Zoom Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms


When using pre-assigned breakout rooms, specific guidelines must be followed to ensure students are routed to their designated Zoom breakout rooms. If guidelines are not followed, troubleshooting breakout room assignments while instructing can be cumbersome and distracting, especially in large enrollment classes. 


To successfully place students in a pre-assigned Zoom breakout room follow these guidelines. 


Before the start of class

  1. Prior to the start of class, log in to your UMN Zoom account
    • Note: Some instructors create Zoom meetings in Canvas; however, breakout rooms and participants must be managed through the Zoom.umn.edu portal. 
  2. Import your correctly formatted list. Import a comma separated value (CSV) file with your designated rooms and participants into the Zoom meeting. 

During class, before breakout sessions

  1. Recover pre-assigned breakout rooms. Before sending students to their pre-assigned breakout rooms, use the Zoom recover pre-assigned rooms feature. This will prompt Zoom to scan current participants (including those who entered the Zoom meeting after the instructor). 


  1. Students must first log in to their UMN Zoom account, and then join the Zoom meeting. It is recommended, you communicate this to your students.
    • Note: If students do not log in at zoom.umn.edu before joining a Zoom meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms, Zoom will not be able to identify them and will not be able to automatically route them to their breakout room. 

Tips for using Zoom pre-assigned breakout rooms

  • You may create the Zoom meeting from your UMN Zoom account or from within your Canvas site. Creating the session within the Canvas site automatically adds the session to the course calendar and making the session link easily accessible to your students. If you create it from Canvas, you’ll still need to return to your UMN Zoom account to add the pre-assigned breakout rooms
  • When creating the Zoom meeting for pre-assigned break out rooms, choose the setting option: “Only authenticated users can join meetings.” 
  • For the setting “Meeting Authentication Options”, choose the “University of Minnesota Only” authentication option. 
  • You may adjust your Zoom settings to “Allow participants to join anytime.“ If you do allow participants to join before you (or some participants join late), you can still recover to pre-assigned breakout rooms at any time, and participants will be reorganized into the breakout rooms you specified when scheduling the meeting.
  • Instructors and students need to use Zoom Desktop Client or Mobile App, (version 4.5.0 or higher for iOS or Android)

Find complete instructions at Zoom: Creating and managing pre-assigned breakout rooms.

Zoom Meeting Options list with all items selected