How to Record a Zoom Meeting on Desktop and Mobile

How to Record a Zoom Meeting on Desktop and Mobile

Soorya Radhakrishnan
Soorya Radhakrishnan

Zoom fatigue got you down? Not anymore! Ditch the stress of missing crucial details in virtual meetings. This guide reveals the simple steps to record a Zoom meeting on your laptop or smartphone. 

In this blog, we’ll explain: 

  • How to record a Zoom meeting on a desktop
  • How to record a Zoom meeting on mobile
  • How participants can record Zoom meetings and more.

Read on!

How to record a Zoom meeting from the desktop app as the host

You can record and save Zoom sessions either to your local storage or the Zoom cloud

Zoom cloud recording is exclusive for its premium users, while local recording is available to free and paid subscribers.

Follow these steps to record a Zoom meeting on your desktop as a host:

  • Log into your Zoom account via the Zoom desktop app
  • Open settings and set the default local folder
  • Start your Zoom meeting, and click Record

1. Log into your Zoom account via the Zoom desktop app

Open the Zoom desktop app and log into your Zoom account.

Click on the Home tab.

Log into your Zoom account via the Zoom desktop app
Log into your Zoom account via the Zoom desktop app

2. Open settings and set the default local folder

Click the Settings gear on the right corner of the app screen.

Open settings and set the default local folder
Click the Settings gear on the right corner of the app screen

This opens your Zoom settings. Navigate to the Recording section.

Navigate to the Recording section
Navigate to the Recording section

You can see the default storage location under Local Recording.

Set default storage
Set default storage

Click Change to store the recording in a different folder on your desktop.

Click Change
Click Change

A pop-up will appear. You can either create a new folder or select an existing one. Once done, click OK.

Click Ok
Click Ok

3. Start your Zoom meeting and click Record

Next, start your Zoom meeting. Among the meeting controls at the bottom of your screen, click Record.

click Record to record a zoom meeting
Click Record
How to Create a Zoom Meeting
How to schedule or create a Zoom meeting. 1. Open the Zoom app on phone or desktop. 2. Click New Meeting. 3. Add participants. 4. Click Invite. 5. Share the invitation.

If you’re a paid user, Zoom allows you to record to your desktop or cloud.

Click Record on this Computer
Click Record on this Computer

Select Record on this Computer. This starts the recording.

You can pause or stop the recording with the controls at the top left corner.

How to record a zoom meeting: Pause recording with meeting controls
Pause or stop the recording with the controls at the top left corner

Once the meeting ends, the MP4 version of your recording gets saved automatically to the storage location you chose before.

How to record a Zoom meeting on your mobile

You must need a Zoom pro account or above to record meetings on your mobile devices. Plus, you can only save the recordings to your Zoom cloud storage.

Here’s how to record a Zoom meeting on your mobile device:

  • Open the three-dot More menu
  • Select Record to the Cloud 

1. Open the three-dot More menu

Once you join a meeting, tap More at the bottom right corner of the meeting controls.

tap More at the bottom right corner
Tap More at the bottom right corner

This opens up a number of control options, including the one to record the meeting.

2. Select Record to the Cloud (for iOS) or Record (for Android)

Tap on Record to the Cloud if you’re on an iOS device. It appears Record for Android users.

Tap on Record
Tap on Record

This starts recording your meeting. You can pause/stop the recording by following the same steps.

Once the meeting ends, you can find the recording in the My Recordings section of your Zoom account.

How to record a Zoom meeting from the desktop app as a participant

There are two ways to record a Zoom meeting as a participant.

  • Get host consent and record the meeting within the application
  • Record the meeting using third-party apps

By default, only the meeting host can record Zoom sessions. However, during the meeting, the host can grant the participant permission to record it. 

As a host, you can grant permission by:

  1. Clicking on Participants during the Zoom call and opening the participant menu.
Open Participants
Open Participants
  1. Locate the participant for whom you want to enable recording. Hover over their name and click the three-dot menu.
Click on the three-dot menu
Click on the three-dot menu
  1. In the dropdown menu, select Allow to Record Local Files.
Select Allow to Record Local Files
Select Allow to Record Local Files

The participant will receive a prompt notifying them they can start recording locally. A recording icon will also display next to their name when the recording is active.

Hosts can disable local recording by participants at any time. Select the More menu next to the participant name and choose Remove Permission to Record Local Files.

2. Record the meeting using third-party apps

Zoom's built-in recording feature for meetings does come with one major catch—as a participant, you can only use it if expressly permitted by the host. Meeting hosts also have full control and can disable recording capabilities anytime.

So, when you want to record a Zoom meeting without relying on the host's authorization, third-party software tools like come in handy. 

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Best Zoom companion: Fireflies

Best Zoom companion: Fireflies

Fireflies is an AI notetaker tool that records, transcribes, summarizes, and analyzes your Zoom meetings. It silently joins your meeting as a participant, records it, and shares the meeting recap after it is over. You can either set up Fireflies on auto-join or manually add the Fireflies bot, Fred, to your meetings. 

If you do not want Fireflies to be explicitly seen as a participant in the meeting, you can leverage the Fireflies-Zoom native integration. Available for the Zoom Pro or above users, the integration lets Fred automatically transcribe and save calls recorded via Zoom Cloud without joining your meeting. 

In comparison to Zoom’s built-in recording and transcription features, Fireflies offers a far richer meeting experience by giving you:

customer responses about Fireflies experience
Customer testimonials on Fireflies
  • A searchable knowledge base of all your conversations: Fireflies works irrespective of meeting platform or venue and helps you create a searchable, centralized repository of all your conversations. Along with Zoom, you can also use the tool to record, transcribe, and summarize your conversations over all major video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or even an in-person meeting.
  • Organized recordings and advanced search capabilities: Unlike Zoom, Fireflies carefully organizes your meeting recordings into different Channels and enables you to search across these meetings using advanced search features like Smart Search and AI filters or with a simple global search—type in a keyword to quickly find who said what during a conversation you had months ago.
  • GPT-powered meeting chatbot: Fireflies provides a GPT-powered chatbot, AskFred, that makes the search even easier. Simply ask the bot meeting-related questions and get answers instantly. You can also leverage it to write emails, blogs, social media posts, etc., out of the meeting context.
  • 90%+ accurate and structured transcripts: The transcripts generated by Fireflies are 90%+ accurate and well-structured, along with speaker labels, time stamps, proper punctuation, and capitalization. You can easily download them in 5 formats: PDF, DOCX, SRT, CSV, and JSON. Meanwhile, Zoom built-in transcripts are low in accuracy and lack structure. You’ll have to spend considerable time editing the transcripts to make them reliable.
  • Multi-language support: Fireflies supports 60+ languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, Arabic, German, Dutch, and Italian. It can also identify 3 English accents: US, UK, and Australian.
  • Customizable AI-generated summaries: Zoom offers an AI-generated summary of your meetings that provides a quick overview of what happened during the meeting. However, these summaries lack depth and often miss key details, making them unreliable. On the other hand, Fireflies provides a more structured overview of the conversation with its AI Super Summaries, including important keywords, a meeting overview, a meeting outline with time-stamped links, bullet point notes, and a list of all action items. You can further tweak the output of Fireflies Super Summaries to highlight only the details you want by customizing the prompts.
  • Advanced meeting intelligence: Besides recording and transcribing meetings, Fireflies offers an advanced Conversation Intelligence feature that helps you quantify your conversations, derive actionable insights from them, and understand what’s working and what’s not. For instance, evaluate your sales reps’ performance by analyzing the metrics on their calls—longest monologues, talk-to-listen ratio, number of filler words used, etc.
  • Top-notch collaboration features: Fireflies provides features such as Soundbites, Thread, and Playlists, making meeting collaboration seamless across teams.
  • Out-of-the-box integrations: Fireflies seamlessly integrates with 40+ productivity tools like Notion, Slack, and Aircall and offers an API for building custom integrations. This lets you automatically share recordings, transcripts, and meeting summaries to your preferred platforms.
  • Highest security: Fireflies complies with GDPR and SOC 2 Type II practices and provides end-to-end encryption for all your data at rest and during transit. Fireflies follows a strict zero-day retention policy and does not use any user data to train its AI models. It also offers Private storage and HIPAA compliance on request for added security.

In summary, Zoom's built-in recording works well enough for basic needs. But Fireflies offers superior transcripts, summaries, search, analytics, and integrations. 

So, if you want to get the most value out of your recorded meetings, Fireflies is the better choice.

Want to explore Fireflies for free?

Get started now!


1. Can You Record a Zoom Event?

Zoom Events is a feature within Zoom's platform that allows hosts to create immersive virtual experiences like conferences, summits, workshops, and more. 

Like any other Zoom meeting, the host and those permitted by the hosts can record the Zoom Event. The recordings are saved to local or Cloud storage, depending on your preferences and account type.

2. Can You record a Zoom meeting as a participant?

Yes. You can record a Zoom meeting as a participant and save it on your local device if the meeting host permits you to do so. You may also use tools like Fireflies to easily capture any Zoom session without waiting for host permission.

3. How to share recorded Zoom meetings?

If the recording is stored locally, you can upload and share the recording over a shared Google Drive folder or any other cloud storage.

To share a recording saved to Zoom cloud storage, follow these steps:

  • Open My Recordings in your Zoom account
  • Adjust your sharing settings as desired.
  • Click Copy Sharing Information.
  • Paste the direct link to the recording on the chat or email with the stakeholder.

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

Yes, you can record a Zoom meeting within the app as a participant if the host has enabled recording permission for you.

Alternatively, you can use apps like Fireflies to record online or in-person meetings, including those on Zoom.

5. Can you record a Zoom meeting without permission?

Apps like let you record meetings without seeking permission from the meeting host. However, for compliance and transparency, Fireflies sends an email notification to all the meeting attendees, notifying them of the recording.

6. What is the best app for recording meetings? is one of the best apps to record meetings on the go. Its capabilities are not restricted to a single platform; you can record online or in-person meetings and save them in a searchable, centralized location using the app.

Plus, it provides an accurate, searchable transcript and an AI-generated summary of your meetings, making revisiting the recordings fast and simple.

7. Can you block participants from recording the Zoom meeting?

Yes. Meeting hosts can see a recording symbol displayed next to their name on the participants list when a participant is recording a Zoom event. 

To revoke their authorization to record, the meeting host should follow these steps:

  • Locate the name of the person currently recording the event in the Participants list.
  • Click on the More three-dot menu situated to the right of their name.
  • Select Forbid Record from the dropdown options.

This disables their recording capability, and they will receive an on-screen alert about the same.

In conclusion,

This guide helps you effortlessly record and preserve Zoom meetings both on desktop and mobile.

As a host, you can capture any Zoom session locally or to the cloud with just a few clicks. When attending meetings as participants, you can either record directly with the host's approval or use AI tools like Fireflies that provide automated, multi-platform recordings.

Up next, read how Fireflies wins against the latest Zoom AI Companion as the best meeting assistant:

Fireflies vs. Zoom AI Companion: Why Fireflies Still Wins
How does the rebranded Zoom IQ, AI Companion, fare against Fireflies AI meeting assistant? And why do people still prefer Fireflies over it? Find out here.

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