Zoom: Create and Manage Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms

As a meeting host, you can split meeting participants into breakout rooms when scheduling the meeting.

Note: Pre-assigned breakout rooms are an advanced usage of Zoom

In this article:


  • You can only pre-assign participants that will be logged into umn.zoom.us and authenticated on their Zoom account.
  • A maximum of 1000 users can be pre-assigned to breakout rooms. This limitation is separate from the maximum number of users who can be in a breakout room.
  • It is not currently possible to pre-assign users not part of the UMN Zoom instance.

Adjusting Zoom User Account Settings

You can change your settings to:

  • pre-assign breakout rooms using emails
  • require attendees to Authenticate so they can be recognized for room pre-assignment
  • allow hosts to see who has not logged in

To Enable Breakout Rooms

  1. Go to umn.zoom.us and log in.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Find and Enable desired settings:
    • Only authenticated users can join meetings
    • Breakout room
      •  Check Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling
    • Identify guest participants in the meeting/webinar

Pre-assigning Participants to Breakout Rooms

You can create pre-assigned breakout rooms through the Zoom web portal after creating a meeting. You can create a meeting from many places, but pre-assigned breakout rooms must be created in the Zoom web portal.

  1. Create your meeting.
  2. If not already logged in, go to umn.zoom.us to log in. By default, you are in the Meetings tab after signing in.
  3. Select Edit next to the meeting you wish to add Pre-assigned Breakout rooms to.
  4. Under Meeting Options select the checkbox for Breakout Room pre-assign.
    Zoom meeting options. Breakout room pre-assign checked and highlighted.
  5. In the pop-up that appears, choose Create Rooms or Import from CSV to build your pre-assigned rooms. 
    • Create Rooms: Assign participants to breakout rooms by adding their email address.
      1. Click the + icon next to Rooms to create a breakout room.
        Breakout room assignment pop-up. + icon highlighted, edit breakout room name icon highlighted.
      2. Rename a breakout room by hovering over the default name and clicking the Edit icon that appears.
      3. Add participants by entering each email address in Add Participants
      4. Repeat steps a and b until all of your participants are assigned.
    • Import from CSV: Upload a CSV file containing the breakout rooms and participant email addresses.
  6. Select Save to save the pre-assigned breakouts and return to the Edit Meeting page.
  7. Select Save to save the meeting. 

Using Pre-Assigned Breakout Rooms with a Recurring Meeting

When using pre-assigned breakout rooms with a recurring meeting, in order for the pre-assignment to apply to each recurrence, you must:

  1. Create and save the recurring meeting as normal
  2. Edit the meeting and add the pre-assignments following the steps in Pre-assigning Participants to Breakout Rooms
  3. Upon saving, your pre-assignments will apply to all instances of your recurring meeting.

Launching Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms

Participants must be logged in to their UMN Zoom account (from the Zoom app) in order for the pre-assignment to work for their email address upon opening breakout rooms. Communicate this information to your participants in advance of the meeting.

The meeting Host can open pre-assigned breakout rooms. Once breakout rooms have been opened, any co-hosts can move between breakout rooms, similar to the host.

  1. Select Breakout Rooms to access the pre-assigned breakouts.
    • If a participant is not automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting, select Recreate and then Recover to pre-assigned rooms.
    • Anyone logged in as a guest or who logged in after you create the rooms will need to be manually assigned to a room.
  2. Select Open All Rooms.

Video: Pre-assigning Participants

Additional Resources:

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