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Zoom Breakout Rooms

Participating in Breakout Rooms (Guests)

Breakout rooms are sessions that are split off from the main Zoom meeting. They allow the participants to meet in smaller groups. Breakout rooms can be used for collaboration and discussion of the meeting.

Note: Users joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Desktop Client, Zoom Mobile App, or H.323/SIP devices can participate in breakout rooms. Users joined using Chromebooks/Chrome OS or Zoom Rooms are unable to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.

How to Join a Breakout Room

  1. The host will need to invite you to join the breakout room.
    Click “Join.”
    join button breakout room
  2. If you choose “Later,” you can join by clicking the Breakout Rooms option in your meeting controls.
    zoom breakout rooms button
  3. Click Join Breakout Room.
    join breakout room
  4. You will have access to full controls similar to the meeting.

Asking for Help

  1. Clicking “Ask for Help” will notify the meeting host that you need assistance and they will be asked to join your breakout room.
  2. Click Ask for Help in the meeting controls.
    ask for help button
  3. Confirm that you would like assistance by clicking Invite Host.
    invite host

Leaving the Breakout Room

You can leave the breakout room and return to the main meeting session at any time, or you can leave the meeting entirely from the breakout room.

  1. Click “Leave Breakout Room.”
    leave breakout room
  2. Choose if you want to leave the breakout room or the entire meeting.
  3. When the host ends the breakout rooms, you will be notified and given the option to return to the main room immediately, or in 60 seconds.

Visit the Zoom support page, Participating in Breakout Rooms, for more detailed information such as recording breakout meetings and the user experience on different devices.

Manage Breakout Rooms (Hosts)

Breakout rooms are sessions that are split off from the main Zoom meeting. They allow the participants to meet in smaller groups. Breakout rooms can be used for collaboration and discussion of the meeting.

Note: Users joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Desktop Client, Zoom Mobile App, or H.323/SIP devices can participate in breakout rooms. Users joined using Chromebooks/Chrome OS or Zoom Rooms are unable to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.

Enable Breakout Rooms

Account: To enable the breakout room feature for all members of your organization:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit account settings.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings.
  3. Navigate to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
  4. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    enable breakout rooms
  5. (Optional) Click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.
  6. (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click “Lock” to confirm the setting.

Group: To enable the breakout room feature for all members of a specific group:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit groups.
  2. In the navigation menu,click User Management then Group Management.
  3. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.
  4. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    enable breakout rooms
  5. (Optional) Click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.
  6. (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click “Lock” to confirm the setting.

Account: To enable the breakout room feature for your own use:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings (if you are an account administrator) or Settings (if you are an account member).
  3. Navigate to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
    If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    enable breakout roomsNote: If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at either the Group or Account level, and you will need to contact your Zoom administrator
  4. (Optional) Click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.

Creating Breakout Rooms

  1. Start an instant or scheduled meeting.
  2. Click breakout rooms.
  3. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
    1. Automatically: Zoom splits your participants up evenly among each of the rooms.
    2. Manually: Choose the participants you would like in each room.
  4. Click Create breakout rooms.
  5. Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. You can manage the rooms prior to starting them by following the instructions below.

Options for breakout rooms

  1. Once breakout rooms are created, click Options to view additional breakout rooms options.
  2. Select the options you would like to use for your breakout rooms.
    1. Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: Move all participants into the breakout rooms automatically. If left unchecked, participants will need to click “Join” to be added to the breakout room.
    2. Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: Allows participants to move back to the main session from their meeting controls. If disabled, participants need to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
    3. Breakout rooms close automatically after x minutes: Breakout rooms to automatically end after the configured time.
    4. Notify me when the time is up: The host to be notified when the breakout room time is up.
    5. Countdown after closing breakout rooms: Participants will be given a countdown of how much time they have left before being returned to the main room.
  3. You can assign participants to rooms (instructions below) or click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

Assigning Participants to Rooms

  1. To assign participants to your rooms, select Assign next to the room you wish to assign participants to and select participants you want to assign to that room. Repeat this for each room.
  2. Once a participant has been assigned (manually or automatically), the number of participants will show in place of the Assign button.

Preparing Breakout Rooms

After manually or automatically assigning participants to rooms, you can rearrange the participants. Participants who are not assigned to breakout sessions will remain in the main meeting when the rooms are started.

  • Move to (participant): Select a room to move the participant to.
  • Exchange (participant): Select a participant in another room to swap the selected participant with.
  • Delete Room: Delete the selected room.
  • Recreate: Deletes existing breakout rooms and creates new ones.
  • Add a Room: Add another breakout room.
  • Open All Rooms: Start the rooms. All participants will be moved to their respective rooms after confirming the prompt to join the breakout room. The host will be left in the main meeting until manually joining one of the rooms. The participants (and the host when manually joining a room) will see the following message shown when joining the breakout room.

Managing Breakout Rooms in Progress

Once the breakout rooms have been started, the participants will be asked to join the Breakout Session. The host will stay in the main meeting until joining a session manually. If a participant has not joined the session yet, it will be noted by (not joined) next to their name.

  • Join: Join the breakout room.
  • Leave: Leave the room and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a breakout room).
  • Close All Rooms: Stops all rooms after a 60 second countdown, shown to the host and participants, and returns all participants back to the main meeting.

Responding to Requests for Help

Participants in breakout rooms can request that the meeting host join their meeting by clicking Ask for Help.

You will be prompted to join the room where the request originated from. Click Join breakout room to join the room.

Broadcasting a Message to All Breakout Rooms

The host can broadcast a message to all breakout rooms to share information with all participants.

  1. Click breakout rooms in the meeting controls.
  2. Click Broadcast a message to all, enter your message and click Broadcast.
  3. The message will now appear for all participants in Breakout Rooms.

Visit the Zoom support page, Live Training Webinars for video recorded training sessions.