Zoom Breakout Rooms allow Zoom users (e.g., instructors) to easily place meeting attendees (e.g., students) into sub-meetings for group discussion, activities, projects, and more. 

Consider watching this short YouTube video for an overview of Zoom Video Breakout Rooms (2:48).

For additional support, visit https://zoom.us/livetraining to register for weekly training sessions or visit https://support.zoom.us for 24/7 assistance.



Before Launching Your Zoom Meeting

1. Log in at https://zoom.us 

2. Click on Settings in the navigation menu on the left-hand side. 

3. Under the “Meeting” tab, click In Meeting (Advanced) from the menu of options.



4. Click on the Breakout room toggle to turn on this feature. The toggle will move to the right and change from gray to blue. You will then receive a green temporary pop-up window stating that “Your settings have been updated.”


During Your Zoom Meeting

1. Launch a Zoom meeting.

2. You will see a tools menu along the bottom of your Zoom meeting. Click Breakout Rooms on the right-hand side.


3. Choose the number of rooms to create. Let Zoom assign the participants automatically or choose to manually assign participants into Breakout Rooms.

4. Click the blue Create Breakout Rooms button to proceed. 


5. Your Breakout Rooms have now been created, but participants are still in the main meeting. Before starting the Breakout Rooms and sending participants to their respective rooms, you may need to manually assign participants to breakout rooms:

  • Click Assign next to a breakout room.
  • Check the box next to each participant you want to assign to that room.

See the “Advanced Features During Your Zoom” section below for more options.


 6. When all participants have been assigned to their respective Breakout Rooms, click the Open All Rooms button in the bottom right of the Breakout Room menu. 


Meeting participants will receive a prompt to join a Breakout Room where they can speak on audio, show their webcams, share their screens, and chat as normal.


Breakout Room participants can click the Ask for Help button to invite the meeting host to their Breakout Room for assistance.



  • Participants can also choose to leave the Breakout Room any time to return to the main meeting. 

 7. Return to the Breakout Rooms menu as the host by clicking “Breakout Rooms” in the tools menu along the bottom of your Zoom meeting. You can send text-based messages to all Breakout Rooms, or you can join any of the Breakout Rooms to offer assistance. 

  • To send instructions, timing announcements, or other text-based messaging to all Breakout Rooms, click Broadcast a message to all at the bottom left of the menu to type a message. Click Broadcast when finished to display a temporary banner with your message on the screens of all Breakout Room participants. (As the host, you will not see this banner.)
  • To join a Breakout Room, click Join next to the Breakout Room’s name and click Yes to the prompt to move to the Breakout Room. 

8. When you are ready to leave a Breakout Room and return to the main session, click the red Leave Breakout Room button in the tools menu along the bottom of your Zoom meeting. Then click the blue Return to Main Session button when prompted.


9. To close all Breakout Rooms and bring participants back together to the main room, click the Breakout Rooms button on the right-hand side of the tools menu to reopen the Breakout Rooms menu. Then click the red Close All Rooms button at the bottom right. Breakout Room participants will see a 60-second countdown prior to being moved back to the main meeting. 


Advanced Features During Your Zoom Meeting

You may want to do the following in the Breakout Rooms menu: 

  • Float your mouse over a Breakout Room to “Rename” the room, “Delete Room”, or “Assign” a participant. 
  • Add another Breakout Room by clicking Add a Room at bottom of the menu.
  • Replace the existing Breakout Rooms and create entirely new Breakout Rooms by clicking Recreate at bottom of the menu.
  • Click Options at the bottom of the menu to change settings for the following:
  • Moving all participants into breakout rooms automatically.
  • Allowing participants to return to the main session at any time, which is checked off by default.
  • The option of closing breakout rooms automatically, the number of minutes before time is up, and the option to be notified as the host when time is up.
  • The option of a countdown after closing breakout rooms, which is checked off by default, as well as the number of seconds for the countdown, which is 60 seconds by default.
  • Change participant room assignments
  • Click a Breakout Room’s blue number of participants, uncheck the checkbox next to a participant’s name, click Assign next to the alternative Breakout Room, and then recheck the checkbox next to the participant’s name. 
  • Float your mouse over a participant name where you can move the participant to another room or exchange the participant with someone already assigned to another room.
  • Quickly reopen closed Breakout Rooms by clicking the blue Open All Rooms” button at the bottom right of the Breakout Rooms menu.