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Zoom Breakout Rooms


  • Account owner or admin privileges

Zoom Limitations

  • Only the host is able to assign participants to rooms. Users joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Mobile App can participate in breakout rooms, but will be unable to manage them. Users joined using Zoom Rooms are unable to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used
  • A cloud recording will record the main room only. Local recording will record the room the participant who is recording is in. Multiple participants can record locally
  • You may create up to 50 breakout rooms. The maximum number of participants in a single breakout room depends on the meeting capacity, number of breakout rooms created, and if participants are assigned during the meeting or before the meeting
  • Pre-assigned participants are limited to 200
Number of breakout rooms Maximum number of participants who can be assigned to breakout rooms*
20 breakout rooms Up to 500 participants
30 breakout rooms Up to 400 participants
50 breakout rooms Up to 200 participants

*Max participants listed require a Large Meeting add-on. If you do not have this add-on, the maximum number of participants is limited by your meeting capacity.

Enabling Breakout Room

  1. To use breakout rooms on Zoom, you must first enable it. To do so, login to the web portal, and click on Settings on the left side panel.Settings on Zoom web portal
  2. Select In Meeting (Advanced) and scroll down until you see Breakout room. Click on the slider to turn it on. You can also allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms or make this setting mandatory for all users in your account by clicking the lock icon.Breakout
  3. After enabling breakout rooms, you can be a participant or manage rooms as host during a meeting.
  4. The Co-host can be enabled as well, which allows the sharing of hosting privileges with another user.

Managing Breakout Room as a Host

  1. Within a meeting, click Breakout Rooms.Breakout Rooms
  2. Choose the number of rooms to create and assign participants Automatically (splits participants evenly) or Manually (you assign participants to rooms), and click Create Rooms.screenshot of breakout menu
  3. Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. To manually assign participants, click Assign next to the room you wish to assign participants to and select the participants, then select Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.Assign Breakout room


When creating breakout rooms, you can also navigate to Options on the bottom left corner of the window to do the following actions:Breakout Room options

  • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: This will move all participants into the breakout rooms automatically. If left unchecked, participants will have to Join rooms.
  • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: Participants can move back to the main session from their meeting controls. If disabled, they need to wait for the host to end the breakout rooms.
  • Breakout rooms close automatically after x minutes: The breakout rooms will end after a set time.
  • Notify me when the time is up: The host will be notified when the breakout room time is up.
  • Countdown after closing breakout rooms: Participants will be given a countdown of how much time they have left.

Preparing Rooms

  • Move to: Select a room to move the participant to
  • Exchange: Swap the selected participant with one in another room
  • Delete Room: Delete the room
  • Recreate: Deletes existing rooms and creates new one
  • Add a Room: Add another room
  • Open All Rooms: Start the rooms. All participants will be moved after confirming the prompt to join the breakout room

Broadcasting a Message

To broadcast a message to the participants in their breakout rooms, navigate to Breakout Rooms > Broadcast a message to all, enter your message, and select Broadcast.

screenshot of added participant

Updated on September 16, 2020

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  1. where did you find your breakout room maximums? On zoom.us it says max 20 breakouts and 200 for ALL the breakout rooms, but it says up to 500 for 20 rooms above. HELP!!!

    1. hi Claire, the Zoom breakout room info came directly from Zoom’s helpful webpages. You can contact them directly-https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us?_ga=2.157991994.1007495426.1605714314-774775479.1604436941

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