Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature has become status quo for daily team meetings for the virtual and remote workforce.  What is Zoom Breakout Rooms and how does it work?  Zoom’s Breakout Room feature has been improved upon over the recent Zoom Meeting product releases enabling more functionality and usability for the end user when joining or leaving a meeting.  Breakout Rooms allows you to split your Zoom Meeting in to 50 separate sessions.  The meeting host can elect to assign participants automatically or manually to a particular session or let users select which room they want to be apart of.


he first step to properly running a Zoom Breakout Room is your IT Administrator must enable your Zoom Meeting license to use the Breakout Room feature.  There are options as well that can be selected for more advanced features, see below:

  • Allow host to assign participants to a breakout room when scheduling the meeting
  • Allow host to broadcast messages to participants during a meeting
  • Allow host to create, rename and delete breakout rooms when rooms are open
  • Allow host to view activity statuses of participants in breakout rooms (ex: share screen and interactions)

Most people who use Zoom Breakout Rooms use all of the key features listed above.  Properly administering a meeting with Breakout Rooms can be tricky if you haven’t run one before, so be sure to spend some time with a friend or colleague running through the various features that can be configured during a meeting.  You may also have to support end users who aren’t familiar with the features of Zoom when running these sessions.  I have taken various screenshots of the most important features to take into consideration when running a breakout room, see below.


Create names for your breakout rooms before opening the breakout room sessions.  Then assign the users to a particular session or allow for anyone to join any session.



Once the Breakout rooms have been opened, you may join a room, broadcast a message or pull everyone back into the main session through closing all rooms.  See screenshots below of each action.  All normal Zoom Meeting features are enabled within each breakout rooms allowing participants to be able to have separate screensharing and conversations as a private group.


Manually assigning a user to a breakout room

Moving a user from one breakout room to another


Joining/leaving a breakout room

Broadcasting a message to all breakout rooms

Closing all breakout rooms and pulling all people back into the main session


Zoom’s breakout rooms feature will continue to evolve with more participants and capabilities.  Below is a screenshot from Zoom’s website on the limitations on the number of breakout rooms and participants per room for when hosting large meetings.  I’ve also posted the feature limitations of Zoom’s Breakout rooms.