What Is an ARF File?

How to Open, Edit, and Convert ARF Files

ARF Files
ARF Files.

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

WRF files (WebEx Recordings) 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 Recorings, and then click More > Download next to the presentation you want.

Note: ARF is an acronym for some other technology terms too but none of them have anything to do with the WebEx Advanced Recording file format. These include Area Resource File, Architecture Register File and Automated Response Format.

How to Play ARF Files

Cisco's WebEx Network Recording Player can play an ARF file on Windows and Mac. The Windows version of the program downloads as an MSI file while the DMG file is reserved for macOS.

If you have trouble with WebEx NRP opening your ARF 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 through your WebEx account at Support Center > Support > Downloads > Recording and Playback or on the Library page.

See Cisco's Help Central on WebEx Meetings to learn more about playing and converting WebEx Recordings.

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 the ARF file in an appropriate format for most other applications is to convert it to a popular video file format.

The free WebEx Network Recording Player linked above can be used to convert the ARF file to a different video file format. Open the ARF file in the program and then use the File > Convert Format menu option to choose between WMV, MP4 and SWF.

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

More Information on the ARF Format

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

ARF 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.

Still Can't Open Your File?

Some file formats look an awful lot like they use the "ARF" file extension letters when they actually don't. This can be really 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 reads .ARF.

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

For example, the Attribute-Relation file format uses the ARFF file extension but has nothing to do with 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 files with WebEx, you'd quickly find that the program has no idea what to do with the data.

Files with the ARY, ASF and RAF file extension are a few other examples.