What Is a CAMREC File?

This is a screen recording captured by the Camtasia Studio software

What to Know

  • A CAMREC file is a screen recording created and opened by Camtasia Studio (prior to v8.4).
  • To convert to a 'normal' video format, extract the AVI file (the actual recording) from the CAMREC file.
  • You can then convert from AVI to any number of video formats with a free video converter tool, like FileZigZag.

This article explains what a CAMREC file is, how to open one on your computer, and how to convert one to a different video file format.

What Is a CAMREC File?

A file with the CAMREC file extension is a screen recording file created by versions of Camtasia Studio prior to 8.4.0. Newer iterations of the software use TREC files in the TechSmith recording format.

Camtasia is used to capture video of a computer screen, often to demonstrate how a piece of software works; this file format is how such videos are stored.

This file extension is unique to the Windows version of the software. The Mac equivalent uses the .CMREC file extension, and it, too, has been replaced by the TREC format.

CAMREC files in Windows 10

This file format and related program are not related to the free CamStudio screen recording tool.

How to Open a CAMREC File

CAMREC files can be viewed and edited with the Camtasia application by TechSmith. You can double-click the file to launch the program or browse for the file from the menu, via the File > Import > Media menu.

If you want an older version of the software, check out TechSmith's Previous Release Download Locations page.

This software is also used to open current and legacy Camtasia projects (TSCPROJ and CAMPROJ files).

If you don't have access to Camtasia, you can extract the recorded video from the CAMREC file. Just rename the file, changing the extension to .ZIP. Open that new ZIP file with a tool like 7-Zip or PeaZip.

You'll find several files inside, including Screen_Stream.avi—this is the actual screen recording file in the AVI format. Extract that file and open or convert it however you wish.

The other files inside the CAMREC archive might include some ICO images, DAT files, and a CAMXML file.

How to Convert a CAMREC File

The Camtasia program can convert a CAMREC file to another video format like MP4. The software can also convert the file to TREC by importing the file into the most recent version of the program and then saving it to the newest, default format.

To convert a CAMREC file without Camtasia, use one of these free video converter tools. However, you have to first extract the AVI file from the file because it's that AVI file that you have to put into one of those video converters.

Once the AVI has been imported into a video converter tool, you can convert the video to MP4, FLV, MKV, and several other video formats.

You can also convert the CAMREC file online with a website like FileZigZag. After you extract out the AVI file, upload it to FileZigZag, and you'll have the option to convert it to a different video file format like MP4, MOV, WMV, FLV, MKV, and several others.

Still Can't Open It?

If, after following the links above, you still can't get your file to open like you need it to, consider that you could be misreading the file extension. Although CAMREC is unique, there are other file extensions that look a lot like it, but are totally unrelated to Camtasia.

For example, a CAM file could be an MSN Messenger webcam recording, or even a job file used by Gerber manufacturing software. CAMP is spelled similarly, but instead of a video, that's a text file that stores color properties. And finally, REC is a file extension used not only for video recordings, but also recipe files!

This article talks only about CAMREC files. If your file doesn't end in those letters, you'll need to do some more research to learn about the format and the software it's compatible with.

More Information on Camtasia File Formats

It might be a little confusing to see all the different new and old formats that the Camtasia program uses. Here are some brief explanations to clear things up:

  • CAMREC is a screen recording file used on Windows.
  • CMREC is a screen recording file used on macOS.
  • TREC is the newest screen recording file format used on both Windows and macOS.
  • CAMPROJ is a Windows XML-based format that stores references to the media files used in the Camtasia project.
  • CMPROJ is a macOS file format that more resembles a folder because it actually holds all the media files, project settings, timeline settings, and other things related to the project.
  • How do I fix a corrupted CAMREC file?

    You'll know your CAMREC file is corrupted if you open it and it continually crashes. If your CAMREC file is corrupted, you'll need to extract its AVI file to recover your video. Use a program like 7-Zip to open the CAMREC file, and you'll see its contents, including the AVI file. Select the AVI file, click Extract, enter a path to extract to, and click OK. Depending on the file size, the extraction process may take a while; when it's finished, find the folder you created during the extraction process, open it, and find your extracted AVI file.

  • How do I convert a CAMREC file to VLC?

    To play a CAMREC file with the VLC Media Player, you'll need to convert the CAMREC file to an MP4. Open VLC on your Windows computer, click Add, and find and select the CAMREC file. Click the drop-down menu next to Profile, select MP4, set a destination for the new file, and select Start. The file will begin converting; when it's finished, navigate to the new MP4 file and play it in VLC Media Player.

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