Have you ever curated a Zoom meeting only to find that your participants need to split into groups? Perhaps you’re training new employees or teaching eager students new skills. Among its many features, Zoom offers breakout rooms.
These rooms stem from one meeting and allow administrators to send participants to their own private conference rooms. What’s even better is you don’t need a paid Zoom subscription to create breakout rooms. You just need to enable the feature in Zoom’s settings, then start a meeting!
If that sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry. We’re going to walk you through the entire process below. So, let’s learn how to do breakout rooms in Zoom!
How to Enable Breakout Rooms
As stated above, we need to enable the breakout room feature on Zoom before we can use it. Rather than opening the Zoom app on your mobile device or computer, it’s best to tweak Zoom’s settings on a web browser.
So, follow the steps below to enable breakout rooms on Zoom.
Step 1: Visit Your Account Page on a Browser
Visit this link and sign into your Zoom account.
Step 2: Click Account Management
Then, click Account Settings.
Step 3: Toggle the Breakout Rooms Switch
Make sure you’re on the Meeting tab at the top. Then, toggle the switch to the right of Breakout Rooms, so it turns on.
Helpful hint: There are a lot of options on this page. Use ctrl+f or cmd+f and type breakout to locate the option quickly.
Step 4: Check the Boxes
Finally, check the boxes to enable breakout rooms in Zoom.
How to Do Breakout Rooms in Zoom on Mac and PC
Now that we’ve enabled breakout rooms in Zoom’s settings, it’s time to start a meeting and take advantage of the feature. Follow the next eight steps to set up breakout rooms in your next meeting.
Helpful hint: Only the meeting administrators can enable and customize breakout rooms.
Step 1: Start a Meeting
To create breakout rooms, we need to start a Zoom meeting first. Open Zoom on your Mac or PC and sign into your account.
You can use the web browser or the desktop app. Invite any attendees you’d like, and click the Start Meeting option.
Step 2: Click the Menu Icon
At the bottom of your Zoom screen, you’ll notice many icons. To the far right is a three-dot icon that says More. Click that option.
Step 3: Start Breakout Rooms
Now you’ll see a pop-up window. Locate and click on Breakout Rooms.
Helpful hint: You’ll only see this option if there is more than one participant.
Step 4: Select the Number of Breakout Rooms
A new pop-up window will appear. Use the arrow-up icons to set the number of breakout rooms you need.
Step 5: Click Create
At the bottom of the pop-up window, select Create.
Step 6: Assign Members
Click Assign Manually to choose which participants belong in each breakout room. Then, click Assign next to each room. Finally, tap the boxes to the left of each person’s name.
If you want Zoom to assign the participants to rooms for you, leave the option checked for Zoom to automatically assign participants to breakout rooms.
Or you can let your participants choose which room they’d like to join by clicking the third option, Let Participants choose room.
Step 7: Click Open All Rooms
Finally, click the Open All Rooms option to send the appropriate recipients to their rooms.
The change takes effect automatically, and the respective team members will join their assigned Zoom breakout room.
How to Join Breakout Rooms
Maybe you want to ensure everyone is following directions, or you want to participate too. Nonetheless, you should know how to join breakout rooms.
If you want to drop in on your participants in their respective breakout rooms, follow these steps.
Step 1: Click the Menu Icon
After starting your meeting and creating breakout rooms, click the three-dot More icon at the bottom of the screen.
Step 2: Click Breakout Rooms
A new menu will appear where you can click Breakout Rooms. Select that option.
Step 3: Click Join
Click Join next to the room you want to join. Then, repeat these steps as needed.
How to Close Breakout Rooms
When a long day’s work is complete, and you’re ready to send everyone back to the main meeting, you’ll need to close the breakout rooms. Fortunately, you can do that with a few mouse clicks.
Helpful hint: A notification will pop up for your participants letting them know the breakout room is closing. After sixty seconds, they’ll automatically go back to the main meeting.
Step 1: Click the Menu Icon
Click the three-dot icon that says More under it.
Step 3: Click Breakout Rooms
Select Breakout Rooms from the menu that appears.
Step 3: Click Close All Rooms
Finally, click Close All Rooms and wait for your team to come back to the anchor meeting.
Now, you can debrief or say goodbye to all the participants and end the meeting.
How to Communicate With Everyone in Breakout Rooms
Perhaps your meeting is coming to an end, and you’d like to give everyone a five-minute timer to wrap things up. Or, you just want to broadcast a message. Fortunately, you can send mass communication to all the breakout rooms using the Broadcast feature.
Here’s what to do.
Step 1: Click the More Icon
Start out by clicking the Menu icon in the lower right corner.
Step 2: Click Breakout Rooms
Click Breakout Rooms in the pop-up menu.
Step 3: Click Broadcast
Click Broadcast at the bottom of the Breakout Room page.
Step 4: Click Broadcast Message or Voice
Choose the option that best suits your needs.
Step 5: Create Your Broadcast
Finally, you can type a message or speak to everyone in their breakout rooms.
If you chose to type a message, just click the paper airplane icon in the lower left.
If you chose to send a voice message, click the Record icon and speak your message.
Breakout on Your Zoom
Zoom’s breakout rooms are yet another useful tool in the software’s box of goodies. You can assign members to work on group projects, give presentations, or have a bit of water cooler talk while you complete important tasks.
It only takes a few mouse clicks to set up breakout rooms, assign participants, and drop in on the mini-meetings. If you follow our tutorial above, you’ll have no problem getting everyone situated.