What is Breakout Rooms – How to Enable and Use it?

Office meetings and conferences have become easier to conduct thanks to apps such as Zoom. Sometimes meetings may go on for longer periods. Some participants may need some timeout to discuss separately. Zoom facilitates a feature called breakout rooms. It allows some of the participants of the meeting to create a separate virtual space for discussion. In this guide, I will tell you how to create and manage breakout rooms in Zoom.

As of now, this feature is only available on the desktop version of the application. Only the host of a meeting can create and manage the breakout rooms. A host cannot create it from a smartphone. However, phone users can join these rooms. To use this feature first you need to enable it on Zoom.

Zoom Breakout Rooms explained

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How to Enable Breakout Rooms

  • On your browser, enter URL Zoom.us
  • Sign in to your account
  • Left-hand side there will be a panel called Personal. Under that click Settings
  • Go to Meeting > In-meeting(Advanced)
  • There will be a toggle beside an option Breakout Room. Click to enable it.
    Zoom Breakout Rooms

Creating and Managing Rooms

  • Launch the Zoom on your PC/laptop
  • click on New Meeting
  • As you have enabled Breakout Rooms you should see the same now on the bottom toolbar of the video screen.
  • Click that option
  • Zoom will offer two ways an Automatic and Manual way of creating/assigning the rooms. Select whichever way you want it.
  • Then click on Create Breakout Rooms

Note

In a Zoom Call, you can create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single session. To begin a break session for any room click on Open All Rooms. The Recreate Rooms option will distribute the meeting participants for future breakouts automatically.

The host can click on a room to see it’s current participants. He can reassign or delete participants from any room. If you are a host, then you can set the time for a particular room. If you set a timeline, then the participants in that room will get to see a countdown timer. So, they can finish their discussion within a stipulated time and get back to the main meeting screen where everyone is present.

This timer concept can work well if a recruiter is taking multiple round interviews of various candidates. Then after 1 round, he may allow the candidates to discuss for further rounds in a breakout room. It is a very useful feature that is beneficial for people indulging in various kinds of online meetings and interviews.

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So, that’s all about the concept of breakout rooms on the Zoom conferencing app. Try this feature out if you are hosting an online meeting next time.

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