How to convert failed local Zoom recordings manually on a Mac

Zoom offers a way to record video and audio of a meeting session on a computer and the feature is available for both free and paid users of the service. Users can convert local recordings on a Mac or Windows computer but not on iOS or Android and can later share them to any cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, and others.

If you’re a host or a participant with recording privileges, you will be able to store recordings of your Zoom meetings on your computer and later access them. Once a meeting ends, Zoom attempts to convert the recordings so that you can access them in a file format that’s easily playable (MP4 for video and M4A for audio).

On some occasions, file conversion of these recordings can be interrupted and not all your files would have been converted to MP4 and M4A formats. To solve that, you can manually convert your Zoom recordings by following the guide below.

Related: How to edit Zoom recordings on Max using iMovie

Why local recording conversion on Zoom could have failed

Ideally, Zoom will start converting your recording sessions from “.zoom” files to “.mp4” or “.m4a” files when you end a meeting. Sometimes, the conversion process could be interrupted, thus rendering the recording files from getting converted. The following are some reasons why recording conversion could have failed.

  • Zoom app could have gotten force closed
  • You shut down your Mac unexpectedly or if the system went to sleep automatically
  • There’s low space on your Mac to record meetings
  • Files can get corrupted if you renamed them
  • Internal errors due to logic issues and invalid commands

How to convert local Zoom recordings manually on a Mac

The following guide will help you manually convert local Zoom recordings on a Mac.

Method 1: Using Zoom desktop client

If you’re running the Zoom desktop client version 4.6.10 or later, you can manually convert meeting recordings by following the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Zoom app on your Mac and click on the Meetings tab at the top.

Step 2: On the left sidebar, click on the Recorded tab.

Step 3: Select the meeting whose recording you want to convert and click on the ‘Convert’ button to convert the recording to MP4 or M4A.

Method 2: Using ‘double click to convert’

You can use this method to manually convert your recordings on Zoom. This can be used for the Zoom desktop client older than version 4.6.10.

Step 1: Open Finder from your dock, and head over to Documents > Zoom > [Zoom recording folder with today’s date].

Step 2: Double-click on the file named “double click to convert”.

This will start the conversion process on Zoom and you will be able to access the converted files in the same folder.

Method 3: When ‘double click to convert’ fails

On rare occasions, even double-clicking on the files won’t be enough to convert them, and to help you proceed with the conversion, we have prepared the following guide based on a suggestion inside Zoom’s developer forum.

Step 1: Open the Zoom app on your Mac and start a meeting with yourself by clicking on the New Meeting button on the home screen.

Step 2: Click on the Record button at the bottom to start recording a meeting with yourself and then select ‘Record on this computer’.

This will create a new recording folder on your Mac with the current date, thus giving you a bridge to convert you previously-recorded files.

Step 3: After a few seconds, stop the recording (but NOT the meeting) by clicking on the Stop button at the bottom.

Note: DO NOT end your current meeting session.

Step 4: Open Finder from your dock, and head over to Documents > Zoom > [Zoom recording folder with today’s date].

Step 5: Copy your older recording file named “double_click_convert file.zoom” and paste it to this folder. If there are multiple recording files, then rename them as “double_click_to_convert_01.zoom”, “double_click_to_convert_02.zoom”, and so on, copy them and paste them to the Zoom recording folder with today’s date.

Step 6: After you’ve copied all your older recording to the mentioned folder, click on the End Meeting button at the bottom right of your Zoom meeting window.

Zoom will now start the conversion process for all of your previously recorded meetings and convert them to MP4 and M4A files. You will be able to access the converted recording inside Documents > Zoom > [Zoom recording folder with today’s date].


Were you able to convert your recordings on Zoom using any of the methods mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below. 

Posted by
Ajaay

Ambivalent, unprecedented, and on the run from everyone's idea of reality. A consonance of love for filter coffee, cold weather, Arsenal, AC/DC, and Sinatra.

38 Comments

  1. Method #3: “When Double-Click to Convert Fails” worked perfectly for me! I am a teacher and we record all of our daily Zoom classes. Zoom crashed on me and I thought the recording was lost, but you saved it (and me!). Thank you!

  2. Dear Ajaay: I had literally tried everything on the virtual planet. But never worked. But your 3rd method worked, even though it took a bit of trial and error, it worked at last!!! Thank you so much! And BTW, I own Windows 7, and it worked!!! Thank you, I woild have lost a precious memory if it was not for you! Thank you!!

  3. the 3rd is great, thanks!

  4. Thank you so much. Module 3 worked wonders.

  5. Anabella Lamarche

    Mine only converted the newest recording none of the other files that I copied to the folder… can someone help?

  6. Worked but only converted audio and no video on Mac. Any solutions?
    I also did not make a copy of the double click file. Let me know if there is a way to restore and try again

  7. Thank you soooooo much – option 3 worked. That was a big help!!!

  8. Olga Tymshan-Grikitis

    Option 1 and 2 were not viable in my case, so I tried option 3. It only saved the new 15 second recording and the old files stayed the same. PLEEEASE HELP!!!

  9. OPTION THREE WORKED! After waiting 6 weeks to hear back from our ENTERPRISE support team on a ticket to help manually convert, you saved the last 30 minutes of a Webinar that was clipped from the end of the first hour – THANK YOU!

  10. I succeeded with Method 3, but with one caveat:

    The ”fresh recording” created two files *_01.zoom and *_02.zoom.
    First I added my old, failed file by naming it to *_03.zoom which doesn’t worked.
    When I named it to *_01.zoom everything worked well

    Thanks!

  11. Mine did not convert. The new recording did, but not the previous recording.

    1. Oluwaloseyi Sekoni

      Yes Ann, try method three it works

  12. Oluwaloseyi Sekoni

    The last method worked perfectly, even for windows. Thanks a lot. This is amazing

  13. It helped. Thank You
    Last method. Replacing files with a new meeting.
    OS: Windows 10

  14. Hi, I’ve tried pretty much all of these but they don’t work. My problem is that my files that say “double_click_to_convert” will “convert” when I double click. I don’t get an error. It asks me what folder to put them in, but then I end back where I started. The files didn’t change. When I did the “new meeting” solution it gave me an error and didn’t convert them. Again it appears they’re getting converted but the files weren’t there.

    1. I also have a file titled “zoomver.tag”. It’s a document that I cannot open. Not seeing an explanation for that.

      1. have you fixed it? i got the same look

  15. I tried the last technique, and it worked just fine on my Mac. Thanks for the post. Lifesaver!

  16. Thanks, used the last on Mac and worked well.

  17. Hi
    We recorded a Webinar – we got all the Video but part of the audio is missing. Have you see n this happen before? Do you know the solution?

  18. Hi the third method worked fine as these were files sent to me to make a finished video with.
    Thanks

  19. Oh my goodness! This was a life saver! And the tip from osserpese helped me to make it work as it didn’t work at first when I named it _03.zoom and _04.zoom but copying the files and replacing the new _01.zoom and _02.zoom files with the older files worked like a charm. Thanks so much!

  20. No luck with the conversion using method 3. This is rediculous. Zoom used to be extremely reliable with few tech glitches. For me, these problems started in Sept. What changed.

  21. THANK YOU! How smart you are! I love find ways to “cheat” softwares whwn needed.

  22. The third method worked on LINUX but only skipping step 3

  23. Shubha Chakravarthy

    I tried the first method but get the message “Another recording in progress” – this has been the case over multiple days. Please help with how to fix this issue-ie how to locate what other recording is in progress and how to stop that, many thanks!

  24. MAc is Catalina Version 10.15.3. Did not work even when copying and replacing the older files in today’s zoom folder so that the names were zoom-01, etc. Continued getting message “another recording in progress”. Do not understand because recording was not a problem in the past. Disappointing.

  25. Hi There, maybe someone can help me. I have a file that is almost 7 GB, I had a 7 hour plus Zoom session. Everytime I try to convert the file my computer crashes at 99% and then I have to reboot and try again. I bought extra cloud space thinking that might be the issue, but no luck – my computer continues to crash. I am now trying to convert on a different computer, and am trying solution three from this blog. Any ideas?

  26. When I tried this, it keeps saying “Failed to Convert Recording” with the explanation – “There is another recording conversion in progress, please convert this recording later in Meetings>Recorded.” Help!!

    1. I had the same error! I shut my computer completely down and even did an update. I restarted the next day, tried method 3 again and it worked!!

    2. I have the same issue (Failed to convert because another conversion is in progres), with a Mac, can these files be sent to a different location than what zoom chooses?, is there a file converter other than zoom that can be used to transform this .zoom to mp4 or any other format?
      Thank you so much for any help with this

  27. Third method failed! The box ‘yo have a recording that needs to be converted…’ appears but stays at 0% forever.

  28. I had a paid tutoring session last night that I recorded and very much need to reference.

    I’ve tried Methods 1–3 with no luck.

    The alerts I received are:

    1.
    Failed to Convert
    There is another recording conversion in progress, please convert this recording later in Meetings > Recordings.

    2.
    The application “Transcode.app” is not open anymore.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    1. I am dealing with the same issue. How do i stop whatever recording conversion is in progress. it must be struck in progress. I’ve tried several times over 2 days.

  29. Ajay. You are my favorite person.

  30. Thanks a lot, your method #3 worked while the first 2 had failed ! This because I had renamed the files’ folder before the conversion was completed.

  31. If method #3 didn’t work for you, perhaps you were like me and changed the names of the zoom files and then accidentally made the audio file the video file and the video file the audio file. Or perhaps you only copied the *01.zoom and *02.zoom files without copying the tagged zoom_ver.tag file.

    After I realised both of those mistakes I can safely say I have joined the people that said that method #3 works.

    I hope this addition helps.

  32. Option 3 not working for me. I have copied the 3 .zoom files and zoom_ver.tag. The two individual audio files (one per participant) are converted, but the joint audio file (both participants together) converts partially and the resulting file stops at minute 9 (of 66). A Zoom.0.mp4 file that opens in QuickTime Player that is only 9 minutes long. It appears to contain everything dramatically speeded up, so basically compresses 67 minutes into 9 minutes. I’m guessing that the “conversion” was supposed to decompress the content to fill 67 minutes but has failed. Any ideas for next steps?

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