How to Use Zoom Breakout Rooms

Easily create a breakout room in Zoom

What to Know

  • Enable breakout rooms under My Account > Settings > In Meeting (Advanced).
  • You need to be the host to create one, and you need to enable the feature first.
  • Rename, delete, assign people to specific rooms, add multiple rooms, or even recreate rooms if you don't like what you set up.

This article explains how to enable, set up, and use breakout rooms in Zoom.

How to Enable Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Before you can use your breakout rooms, you need to enable the feature, which is turned off by default. It can only be turned on via the web version of Zoom.

  1. Go to Zoom's site in a web browser and log in if you're not already signed in with your Zoom account.

  2. Click My Account in the upper right corner of the page and then click Settings in the navigation pane on the left. 

  3. Scroll down near the bottom of the settings to the In Meeting (Advanced) section and turn on Breakout Room by sliding the button to the right. While you're here, make sure Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling is checked as well. 

    The Zoom web site on the Account Settings page.

How to Create Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Only the host may create and assign members to breakout rooms, and you can create rooms any time you like, such as when the meeting first starts, or at any time during a meeting. 

  1. Using the Zoom program on your computer, create a new meeting. When the meeting starts, click Breakout Rooms at the bottom of the screen. (If you don't see it, your window is probably too small. Make the window bigger or find Breakout Rooms by clicking the More button.)

    The Windows 10 Zoom app with Breakout Rooms in the More menu.
  2. You can choose how many breakout rooms to create, and whether the Zoom app should automatically assign attendees to rooms or if you want to manually specify who will go in each room.

    The Windows 10 Zoom app with the Create Breakout Rooms window open.
  3. Click Create Rooms.

How to Set Up Your Breakout Rooms in Zoom

After you create the rooms, the Breakout Rooms dialog box should appear. Here, you have a lot of options. 

  • You can rename the rooms. If you are creating rooms with different purposes, you might want to rename them for clarity. Click a room and then click Rename.
  • You can delete rooms you don't need. Click a room and then click Delete.
  • You can manually assign people to a room. Click a room and then click Assign. You'll see a list of available members, and you can click to add each one.
  • You can manually move a member from one room to another. Click the member and then choose Move to and select the room.
  • You can add additional rooms by clicking Add a Room at the bottom of the window.
  • Want to start over? If you don't like what you've done and want to reset all the rooms, click Recreate at the bottom of the window.
  • Click Options to control various aspects of the breakout rooms, such as if you want members to be automatically placed in breakout rooms or if they need to enter on their own, and if you want breakout rooms to close automatically after a set period of time. The options are all fairly self-explanatory.
The Windows 10 Zoom app with the Breakout Rooms window open.

When you've finished setting up your breakout rooms, click Open All Rooms.

How to Use Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Once a meeting has one or more breakout rooms, members can generally come and go whenever they like; members have new controls at the top of the screen to let them enter and leave.

If a member wants to join a different breakout room than the one they were originally assigned, though, they can't do that on their own. Instead, the member can choose Ask for Help while inside a room which gets the attention of the host. When the host joins that room, the member can ask the host to move them to the desired room.

The host has the ability to switch rooms at will using the Breakout Rooms window. Once the rooms are configured, the host can:

  • Enter or leave a breakout room by clicking Join or Leave to the right of the room name.
  • Move a member to a different room. Hover the mouse pointer over the member's name and then click Move to. You can then choose which room to switch them to.
  • Send a message to everyone in all the breakout rooms. Click Broadcast a message to all and type a text message that will appear in each room simultaneously.
  • Click Close All Rooms to end breakout rooms and return everyone to the main meeting. 
The host's view of Breakout Rooms in the Windows 10 Zoom app.
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