Video Editing

How to Edit Zoom Video (No Software Download Required)

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There are several benefits to editing a Zoom video. It could be sharing customer testimonials for marketing to collating feedback from clients for a product team. The possibilities are endless.

But those benefits start from knowing how to edit a Zoom video.

Since the editing mainly involves cleaning the content and branding the video, there is little to learn. You don’t have to be a video editing genius to record your Zoom sessions and share.

Ready? Let’s begin.

How to Edit a Zoom Recording: Finding your Recording

You can’t edit a file you can’t find, and in Zoom, the exact location for your recording depends on your account. The teleconferencing software has two types of accounts, each with different storage for recordings.

  1. Local Recording - free and available to all Zoom users. Recordings are saved to your computer.
  2. Cloud Recording - available only to paid users. Recordings are stored online (Zoom cloud)

If you are using a free account, the recordings are in the Documents folder for Windows users. Mac users can find theirs via Finder and searching for Zoom.

In either device, you should find a folder named Zoom Meeting. Open it to find your recordings.

Each recording contains an MP4 file for audio and video meetings and a VTT file if you enable transcripts.

For paid accounts, it takes a minute for Zoom to process the file. So don’t be alarmed if you finish a meeting and can’t find the recording immediately.

When it is ready, Zoom will send you an email notification.

Suppose it’s not a recording of a new meeting. In that case, you can find all your past recordings by logging into your account and selecting Recording in the Personal category.

Then select the Cloud Recording tab to see your recorded meetings.

Preparing your Zoom Video for Editing

Unfortunately, editing a Zoom recording is not as straightforward as finding the video and plugging it into a video editor.

First, you have to make the recording compatible with an external video editor.

It only takes a minute, and here is how.

For cloud recordings, go to and log into your account. Then click Settings in the navigation menu on the left.

Next, click the Recording tab inside Settings.

Under Advanced Cloud Recording settings, check “Optimize the recording for 3rd party video editor.”

Finally, click Save to apply the change.

The process is similar for local recordings. Open the desktop client and go to Settings. Then click Recording in the navigation menu.

From the options, check ‘Optimize for 3rd party video editor.’

NOTE: Optimization only applies to recordings you make after the setting. Not the ones before.

That’s not to say you can’t download or edit the recordings you made before. Their quality just won’t be as good as the ones you make after changing the setting.

Now, let’s edit your recording.

How to Edit Zoom Recording: iMovie

There is so little editing necessary for a Zoom recording that you don’t need to buy or install video editing software. For Mac users, iMovie has enough editing features to get your video where you need it to be.

Here is how to use it to edit Zoom recordings.

STEP 1 - Import the recording

By now, you should have downloaded your Zoom recording to your computer if it is a cloud recording. 

If you don’t know how to do that, go to the Cloud Recording tab where you found your recordings earlier and click the More button. Press Download to transfer it to your computer.

Back to iMovie. Open the app and tap the Create New button. Then select Movie from the options that pop up.

The bottom section will open a directory containing all your files and folders. Navigate to the one with the Zoom video and select it.

Tap the blue Import button at the bottom to complete the upload.

STEP 2 - Edit the Recording

After importing your video to the iMovie library, drag it down to the bottom of the screen, aka, the timeline.

Once it is there, you can begin applying any edit you want.

Usually, all you really need for a Zoom recording is to trim the beginning and end of the clip. To remove imperfections like those classic “Can everybody hear me” comments at the start.

To do that, select the video in the timeline (yellow borders will appear around it when you do).

Now, drag the handle at the beginning to the right until you’ve reached the good part.

If you want to trim the end, do the same thing, this time by dragging the handle to the left.

Besides trimming, you can also brand the Zoom video by adding animated text.

Head over to the tab options over the iMovie library and select Titles. Then choose your preferred style and drag it onto the timeline. Finally, edit and place the element as appropriate.

STEP 3 - Export the recording

Before the export, review the changes by playing the video in the window on the right. If you like what you see, click the Export button at the top right corner of the editor.

Select the option that fits your purpose. If there is none, save the video to your computer by choosing File.

And that’s how you edit Zoom video with iMovie.

How to Edit Zoom Video: Windows Video Editor

There is also a native option for Windows users to edit Zoom videos. In fact, there are two - Photos and Windows Video Editor.

For your basic trimming and adding text, Photos works fine. But if you want to do a lot more, say remove middle sections of the video or add background music, Windows Video Editor is the go-to option.

Here is how to use both.

STEP 1 - Import the recording

Whether you’ve downloaded the Zoom recording or it is saved locally on your device, locate the video file, right-click on it, and choose Open With.

Then click Photos from the options.

The app will open with the video fully imported.

STEP 2 - Edit the recording

Your editing process depends on what you want. However, whatever it might be, it starts by clicking Edit and Create in the upper-right corner.

For basic editing (trimming, adding text), select the relevant action and execute as appropriate within the app.

Say you want to trim, click the Trim option, and the app will open to this screen.

Drag the sliders at both ends to the new starting points. To ensure accuracy, play the video and pause where you want the edited video to begin.

Then drag the ball to align with the black playhead highlighted in red. Play the video again until it reaches the new end. Then move the second ball to align with the playhead.

Another way is to play the video again. The app will only show the selected range.

Finally, press Save As at the top of the screen to confirm the trim.

For more help on using the Windows Video Editor, visit here.

STEP 3 - Export and save the video

Again, you can make additional edits on top of the trim, even inside Photos. When you finish, go to the three dots in the upper-right corner, and press Save as.

Choose a location for the new version in the dialog box. Once the save is complete, the edited recording will be in the specified folder.

That’s it.

Video Zoom Edit: Using the Playback Range

Both iMovie and Window Video Editor make permanent changes to the video when you edit with them. Even if you still have access to the original copy.

However, suppose you are not interested in making a permanent change, i.e., don’t mind someone seeing your Zoom recording in all its glory. In that case, you could use Zoom’s Playback Range.

It is the closest thing to an in-built editor in Zoom. It allows you to set the portion others see when you share the video with them and play it inside Zoom.

If they download the video, they get to see the whole thing. 

As a feature, its most significant advantage is ease. A few clicks, and you’ve shared an “edited” version of the video.

Also, it saves the viewer time. Instead of wading through the entire thing to find the valuable part, Zoom plays it directly.

As for the downsides, Playback Range only works with cloud recordings, and it is not fully compatible with all devices and browsers. That includes Safari and mobile devices.

Don’t mind? Here is how to use it.

STEP 1 - Find the recording

Go to and log in to your account. Open the Recordings tab and select the cloud recording you want to share.

After opening the meeting, hit the play button on the video’s thumbnail.

STEP 2 - Set the Playback range

The video will start playing in another tab on your browser. So don’t worry if you notice nothing changed in your current tab.

In the new tab, click the scissor icon to set the playback range.

Like you trimmed the video in iMovie or Video Editor, drag the sliders to your preferred start and end positions.

You could also set the playback range manually, as seen above. 

Click Save when you finish.

That’s it. The shareable link for the recording will start and end at the selected times.

TIP: You can disable viewers from downloading the video in the sharing settings.

How to Edit Zoom Recording: Benefits and Uses

Here are some handy reasons to edit a zoom recording.

  1. Social media marketing

With Zoom recordings, you are no longer stuck with the blurb. 

Say you had a video conference with some of your customers and a few of them said something nice about your product. You can post this on your social media pages. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

All you have to do is focus on each customer, trim the video as appropriate, and add some branding.

Also, if you host a webinar or live tutorials, you can create bite-sized clips and share them on social media to promote the next one.

  1. Immortalize memories

Zoom weddings. Zoom birthdays. Zoom engagement parties. There is a Zoom version of all our celebrations now. 

The lack of physical presence? Not great. An inexpensive way to film the event and immortalize the memories? Great.

Record the celebration. Cut out the lulls and create a montage worth sharing in the family group chat.

If you happen to find yourself on a Zoom date, you can create a highlight out of it. Will it score you cool and romantic points? Heck yes!

  1. On-demand student resource

Students and universities might still be fighting over how to accurately price tuition in the age of Zoom. In the meantime, your class may benefit from having on-demand access to lectures.

Maybe they cannot attend in person for whatever reason or need something to study with on their own. An edited version of your teachings could come in handy. You could also offer your Zoom video as bonus content.


So, this is how to edit a Zoom video. Thankfully, Zoom recordings need few editing adjustments. With free and simple tools like iMovie and Windows Video Editor, anyone can edit a Zoom video.

Keevi Video Editor is another option you should check out if you want a good balance between advanced features like automatic subtitles and ease of use.

For more tutorials on creating excellent video content, visit our learning page.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
November 11, 2021