Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (2022)

In all but the smallest meetings, it can be difficult to have open discussions and a meaningful exchange of ideas. With breakout rooms, people gather in small groups for lively conversation and brainstorming sessions.

Only meeting organizers on the desktop versions of Teams (Windows and Mac) can create and manage breakout rooms. Organizers or presenters must first join the meeting to create or manage breakout rooms.

Notes:These features aren't currently available in breakout rooms:

  • Call me

  • Adding people to the meeting from the participants panel

  • Adding additional people to the meeting chat

  • Copying the Join meeting info

Important:You can't create breakout rooms if there are more than 300 people in ameeting. Likewise, if you create breakout rooms before a meeting, you won't be able to invite more than 300 people.

For more info about managing large Teams meetings, see Best practices for a large Teams meeting.

In this article

Create breakout rooms

Join a breakout room

Change breakout room settings before meeting

Leave a breakout room

Assign people to breakout rooms manually

Interact with breakout room participants

Appoint breakout rooms managers

Close breakout rooms

Rename breakout rooms

Room assignments in recurring meetings

Set a time limit for the breakout session

Attendance reports for breakout rooms

Start using the breakout rooms

Additional options

Tip:For additional assistance, seeBreakout rooms troubleshooting guide.

Create breakout rooms

You canautomatically assign people to breakout rooms when you create them. If you want to move people around later in the meeting, you'll have to do so manually.

To create breakout rooms, you must be a meeting organizer or presenter who's been appointeda breakout rooms manager.

Create breakout rooms before the meeting

Organizers or presenters must first join the meeting to create or manage breakout rooms.

  1. Go to your Teams calendar and open the meeting invite.

  2. Go toBreakout roomsand selectCreate rooms.

  3. Choose the number of rooms you want (up to 50) and select Add rooms.

    In this example, three rooms were created but no one's been assigned to them yet.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (1)

  4. Select Assign participants.

  5. Choose whether you want Teams to evenly assign people to rooms (Automatically) or assignpeople yourself (Manually).

As soon as the meeting starts, you can open the breakout rooms.

Create breakout rooms during the meeting

  1. Start the meeting.

  2. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (2).

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (3)

  3. Do the following:

    1. Choose the number of rooms you want (up to 50).

    2. Choose whether you want Teams to evenly assign people to rooms (Automatically) or assignpeople yourself (Manually).

      Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (4)

      Note:You won't be able toautomatically assign peopleto breakout rooms later in the meeting.

  4. Select Create rooms.

Change breakout room settings before meeting

Make your meetings more efficient by adjusting breakout room settings before they start. Meeting organizers can plan ahead by creating and naming breakout rooms, sorting attendees into rooms, setting timers, and more.

To change breakout room settings for meetings you organized, you must first join the meeting:

  1. Go to your Teams calendar and open the meeting invite.

  2. Go toBreakout roomsand selectSettings.

Assign people to breakout rooms manually

Assign participants to each breakout room if you didn't do so automatically or need to reassign someone to another room. To assign people, you must be a meeting organizer or presenter who's been appointeda breakout rooms manager, and you must first join the meeting.

Note:Currently, peoplewho jointhe meeting usingPSTN or Teams devices can't be assigned to rooms. Use the main meeting as a breakout room for these people instead.

Assign people manually before the meeting

  1. Go to your Teams calendar and open the meeting invite.

  2. Go toBreakout roomsand selectAssign participants.

  3. Choose Manuallyand select Next.

  4. Choose the people you want inaroom by selecting the checkboxes next to their names.

  5. Select the down arrow next toAssign and choose a room for them.

  6. Repeat the previous stepsuntil everyone in the meeting is assigned to a room. When you're done, select Confirm.

Assign peoplemanually during the meeting

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (5).

  2. SelectAssign participants. From this window, sort people to see who's been assigned where by selecting the down arrow next to Name or Room.

  3. Choose the people you want inaroom by selecting the checkboxes next to their names.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (6)

  4. Select the down arrow next toAssign and choose a room for them.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (7)

  5. Repeat the previous stepsuntil everyone in the meeting is assigned to a room. When you're done, select Confirm.

    If someone joins the meeting late, select Assign participants again to assign them to a room.

Assign people manually before a channel meeting

To assign channel membersto breakout rooms before a channel meeting starts, you must first join the meeting:

  1. Open Teams on your desktop and go to your team channel.

  2. Select the Breakout rooms tab.

  3. Select Assign participantsand sort channel members into breakout rooms.

Meetings with breakout room capabilitiesare limited to 300 participants. If the channel contains more than 300 members, pre-assignment will not be available. Meeting organizers can also assign participants to breakout rooms during the meeting.

Appointbreakout rooms managers

If you're themeetingorganizer, you can delegate presenters to manage the meeting's breakout rooms.

Breakout roomsmanagers can:

  • Add and delete rooms

  • Assign and reassign participants to rooms

  • Open and close rooms

  • Join any rooms

  • Set time limits for room sessions

  • Send announcements

  • Recreate rooms

Important:Only one person at a time can manage a meeting'sbreakout rooms.

Appoint managers before the meeting

  1. Go to your Teams calendar and open the meeting invite.

  2. Go toBreakout roomsand selectRoom settings Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (8).

  3. Switch theAssign presenters to manage rooms toggle on.

  4. Select Search for presenters and choose who you want to be breakout rooms managers.

Appoint managers during the meeting

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (9) .

  2. SelectRoom settings Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (10).

  3. Switch theAssign presenters to manage rooms toggle on.

  4. If no one in the meeting is designated as a presenter, select Go to Meeting options to add presenters and choose who you want to be a room manager.

  5. Choose presenters from the dropdown menu.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (11)

  6. Select the back button < to save your changes.

Take control of breakout rooms

You might be one of a fewbreakout rooms managers in your meeting.Only one of you at a time can controlthe rooms, though.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (12) .

    You can see who the current manager is (for example, Daniela is in control).

  2. Select Manage rooms.

    You're now the breakout rooms manager. Join open rooms, make an announcement, and more.

Rename breakout rooms

If you want, rename each room to reflect its purpose (for example,what the people in that room will be working on).

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (13).

  2. Hover over the room andselectMore optionsthenRename room.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (14)

  3. Enter the new name and select Rename room.

Tip:During the meeting, youcan delete all the breakout rooms and set them up differently (see Recreate breakout rooms from scratch).

Set a time limit for breakout room sessions

When you set a time limit, a timer is visible in each breakout room so that participants are aware of when the session will end. When time is up, the rooms close and participants return to the main meeting.

Note:If you turnoff the Automatically move people to rooms setting (see Turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms), participants will have the option of either returning to the main meeting or leaving the meeting, when time is up.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (15).

  2. Select Rooms settings Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (16).

  3. Select Set a time limit,and choose a session length.

    Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (17)

  4. Select the back button < to save your changes.

Start using the breakout rooms

By default, meeting participants are moved to their assigned rooms as soon as you open them, but you can turn off this setting(see Turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms).

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (18).

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To open all the rooms at the same time, select Open.

    • To open a single room, hover over the room, select More options, and chooseOpen room.

      Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (19)

You can open and close breakout rooms more than once during a meeting.

Join a breakout room

If you're themeeting organizer or a breakout rooms manager, you can join any of the rooms.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (20).

  2. Hover over the room andselectMore optionsthenJoin room.

Leave a breakout room

In the meeting controls, select Return.

Interact with breakout room participants

As meeting organizer, you can send announcements to all the breakout rooms and contribute to any of the room chats.

Send an announcement to all breakout rooms

You may want to tell everyone the remaining breakout session time, offer discussion ideas, or just give general updates.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (21).

  2. SelectMakean announcement Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (22).

  3. Enter your announcement and select Send.

Participants are notified in their meeting chat to check for your announcement.

Chat in breakout rooms

Each breakout room has its own chat.All of the chats are available in your main Teams Chat list.

Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (23)

Here you can chat with the members of any breakout room.

After youjoin a breakout room, you can also selectChat Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (24) in the room to chat with the people there.

Note:When the breakout room closes, the room chat ends and can'tbe continued. However, you'll still be able to view the chat history and any shared files.

Close breakout rooms

When you close the breakout rooms, the participants return to the main meeting.

Note:If you turned off the Automatically move people into opened rooms setting (see Turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms), participants will have the option of returning to the main meeting or leaving the meeting when the rooms are closed.

Close rooms individually

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (25).

  2. Hover over the room and selectMore optionsthenClose room.

Close all the roomsat the same time

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (26).

  2. SelectClose.

You'll know rooms have successfully closedwhen their status changes toClosed.

When everyone is back from their breakout rooms and you're ready to meet as a larger group again, selectResume.

Notes:

  • Breakout rooms remain open until the organizer manually closes them or unless they set a timer.

  • If the rooms are reopened later in the meeting, participants keep the same room assignments they had before.

Room assignments in recurring meetings

Unless the organizer manually unassigns people from their breakout rooms, the same rooms and room assignments will be available for the next meeting.

Attendance reports for breakout rooms

If you organize a meeting, you can gain insight into its participants and their breakout room activitythrough attendance reports.Learn which breakout room each person joined, when they entered it, and when they left.

To view breakout room data from a meeting:

  1. Open Teams and select Calendar.

  2. Findthe meeting you'd like insight into andselect it to view the meeting details.

  3. Select Attendance.

  4. Under Participants, select an attendeeto see which breakout room they entered and what time they joined and left it.

To reference breakout room data later, download the attendance report in CSV format.

Notes:

  • Only meeting organizers can view attendance reports.

  • Attendance reports don’t include data from deleted breakout rooms.

Additional options

Turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms

By default, participants are automatically moved into breakout rooms when they're opened. When you turn off this option, participants receive a message asking them to join a breakout room. They selectJoin room(Join on a mobile device) before being moved.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (27).

  2. SelectRoom settings Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (28).

  3. Switch the Automatically move people to rooms toggle off.

  4. Select the back button < to save your changes.

Meeting attendees can learn more about joining and participating in breakout rooms here:Join a breakout room in a Teams meeting.

Allow people to return to the main meeting

By default, this setting is off. Turning it on gives participants the optionto leave their breakout rooms and return to the original meeting to rejoin the larger discussion.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (29).

  2. SelectRoom settings Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (30).

  3. Switch the Let people return to the main meetingtoggle on.

  4. Select the back button < to save your changes.

Move a person to a different breakout room

Participants can be moved when breakout rooms are open or closed.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (31).

  2. Select Assign participants and select the checkbox next to the person's name you want to move.

  3. Choose a new room for the person and selectAssignthen Move.

Add another breakout room

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (32).

  2. SelectAdd room Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (33).

Delete an individualbreakout room

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (34).

  2. Hover over the room and selectMore optionsthenDelete room.

Delete all breakout rooms at once

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (35).

  2. Select Remove rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (36) then Remove.

Recreate breakout rooms from scratch

During a meeting, you can delete all the breakout rooms, create new ones, and reassign participants to them.

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (37).

  2. SelectRemove rooms Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (38)and confirm the decision.

  3. Follow the instructions above to create newbreakout rooms and assign people to them.

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Breakout rooms troubleshooting guide

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