Canvas @ YaleInstructor Guides Zoom in CanvasZoom Local Recordings: Accessing / Sharing via Media Library

Zoom Local Recordings: Accessing / Sharing via Media Library

Zoom sessions can be recorded either locally to the user's computer or to the Zoom Cloud. When recording a session locally, multiple video and audio files will be created and placed into a new folder on your computer, which you can use however you want. This article will cover how to access the meeting session recordings that have been saved locally to your computer, and how to upload and share them to the Media Library in a Canvas course.

For FERPA security reasons: If you record a Zoom session to the cloud, we strongly recommend that you do not share the cloud recording link. Either use the automatic integration between Zoom and the Media Library or download the recording to your computer and upload the file into the Media Library following the instructions in our "Zoom Cloud Recordings: Accessing / Downloading / Sharing via Media Library" article.

Locating Your Zoom Session Files Recorded Locally on Your Computer

When you record you Zoom sessions, you can opt to have the recording saved to your local computer. After you manually stop the recording or your Zoom session ends, you will see a window letting you know that the recording of your session will be converted / processed and stored on your local computer.  

Do not close or shut down your computer until the process has completed.

After your files have been converted and saved to your computer, the File Explorer (PC) / Finder (Mac) will open up to the exact location where your Zoom session files have been stored.

If you closed this folder location, you can find your files by opening your File Explorer / Finder and navigating to your Zoom Session Files manually.

Unless you have modified your Zoom settings, the default location where Zoom sessions are stored is:

PC:  C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\Zoom\ → A new date-stamped folder created for each recorded session

Mac:  /Users/YourUserName/Documents/Zoom/ → A new date-stamped folder created for each recorded session

Once you have found the appropriate folder for your Zoom sessions, you will see that you have multiple files (usually at least 3). Although you may see more files, the most important files which can be uploaded to Media Library are:

  • zoom_0.mp4 → this is the video and audio recording of your Zoom session
  • audio_only.m4a → this is the audio only recording of your Zoom session

You can share one or both of these files as desired.

Uploading Zoom Session Files to the Media Library

You can upload the audio (.m4a) and / or video (.mp4) files for your Zoom session but not chat or playback files.

  1. Log into Canvas and navigate to your course site. Click the "Media Library" button in your course navigation menu.
  2. Click the "Create" button in the top header if you are adding your Zoom files to the course's main Media Library folder.
    1. If you are using sub-folders to organize your zoom sessions, first click on the sub-folder where you want to upload these Zoom files, then click the "Create" button.
    2. Review the "Creating a New Sub-Folder in the Media Library" section below for more information.
  3. From the menu, select "Upload Media."
  1. In the box that opens, you can select your files to be uploaded in one of two ways:
    1. Drag and drop files into the dotted-line box.
    2. Browse for select files in a File Explorer / Finder window.
Drag and drop files into the dotted-line box
  1. Leave the browser open on the Media Library dotted-line box and open a File Explorer / Finder window to the locally recorded Zoom session folder.
  2. Select, drag and drop the files you want to upload into the dotted-line box visible behind the window.
    1. Only the files with the .mp4 and .m4a file extensions can be uploaded.
  3. As soon as the files are dropped into the box, they will begin to upload to the Media Library folder.
  4. Once you see the "Upload Complete" notification you can close the pop-up box.
Browse for select files in a File Explorer / Finder window
  1. In the pop-up, click the dotted-line box, which will open a File Explorer / Finder window.
  2. In the window, navigate to the locally recorded Zoom session folder.
  3. Select the files you want to upload. Click the "Open" button when ready.
    1. Only the files with the .mp4 and .m4a file extensions can be uploaded.
  4. The files will be begin to upload to the Media Library folder. Once you see the "Upload Complete" notification you can close the pop-up box.
  1. Once uploaded, your videos will take some time to process for online streaming. Once complete, your files will be viewable by the users enrolled in your Canvas course site.

Creating a New Sub-Folder in the Media Library

  1. In the Media Library section of your course, click the "Add folder" dotted-line box at the top of your Media Library course folder.
  2. In the text box that opens, provide a title for your folder. Click the Enter / Return button on your keyboard to save your folder title.

Consider including the date of your Zoom session in the folder name to make it easier for students to identify the sessions.

Renaming Your Zoom Session Files in the Media Library

Since all Zoom session recording files have the same file names, you may want to rename your files to match the name of the session. If desired, you can rename the files after uploading them into Media Library.

  1. Hover your cursor over the uploaded Zoom session file you want to rename in the Media Library.
  2. Menu buttons will appear below the current title. Click the "Settings" button.
  3. In the pop-up box the opens, find the session "Name" at the top and click the "Edit" button.
  4. Delete the current name and enter the new name.
  5. Click the "Save" button when finished.
  6. Close the pop-up window by clicking on the X icon.
  7. When you are returned to the list of files, you will see your file listed with the new file name.

For more information, please refer to these helpful links:

For more help, please contact canvas@yale.edu.