in its free trial.

Pros

  • Converts videos to multiple formats
  • Easily exports videos to multiple video and cloud services
  • Provides the ability to choose which part of the screen to record

Cons

  • Not as user-friendly as some other options
  • Free trial only provides two minutes of recording at a time
  • Audio cannot be set in decibels

Download EaseUS RecExperts

Best for: Recording video game footage

OS: Windows

PCWorld rating: 3.5/5 stars

Game Bar for Windows 10 is based on the Game DVR function on the Xbox, which screen captures gameplay. Despite its gaming-based design, Game Bar is also more than capable of recording Zoom meetings.

Game Bar is a native function on Windows 10, which means users with this operating system won’t need to download it. It offers users a choice between 30 or 60 frames per minute and provides control over the audio bit rate and video quality. Game Bar also includes basic video editing capabilities.

The program does have a few limitations. It is only available on Windows 10 PCs and only works with one app at a time, so it will not record the entire screen if more than one window is visible. It also only produces MP4 format recordings. Some users have reported occasional trouble getting the program to open, as well.

Pros

  • Native function on Windows 10 – no need to download
  • Offers 30 or 60 fps
  • Provides control over audio bit rate and video quality
  • Includes video editing capabilities

Cons

  • Only available for Windows 10 PCs
  • Only works with one app at a time – will not record the entire screen
  • MP4 is the only option for file type
  • Some users report trouble getting the program to open at times

Download Game Bar

Best for: Mac Users

OS: macOS

MacUpdate rating: 3.6/5 stars, 169 reviews

QuickTime is a screen recording program designed for Apple products; it offers recording and editing features that are easy to navigate. QuickTime sets no recording time limit, so users can create clips as long as they prefer.

This software also provides a variety of editing functions and simple activation of the screen recording feature. All of this is housed in Apple’s signature streamlined, stylish interface.

QuickTime does have a few limitations. It can only be used on Mac products and only supports MOV file format for its recordings. It also offers no system audio recording. Some users have reported that the program crashed after the OS X update.

Pros

  • Offers both recording and editing
  • No recording time limit
  • Provides a variety of editing functions
  • Simple activation of the screen recording feature
  • Streamlined, stylish interface

Cons

  • Can only be used on Mac products
  • Only supports MOV file format
  • No system audio recording
  • After the OS X update, some users report that the program crashed

Download QuickTime

Can you record a Zoom meeting with built-in features on iOS and Android devices?

Recording a Zoom meeting on mobile devices with Zoom’s built-in features is an easy task. The drawback is that the resulting file is saved in the cloud rather than a folder, limiting your control; it also requires anyone joining the call as a participant to obtain permission from the host to record.

Step 1. Start the Zoom call

Open the Zoom app and choose Join a Meeting.

Step 2. Press the More option, then choose Record

This option will begin the recording of the Zoom call. The Recording icon will appear on the screen.

Step 3. End the call when the meeting is finished

Once the call is ended, the recording can be viewed, shared, and downloaded from the Zoom cloud.

Recording Zoom meetings on iPad

As with other mobile devices, using the built-in features for recording a Zoom meeting on the iPad is a very simple process. Again, anyone joining the call as an attendee will need to procure permission from the host to record the meeting.

Step 1. Start the Zoom call

Open the Zoom app and click Join a Meeting.

Step 2. Tap the More icon

This icon is found at the far right of the meeting toolbar.

Step 3. Choose Record to the Cloud

This will begin the recording.

Step 4. Stop the recording when you are finished

In the upper righthand corner of your screen, click Recording, then Stop. Your video will be automatically uploaded to the Zoom cloud service.

Where are the Zoom call recordings stored?

When made with the built-in features, recordings of Zoom meetings are stored either locally on your desktop’s hard drive or, for licensed users, on the Zoom cloud.

The recording is stored locally for both paid subscribers and free users when the recording is made on a PC. iOS and Android users cannot save locally, however, and Zoom cloud storage space is limited based on the user’s subscription tier.

How to find Zoom recordings saved on the Cloud

  1. Log onto Zoom.
  2. On the left sidebar, click Recordings.
  3. Find your recording listed under Cloud Recordings.

How to find Zoom recordings saved locally

  1. Log onto Zoom.
  2. On the left sidebar, click Recordings.
  3. Find your recording listed under Local Recordings.

How to find Zoom recordings saved on your computer

  1. Click on your Documents folder (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  2. Type Zoom in the search bar.
  3. A folder entitled Zoom Meetings will appear.
  4. Find the recording you are looking for and double click it.

How to view Zoom recordings?

  1. Open Zoom on your device.
  2. Click on Meetings.
  3. Click Recorded on the left.
  4. A list of recordings will appear.
  5. Select the recording you wish to view.
  6. On the right, choose Play.

How to let a participant record a Zoom meeting?

If you are the host of a meeting, you can give any attendant permission to record the call.

  1. Open the Zoom website on your browser.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. On the upper right, choose My Account.
  4. On the left-hand side, choose Recordings.
  5. The recordings settings will open with two tabs: Cloud Recordings and Local Recordings.
  6. At the top-right corner of either of these options, click Settings.
  7. Check the boxes that allow hosts and participants to make a recording of the meeting.

Choosing the best Zoom call recorder

The desktop screen recording programs listed above make it possible to record Zoom calls without using the built-in functions. Each of these software options provides specific benefits and drawbacks. With this article’s analysis of the pros and cons of each program, you should be able to identify the desktop screen recording program that will work best for your needs. Pay close attention to:

  • Usability: User-friendly interface and smooth workflow are two vital attributes of all good programs.
  • Features: Make sure the software covers all your needs. Basic programs can be just as helpful as feature-rich ones, but only you know which features you will need.
  • Supported formats: MP4 is, no doubt, the most preferred format. Still, it’s always good to have alternatives.
  • User reviews: Users that have already tested the product often leave honest feedback, which can be very helpful.
  • Support: It is not rare for software creators to provide support to their users (live chats, calls). Find out what help you can get in case you’re stuck with a technical issue.

If you’re choosing the program to start with, try Movavi Screen Recorder. Download the free trial version and see if it suits your needs.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specialises in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

Can you record a Zoom meeting if you are not the host?

Only hosts and participants to whom they grant permission can record Zoom calls with the built-in features. If you are not the host of the meeting, you can request permission from the host to make a recording. If this is not possible, you can use a desktop screen recorder to record the call.

How do I record a Zoom meeting without permission?

Using Zoom’s built-in recording features is impossible if you do not have the host’s permission. However, a section of this article explains how to record a Zoom meeting without permission by using a third-party desktop screen recorder:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
  • EaseUs RecExperts
  • Game Bar for Windows 10
  • QuickTime

When I record a Zoom meeting, where does it go?

A Zoom meeting recording is saved either locally or on the Zoom cloud. Locally stored recordings are saved to your computer’s hard drive and can be found in the Documents folder (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Only licensed users can store on the Zoom cloud.

Does Zoom record your screen or just the meeting?

If you use Zoom’s built-in tool to record the call, it only records the meeting itself. If you use a third-party desktop screen recorder, it may record only the session window or the entire screen, depending on the software’s capabilities and settings. Most desktop screen recorders will capture the whole screen.