How to participating in breakout rooms in Zoom

This post was most recently updated on July 22nd, 2022

Zoom breaks up the main meeting into separate breakout rooms which are separate sessions that can be viewed separately. These sessions give the participants the opportunity to get together in smaller groups, and are completely isolated from the main session regarding both audio and video. During these breakout sessions, participants can collaborate and discuss the meeting in smaller groups.

Prerequisites for participating in breakout rooms

  • Invitation to join breakout rooms from the meeting host
  • Self-selection of breakout rooms:
    • Zoom desktop client
      • For Windows: version 5.3.0 or higher
      • For macOS: version 5.3.0 or higher
      • For Linux: version 5.3.0 or higher
    • Zoom mobile app
      • For Android: version 5.3.0 or higher
      • For iOS: version 5.3.0 or higher
    • For ChromeOS: version 5.0.0 (4241.1207) or higher
  • You can assign and participate in breakout rooms using the following platforms by joining the Zoom meeting from these platforms:
    • Zoom desktop client
    • Zoom mobile app
    • Chrome OS client
    • Web client
    • Phone dial-in
    • H.323/SIP devices
    • Zoom Room
      • Requires Zoom Rooms controller and display version 5.3.0 or higher
      • It is currently not possible to enable breakout rooms using devices with integrated Zoom Room Controllers. These include devices such as Logitech Tap, HP Slice 2.0, Lenovo Hub 500, Lenovo Hub 60, Yealink MTouch, Yealink MTouch II, and Mimo 10.

Notes:

  • In order to assign breakout rooms to participants, the host or co-host must be logged in with the desktop client.
  • Both the host as well as the co-host are free to move between any breakout room.

Windows | macOS

 Joining a breakout room

  1. You will need to be invited by the host to join the breakout room.
  2. To join, click the Join button.
  3. You can join a breakout room later by selecting Breakout Rooms from the meeting controls if you have selected Later.
  4. Then click Join Breakout Room.

    You will be given full control over the breakout room just like you would for the meeting.

How to self-select a breakout room

There will be a list of breakout rooms that the host will have created and participants can view and select from if they have chosen to self-select and join breakout rooms they are interested in. They will be able to move freely between breakout rooms as well as enter and leave them freely.

Note:

The desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or higher) will not function for participants who haven’t joined with the desktop or mobile app. The host will have to help facilitate the process of moving these participants manually.

  1. In the meeting controls, click on the Breakout Rooms link.
    After clicking on the link, you will see a list of all breakout rooms that have been created by the host.
  2. To see what rooms are available and what participants are in them, click Expand All to expand all of the available rooms.
    Note: If you would like to use the Collapse All and Expand All options you will need version 5.9.6 or higher.
  3. You can join the breakout room you wish to attend by hovering your pointer over the number to the right of the room you wish to visit, click Join, then confirm by clicking Join.
  4. The main session will continue after you join the next breakout room, or you can click Leave Room to go back to the main meeting.

How to ask for help

When you click Ask for Help, the meeting host will receive an automated notification that you need assistance, and they will be invited into your breakout room.

  1. You can ask for help in the meeting controls by clicking the Ask for Help link.
  2. If you request assistance, you can then confirm your request by clicking Invite Host.

How to record while in a breakout room

  1. Request permission to record the show from the host.  Prior to opening, the host must inspect the recording and authorize it before the breakout rooms can be opened. The host can join your breakout room for you to record, if the breakout rooms have already been opened by the host.
  2. You can start your local recording by clicking Record in the meeting control panel.
  3. You can pause or stop the recording of your meeting by clicking the pause or stop icon in the meeting controls.

    Clicking the indicator in the top left corner of the screen will also allow you to stop or pause the recording.

Learn more about local recording.

How to leave the breakout room

In either case, you can return to the main meeting session from the breakout room, or leave the meeting altogether.

  1. Breakout room can be left by clicking Leave.
  2. Whether to leave the group or the meeting entirely is up to you.
  3. Upon end of the breakout rooms, the host will notify you and give you a choice of returning to the main room immediately, or in 60 seconds.

Linux

Joining a breakout room

  1. In order to participate in the breakout session, you will need to be invited by the host.
  2. Please click on the Join button.
  3. In your meeting controls, you will find a button called Join Breakout Room if you choose Later.
  4. Press this button to join the breakout room.

    The breakout room will provide you with the same controls as your meeting.

How to self-select a breakout room

There will be a list of breakout rooms that the host will have created and participants can view and select from if they have chosen to self-select and join breakout rooms they are interested in. It will be possible for them to enter and exit the breakout rooms at their convenience.

Note: Participants who do not have the desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or above) will not be able to self-select breakout rooms once they are logged into their account. In order for these participants to be moved manually, the host will need to facilitate that process.

  1. In the meeting controls, click the Breakout Rooms button.
    By clicking this button, a list of all the available breakout rooms set up by the host will be displayed.
  2. To see which participants are present in this particular room, you may click on Expand All in order to expand all available rooms.
    Note: You must have version 5.9.6 or higher to use the Expand All and Collapse All features.
  3. In order to participate in the Breakout Room you need to click Join next to that room, and then click Join again after you have completed that step.
  4. Click the Breakout Rooms button or click Leave Room to return to the main session. Repeat the process as necessary to join other breakout rooms.

How to ask for help

Clicking on your Meeting Host’s name will notify him/her that you need assistance and they will be asked to come into your breakout room to assist you.

  1. In the meeting control screen, click on Ask for Help.
  2. Once you have selected this option, you can invite the host to assist you.

How to leave the breakout room

Any time during the meeting, you can leave the breakout room and return to the main meeting session, or you may leave the meeting altogether from the breakout room.

  1. Leave the breakout room by clicking Leave.
  2. Click Leave if you want to leave the entire meeting or just the breakout room.
  3. Upon ending the breakout rooms, the host will notify you and allow you to return to the main room immediately or within 60 seconds.

iOS

How to join a breakout room

  1. If you wish to join the breakout room, the host will need to invite you.
  2. To join, tap Join.
  3. By tapping the Join Breakout Room button you will be able to join the discussion when you tap Later.
  4. You can join the discussion by tapping Join.
    Similarly to the meeting, the breakout room provides full control of the discussion.

How to self-select a breakout room

There will be a list of breakout rooms that the host will have created and participants can view and select from if they have chosen to self-select and join breakout rooms they are interested in. It will be possible for them to enter and exit the breakout rooms at their convenience.

Note: Participants who do not have the desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or above) will not be able to self-select breakout rooms once they are logged into their account. In order for these participants to be moved manually, the host will need to facilitate that process.

  1. In the meeting control panel, choose Breakout Rooms in the upper-left corner.
  2. Clicking this will display a list of sessions that the host has created so that you can choose one to join.
  3. Select the Breakout Room that you would like to take part in and tap the Join button to start your participation.
  4. Click the Stay in Room button to stay in the main session or click Leave Room if you need to switch to a different breakout room.

How to ask for help

As soon as you tap Ask for Help, you will be informed that you need assistance and asked to join your breakout room so that they can help you.

  1. You can ask for help by tapping the Ask for Help button.
  2. After you tap Invite Host, you will be asked to confirm that you would like assistance.

How to leave the breakout room

As soon as your meeting breaks up into four breakout sessions, you are free to return to the main meeting at any time, or you can leave the main meeting entirely from the breakout room.

  1. Click on the ‘Leave’ button.
  2. Choose the option to leave the meeting room.
  3. The host will inform you when breakout rooms have ended and will give you the option of returning back to the main room immediately, or in 60 seconds.

Android

How to join a breakout room

  1. You will need to be invited by the host to join the breakout room.
  2. Tap the Join button.
  3. You can join the breakout room by tapping the Join Breakout Room option if you choose Later in the process.
    In this case, you will have full control over the breakout room as you would have in the meeting.

How to self-select a breakout room

There will be a list of breakout rooms that the host will have created and participants can view and select from if they have chosen to self-select and join breakout rooms they are interested in. It will be possible for them to enter and exit the breakout rooms at their convenience.

Note: Participants who do not have the desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or above) will not be able to self-select breakout rooms once they are logged into their account. In order for these participants to be moved manually, the host will need to facilitate that process.

  1. In the meeting control panel, choose Breakout Rooms in the upper-left corner.
    You will then be able to see a list of open breakout rooms that the host has set up.
  2. If you would like to participate in that breakout room, you will need to tap Join.
  3. Alternatively, you can click Leave Room to return to the main meeting, or repeat the process to join other breakout rooms.

How to ask for help

When asked for assistance in a meeting, the meeting host will be notified that you need assistance, and they will be requested to join you in a breakout room.

  1. You can display meeting controls by tapping the screen.
  2. On the top-left corner, you will find a button that says Ask for Help.
  3. You will need to tap the button in order to confirm that you want assistance.

How to leave the breakout room

As soon as your meeting breaks up into four breakout sessions, you are free to return to the main meeting at any time, or you can leave the main meeting entirely from the breakout room.

  1. Press the ‘Leave’ key.
  2. You will be presented with a menu of options.
  3. The host will always notify you once the breakout rooms are done and you will have the option of returning to the main room immediately or 60 seconds later.

Telephone

It is not necessary to do anything in order to join a breakout room that is being held by telephone. In order for you to be notified you have been added to a breakout room, the host will start the breakout rooms.

Participating in the breakout room

Like you can do in the main session, you will have the option of muting and unmuting. You can do this by pressing *6.

Returning to the main room

In order to assist you with your return to the main room, you will be notified in 60 seconds when the host has ended the breakout rooms. Please press # to enter the main room right away.

Web

How to join a breakout room

  1. You will need to be invited by the host to join the breakout room.
  2. The notification box will appear and you will need to click Join.
  3. In your meeting controls, you can select Breakout Rooms from the meeting control drop-down menu if you have chosen Later.
    This will provide you with full control similar to the meeting controls.
    Note: Local recordings are not supported by the web client.

How to ask for help

It seems that there is an error in the link Ask for Help , which notifies the host of the meeting that you need assistance, and he/she will ask to join your breakout room.

  1. In the meeting controls, click the Ask for Help button.
  2. Select Invite Host from the drop-down menu to let the host know you want assistance.

How to leave the breakout room

As soon as your meeting breaks up into four breakout sessions, you are free to return to the main meeting at any time, or you can leave the main meeting entirely from the breakout room.

  1. Leave the break out room by clicking the button.
  2. There are two options: leaving the break out room or leaving the meeting in its entirety.
  3. After the breakout rooms are over, you will be notified by the host and given the option to return to the main meeting room immediately or within 60 seconds.

Chrome OS

Joining a breakout room

  1. You will need to be invited by the host to join the breakout room.
  2. When the notification pops up, click Join.
  3. You can join later if you chose that option in the Meeting Controls, so if you want to do that click Breakout Rooms.
    Once you have clicked Breakout Rooms, you will obtain full control over each breakout room.

How to self-select a breakout room

If the host has allowed participants to self-select and join breakout rooms of their choosing, participants will be able to view and select from a list of breakout rooms the host has created. They will be able to enter and leave breakout rooms freely.

Note:

It will not be possible for people who have not yet been assigned a breakout room to self-select if they are not using the desktop or mobile app (version 5.3.0 or higher) or ChromeOS app (version 5.0.0 (4241.1207) or higher). In order to move these participants manually, the host will need to assist them in doing so.

  1. In the meeting controls, click on Breakout Rooms.
    A list of all the breakout rooms that have been set up by your host will be displayed.
  2. You must click the Join button next to the Breakout Room you wish to participate in, and then confirm your decision by clicking the Join button again.
  3. If you wish to join other breakout sessions, you can repeat the process as necessary or you can click Leave Room to return to the main meeting.

Asking for help

By clicking on the Ask for Help button, you will be able to contact the meeting host for assistance and they will be invited to join your breakout room.

  1. You can ask for help in the meeting controls by clicking the Ask for Help link.
  2. Then click the Invite Host button to confirm you want assistance.

Leaving the breakout room

As soon as your meeting breaks up into four breakout sessions, you are free to return to the main meeting at any time, or you can leave the main meeting entirely from the breakout room.

  1. Click on the Leave Breakout Room button.
  2. You will be able to select whether you want to leave the breakout room or the whole meeting.
  3. Once the breakout room session has ended, the host will notify you and give you the option of returning to the main room as soon as possible or within 60 seconds.