UW Zoom cloud storage FAQ

Last updated: August 16, 2022

Can I download my Zoom cloud recordings before they are deleted?

Yes! We encourage you to download your cloud recordings. Learn how.

Where can I store downloaded recordings?

UW-IT offers services such as Panopto for course recordings and Google Drive or OneDrive for Business to support the storage of all recording files.

Upload Zoom recordings to:

If my older recordings are moved to Zoom Trash, can I recover them?

Recording files older than 90 days dated from the time of creation will be moved to Zoom Trash and will stay there for 30 days. During that time you can recover recordings, download, and store elsewhere.

Can I recover my deleted files?

Yes. Learn how to recover deleted recordings.

When will recordings be moved to Zoom Trash?

Monday, July 20: Redundant recordings will be deleted from UW Zoom’s cloud storage.
Tuesday, September 1: Recordings older than 90 days will be deleted.

Going forward, recordings older than 90 days will be moved to Zoom Trash. Zoom users will have 30 days to retrieve recordings, download and store elsewhere.

What is a redundant file?

By default, for every meeting recorded, Zoom recorded both Active Speaker or Gallery view to optimize quality, essentially doubling the output. (These settings have recently been updated.) In identifying the best approach for freeing up space, the team determined that retaining the Active Speaker/Shared Screen recordings would be beneficial to the majority of users. All other file types, including Gallery View, will be moved to Trash. Learn about Zoom file types.

What is the full timeline for the changes to Zoom cloud storage?

Thurs., Jun 18 Initial announcement about changes to Zoom cloud storage policy.
Mon., Jul 20 Redundant recordings moved to Zoom Trash.
Tues., Aug 18 Last day to recover recordings from Zoom Trash.
Wed., Aug 19 Redundant recordings in Zoom Trash longer than 30 days will be permanently deleted.
Tues., Sept 1 90-day retention policy goes into effect: Recordings older than 90 days will be moved automatically to Zoom Trash.
Wed., Sept 30 Last day to recover recordings from Zoom Trash.
Thurs., Oct 1  Recordings in Zoom Trash longer than 30 days will be permanently deleted.


What steps can users take to help create more storage space?

Download any recordings you have stored in the Zoom cloud and store elsewhere, such as Panopto for course recordings and Google Drive or OneDrive for Business to support the storage of all recording files.

For future recordings, consider recording locally and then store in any of the options listed above.

Why isn’t there more cloud storage? Can’t UW-IT simply buy more?

Our contracted allotment of cloud storage space is 47.2 terabytes (TB), which appeared to be more than sufficient for the university’s needs. Unfortunately, some users are recording all meetings by default and recording social events, which has used up a large amount of space. UW-IT has to balance the needs for sufficient storage of files that pertain to official University business with the need to practice fiscal responsibility.

Why didn’t UW-IT anticipate this sooner?

Given the unprecedented demand for web conferencing during this time, there is very little historical data that can reliably predict current or future use of this service. We recognize that this is a frustrating time to change the availability of a service, but it’s a necessary step to make sure that we can continue to meet web conferencing needs across the UW community. We believe we have now gathered enough data to make more informed predictions about the future needs of UW Zoom users.

Why is the space filling up so quickly?

Much of the recent increase is due to course recordings, but is also occurring because some users are setting their Zoom accounts to record every meeting by default, and are recording personal meetings, which may not be in compliance with UW personal use policies

It’s easy to forget that cloud storage is a limited, shared resource. In some cases, users are recording all their meetings by default, including personal meetings. A recent search through titles of stored content indicates many instances of recordings of social gatherings, such as birthday celebrations and online happy hours. While we understand the need to stay connected, users need to remember:

  1. Employees of the university should use cloud recording for official university business only.
  2. UW Zoom is meant for University-related business, not for personal use.
  3. Student use can include personal use, but we request that cloud recording of personal meetings be kept to a minimum or that you download and store elsewhere.