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Pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms Follow

As a meeting host, you can split your meeting participants into breakout rooms when scheduling the meeting. This can be useful if you already know how you want to split up your participants.

You can also manage your breakout rooms during the meeting.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for pre-assigning participants

  • Breakout rooms enabled with pre-assignment option selected
  • End-to-end encryption disabled for the meeting
  • Host:
    • Zoom desktop client on Windows or macOS, version 5.3.0 or higher
      Note: If you start the meeting from the Linux client or Zoom Mobile App, you will not be able to see your breakout rooms with pre-assigned participants.
  • Participants:
    • Zoom desktop client or mobile app, version 5.3.0 or higher; OR
    • Web client
      Note: When joining a meeting with pre-assignments, participants need to be signed in to the Zoom account associated with the email address used for pre-assignments for the pre-assignment to be applied. If they are not signed in or signed in with a different account, the pre-assignment will not be applied to them. 


  • You can only pre-assign participants that have a Zoom account (internal or external Zoom users).
  • To pre-assign participants that are external Zoom users, import a CSV file.
  • Zoom Support can increase the maximum capacity of your account's Breakout Rooms to allow up to 100 breakout rooms, with a maximum capacity of 1000 per breakout room (depending on account limits). This requires ALL participants to be on Zoom client version 5.2 or higher - anyone joining a meeting on your account who does not have Zoom client version 5.2 or higher will be required to update to join the meeting. If your users do not have administrative control of their computers, this will require assistance from your IT Department to update the client.
  • If you scheduled recurring meetings, the pre-assigned breakout rooms will only work if it's applied to all meetings in the recurrence. You can't edit a single meeting in the recurrence and apply a unique pre-assignment.

How to re-assign participants to breakout rooms using the web portal

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Meetings and schedule a meeting.
  3. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms.
  4. Click the plus button  beside Rooms to add more breakout rooms.
  5. Hover over the default breakout room name in the right panel and click the pencil button to rename it.
  6. In the Add participants text box, search for internal participants by name or email address, or manually enter the email address of external users, and then press Enter to to add them to the breakout room. 
  7. (Optional) Use these options to edit your breakout rooms and participants:
    • Click and drag a participant's email address to change the order.
    • Hover over a participant's name to see options to move them to another room or remove them from the current room.
    • To delete a breakout room, hover the room name in the left panel and click the trash icon
  8. Click Save.

How to pre-assign participants to breakouts rooms using a CSV file

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Meetings and schedule a meeting.
  3. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Import from CSV.
  4. Click download to download a sample CSV file you can fill out.
  5. Open the CSV file with spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel.
    Note: You can specify Zoom users that are internal (in the same account) or external (not in the same account).
  6. Fill in the Pre-assign Room Name column with the breakout room name, and the Email Address column with the assigned participant's email address. 
  7. Save the file.
  8. Drag and drop the file in the web portal.
    Zoom will verify that the email address has a Zoom account.

How to edit breakout room assignments

If you have already pre-assigned participants to breakouts rooms, you can edit the assignments before you start the meeting. 

Note: You can also manage breakout rooms during the meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click Meetings and click the meeting you want to edit.
  3. In the Breakout Room section, click View detail.
  4. Edit the breakout rooms as needed. See the previous section for more details.
  5. Click Save.

How to start a meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms

  1. Start the meeting with participants pre-assigned to breakout rooms. 
  2. Click Breakout Rooms in the meeting controls to access the breakout rooms you created.
  3. Click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

How to recover pre-assigned breakout rooms

After starting the breakout rooms, you can recover to the breakout rooms assignment you previously specified. This can be useful if you changed your breakout rooms during the meeting, or pre-assigned participants have joined the meeting after you joined the meeting or started breakout rooms. 

  1. Start the meeting with participants pre-assigned to breakout rooms. 
  2. Click Close All Rooms to end all breakout rooms.
  3. Click Recreate then Recover to pre-assigned rooms
    Participants will be re-organized into the breakout rooms you specified when scheduling the meeting.

Learn more about managing breakout rooms.