Breakout rooms generally available today in Microsoft Teams

Published 12-09-2020 06:00 AM 803K Views

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


We are excited to share that Breakout rooms are generally available in Microsoft Teams today (available in GCC this week).


The meeting organizer can create up to 50 breakout rooms and choose to automatically or manually assign participants into rooms. The organizer can start a breakout room in a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting, allowing greater flexibility on how you want to meet.

Create Breakout room.png


Using the breakout room settings, the meeting organizer can choose to allow participants to come back to the main meeting at any time, then return to the assigned breakout room. This way participants can ask a clarifying question without disturbing the breakout room discussions.


Also, organizers can use the setting to re-create breakout rooms in the same meeting. This allows them to assign participants into new room setups.

Recreate breakout rooms.png


The meeting organizer can create, rename, and delete rooms as needed.

Rename Breakout room.png


Once the breakout rooms are open, meeting organizers can join any of the breakout sessions. And should the need arise, you can quickly switch attendees in between breakout rooms.

Switch breakout rooms.png


Organizers can send announcements to the breakout rooms, and recall all participants back to the main meeting at any time.

Announcement in Breakout rooms.png


Since breakout rooms are Teams meetings, all the innovation that makes Teams meetings inclusive, interactive, and intelligent are available within. Attendees can discuss a topic in their breakout room while in a virtual coffee shop in Together mode. Or students can bring up the Microsoft Whiteboard and draw out their ideas. This is also true of our security features that help make your Teams meetings a safe and secure place to meet.

Breakout Room Whiteboard.png


Any files from the breakout rooms can be shared in the main meeting once everyone is back together and will be available afterwards in the meeting chat.

Meeting chat from breakout rooms.png


Who can start a breakout room?

  • Only the meeting organizer can start breakout rooms.

How can I use breakout rooms?

  • The meeting organizer can start a breakout room on the desktop client only.
  • Participants can join a breakout room from desktop, web or mobile. Microsoft Teams Rooms do not have breakout room capabilities yet.
  • Participants logged in from multiple devices will have all end points join the same breakout room.

How do I make sure I can start using breakout rooms?

I’m an educator, what will my students be able to do?

  • Educators will have the option to push students into the breakout rooms and pull them back to the main meeting, without any additional action needed by the student.
  • Students can be assigned to breakout rooms, join breakout rooms, use the whiteboard or screen share if allowed to in normal school meetings, re-join the main meeting, and see their breakout room chat.
  • Since breakout rooms are Teams meetings, the same security policies and options apply to the breakout room.
  • Learn more about using breakout rooms at your school or university here.
Occasional Visitor

This is very exciting - we're happy to have this functionality available! 


Is there a way to push content to the individual rooms all at once? For instance, if I'm presenting in the main room, can I have it carry down into the breakout rooms or do I need to go into each room and individually share? 

Occasional Visitor

Good, if long overdue, update. Will this work in the class environment as well as a regular meeting? I use breakouts a lot in my class and it would be nice for students to be auto assigned. Is it random? 


LOTS of updates to Teams still needed. When will we see more faces????


Yay! They are here.

Now let's talk:

  • Adding other roles and privileges to allow for the Organizer to assign an Alternate "Host(S)" to the meeting. 
  • Option to push content to the breakouts
  • Downloading attendance reports post session (without Admin rights)


Super Contributor

@Nicola_Young, you can manually assign or have it automatically assign members or students to the breakout rooms.

Regular Visitor

Jumping on the bandwagon to request the ability to: 1) create Breakout Rooms in advance; and 2) allow another team member to manage break out rooms.  Both will be a big win.

Occasional Visitor

Is it possible to create a few breakout rooms that meeting attendees can move amongst at their own discretion?  In other words, they are not confined to a single breakout room, but can go between breakout rooms on their own.



Just adding my 2 cents about being able to assign a co-coordinator.  Our training is set up well in advance (e.g. for the year) by an admin team.  Then we have a facilitator and producer on the call.  The producer manages  the breakouts. We've been using Zoom so last-minute personnel changes were a non-issue as long as someone could go in an reassign the 'host'.  Hope Teams has this soon.


Occasional Contributor

Bei uns funktioniert das noch nicht so ganz wie ich es mir vorstelle:


  • Wenn ein externer Gast teilnimmt, fliegt er beim Verlassen des Raums immer aus dem Meeting.
  • Die Kollegen können sich den Raum nicht aussuchen, ich muss sie entweder zuweisen oder automatisch zuweisen lassen
  • Wenn ein Kollege einem Raum zugewiesen ist, dann kann ich ihn nicht aus dem Raum herausnehmen und einem anderen Raum zuweisen
  • es ist zumindest für ungeübte Kollegen nicht klar erkennbar, ob sie in einem Raum oder im Hauptmeeting sind.
  • bei einer Kollegin wurde das "Raum betreten" nicht angezeigt.

Grundsätzlich ist dieses Feature aber sehr erfreulich.... wir werden es in 4 Wochen nochmal testen....

New Contributor

Agree with those who are asking to be able to set up breakout rooms and preassign ahead of a meeting.


When you have a large number of participants it can cause delays to the meeting having to do it after the meeting starts

Occasional Visitor

Road-tested today for an event with the breakout rooms feature - similar issues with 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).


Anyone else come across this?

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.

Occasional Visitor

Vote for the ability to pass controls and management of breakout rooms: Allow the ability to pass control over Breakout rooms to another participant – Microsoft Teams UserV...

Occasional Visitor

Great, have been waiting for this. 
But why is there no information about the support in Linux?  What are the plans?

Ability to prevent people returning to the main meeting until we send a message saying they can return would be useful. We use Teams for hearings and breakout rooms might help us manage parties while deliberations are in progress. 

New Contributor

@Vesa Nopanen awesome documentation man, it's well appreciated!

@Microsoft_Teams_team We are looking forward to making breakout rooms possible for more then just the organizer. in the context of education by multiple presenters and teachers it would be very useful they can manipulate the breakout rooms feature too. in current situation we'd always need some kind of moderator (organizer) that hosts the breakout rooms witch seems a bit unpractical.   

Occasional Visitor

Is there a way, or will there be a way to allow others to be able to go to the different rooms and pop in as they desire.

Occasional Visitor

How can I set up prior to the Virtual Training Teams Meeting the breakout rooms with materials etc.?

Occasional Visitor

My main feature request would be to let people freely choose their own rooms. We do a  lot of teaching where students can make their own groups or move between different topics on different "tables". 

Super Contributor

In a boss - delegate scheduling scenario, can the delegate also create / manage breakout rooms in a meeting they schedule on behalf of their boss?

Super Contributor

@Microsoft_Teams_team, I've been testing this as I'm running a training session on Thursday and noticed that meeting notes in breakout rooms isn't available after the meeting and sometimes files aren't available after the meeting for attendees but both are available for organizers, is this a glitch? Both the meeting notes and whiteboard tabs vanish, but for whiteboard they can access a whiteboard after the small group session or the full meeting in the app, they don't see the whiteboard tab in the chat. Being able for users to have access to meeting notes is essential and downloading any files added during the meeting.

Occasional Visitor

Hi - is there any reason why "This person is using a device or app version that doesn't support breakout rooms." is showing.  How can we overcome this?  Thanks.

Occasional Visitor

Hi, I'm an educator. I have my students set as members and my co-teachers set as co-owners. When I set up the meetings I always fix the setting, so the co-teachers and I are the only presenters. When I have used the breakout rooms, though, it seems like all the settings (like disabling chat) I have set up for the kids disappear (because they are also able to mute everyone as if they're a presenter). I'm not sure what I need to do so the settings in the breakout rooms matches the settings I have set up throughout the rest of Teams. Thanks!

Respected Contributor

Hi, just noticed the recommendation of the ”targeted release” setting for the tenant. AFAIK Teams updates are not being part of that. Would you mind elaborate please.



Occasional Visitor

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Occasional Visitor

hi just  noticed the recommeend ation  of the  targetarged teleasev



Senior Member

Is this going to be available in GCCH ?


Can someone from MS post the features roadmap for TEAMS on GCCH/give an update. My users are pitch forks and torches outside my office wanting to use this.

@Microsoft_Teams_team @UAV-Test-Pilot 


Does this feature work for broadcasts, public meetings?

Can the user get in and out a breakout room by himself?


If this works, it will be great for conferences! The breakout rooms could work as conference rooms and the main room would be a meeting point for all attendees. The Data Platform Community organizes conferences like this all the time and I'm organizing one for April, it will be great if this feature works in this way!

@DennesTorres : Breakout Rooms is available only in Teams Meetings, not in Live Events.

User can get in and out of a BO Room by themselves - meeting organizer has a option to allow or disallow the return back to the main meeting. However that option works only on Teams Desktop client at the moment: using a web client it is possible to get out of room despite the option :) User can always close the meeting and rejoin as long as the room is open.

User can not move into a room of their choice by their own. For the conference I would create a Teams Meeting for each room separately. In that room you could always then break the audience to small groups if the session calls for that.

Occasional Visitor

What's the best way to have the Organiser and Presenter work with Breakout Rooms?

In other programs, like GoToTraining, we typically have 2 Organiser.......1 being a Moderator who creates and Manage the Breakouts and basically moderates Chat and other functions, the other being the Presenter/Facilitator who is the Coach/Teacher and focusses on discussion, teaching, questions etc.......the movement into and out of Breakouts is very structured and controlled from a functional perspective....we'd prefer NOT to have students moving in and out of Breakouts whenever they please. We need to control that.....


So, how do we best set up Team & Breakouts to work in a similar way?

Ie How does the Presenter/Facilitator move in and out of breakouts to check in on students? Ideally without Students (Guests? Attendees?) being able to just also move in and out of rooms as they please?


Thanks in advance! 

Occasional Visitor

Ummm, am I missing something or is there literally no way to reply to someone's question with an answer???

Senior Member


Hi when I set up meetings up as the producer... I create the meeting invite and therefore am incharge of the breakout rooms.  The fac. concentrates on facilitation and I place participants in Breakout rooms. As the producer you control the breakout rooms they are assigned and only the person who created the rooms can go in and out of all rooms, for now. You can move participants from one room to another.

Check out this article I think you will find it helpful.

Senior Member


Use the @ symbol to respond and find the user.


Warm Regards

Occasional Visitor

@JustinWeintraub thanks mate......


Thanks also for your comments re the Organiser and Presenter.....


"...As the producer you control the breakout rooms they are assigned and only the person who created the rooms can go in and out of all rooms, for now. You can move participants from one room to another...."


I'm hoping Microsoft can see the shortcomings of this set up....I mean, as Organiser who is moderating the call, once I put the facilitator into a Breakout room, how do I know when they want to come out? I have to keep my eye on a chat from them? or they can click "Resume" and try to re-enter the main room? (But I'm guessing any other Student will also be able to do that if the setting is available for the Presenter/Facilitator???)


With Zoom and GoToTraining, the Presenter or Co-Organiser has the ability to move around rooms as they need to, while students are working away in their Breakouts (SO much more like they would in a real classroom setting) 


It's a real shame..... each time I think Teams is going to be able to replicate Zoom or GoTo as a TRUE Training Room platform, it has just fallen short every time, for us at least.


Thanks again for your help though.....really appreciate it.


Breakout rooms are a great help in the class. Just awesome! 

Occasional Visitor

I see that these are instructions for setting up a break out room in a Teams meeting...but can this feature also be applied to Teams Live Events?

Unfortunately no. Breakout Rooms work with Teams Meetings. However it is good to consider that in the following months (March on the roadmap) Teams meetings can have 1000 attendees. I recon that Breakout Rooms should work in those meetings (but of course I can not be 100% certain because no info is given officially out about that ). 

Regular Visitor

Has anyone seen anything or know of a resource where I can figure out when this will be coming to GCCH (GCC-High)? I looked at all online documentation and websites and couldn't find anything

Occasional Visitor

I am organizer of Meeting. I invite 2 people out of my organization. I can create break rooms and I can send those people onto break out rooms...TILL NOW NOW, EVERYTHING IS OK.

Everything goes crazy, when those people outside my organization want to  go back to the main meeting and then back into their rooms. Their MS Teams Windows App push them out from the main meeting, they can not connect,  then it becomes unuseful and it completely freez. 


If participant are from the same organization, everything works great. But is there are extern people, it does not work :( ...all apps were updated...

Any suggestion how to fix it????


Occasional Contributor

@Jiri_Zmidloch This is the same we had when we tested last year.... External visitors who come back from a breakout room can't come back. But they where able to come back in the meeting. We let them participate via the browser, not via the app


@Jiri_Zmidloch @Annette Terzan Thanks for the heads up. This issue means breakout rooms would be unusable for us. It's a shame but better to know now before we implement!

Occasional Visitor

If we could setup the breakout rooms in advance, that would be ideal. Additionally, it'd be nice if attendees can pick which breakout room they want to go in instead of having to be assigned. 

Senior Member

We are finding a few things that are keeping our staff from leaving the comforts of Zoom and fully embracing MSFT Teams Breakout Rooms.


1. Currently, participants can be moved only when breakout rooms are closed. This is a challenge for our staff especially when trying to conduct interviews.  Here is a link to the UserVoice to add this function, please consider voting.  Link to Vote


2. Breakout Rooms cannot be created and prepared before the meeting.  With large meetings this is hard to juggle right before a meeting or during a meeting especially when there is only one meeting organizer. Here is a link to the UserVoice to add this function, please consider voting.  Link to Vote

Occasional Visitor

Hello, will it be possible in the future, that not only the organizer can create breakout rooms? Or the possibility that the organizer can choose someone who can create them?

Occasional Visitor

Important feature missing besides the obvious pre-arrangement of breakout room attendees is the inability of users who join via phone audio to be moved into a breakout room. This effectively makes the feature unusable for us. Is there an enhancement request for this we can vote on?

Occasional Visitor

Personally, me and my organization would love to see the breakout rooms feature in live events as well to allow networking after an event without having to organize the event as a meeting.

Occasional Visitor


It's really annoying that we could not change people from room on the fly, it's really static and not very collaborative. A mechanism to get out someone and reaffect him  or mouve directely  from one room to another will allow many teaching collaboratives practices.

Perhaps a way to let people jump and a way to only allow the admin to do that will be appreciated.


I'm sure you will be able to do it easily :)



Super Contributor
Occasional Visitor

I am very happy to see this feature added.  I am hoping on future updates that not only the meeting organizer but presenters as well will be given this functionality. We provide all of our current courses through virtual classrooms and we would like the facilitators of each course to be able to setup and manage the breakout rooms within each course versus or Course administrator who is the organizer for all courses. Great start to enhancing the  TEAMS environment functionality though.

Occasional Visitor

@David Phillipsthx, now it's done !

Occasional Visitor

Definitely add me to the list of people wanting the ability to assign organizer powers to another user. I generally help set up Teams for our contract instructors and set meetings once students are added. Would be nice to be able to be able to set up the meetings and assign the instructor as the organizer.

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