How do I use Breakout Rooms?

Breakout Rooms allow the host to split meeting participants into smaller groups that have the ability to collaborate just as they would in the main meeting room. The host can choose to divide participants into separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch the participants between Breakout Rooms at any time.

Creating Breakout Rooms

Select the Breakout Rooms control.

From the meeting control bar, select Breakout Rooms.

Adjust the number of rooms.

Use the up and down arrow to adjust the number of Breakout Rooms to be created.

Choose automatically, manually, or let participants choose.

Choose the option of how you want to assign participants to the rooms

  • Automatically: Randomly have Zoom divide participants up evenly into each of the rooms
  • Manually: Assign participants specifically into each room
  • Let participants choose room: Participants choose which room to join

Both the meeting host and participants must be using the Zoom desktop client or mobile app version 5.3.0 or newer to self-select breakout rooms. To update your Zoom desktop client, see How do I update the Zoom desktop client?

Select Create.

Select Create to display the participant lists for each room and create the Breakout Rooms.

Select Open All Rooms

Select Open All Rooms within the Breakout Rooms window.

Assigning Participants to Rooms

Select Assign.

Select Assign next to the room name to assign participants to their respective Breakout Room.

Select Assign To.

To assign a participant to a specific room, select Assign to next to the participant's name.

Moving participants to another room

Select Move To

Select Move To next to the participant to move to another Breakout Room.

Choose the Breakout Room

From the pop-up window, select the destination breakout room for the selected participant.

Select Exchange

Select Exchange to swap two participants.

Select the Participant

From the pop-up window, choose the participant that you want to swap between rooms.

Adjusting Breakout Room settings

Select Options.

Select the gear icon to open the options pop-up box.

Choose breakout room options.

From the options pop-up box, choose to:

  • Allow participants to choose room: Participants using version 5.3.0 or newer of the Zoom desktop client or mobile app may choose which breakout room to join.
  • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: If checked, participants can move back to the main session from their breakout room; otherwise, participants have to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
  • Move all participants to breakout rooms automatically: If checked, all participants will move into their breakout rooms automatically; otherwise, participants have to select Join to be taken to their breakout room.
  • Auto close breakout rooms after: If checked, the breakout rooms will automatically end after the configured time.
  • Countdown after closing breakout rooms: if this option is checked, the participants will be given a countdown of how much time they have left before returning to the main room.
Managing Breakout Rooms in Progress

Select Open All Rooms.

Select Open All Rooms within the Breakout room window to send participants to their breakout sessions.

Upon opening breakout rooms, the participants will be asked to join their breakout sessions. The host will stay in the main room until joining a session manually.

Select Join.

From within the breakout room window, select Join next to a breakout room to join that participant session.

Select Leave.

From within the Breakout Room window, select Leave to leave that participant;s breakout room session.

Responding to requests for help

Participants in a breakout room can request that the host join their meeting by selecting Ask for Help.

Select Join Breakout Room

Select Join Breakout Room from the pop-up notification in orer to join the breakout room in which the request was made.

Broadcasting a message to all breakout rooms

Select Broadcast a message to all

From within the Breakout Rooms window, select Broadcast a message to all.

Enter message

Within the pop-up display, type in the message that you want to broadcast to all participants.

Select Broadcast

From the pop-up display, select Broadcast to send the message to all participants in all the breakout rooms.

Close All Rooms

Select Close All Rooms to end the breakout rooms and send all participants back to the main room.