Online Video System (Panopto) Retention Policy

Panopto recently announced a pricing/licensing model change that, without intervention, will more than double current costs.

To date (and through the pandemic), pricing & policies have been based upon:

  • Hours of videos viewed/played back

Moving forward, pricing & policies will be based upon:

  • Hours of newly created videos
  • Hours of stored videos (any videos contained in your Panopto folders)
  • Hours of archived videos

Due to the past licensing model paired with flex teaching video demands during the COVID pandemic, SMU has accumulated hundreds of thousands of hours of stored videos—some dating back to 2019.  Most stored videos were automatically generated from Zoom course recordings, and most videos have never been accessed for playback.

Panopto is for hosting regularly used, active course-related video materials—Panopto is not an unlimited video storage system.  Videos not used with regularity or need to be archived indefinitely should be deleted or manually off-loaded from Panopto and moved to your preferred file storage system, such as SMU Box.

Retention Policy

In consultation with the SMU Academic Technology Council’s recommendations, OIT has determined a retention policy to comply with student record-retention and faculty instructional needs.

Starting January 1, 2023, SMU’s instructional videos hosted in Panopto will be regulated with an automated retention policy:

  • Panopto Active videos that have not been accessed in 12 months will automatically be moved to Panopto Archive
  • Panopto Archive videos may be restored to Panopto Active at any time within 12 months of being archived
  • Panopto Archive videos that have not been restored after 12 months are automatically deleted

Frequently Asked Questions

Videos that are not being used should no longer be stored in Panopto.  If videos are being used regularly, Panopto’s policies will ensure that they are neither archived nor deleted.

No. Videos that appear in the Everything folder have viewing permissions set to Public or Your Organization. Only the video’s creator can delete the video.

Starting January 1, 2023, SMU’s retention policy for instructional videos hosted in Panopto will be automated:

  • Panopto Active videos that have not been accessed in 12 months will automatically be archived in Panopto Archive
  • Panopto Archive videos not recovered within the additional 12 months will be automatically deleted

Archived videos will remain in the Panopto Archive until they are deleted.  Archived videos will no longer appear when browsing the library but will still appear in search results.  (Archived videos will still be associated with a folder in your library, but will not display within that folder list view.)

Archived videos are not available for immediate viewing, but Creators and Viewers can still restore and access this content.  Videos must be restored before they can be viewed. Viewers can open a video from search results to begin restoration.  If a video is restored, it will appear in its associated folder once it is ready to view.  Restoration of a video can take up to 48 hours. Instructions for how to restore videos can be found in this Panopto guide.

  • Box is a cloud storage solution offered to students, faculty, and staff. Recordings may be stored and shared via SMU Box, but the video playback features are limited since it's not a streaming platform.
  • OneDrive is an online storage solution in Microsoft 365 and allows 1TB personal storage. Recordings stored and shared via OneDrive can be played back in your browser.

Once an individual leaves the university, the content becomes orphaned, and others will lose access. It may be best to store long-term videos in a departmental space in Box or MS Teams if others will still need to access the content.

To receive assistance, you can reach out to the IT Help Desk at or your school’s Academic Technology Services Director (ATSD).