Understanding Zoom breakout rooms


Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time. Breakout Rooms can also be created based on poll results from participants.  

Note: We do not recommend using the pre-assign breakout rooms feature unless you are importing Canvas Student groups. Please see the limitations in that section for more information. 

  • Up to 50 breakout rooms can be created.
  • Max 200 total participants across all breakout rooms (requires Large Meeting 200 add-on).
  • Breakout room participants have full audio, video and screen share capabilities.

If the meeting is being cloud recorded, it will only record the main room, regardless of what room the meeting host is in. If local recording is being used, it will record the room the participant who is recording is in. Multiple participants can record locally.

Learn how to manage breakout rooms.


To manage breakout rooms as the host:

  • Zoom account
  • Zoom desktop client

NoteUsers joined into the Zoom meeting from the Zoom Desktop Client, Zoom Mobile App or H.323/SIP devices can participate in breakout rooms. Users joined via the web client and Zoom Rooms are unable to join Breakout Rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.

Enable Breakout Rooms on your Account

To enable the Breakout Room feature for your own use:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Select Account Management > Account Settings (if you are an account administrator) or Settings (if you are an account member).
  3. Navigate to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
    If the setting is disabled, select the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change (See Fig. 1).
  4. (Optional) Select the check box to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.

Import Canvas student groups into breakout rooms

It is now possible to import your student groups from Canvas into Zoom breakout rooms.
Note: You must create your groups and add students prior to importing them into Zoom.

  1. Navigate to your course in Canvas.
  2. Select Zoom from the course navigation menu.
  3. Select Schedule a New Meeting.
  4. Enable Breakout Room pre-assign.
  5. Select Import Course Groups. The course groups will automatically be added as breakout rooms.


  • Students can not access the Import Course Groups feature.
  • If you delete a user from the group after the breakout room assignment has been completed, the user will still be assigned to the room. However, when you click Import Course Groups next time, it will reflect the most current course groups.
  • When importing groups that exceed the 100 breakout room limit, only the number of breakout rooms allowed will be imported.

Modified on: Tue, Oct 24, 2023 at 10:15 AM

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