Panopto Data Retention Policy

Last updated: September 18, 2023

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 on May 9, 2023, the retention policy will be implemented in phases:

  • Phase I: Beginning June 12, 2023, recordings that have not been viewed in the last 24 months* will be archived. Archived recordings can be retrieved by searching in Panopto. Users can select to display recordings in Panopto folders and in Canvas. Creators and viewers can retrieve archived recordings but should allow for up to 48 hours for recordings to be restored.
  • Phase II: Beginning December 18, 2023, recordings created or last edited five or more years ago that haven’t been viewed in the last year will be deleted and will not be recoverable. Recordings not viewed in the last 18 months* will be archived.

*To meet Panopto’s constraints, we may occasionally need to increase the number of months, but we will not shorten the time frame without communicating to you.

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?

UW-IT will archive and remove recordings after the end of each academic quarter. Recordings will be moved to the archive beginning in June 2023. Deletion of recordings  will begin in December 2023.

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

No, you will not. Unfortunately, it is not technically feasible to message Panopto users prior to their recordings being archived. The announcement sent to Panopto creators will serve as the only message, in addition to the publication of the retention policy.

However, you can retrieve archived recordings if needed, allowing for up to 48 hours for archived recordings to be restored. Deleted recordings can be retrieved from the recycle bin for 90 days.

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.

Will recordings in the archives be deleted?

Yes, starting in December 2023, recordings five years or older that haven’t been viewed in the last year will be deleted.

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 are not permanently deleted can be restored for 90 days. After 90 days they cannot be retrieved.

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 which are not in the archived state are sent to a recycle bin and can be retrieved for 90 days.
  • 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, select Custom and then select the date range.

What happens if I edit my creation date in my recording’s settings Overview?

Updating the creation date in recording settings does not reset the retention clock.

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.

Does editing a recording reset the retention clock?

Edits made in the Panopto editor reset the retention clock, but edits made in the settings — including sharing permissions — do not.