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How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac in 2022 | 3 Methods I Know That Work

How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac

Ever since work from home became the new norm, I’ve had to attend meetings and take calls remotely and one video conferencing platform I used that saw an immense growth during the lockdown, was Zoom. 

Zoom suddenly became the most convenient way for everybody to communicate with friends and family, as well as stay in touch with colleagues at work. Some companies even adopted Zoom as their official channel to communicate with their employees who were working from home. 

One thing that made Zoom a great tool was that it let me record meetings with the click of a button. However, this only worked while I was the host of the meeting and not a regular participant.

As a regular participant, I was able to record meetings by pressing the record button in the Zoom taskbar. But, instead of automatically starting the recording, a request was triggered to the host who would then have to approve it. 

Only when the request was approved was I able to begin the screen recording and it was at this time that all the participants in the meeting got to know that I was recording the screen because of a notification that popped up.

So, you must be wondering, “how to secretly record Zoom meetings on a Mac”?

Well, there are three ways you can record your Zoom meeting on a Mac without anyone including the host getting to know; One is by using QuickTime Player on your Mac, the second is by using keyboard shortcuts to launch the Screen grab tool and the third is by downloading a third-party screen recorder from the App Store.

Since Apple’s Mac makes it easier to record Zoom meetings without anyone getting to know, i’ll take you through that first. But if you’re finding it difficult to get QuickTime to work on your Mac then you can try one of the alternate solutions which i’ll cover below.

3 Ways How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac

Method 1 — Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac or MacBook using QuickTime

Mac users take note, recording Zoom meetings will trigger a notification to all the participants that you’re about having the screen recorded. 

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This may not sit well with everyone and since the host has to grant permission in order to use the screen recorder function, it’s best to use an alternative method and opt to do it privately.

Luckily, you will not have to worry about using the record feature in Zoom and can secretly record any meeting. 

By using QuickTime player, you’re bypassing Zooms screen recording functionality and no one will get to know that the meeting is being recorded, not even the host.

To record a Zoom meeting using QuickTime player, 

  • Start by opening the Finder and then click on the Go Menu in the taskbar
How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac
  • Now tap on Applications and locate QuickTime player from the list
  • Once launched, no window will appear on the screen. Instead tap on the QuickTime player bar at the top of the screen and then tap on File
  • Select New Screen Recording from the drop down menu
How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac
  • You will receive a floating dock on the desktop
  • Choose either one of the screen record buttons
    • Capture the Entire Window
    • Capture the Selected Window
  • Once you’ve made your selection, click on the Options button and then check the Microphone
    • Choose Built-in Microphone: Internal Microphone
How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac
  • Click on the Record button to begin the recording
  • In order to stop the recording, tap on the tiny recording button in the taskbar at the top of the screen.

QuickTime player provides a playback preview of the recording. You can then choose to export the file in 1080p, 720p and 480p and there’s even an option to save only the audio portion of the recording.

  • Finally, tap on Save and the save action pop up will appear on the screen
  • Proceed to enter a name for the file and then select the destination.

Method 2 — Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac using Keyboard Shortcuts

The second method is to use shortcuts on your Mac keyboard. Since Macs were designed for creative purposes, they come with built-in features that let you record and edit videos all with the tap of a few buttons on the keyboard.

To record a Zoom meeting on Mac using shortcut keys, follow these steps

  • Open the Zoom meeting on the Mac and the press the screen capture shortcut on the keyboard
    • Command + Shift + 5
How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac
  • Now choose whether you want to record the entire screen or window and since you’re going to record the Zoom meeting, select the Zoom window
  • Your recording will begin immediately
  • To stop the recording, click the stop/recording button from the toolbar.
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Once the recording has been stopped, a thumbnail will appear in the lower left corner of the screen. Click on the thumbnail to choose the destination folder as well as the name of the file.

Method 3 — Secretly Record Zoom Meetings Using Third Party Applications on a Mac

If for some reason QuickTime fails to record the screen, you can go ahead and use a third-party screen recorder app from the App store. 

There are many that are available for free to use and one that I can vouch for is VLC Media Player for Mac.

VLC is undoubtedly one of the best media players for its ability to support a wide range of file formats. It’s also equipped with screen capturing tools that can be used to record Zoom meetings without anybody getting to know.

To use VLC Media Player to secretly record a Zoom meeting,

  • Install the app on your Mac
  • Run VLC from the Launchpad on Mac
  • Click on File Menu from the top menu bar and then click on Open Capture Device
  • Choose Capture from the Open Source Window
How to Secretly Record Zoom Meetings on a Mac
  • Select the Input devices drop down and choose Screen from the list
  • Proceed to set the desired frame rate of the recorder
    • Select the default value as 5
  • Click on the Open button at the bottom right corner of the window
  • You will now see the Mac screen being recorded in VLC
  • Go ahead and bring up the Zoom meeting window on the Mac screen

Once you’re done recording or when the meeting is over, head over to the Playback menu in the toolbar at the top and then uncheck Record.

The recorded video will be saved to the default screen recording destination, Macintosh HD > Users > UserName > Movies.

All the VLC recordings will be stored in .AVI and their names will start with ‘vlc-record’.

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If you’re looking to record only a part of the screen using VLC, head to File > Open Capture Device > Screen and then enter the Subscreen height and width to specify the dimensions you wish to capture.

FAQ’s

Can you record Zoom meetings?

Yes, anyone can record Zoom meetings, but only the Host has the ability to permit or deny anyone from recording a Zoom meeting.

Does Zoom Detect QuickTime Screen Recording?

No, Zoom can not detect QuickTime recording and is only able to detect when someone is recording the screen using the screen recorder functionality within Zoom.

How to record Zoom meetings on Mac for free?

To record a Zoom meeting on Mac for free, you will need to either choose to use the record feature within the Zoom app, using QuickTime Player or by downloading a third-party software like VLC Media Player that supports screen recording.

How do I know if my Zoom is being recorded?

As a participant you will only be able to know if your Zoom screen is being recorded when you receive a notification on the screen that states “This meeting is being recorded.” If you’re joining a meeting that’s already being recorded then you will hear a notification read out the same message. However, the only time you will not be able to find out if your Zoom meeting is being recorded is when the person recording the screen is using a third-party app and not Zoom to do so.

Does Zoom automatically record meetings?

Unfortunately, Zoom does not record meetings by default but there’s a setting that needs to be enabled in order to activate this feature. The only drawback is that automatic recording takes up a lot of storage space on the Mac.

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