Overview

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.

Note:

Prerequisites

  • Breakout rooms enabled
  • Zoom Desktop Client
    • Windows: 3.5.31087.1102 or higher
    • macOS: 3.5.31087.1102 or higher
    • Linux: 2.0.81497.1116 or higher
    • Chrome: 2.4.943.510 or higher

Limitations

Only the host can assign participants to breakout rooms. The co-host can leave and join any breakout room only if they join a breakout room assigned to them by the host.

Users joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Mobile App or H.323/SIP devices can participate in breakout rooms, but cannot manage them. Users joined using Zoom Rooms are unable to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.

If the meeting is being cloud recorded, it will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in. If local recording is being used, it will record the room the participant who is recording is in. Multiple participants can record locally.

You can create up to 50 breakout rooms. The maximum number of participants in a single breakout room depends on the meeting capacity, number of breakout rooms created, and if participants are assigned during the meeting or before the meeting.

These numbers only apply to breakout rooms created during a meeting. Up to 200 participants can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms.  

Number of breakout rooms Maximum number of participants who can be assigned to breakout rooms*
20 breakout rooms Up to 500 participants
30 breakout rooms Up to 400 participants
50 breakout rooms Up to 200 participants

*The maximum capacities listed require a Large Meeting add-on. If you do not have a Large Meeting add-on, the maximum number of participants is limited by your meeting capacity. 

 

Creating breakout rooms

Note: You can also pre-assign participants to breakout rooms when you schedule the meeting instead of managing them during the meeting.

  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:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
    • Manually: Choose which 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. After creating the breakout rooms, click Options to view additional breakout rooms options.
  2. Check any options that you would like to use for your breakout rooms.
    • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: Checking this option will move all participants into the breakout rooms automatically. If this option is unchecked, the participants will need to click Join to be added to the breakout room.
    • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: If this option is checked, the participants can move back to the main session from their meeting controls. If this is disabled, they need to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
    • Breakout rooms close automatically after x minutes: If this option is checked, the breakout rooms will automatically end after the configured time.
    • Notify me when the time is up: If this option is checked, the host will be notified when the breakout room time is up.
    • 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 being returned to the main room.
  3. Follow the steps below to assign participants to rooms or click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

Assigning participants to rooms

To assign participants to your rooms, select Assign next to the room you wish to assign participants to and select the participants you want to assign to that room. Repeat this for each room.

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: 
    • Recreate all Rooms: Deletes existing breakout rooms and allows the host to create new ones. 
    • Recover to pre-assigned rooms: Recreate the breakout rooms with the pre-assigned arrangement. This is only available if using the pre-assign breakout rooms feature.  
  • 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.

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:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room
  4. Click Create Rooms.

    Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. You can manage the rooms prior to starting them.

Assigning participants to rooms

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.

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 allows the host to create 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.

Follow this section if you're using the Zoom web client.

Creating breakout rooms

Note: You can also pre-assign participants to breakout rooms when you schedule the meeting instead of managing them during the meeting.

  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:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.
  4. Click Create Breakout Rooms.
    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. After creating the breakout rooms, click Options to view additional breakout rooms options.
  2. Check any options that you would like to use for your breakout rooms:
    • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: Checking this option will move all participants into the breakout rooms automatically. If this option is unchecked, the participants will need to click Join to be added to the breakout room.
    • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: If this option is checked, the participants can move back to the main session from their meeting controls. If this is disabled, they need to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
    • Breakout rooms close automatically after x minutes: If this option is checked, the breakout rooms will automatically end after the configured time.
    • Notify me when the time is up: If this option is checked, the host will be notified when the breakout room time is up.
    • 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 being returned to the main room.
  3. Follow the steps below to assign participants to rooms or click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

Assigning participants to rooms

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.

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 allows the host to create 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.