Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

Tags ms-teams

Microsoft Teams breakout rooms are now generally available with the December 2020 Teams update.

Breakout rooms allow the meeting organizer to divide meeting participants into sub-groups.  These sub-groups have the full teams meeting experience available to participants, including meeting chat, files, whiteboard, recording etc.


Pre-Requisites for Meeting Organizer

  • Organizer must be using the Teams app for Windows or Mac - cannot create Breakout rooms using the web or mobile app.
  • Microsoft Teams app version for Windows or Mac with the new meeting experience enabled

Pre-Requisites for Meeting Participants

  • Meeting participants can join breakout rooms using the Teams desktop app, or Android or iOS mobile apps
  • Minimum desktop app version: with the new meeting experience enabled
  • Minimum iOS build:
  • Minimum Android build:

How to update your Teams client

The Teams client should update automatically - however to check for the latest update on Windows or Mac, click your profile picture or initials in the upper right hand corner of your Teams app and click "check for updates."

On mobile devices, go to your respective app store and check for updates.

How to enable the new meeting experience

Follow the instructions here to enable the new meeting experience: 
Article - Teams - New Meeting Experience (

Create breakout rooms

  1. Join your meeting at its scheduled time and wait for your participants to join. Your meeting will open in its own window.

  2. When your participants have joined and you are ready, select Breakout rooms from your meeting controls.

  3. Choose how many rooms you'd like to create from the dropdown.

  4. Choose whether you'd like Teams to assign participants to rooms Automatically or Manually if you'd prefer to assign participants to rooms yourself.

    Tip: This is the only time you can choose to assign participants automatically to rooms. You won't be able to choose this option later.

  5. Select Create Rooms.

If you would like your participants to be able to return to the main room on their own once they are done with the sub-meeting in the breakout room, you need to enable this option in Room Settings:

  1. Click on the three dots next to Breakout rooms in the top right corner and select Room settings

  2. Enable Participants can return to the main room option

Assign participants to rooms

If you chose Automatically, participants will already be assigned to different breakout rooms.

To manually add participants to rooms:

  1. Expand the list under Assign participants.

  2. Hover over particpiant names until checkboxes appear. Choose particpants by selecting the checkboxes.

  3. Select More options More options button and choose a room from the list.

  4. Repeat this process until all particpants have been assigned to rooms.

  5. To view the participants assigned to a Breakout Room, expand the arrow next to the room's name.

Start breakout rooms

To start rooms individually:

  • Select More options More options button next to the room, then Open room.

To start rooms all at once:

  • Select Open rooms.

You'll know rooms have successfully opened when their status changes to Open.

Join a breakout room

To join a room and check on in on its progress:

  1. Select More options More options button next to the room, then Join room.

  2. Select Return when you're ready to leave the Breakout Room and return to the main meeting.

Send an announcement to breakout rooms

Once breakout rooms have started, send announcements to give time updates or share prompts.

  1. Select More options More options button > Make an announcement.

  2. Type in your announcement and then select Send.

  3. Participants will receive a notification in their meeting chat to check for your announcement.

Close breakout rooms

To close rooms individually:

  • Select More options More options button next to the room, then Close room.

To close rooms all at once:

  • Select Close rooms.

You'll know rooms have successfully closed when their status changes to Closed.

  • Select Resume when everyone is back from their breakout rooms and you're ready to meet as a larger group again.


Watch the 2 minute demonstration:

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Article ID: 122639
Mon 12/14/20 2:39 PM
Mon 10/4/21 1:15 PM

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