How to Enable Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Zoom is an excellent tool for setting up meetings online. Its ease of use enables numerous people to gather together and exchange ideas in the comfort of their own homes. Sometimes, you may want to group particular people into teams to concentrate on separate topics without having to leave the current conference. This scenario is where breakout rooms come into play.

How to Enable Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Below you’ll see how to enable breakout rooms in Zoom depending on the platform or OS. Furthermore, you’ll see some most commonly asked questions regarding the Zoom breakout room. Let’s get started.

How to Create and Join Breakout Rooms in Zoom on a Windows PC

Breakout rooms are only created if you are using a desktop version of Zoom. Reasons for why the feature is not available for mobile users have not been given.

The fact is, you will need to be on a desktop if you wish to create and assign a breakout room. Before you can create breakout rooms, you have to enable the function in your account settings. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the Zoom website. Sign in to your account. If you do not have one, you can sign up for free. The breakout room feature is also available on the free version.
  2. Click on “My Account.” The option should be in the upper right corner of the site.
  3. On the menu to the left, click on “Settings.”
  4. Under the “Meeting tab,” click “In Meeting (Advanced).”
  5. From the menu, look for “Breakout Room” then toggle the switch that allows the host to create smaller meeting rooms, then click “Save.”

With the Breakout Room option enabled, you can now create smaller meeting rooms while hosting a larger one. Remember that you need to either be an administrator or a host to create breakout rooms. To actually make a breakout room, do the following:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app.
  2. You will either need to Schedule a meeting or host a new one. The buttons on the Zoom Home page allow you to do either option. Click on “New Meeting” or “Schedule” depending on your needs.
  3. On the lower right corner of the screen, click on “More.” From the list that pops out, click on “Breakout Rooms.”
  4. On the resulting pop-up window, you get asked the number of participants for the breakout room and whether or not it gets done Automatically or Manually. Choosing “Automatic breakout rooms” assigns people at random. If you wish to choose which people go to what room, choose “Manually.”
  5. Click on “Create Rooms.” You can move around participants even after you have created the rooms.
  6. Another pop-up window appears with the title of “Breakout Room 1.” If you want to change the room name, hover over the name and then click on it to rename it. Enter the new name that you want.
  7. Click on the “Assign” option at the right of the room name to manually assign the new name.

If you wish to join a meeting that contains breakout rooms, you can do the following:

  1. Open your Zoom Desktop app. You will need to have an invitation to the meeting that contains breakout rooms.
  2. A popup window appears upon joining the meeting, showing that you got invited to a breakout room. You can choose to “Join” and immediately open the meeting in a breakout room, or you can choose “Later.”
  3. If you clicked on “Join,” a confirmation window appears, displaying a message with details on which room you got assigned. Click on “Join Breakout Room.”
  4. If you chose the “Later” option during the initial invitation, you could join the breakout room by clicking “Breakout Rooms” in the lower right portion of your menu bar.

How to Create and Join Breakout Rooms in Zoom on a Mac

As the Zoom desktop app is not platform-specific, creating and joining a breakout room is similar to that of Windows 10. If you want to assign people to breakout rooms on the Mac, follow the instructions above.

How to Create and Join Breakout Rooms in Zoom on a Chromebook

Chromebook is a bit strange in terms of the Zoom application, as the Chrome OS does not allow outside apps to get installed without Google’s permission. Zoom as a third-party app will not usually be an app available for Chrome OS. Fortunately, a couple of workarounds are available, namely, installing either the Web App version or the Chrome OS version.

The web app version is available through Google Play. The Chrome OS version known as Zoom Rooms does not have breakout rooms, though they can still log into the primary meeting session. If a participant uses the Chrome OS version, you can set the main meeting window as their room while assigning other users to breakout rooms.

The Web App, being a mobile version of Zoom, can not create breakout rooms. Participants can only join them. To find out how to join breakout rooms using the Google Play version, refer to the Android Zoom instructions below.

How to Create and Join Breakout Rooms in Zoom on an Android Device

Mobile versions of Zoom can not create breakout rooms. You need a desktop version to do that. You can, however, join breakout rooms that already got set up. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Zoom mobile app.
  2. You will need to have an invitation to the meeting that contains breakout rooms.
  3. A small popup window appears on your screen, indicating that you got invited to a breakout room. Choose either “Join” or “Later.” Choosing “Join” automatically opens the meeting inside a breakout room. Choosing “Later” brings you to the main meeting room.
  4. If you want to join the breakout room from the primary meeting, click on the “Join Breakout Room” icon. The icon should be the one with a picture of four rectangles, and you usually find it on the upper left side of the Zoom screen.
  5. If you wish to leave the breakout room, click on the “Leave…” button.

How to Create and Join Breakout Rooms in Zoom on an iPhone

The Android and iPhone versions of the Zoom app are similar. The iPhone version can not create breakout rooms but only join them. If you wish to join a breakout room using an iPhone, follow the instructions given in the Android version above.

Enabling Zoom Breakout Rooms FAQs

What user role can create breakout rooms?

Only a host can assign people to breakout rooms. Remember that only desktop versions of the Zoom app can create and manage rooms. These requirements mean that at least one participant should have a computer to host the Zoom app. Users on a mobile version can only Join a room that a desktop Zoom app has created.

Hosts can pre-assign participants by using the Schedule meeting option or split them up during an ongoing meeting. Participants also have an option in their menu that allows the host to create and assign them into breakout rooms.

What are the limitations of breakout rooms?

Breakout rooms have certain limitations that you should take note of if you want to run the meeting successfully. These limits are:

1. Only the host can assign people to breakout rooms. If the meeting has a co-host, they can only join a breakout room that has been specifically assigned to them by the host.

2. Zoom Room users can not create or join breakout rooms.

3. Mobile Zoom users can not create or manage breakout rooms.

4. If you are using cloud recording to document the Zoom meeting, only the main room will be recorded. The location of the host does not matter. Breakout rooms will not be documented even if the host is in the breakout room.

5. You can only create up to a maximum of 50 breakout rooms.

6. The participants of each breakout room will depend on the participant’s limitation of the entire meeting.

7. If you have the large meeting add-on, then the maximum number of participants will be as follows:

a. 200 participants assigned to 50 breakout rooms.

b. 400 participants assigned to 30 breakout rooms.

c. 500 participants assigned to 20 breakout rooms.

What exactly is a breakout room?

The breakout room is essentially a meeting within a meeting. It is a handy way of organizing a larger group of people into smaller groups so that they can discuss specific topics that the entire meeting may not need to be involved in. If an entire meeting can be compartmentalized into particular subjects, then meetings can be conducted more efficiently and save veryone’s valuable time. Concurrent meetings for diversified topics run faster using Breakout Rooms than having to wait for certain groups to finish before discussing a certain subject.

In closing, Zoom is a very handy tool for conducting meetings online. Being able to group people into particular rooms so that they can discuss particular points will only increase the efficiency of a meeting. It is always a good idea to have the right people concentrate on the subjects that they are connected to, rather than have a mishmash of subjects hindering progress.

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