Using Breakout Rooms in MS Teams

What are Breakout Rooms?

  • Breakout rooms allow a meeting organizer/instructor to split attendees into multiple online rooms for discussion and collaboration in Microsoft Teams
  • Allows you to breakout into smaller groups for:
    • Group projects
    • Small case studies
    • Class assignments
    • Member collaboration
  • Create up to 50 breakout rooms per meeting
  • Breakout room participants can return to the main meeting at any time to ask questions, without disturbing the breakout room discussion
  • Meeting organizers can:
    • Choose to create breakout rooms automatically or manually, as well as rename and delete rooms as needed
    • Choose to re-create the same rooms within the same meeting for more breakout sessions
    • Join any active breakout room
    • Switch attendees to different breakout rooms
    • Send announcements to the breakout rooms
    • Recall all participants back to main meeting
  • Meeting attendees can:
    • Use Together mode to make the breakout session feel more interactive
    • Use Microsoft Whiteboard to draw out ideas
    • Share their screens for collaboration
    • Share any files in the main meeting that were used or created in the breakout session
    • Utilize the chat feature in the breakout room
    • Users cannot choose their own room, they must be assigned by the meeting organizer

How Do I Use Breakout Rooms in Teams?

To create breakout rooms, you must:

  • Be the meeting organizer
  • Be signed into the MS Teams Desktop client with your WesternU credentials
    • This is the installed version, and not the web version available at
    • Teams can be downloaded for free here
    • NOTE:  Attendees can attend from either the web or installed version, but the meeting organizer must use the installed version to create breakout rooms
  • Ensure you are using the latest version of Teams by checking for updates
  • Ensure the "New Meeting Experience" feature is turned on
    • Go to Teams > Settings > General > Turn on new meeting experience

  • Have enough attendees to allow for breakout sessions
    • This feature is not beneficial for 2-3 member meetings
  • Be in the active meeting to create breakouts rooms
    • You cannot pre-create the breakout rooms prior to the meeting

Creating Breakout Rooms

  • Enter active meeting
  • When you are ready to move attendees to their breakout rooms, select the Breakout Rooms icon at the top of the meeting window

  • Choose your breakout room settings
    • Number of rooms (up to 50)
    • How you'd like the participants to be assigned (automatic or manually)
    • Select "Create Rooms"

Managing Breakout Rooms

  • Assign participants as necessary
    • Late attendees will need to be assigned by the organizer
    • You can see unassigned attendees in the "Assign Participants" section of the panel

  • If you need to re-create the rooms completely, select the ellipses at the top of the panel and select "Recreate rooms"
    • This will delete all current rooms and place the attendees back into the main meeting
    • You may then choose to create them automatically or manually

  • Rooms Settings allow you to:
    • Choose to automatically move participants to rooms
    • Choose to allow participants to return to the main meeting at will, rather than you manually returning them to the main meeting
    • To change these settings, select the ellipses at the top of the panel, and select "Room settings"

  • Apply settings as needed

  • Each room can be managed individually
    • Select the ellipses next to the room name
    • Here you may join, open, rename, close, or delete a room


Additional Information


Article ID: 124986
Thu 1/21/21 10:48 AM
Fri 1/22/21 7:26 AM