How to Open and Convert ARF Files

ARF files are recordings of videos made with Cisco WebEx

What to Know

  • Open and play an ARF file with Cisco's WebEx Player.
  • Convert the ARF file to WMV, MP4, or SWF with that same program.
  • Use a video file converter for other formats.

This article explains how to open and play an ARF file using Cisco's WebEx Player and convert one on your computer.

How to Open and Play ARF Files

Cisco's WebEx Player can open and play an ARF file on Windows and Mac.

If you have trouble with the program opening the file, you might get an error message like "Unknown file format. You may update your Network Recording Player and try again."

Try using the version of the player that you can download with your WebEx account at Support Center > Support > Downloads > Recording and Playback, or on the Library page.​

How to Convert an ARF File

ARF is a pretty specific file format that makes it really hard to use in other applications or to upload and use with online services like YouTube or Dropbox. What you should do to get it in an appropriate format for most other applications is convert it to a popular video file format.

WebEx's free tools can be used to convert the file to a different video format. This includes Network Recording Player and Network Recording Converter, both available through the link above. Use the File menu to find your conversion options, which include WMV, MP4, or SWF.

Since those conversion options are pretty limited, you might consider running the converted file through a video file converter. To do that, first, convert it like described above, and then put the converted video through another converter from that link so that you can ultimately save the ARF file to AVI, MPG, MKV, MOV, etc.

Still Can't Open It?

Some file formats look an awful lot like they use the "ARF" extension letters, when they actually don't. This can be confusing when you find that the file you have doesn't open with the programs you think it should work with. It's best to double-check the file extension to make sure it actually reads what you think it does.

It's most often the case that two different file formats don't open with the same programs. So, if you have a file that isn't truly an ARF file, it probably won't work with the software mentioned on this page since it's not really associated with WebEx.

For example, the Attribute-Relation file format uses the ARFF file extension, and since it's unrelated to WebEx, it instead works with the Weka machine learning application.

ARR files aren't WebEx files either but instead either Amber Graphic files, MultiMedia Fusion Array files, or Advanced RAR Password Recovery Project files. If you tried opening one of these with WebEx, you'd quickly find that the program has no idea what to do with the data.

ASF and RAF files are a few other examples.

More Information on the ARF Format

The WebEx Advanced Recording file format can store up to 24 hours of video content in one file.

Files that contain video might be as large as 250 MB for every hour of record time, while ones that don't have any video content are usually pretty small at around 15-40 MB per hour of meeting time.

ARF Files

What Is an ARF File?

An acronym for Advanced Recording Format, a file with the .ARF file extension is a WebEx Advanced Recording file downloaded from Cisco's conferencing application WebEx. These files hold the video data made from the recording as well as a table of contents, attendee list, and more.

WRF files are similar, but that file extension is used when the WebEx session is recorded by the user, whereas the ARF file extension is reserved for downloaded recordings.

If you need to download your recording in the ARF format, navigate to My WebEx > My Files > My Recordings, and then select More > Download next to the presentation you want.

ARF is an acronym for some other technical terms, too, but none of them have anything to do with WebEx. These include Area Resource File, Architecture Register File, and Automated Response Format.

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