Zoom: Manage Breakout Rooms

Breakout Rooms allow you to seamlessly split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions for small group discussion, and then bring those sessions back together to resume the large group meeting.  As the meeting host, you can split the participants into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.  You can enable or disable breakout rooms for meetings you host in your Meeting Settings.

The basics

  • Breakout rooms are available in meetings only (not webinars)
  • Up to 50 breakout rooms per meeting
  • Up to 200 participants per breakout room
  • Breakout room participants have full audio, video, and screen share capabilities
    • Presentations shared in the main room are NOT available in the breakout rooms.
    • Each breakout room sees their own chat, but not the chat in the other breakout rooms.
  • Hosts can move from breakout room to breakout room
  • Participants can request help from a host while in a breakout room with the Ask for Help button.
  • Zoom does not use campus specific email addresses. To add someone to a breakout room, add them with [InternetID]@umn.edu, regardless of their actual email address.
    • For example, if I wanted to add [email protected], I would add them as [email protected] in the breakout room in Zoom, even though their real email address ends in "d.umn.edu". This applies to Morris, Rochester, and Crookston as well.

Note: Participants who joined through a web browser, Zoom Rooms, or in-room video conferencing codecs are not able to join breakout rooms.  As a workaround, those participants can use the main meeting room as their breakout session space.

Breakout rooms and recording

  • If the meeting is being recorded to the cloud, the recording will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in.
  • If the meeting is being recorded locally to a computer, the recording will include whatever breakout room the person recording participates in. 
    • Multiple people can record locally if allowed by the host. 
    • The host can designate one person in each breakout room to record locally and then share that file with the host after the meeting. 

Best practice tips

  • Practice using breakout rooms before trying it for the first time as a meeting host. 
  • Save time and energy by planning ahead:
    • how many breakout rooms do you want to have?
    • how many participants do you want in each room?
    • do you prefer to manually assign participants to rooms, or have Zoom randomly assign the rooms?  

Learn More

  • Watch Getting Started With Breakout Rooms for an overview on how to use breakout rooms. 
    • Practice using breakout rooms before trying it for the first time as a meeting host. You will need to invite a few other people to your practice Zoom meeting. 
    • Decide in advance how many breakout rooms you want to have/how many participants you want per room and whether you want to manually assign participants to rooms or have Zoom randomly assign the rooms.  That way, you won't waste time in the meeting making these decisions in the moment.
  • Managing Video Breakout Rooms
  • In-Meeting File Transfer
  • You can also Pre-assign Breakout Rooms