Panopto Data Retention Policy

Last updated: March 5, 2024
Audience: StudentsInstructors

Retention policy

Why is UW-IT implementing a retention policy for Panopto?

Implementing a retention policy for Panopto is necessary to meet two needs: one administrative, the other financial.

Administrative: The implementation of a retention policy for Panopto is necessary in order to comply with University records retention policies. As a state agency, any recorded information created, received, or used by the University community is considered a record. Every record has a specific amount of time it needs to be kept before it can be destroyed.

Financial: Panopto is implementing a new pricing model in which UW-IT will be charged for hours in the following categories:

  • Created hours: hours of video recorded or uploaded into Panopto
  • Stored hours: total number of hours of video stored in Panopto, including videos in the recycle bin
  • Archived hours: total number of hours of video stored in the Panopto archive

Previously, UW-IT was charged for hours of recording creation and viewing. If contract hours are exceeded in any of these categories, UW-IT will have to pay for the excess hours. Implementing a retention policy for Panopto will help us to manage costs by balancing the load of recordings in each category.

What is the retention policy? Does anything ever get archived or deleted automatically?

As announced via email in December 2023, the retention policy has been revised. We are delaying implementing the policy until Panopto provides a way for creators to see which recordings will be deleted. We will send updates when we have more information about the timing.

  • Archived recordings that haven’t been viewed in the last five years will be permanently deleted and cannot be retrieved.
  • Recordings that have not been archived and have not been viewed in the last five years will be deleted.* These recordings can be retrieved from the recycle bin for 90 days. After 90 days, recordings cannot be recovered from the recycle bin.
  • Recordings not viewed in the last 24 months will be archived.
Implementation date Content Action taken Content retrievable?
Phase 1: June – August 2023 Recordings not viewed in the previous 24 months. Archived Yes; allow up to 48 hours
Phase 2: Begins TBD Archived recordings not viewed in the previous five years Permanently deleted Cannot retrieve
Recordings in general storage not viewed in the previous five years* Deleted Can be retrieved from recycle bin for 90 days
Recordings not viewed in the previous two years** Archived Yes; allow up to 48 hours

*Often these recordings have not been archived because they have reference copies associated with them.  Once the reference copies reach the retention policy date, the original recordings may reach the deletion date. Very few recordings are in this state.

**Depending on our storage hours, some quarters we may need to archive recordings after 18 months. We will notify creators in advance if we are going to archive recordings sooner.

What content is included in the retention policy?

The retention policy applies to all recordings created and uploaded into Panopto including those in My Folder, course folders, and Zoom recordings uploaded into Panopto.

When will the records retention activities begin?

Recordings were moved to the archive beginning in June 2023. Deletion of recordings not viewed in the last five years will begin at a later date. Because Panopto will be releasing functionality which provides visibility into scheduled retention actions, recordings will not be deleted or archived in December 2023 or March 2024. 

Will I receive a message before my recordings are archived or deleted?

Panopto is working on notifications about pending retention actions. This functionality is currently not available.

Why is the retention policy being implemented in phases?

The policy is being implemented in phases in order to provide ample notice before removing recordings. A phased approach also allows balancing the number of recordings in storage and in the archive, which is necessary to comply with the terms of the contract with Panopto.

Archived recordings

How do I find archived recordings?


  • In the left navigation, click Panopto Recordings.
  • A link to archived recordings appears in the main content area. If other recordings are in the folder, the link will be located under them.User interface showing location of Panopto Recordings menu item in the left navigation and link to archived videos

Panopto Search

When you search for recordings, click the file box button, and the search results will display archived recordings. Archived videos will appear in search results for any user who has been given access to the videos per the sharing settings in Panopto.

User interface of Panopto Search with file box button highlighted

Panopto Folders

  • Archived videos will still be associated with a folder
  • To display archived recordings in folders, click the Archived button.
    Panopto folders interface showing Archived button highlighted
  • Restored videos will appear in their associated folder once they are ready to view. It can take up to 48 hours to restore a recording.

How do I restore archived recordings?

See Panopto documentation on how to restore archived recordings.

Deleted recordings

Can I delete a recording or a folder I don’t need?

Yes! We strongly encourage instructors to delete recordings they do not need.

What happens if I need a deleted recording?

Recordings that have not been permanently deleted can be restored for 90 days.

Other questions

What’s the difference between archived, deleted, permanently deleted and recycled?

  • Archived recordings can be restored for viewing within 48 hours.
  • Deleted recordings that are not in the archived state are sent to a recycle bin and can be retrieved for 90 days.
  • Recordings in an archived state cannot be deleted. They can only be permanently deleted.
  • Permanently deleted recordings cannot be retrieved. Creators can also permanently delete recordings in the recycle bin.
  • Recycled recordings remain in the recycle bin for 90 days and then are automatically permanently deleted.

How do I know when my recording has last been viewed?

You can look at viewer statistics for your recording. You can also view statistics for an entire folder. To see statistics for 24 months or five years, select Custom and then select the date range. Viewer statistics are not available for archived recordings.

What happens to copied recordings?

Copied recordings are subject to the Panopto retention policy. The original recording will not be archived or deleted until the reference copies have aged to the point of being subject to the retention policy.

Will the retention policy change?

The UW Panopto service team does not anticipate revising the retention policy, but adjustments may occur depending on changes in usage or contract revisions.

How can I download recordings and captions?

You can download Panopto recordings individually as MP4 files. To download captions, see Panopto’s instructions for how to download captions.