Microsoft to Enable Recordings of Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Local Datacenter Region

Location of Stream Data Could Cause Data Sovereignty Issue

Office 365 Notification MC200501 published on January 17, 2020 gave some important information for tenants who cannot currently use the facility to record Teams meetings and store the recordings in Stream because the Teams and Stream services are not co-located in the tenant’s Office 365 datacenter region.

Update (May 26): Microsoft posted Office 365 notification MC214327 to advise about the new AllowRecordingStorageOutsideRegion setting in Teams meeting policies to control how Teams stores its meeting recordings in Stream. The new setting rolls out at the end of June and should be deployed worldwide by mid-July.

Update (Sept 23): Office 365 notification MC222640 of 23 September announces that tenants will be able to switch recordings of Teams meetings processed by Stream to be stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Among other benefits, this means that recordings will be stored in the same datacenter region as the video owner.

Teams Meeting Policy Settings

Apart from having licenses for Office 365 and Stream, the recording of Teams calls and meetings is controlled by the Allow cloud recording setting (AllowCloudRecording in PowerShell) in Teams meeting policies assigned to user accounts. If the policy setting is On (the default), meeting participants can initiate recordings. The sole caveat is that the meeting organizer (the account which created the meeting) must also be able to record meetings. Guest users in the tenant or federated and anonymous participants can’t record meetings because they don’t have the necessary licenses.

Allow transcription (AllowTranscription in PowerShell) is another important setting in the Teams meeting policy. If you allow users to record meetings, you should allow Stream to generate automatic transcripts for the meetings as well. Originally, Stream could only generate transcripts in English and Spanish, but Microsoft recently increased the number of languages to include Chinese, Japanese, French, and German.

Co-location of Teams and Stream

Up to now, tenants have only been able to store recordings of Teams meetings in Stream when the Teams and Stream services are co-located in the same Office 365 datacenter region. The idea is that tenants probably want to keep all their data in the same Office 365 region, especially if they use one of the country-level regions deployed to satisfy customer requirements for data sovereignty.

To check where a tenant’s Teams service is located, check the Data location under Settings in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center (Figure 1)

Office 365 data locations for a tenant
Figure 1: Office 365 data locations for a tenant

To check the location for Stream, open the app, click the question mark in the menu bar, and select the About Microsoft Stream link (Figure 2)

Where the Stream service is located
Figure 2: Where the Stream service is located

In this case, both services are hosted in the European Union datacenter region, so the tenant has always been able to store recordings of Teams meetings in Stream. This is the situation for tenants in the U.S., European Union, Asia Pacific, Australia, India, United Kingdom, Canada, and GCC regions. Microsoft plans to deploy Stream in the sovereign (China and Germany), GCC-high, and other “go local” country-level regions in the future. According to Office 365 notification MC214327, Stream will be available in Japan, Norway, France, UAE, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden by the end of 2020.

Storing Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Your Region

Teams meeting recordings are currently disabled when Stream is not co-located with Teams. The new AllowRecordingStorageOutsideRegion setting is set to False in all Teams meeting policies to ensure that current behavior continues. After the change is rolled out, you’ll be able to make a tenant-wide change in the Teams admin center to update the setting to True. Teams will then be able to use Stream services outside your country running in the nearest geographic datacenter region to store videos for call and meeting recordings. For example, if your tenant belongs to the French Office 365 region, the recordings will be stored by Stream in the European Union region. Put another way, the recordings will physically reside in Ireland, Finland, Austria, or the Netherlands because that’s where the Office 365 datacenters are for the European Union region. The change does not affect the recording of Teams Live Events.

Microsoft stresses that if a tenant chooses to store Teams call and meeting recordings outside their local region, they will not be able to transfer recordings once Stream begins operates in the local region. For example, if a French tenant decides to use Stream in the EMEA region, the recordings stored there will not be transferred to Stream running in the French datacenter when that service starts later in 2020. However, new recordings taken after Stream starts in France will be stored in France.

Enabling Teams Recording for All

After the change is deployed, tenants will have to choose to allow users to record Teams calls and meetings or change the Teams meeting policy to block recordings. If your organization is not concerned about data sovereignty, this change offers the chance to use Teams meeting recording without having to wait for local deployment of Stream, which could be good news for some organizations.

Controlling Who Can Record Teams Calls and Meetings

For those who don’t want to allow recordings, the easiest approach is to block recordings by setting Allow cloud recording to Off in the global Teams meeting policy.

If you want to allow some users to record meetings, create a new Teams meeting policy with the setting On and then assign that policy to the accounts you want to record meetings. You can assign the policy to accounts in the Teams Admin Center or by running the PowerShell Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy cmdlet. For instance, this code assigns a specific Teams meeting policy to a set of mailboxes selected based on a value stored in their CustomAttribute1 property:

$Mbx = Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -Filter {CustomAttribute1 -eq "Meetings"}        
ForEach ($M in $Mbx) {
      Try {
       Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -PolicyName "Allow meeting recording" -Identity $M.UserPrincipalName
       Write-Host $M.DisplayName "is allowed to record Teams meetings" }
      Catch {
        Write-Host "Problem occurred when assigning the Allow meeting recording policy to" $M.DisplayName } }

Ask Before Proceeding

But before anyone affected by this change takes the plunge and starts recording, it would be wise to seek advice about whether data sovereignty should include the recordings of Teams meetings. If yes, you should continue to block Teams meeting recording until Microsoft deploys Stream in the local datacenter. If not, happy recording!

Keeping up with small but important changes like this can be terribly time-consuming. We do it without breaking sweat because we’ve been tracking Office 365 for years. Subscribe to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and benefit from our insight.

46 Replies to “Microsoft to Enable Recordings of Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Local Datacenter Region”

  1. Hello,

    I want to allow recording fo the meetings, i did the configuratio but is not working. The policy es seting to alloz recording and transcription.

    Have you un idea?


    1. Can anyone else in your tenant record a meeting? If so, what differences in configuration exist between your account and theirs?

  2. Hi Tony, Meeting recording is enabled for all and we have blocked access Teams to Stream on external network. However, users are getting option to download meeting recordings on their personal device (Recording failed to upload to stream, Download (expires in 19 days). How to disable to recording download feature in Teams? please advice. Thanks!

    1. By default, anyone who joins a meeting has access to the meeting resources. If you don’t want them to have access to recordings, don’t record the meeting. Or let the recording be processed by Stream and then restrict the recording there.

  3. I was informed by Microsoft support that recording of meetings is not supported in certain countries. I am in South Africa and recording of meetings is not supported in SA.

    1. That’s true because Stream is not deployed in SA. Microsoft had a plan to allow you to take recordings outside your region but that is on hold because of the current pandemic.

      1. Good day – I am also from South Africa – although I have friends in other companies where they can record, it seems tenants that was created recently – Teams resides in South Africa, but Stream is not available yet. It is quite frustrating, but logged a call and got the following response – which sounds like they can make it work, only issue is once Stream is available in SA, its your own responsibility to move your videos back. Data Sovereignty is not a issue for me, I just want recordings as its useful to refer back to and settings actions etc from meetings. Especially if you transcript is.

        Response from MS:

        “In response to your request to enable meeting recording in Microsoft Teams, we are reaching out to you to offer the option of enabling you to receive the Microsoft Stream online service, which supports Teams meeting recording, from the [Region] region. This is a temporary option, made available to meet your immediate needs until Microsoft Stream may become available from South Africa. In making your decision, there are a few implications of using the Stream service provided from the [Region] that you should be aware of.

        First, because the Stream service would be offered outside of your home country, your meeting recordings would not be stored by the service inside the South Africa boundaries. However, you would have the option to copy meeting recordings to your SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business service after each recording is completed. If you then deleted the original copy of a meeting in the Stream service (provided from the regional datacenters) the link to the meeting recording in the Teams meeting chat would no longer function.

        Second, if at a later date Microsoft offers the Stream service from your home country, we will not be able to provide a migration of your existing meeting recordings (or other Stream assets) to your home country. You would be responsible for manually copying any meeting recording, and all other data you wish to preserve, to another location before Microsoft would be able to provide the Stream service to your organization from your home country. Note that this process will result in the links to meeting recordings from within all Teams chats no longer functioning, and all Stream data in the regional datacenter will be lost once you confirm that you are ready to move your Stream service to your home country. This process is necessary because each tenant is only able to have a single Stream subscription at any time. If you choose to enable Stream service now from the regional datacenters, in order to make the service available to you from your home country if it is available at a later date, Microsoft would need to delete the Stream subscription from the servers in the regional datacenters, then create a new subscription in your home country. Copying your meeting recordings out of the regional datacenters could be a very time-consuming process, so we want you to be aware of this before you make a decision.

        If you would like us to enable your tenant to receive the Stream service from the South Africa region, please reply to this e-mail message with your tenant ID. We will accept your response as your instruction to provide the Stream service to Monument Primary from the South Africa regional datacenters, with full understanding of these constraints. We will then make the necessary changes, and notify you when your Stream service is available.”

      2. Maybe the difference between tenants is that some were created in the SA datacenter region after it began operations while other tenants were for SA companies created before the region was in operation. Those tenants would be serviced from the EMEA region unless they had been transferred to SA (a process that takes some time to complete). Just thinking aloud.

      3. Yes I think that is exactly the case – when buying new licenses and setting up the tenant etc, this is however not know (probably my own lack of planning / reading) but still a bit frustrating as you expect all functionality when you sign up i.e. for E5 and then only once you get stuck in the configs, and then start reading up – you realize this. But nonetheless, it is what it is, hopefully based on the response I got from MS, they can get it working with the recordings residing in UK.

      4. Hello Tony, do you know if the microsoft plan to allow you to take recordings outside your region has been implemented to date?

      5. See changes made to post. The change will be available at the end of June 2020.

      6. Updated July 17, 2020: To ensure the best possible experience for our users, we are delaying some of our deployments to reduce the amount of change flowing into the services. Please see the updated roll-out timeline below
        Meeting recordings are stored in Microsoft Stream cloud storage. Tenant admins have an option to go the Microsoft Teams admin center to turn ON/OFF “Allow cloud recording” setting for Teams meetings. The recording feature is currently disabled for customers whose Teams data is stored in-country if Microsoft Stream is not available in country. We will be adding an additional setting which will allow customers to use recording if Microsoft Stream data residency is not yet in country.We will begin rolling this change at the end of July (previously June) and expect to be complete mid-August (previously July).Note: This change applies to Teams meeting and call recordings. There is a plan for implementing a similar change for Teams live events, and we will communicate via Message center when available.

  4. Hi Tony, I have a question: a user recorded meeting but doesn’t have permissions to create video in Stream. That causes error: Recording failed to upload to Stream (expires in 20 days) Do you know where is the video stored now and who can delete the recorded video?

    1. The recording is, I think, stored in Stream. It hasn’t been processed, so it’s not like a full recording of a meeting is after auto-captioning etc. is added to it. The video will expire after 20 days and be removed. I don’t think you can force this process to happen earlier.

      1. Hello Tony,
        In this case, in these 20 days will the video be uploaded if the owner is assigned the necessary permissions?

      2. I don’t know but I think not. Instead, they can download the video and upload it to Stream manually.

  5. i have only one email id , it has admin rights, i am meeting with outside of organization , i want to recording the meeting .i checked more option start recording option is grayed out.
    please share the steps for recording

  6. Also from South Africa here. I have been working on this issue for two months now and spoken to multiple Microsoft Support people. It appears the Flag for AllowRecordingStorageOutsideRegion is there but we are not allowed to change it. Microsoft also confirmed this and they are not sure when its going to become available.

    You are not permitted to invoke Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy with the following parameters:
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy], ArgumentException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.ArgumentException,Microsoft.Rtc.Management.Internal.SetTeamsMeetingPolicyCmdlet
    + PSComputerName :

    1. You can’t change the flag until the datacenter region is enabled for the change. It just takes time to deploy these things… and things seem to be slower than expected.

      1. I’m checking this daily. Everyone down here is South Africa is screaming at Microsoft right now over this. How can we roll out Office 365 to new clients if it doesn’t even allow recording in Team meetings….

        Its like asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but only be given beard and peanut butter. Its hard as hell to swallow…

  7. Interesting email was sent out yesterday. Looks like Microsoft is removing recordings from stream and storing them somewhere else for up to 21 days. This only applies to A1 licenses that we have. I will still need to speak with Microsoft about this but it looks like our issue is going to fix itself on August 20th. The message number is MC218985 for those that want to see the update.

    1. I believe this is because A1 licenses don’t include Stream so it doesn’t make sense for people to try to store videos in Stream when they don’t have the license.

      1. Hi Tony, A1 does include Stream.

        I just ran the powershell command again today and it finally WORKS! So it looks like I will be busy moving tenants this weekend. Because South Africa is the last region to get any changes this must available everywhere by now.

  8. in my world languages department in Florida, broward schools, one teacher cannot record on Teams since August 24, he must have done something, any help, please!

    1. If the problem is limited to one user, it’s likely to be because of the AllowCloudRecording setting in the Teams meeting policy assigned to their account doesn’t allow recordings.

  9. I recorded a Team meeting in a channel and another private.. I can’t find either of the meetings in Stream nor OneDrive. Any ideas what might be wrong. The meetings are not being uploaded to stream anymore so I thought “ok, there should be a folder called Recordings with the meetings”. But nothing. What I want is to be able to delete the recording of the meeting.

    1. I’d ask your local Teams admin for help or file a support call with Microsoft. They can do the investigation. I can’t.

  10. Hi,

    How to prevent externals from recording.if there is a way to allow me to specify when a meting can be recorded or block a meeting from being recorded.

    1. Only people assigned the presenter role can record meetings. Just make sure that external people are not assigned the presenter role and they won’t be able to record.

  11. Hi, great thread! Do we now have the record functionality for all users in Teams sessions for South Africa enabled? All the allowed options is there however only the person who sets up the meeting has recording functionality. Appreciate the feedback 🙂

  12. Good day – I cannot record a Teams meeting. The start recording button is disabled/ greyed out. It work once before but no longer. How do i enable this.

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