Advanced Training: Breakout Rooms

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Advanced Training: Breakout Rooms

IMPORTANT: For pre-assigned breakout rooms to function, the email addresses you use for participants must be tied to valid UNT Zoom users. Please notify your participants of the importance of activiating their UNT Zoom account. Also, they need to sign in to Zoom at the beginning of the meeting for Zoom to properly sort them into their pre-assigned breakout room. For details on how to activate your UNT Zoom account and verify your Zoom affiliated email address, please visit the articles on our Zoom Tips page for details. 

What is the purpose of breakout rooms?

Breakout rooms allow you to split your meeting participants into their own sub-meetings for things such as group work and focused discussion.

Enabling Breakout Rooms

The first thing to do is make sure you have breakout rooms enabled in your Zoom settings. Log into your profile at to access your settings.

Zoom portal menu

Next, scroll down until you see both the Breakout room and Remote support options. Make sure that Breakout room is enabled and that Remote support is disabled.

breakout room setting

If you try and enable Breakout room while the Remote support setting is enabled, you may receive this notification:

setting conflict notification

In this case, disable the Remote support setting first and then enable the Breakout room setting.

Ok, my breakout room settings are enabled, now how do I set up groups?

Setting up breakout rooms can be done one of two ways:

  • Pre-assigning the groups before the meeting (for scheduled meetings only)
  • Manually assigning groups after the meeting has started

How do I do pre-assign breakout groups?

Note: If your meeting or class is small, it may be easier to manually assign breakout rooms once the meeting has started. See Option 3.

When you schedule a meeting, under Meeting Options, you will see an option for Breakout Room pre-assign. Check this setting to enable it.

pre-assign breakout room

Option 1: Pre-Assign Participants Manually

You’ll notice the two options underneath the setting: Create Rooms and Import from CSV. Let’s look at the Create Rooms option. Below is the popup window you should see once selecting that option.

breakout room assignment

Once this window is up, you can select (the plus symbol) to start creating breakout rooms. Once a room is created, you can then add whoever you want to the room by typing in their email address and hitting enter. If the participant has an authenticated UNT account through Zoom, simply typing their name should bring them up in the directory.

adding participants to rooms

Once you have breakout rooms setup, you should see a list of the assigned participants under each room, as well as a count on the left-hand side of how many are in each room. You can also hover over the room name on the right-hand side to change the name of the room.

changing room name

Once you’re done, select Save and your breakout rooms will be ready once your meeting begins!

Option 2: Pre-Assign Participants Using CSV

To pre-assign rooms using a CSV file (Microsoft Excel), select ‘Import from CSV’, and you will see this popup window:

import CSV file

Select download from the top to download the template for editing. The template, when opened in Microsoft Excel, should look like this:

CSV example

Under the ‘Email Address’ column, add in all the emails of your participants, and group them together by room. After that, you can rename rooms from there. Each email will need a room name to the left of it so that the participant can be assigned.

After you’re done with your list, save it and upload it by selecting browse (noted in the window above) or drag the file into the popup window. From here you can check whether Zoom uploaded and configured your rooms properly.

Option 3: Assign Participants to Breakout Rooms Manually (In-Meeting)

Once in a meeting, navigate to your meeting controls and select Breakout Rooms.

meeting controls

After selecting that, a window will popup.

Breakout rooms window

From here, you can select the number of breakout rooms and whether to assign automatically or manually. Once you select Create Rooms, the next popup will show you the rooms and assignments (if automatic) before you officially open the rooms.

breakout rooms

From this popup, you can assign participants, create/delete/rename rooms and adjust settings (shown below):

breakout room options

Once everything is set, you can select Open All Rooms to begin the breakout rooms!

After the rooms begin their meetings, you may join any room, send a message to all rooms or even respond to a participant requesting help from a breakout room.

When the time has come to end all breakout rooms and to bring everyone back into the main meeting, select Close All Rooms. The breakout rooms are officially closed.

For more information about breakout rooms and what they can bring to your meeting, visit Zoom’s support page on this topic: Zoom Support: Managing Breakout Rooms