How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams

The Breakout Rooms feature allows you to create sub-meetings in Teams meetings for smaller groups of participants to collaborate and discuss. Up to 50 breakout rooms can be created for a meeting.

Breakout Rooms feature on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams received support for Breakout Rooms in 2020, and it basically allows meeting organizers to set up different rooms for participants to encourage thinking, pre-addition discussion. cooperate with others.

Microsoft is currently planning to take the Breakout Rooms experience to the next level by adding support for timers, room keeping, and reassigning participants.

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 1

As shown in the screenshot above, Microsoft is adding support for setting time limits, which will allow you to set a timer for breakout rooms from settings. The session will end automatically and rooms will be closed when the scheduled time is up and the user will be moved back to the main meeting.

The second new addition to Breakout Rooms is "Room assignment retention" . As the name suggests, this feature provides you with controls for maintaining configuration and specifying rooms across multiple sessions.

In addition to these two new features, Microsoft Teams will also let you change participants' rooms once it's open.

How to enable Breakout Rooms

To get started, you need to enable Breakout Rooms.

Step 1. Click on your profile picture in Teams

Step 2. Select Settings.

Step 3. On the General tab , select the option "Turn on new meeting experience" under "Application".

Step 4. Restart Teams (your computer may need to be restarted).

Step 5. You can double-check that the setting is working correctly by starting the meeting and verifying that the meeting opens in its own window.

Note :

Make sure the meeting organizer and all participants are using the latest version of Teams. Participants on Android, iOS mobile or tablet devices must download the latest update from the App Store.

Before the meeting

You must be the meeting organizer and use the Teams desktop app to access the Breakout Rooms option, manage this feature, and the participants. If you want to use Breakout Rooms, you'll need to start a Meet Now meeting in a channel or calendar, or schedule a private meeting with selected participants or a channel. Chat view calls do not support this feature as they are not considered meetings.

Meeting attendees and presenters won't see an option to Breakout Rooms. Cannot transfer or share organizer capabilities.

The breakout room cannot be set before a meeting, and the breakout room must be created after the meeting has started.

During the meeting - As the meeting organizer

Breakout Rooms is available if you join any Meet Now or individually scheduled meetings (including recurring meetings) you have organized with a Teams desktop application. The Breakout Rooms icon is located on the meeting menu between the reaction controls and a 3-dot displaying additional actions.

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 2

Breakout Rooms setup and management

Step 1. Join the meeting from Teams desktop app.

Step 2. Once the meeting has started, select the Breakout Rooms icon.

Step 3. In the settings window that appears, choose the number of breakout rooms you want to create and how participants will be assigned:

  1. Automatically - People who have joined the meeting will be assigned to rooms of equal size. The meeting participants after automatic allocation will need to be assigned manually.
  2. Manually - Allows you to assign participants to rooms as desired.

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 3

Choose the number of breakout rooms you want to create and how participants will be assigned

Step 4. Select Create rooms. A menu will appear to the right of the Teams meeting window displaying the management options, title (room name), participants, the status of breakout rooms, and the status of the participants.

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 4

To manually create additional rooms, select Add room .

- To assign or move a participant manually, select a closed room or the section to which the participant is currently assigned. Check the box (s) next to the name of the participant (s) you want to move. Choose "Assign" and choose any rooms you want to include them in. Participants who have not been assigned to the room will appear in the "Assign participants" section.

Note that participants via the Teams desk phone or mobile app cannot be assigned and will still participate in the main meeting.

To edit a room name or delete it, hover your mouse over the status icon next to the room name:

  1. Rename room - Change the title of the selected room. It's a good idea to create a specific headline as the chat log remains accessible to the participants after the meeting, and a special name will help increase discoverability.
  2. Delete room - Delete the selected room. All assigned participants will be moved to the list of unassigned participants. To delete all the rooms and settings at once, see "Recreate rooms" in the next step.

To open the additional overall room settings, select the ellipses icon next to the "Breakout Rooms" heading and select "Rooms settings" while all rooms are closed:

  1. 'Automatically move people into opened rooms' - Choose to automatically move participants in and out of specified rooms when you open or close breakout rooms. Participants will receive a notification that they will be moved automatically with a 10-second advance notice. If this option is not selected, the participant will be prompted to choose whether to move in or out of the breakout room.
  2. 'Let people go back to the main meeting' - Select to allow participants to move between the main meeting and the specified breakout room when meeting rooms are open. If this option is not selected, participants will be able to return to the main meeting by selecting Return or return to the Breakout Room by selecting 'Join room' .
  3. 'Recreate rooms' - Delete all of the current rooms and settings to start over.

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 5

Start Breakout Rooms

Once you are satisfied with the allocation and installation of Breakout Rooms, you need to open the rooms to allow participants to access them.

  1. To open all rooms at once, select "Start rooms" . The status icons next to the rooms will change from "Closed" to "Open" .
  2. To open individual rooms, hover over the room's "Closed" status icon and select the ellipses icon. Select 'Open'.

When participants are in a breakout room, "In meeting" is displayed next to their name. If this status is not shown next to the name, you can prompt the participant to breakout room by selecting their name and clicking 'Ask to join' .

How to use Breakout Rooms on Microsoft Teams Picture 6

Manage Breakout Rooms


Step 1. To send notification notifications to all open breakout rooms at the same time, select the ellipses icon next to the menu title.

Step 2. Select 'Make an announcement' and enter your message. The notice will be visible in all breakout rooms with the red "Important" label .

Join Breakout Rooms

Step 1. Hover your mouse over the Open status icon of the breakout room that you want to enter.

Step 2. Select Join room .

Step 3. You will be added to the breakout room and able to interact with all the meeting features. While you are in a breakout room, you will be on the On Hold state during the main meeting and will not be able to tell if the participants have entered the main meeting until you return to the main meeting.

Step 4. Select the "Leave" button to leave the Breakout Room and return to the main meeting.

Add room

Select Add room to create another breakout room at any time. Note that participants from open rooms cannot be transferred to another room until their current room is closed.

Close Breakout Rooms

To close all open rooms at once, select Close rooms .

To close individual rooms, hover your mouse over the room's Open status icon and select the ellipses icon. Click Close .

End meeting

At the end of the meeting, you can leave the room open or closed.

  1. Open - Allows participants to continue collaborating with the conversation in the breakout room and reopen the meeting in the breakout room after the main meeting ends. If the meeting is recurring, breakout room settings and allocations will be saved and maintained for subsequent meetings.
  2. Close - Breakout Rooms conversations are readable only to all participants after the meeting ends and cannot be reopened. Breakout Rooms settings and allocations are not saved for subsequent meetings.

During the meeting - as a meeting participant

Entering a Breakout Room

If the selected meeting organizer does not automatically move participants, the participants will see a pop-up message with options when the Breakout session starts and ends.

  1. When the breakout rooms open - participants can choose Join room to enter the breakout room or Later to continue joining the main meeting. If a participant chooses Later , the breakout room can be accessed while remaining open by selecting Join room on the main meeting menu.
  2. When the breakout rooms are closed - Participants can choose Join to return to the main meeting or Leave meeting to exit the meeting completely.

Switches between the primary and specified breakout room

If this feature is enabled by the meeting organizer, the participant can return to the main meeting at any time while the room remains open by selecting Return. Participants can return to the breakout room specified from the main meeting while the room is open by selecting Join room .

Note : Participants cannot switch between breakout rooms unless the meeting organizer assigns them a new room.