Zoom meetings can very easily feel overwhelming when there are a lot of people involved. A feature called “Breakout Rooms” can help large groups by allowing people to break off into smaller groups. It’s a handy trick to know.
“Breakout Rooms” are similar in concept to working in groups in a real-life office or classroom. People can break off from the main meeting into smaller groups for discussion, then seamlessly join back up with everyone afterward—no need to manage a bunch of separate Zoom calls.
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How to Enable Breakout Rooms in Zoom
Before we can use Breakout Rooms in a meeting, you’ll have to enable the feature for your account. This is only necessary if you’ll be hosting the meeting.
First, sign in to the Zoom website in a web browser such as Google Chrome and select “Settings” on your account page.
Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section and toggle on the switch for “Breakout Room.”
While you’re here, enable “Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling” as well.
Select “Save,” and we’re ready to use Breakout Rooms in a meeting.
How to Use Breakout Rooms in Zoom
To use Breakout Rooms in a meeting, you’ll need to be the host and use the desktop client. That includes Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome.
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Now that we’ve enabled the feature, you’ll see a “Breakout Rooms” button on the toolbar. Click it.
A pop-up will appear with the Breakout Room options. You can choose the number of rooms and how participants will be divided into them.
- Assign Automatically: Zoom will randomly put people in rooms.
- Assign Manually: You choose who goes in which room.
- Let Participants Choose Rooms: Self-explanatory.
Make your choices and click “Create.”
If you’re assigning people to rooms manually, the next screen will show the list of rooms. Click “Assign” for each room and select the people you want in each.
Next, click “Options” for some additional settings. You can put a time length on the Breakout Rooms sessions and choose a countdown in order to give people time to wrap up before you close the rooms.
Once you’re done, click “Open All Rooms.” People will be put into the rooms in whatever way you decided. They will be prompted to accept joining a room or to select a room on their own.
While the Breakout Rooms are happening, you can click the toolbar’s button to bring up the menu. From here, you can “Broadcast Message to All.”
Enter a message and click “Broadcast.” The message will appear on the screen for all participants.
When you’re ready to end the Breakout Rooms, click “Close All Rooms” from this same menu.
That’s all there is to it. Zoom will save your settings and room assignments, so if you want to break out again during the same meeting, you won’t have to set it all up again. This is a convenient feature to know about if you organize a lot of large meetings.