How to enable, create and use Virtual Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft will be rolling out its most anticipated feature "Breakout Rooms" for its Microsoft 365 Tenants and plan to complete it by November 2020, which is delayed delivery earlier planned for October 2020.

Breakout rooms are generally available in Microsoft Teams now.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap - Virtual Breakout Rooms 65332
Introduce breakout room functionality - UserVoice

Microsoft Teams - Virtual Breakout Rooms (Feature ID: 65332)

Meeting hosts can create breakout rooms to be used by meeting participants for smaller group discussion. They can assign participants to a room and call them back to the larger group when the breakout is complete. We anticipate delivering this feature no later than early Q4.

Tags: Microsoft Teams, GCC, Worldwide (Standard Multi-Tenant), General Availability

Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms.PNG
Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

❓️ Where breakout rooms are useful ?

Creating meaningful connections can be difficult in larger groups. Breakout rooms allow organizers to divide the meeting into sub-groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Corporate Meetings - Meeting organizers can create virtual breakout rooms so they can split and assign participants to smaller groups for focused discussions and come back to the main room when done.

Teams for education - Teachers can create virtual breakout rooms so students can work within their smaller groups on a discussion or assignment, then easily be called back to the larger group.

Board Meetings - Host can create mini meeting rooms adding board members to relevant committee discussions and come back with their conclusion on a topic.

Human Resources - HR can create smaller brainstorming breakouts and split employees to brainstorm together and work on the given task together, and later return to the main room.

  • Create Teams Breakout room.PNG
    Create Teams Breakout room

    ❓️ What is required to use breakout rooms ?

    1. Teams Admin needs to enable the required settings from Teams Admin Center.
    2. You need to be the Meeting Organizer. Presenters and attendees cannot provision yet.
    3. Works only with Teams Desktop Cleint App, Web or Mobile. Microsoft Teams Rooms do not have breakout room capabilities yet.
    4. Works only with the new Teams meeting experience. Enable here, Teams --> Settings --> General --> Check "Turn on new meeting experience".
    5. Be meeting organizer to record meetings, participants cannot.

    ❓️ How can universirty/school teachers and students use Breakout Rooms ?

    1. Breakout Rooms for university teachers and student work the same way as it works for organizational accounts.
    2. Educators can push students into the breakout rooms and pull them back to the main meeting.
    3. Students can be assigned to breakout rooms and they can join breakout rooms from Desktop/Mobile/
    4. Students can use the whiteboard or screen share if they are allowed.
    5. Same security policies and options apply to the breakout room.

    ⭐ Features of breakout rooms ?

    1. Works for organizational and external users.
    2. Create up to 50 rooms.
    3. Add upto 10 participants per room.
    4. Assign and organize participants manually or automatically.
    5. Start, open/close rooms.
    6. Move participants between rooms.
    7. Reopen rooms.
    8. Record, share files, sue whiteboars, capture notes, download attendance.
    9. Participants logged in from multiple devices will have all end points join the same breakout room.
    Teams Breakout room 1
    Teams Breakout room 1 (photo courtesy - Microsoft)
    Teams Breakout room 2
    Teams Breakout room 2 (photo courtesy - Microsoft)


    • Is there a way to have more than one meeting organizer? We have co-teachers who both need the rights to send students to breakout rooms.
      14 Dec 2020 08:32:33 GMT
    • Tested this today for an event with the breakout rooms feature. Not being able to assign some users to rooms but also users appearing as 'Unknown' in the participant list (not being able to see who's who to assign).
      14 Dec 2020 09:30:12 GMT
    • Very much want the feature to assign participants prior to the meeting in advance. This is possible in Zoom.
      13 Dec 2020 15:44:27 GMT
    • Participant name appearing as unknown in the participant list, can't make out who the person is.
      13 Dec 2020 12:55:23 GMT
    • So if I join a meeting via my desktop but have the meeting call my phone for the audio, I can't be put into a breakout room? This is a major flaw for our use, professional training where often our participants will join via there phone because they are attending the class in a common area.
      12 Dec 2020 04:29:37 GMT
    • I get an error message "This person is using a device or app version that doesn't support breakout rooms."
      10 Dec 2020 17:12:41 GMT
    • Getting this, any suggestions? - You don't have access to this toom. The link might have expired, or you may have been reassigned.
      07 Dec 2020 03:15:22 GMT
    • Similar to one of the previous comments, it would be nice to assign team members in rooms ahead of the meeting. This will save time and not require ad-hoc work.
      03 Dec 2020 22:43:02 GMT
    • Do I need a certain license to use this feature? My M365 consultant mentioned it requires some E3 license.
      02 Dec 2020 09:03:39 GMT
    • Can I pre-assign students to breakout rooms? This will make it easy for Me to split projects.
      23 Nov 2020 23:49:07 GMT
    • I don't see this option yet, which Teams update is required for this???
      14 Nov 2020 14:05:23 GMT
    • Further comments disabled!
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