Recording ‘Breakout rooms’ in Zoom

We recently received a query about ‘breakout rooms’ in Zoom and, specifically if they were included in a standard meeting recording. The following post answers that question along with advising how you can sensibly manage other participants recording content in your meeting.

Meeting recording

When a meeting is being recorded using your Brookes Zoom account, it is usually recorded to the Cloud (one benefit being that the recording will be added to Panopto automatically).

If the meeting includes ‘breakout rooms’, these will not be included in the recording; only the main room will be recorded.

If the host remains in the main room (once breakout rooms are being used), the main room continues to be recorded. 

If the host leaves to join a breakout room, then a blank screen (with no audio) is recorded; in the recording, it looks like the screenshot in the image below:

Zoom screenshot showing what is included in a Cloud recording when the host joins a breakout room (and therefore leaves the main meeting room). Image shows 'no camera' symbol.

The recording of the main room will resume once the host rejoins the main meeting room from a breakout room.

For information: if the main meeting is being recorded locally (rather than in the Cloud), the recording will “follow” the host; so if the host were to join a breakout room, that breakout room will be recorded whilst the host is present.

Breakout room recordings

Breakout rooms can be recorded but they can only be recorded locally (the recording would be saved as an .mp4 file to the laptop/desktop belonging to whoever initiated the recording).

By default, a meeting participant is not able to record (a ‘Record’ button is available but when a participant clicks on it they are informed that the host has to give permission to record) therefore the host (or alternative host) would need to permit the participant to record by accessing the ‘Participants’ panel and then clicking More > Allow to Record Local Files:

Zoom screenshot showing the participants list. By clicking on the 'More' button next to a participant's name, you can then select 'Allow to Record Local Files' from a drop-down menu.

The participant will then be able to click Record and the local recording will begin (other participants will be notified that the recording has started).

NB. Remove recording permissions
When the participant returns to the main room from the breakout room, it is important that the host removes the ability to record from that participant (otherwise the local recording will continue to record the main room). 

To do this, the host would again need to access the ‘Participants’ panel and then click More > Remove Permission to Record Local Files next to the name of the participant who had previously been given permission to record.

Once done, any local recording that the participant had initiated will be stopped (the file will be converted for viewing once the meeting has ended - see below).

Note about Local recordings

On leaving the meeting, any users who initiated local recordings during the session will be presented with a pop-up box explaining that the local recordings are being converted:

Once this has been completed, the folder containing the local .mp4 recordings will be displayed.

The local .mp4 files could be uploaded to Panopto should they need to be shared with other participants.

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