Releasing Now: Teams Breakout Rooms in GCC

Published Dec 03 2020 10:08 AM 25.8K Views



Both Microsoft Teams Administrators AND all End Users should review this article in order to understand how to enable and use Virtual Breakout Rooms in your Microsoft Teams Desktop Client.


Note: Teams Virtual Breakout Rooms will begin rolling out to all GCC tenants starting in early December with completion happening by mid-December. 


Administrators - What to do to Prepare Your Organization:

  1. As an admin, ensure users can schedule private meetings with the following settings:
    1. Allow scheduling private meeting = on
    2. Allow Meet now in private meeting = on
    3. Allow channel meeting scheduling = on
    4. Allow meet now in channels = on


All Users in the Organization Should do the Following in their Teams Desktop Client:

  1. To see the breakout rooms option within your meetings, you must turn on the new Teams meeting experience by
    1. Clicking on your profile image within Teams
    2. Selecting Settings
    3. Checking the “Turn on new meeting experience” option within General settings.
    4. Restart your Teams client.
    5. You can double check that the setting is setup correctly by starting a meeting and verifying that the meeting opens in its own window.
  2. Make sure all participants, including the meeting organizer are using the latest version of Teams. If joining on Android or iOS mobile or tablet, make sure participants go to their App Store and download the latest update.
  3. As a meeting organizer, join a channel / private scheduled meeting, or channel / private meet now meeting. Once you are in the meeting you should see the breakout room option next to the raise hand control.
      • You must be a meeting organizer to see the option. Meeting attendees and presenters will not see the breakout rooms option.

Features available for Organizers:

  • Breakout room setup on Teams desktop client
  • Create breakout rooms in scheduled private meetings (including recurring) and private meet now meetings
  • Meeting organizers can manage rooms and hop between rooms freely
  • Setup breakout rooms during an active meeting
  • Create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single meeting
  • Add, remove, delete breakout rooms
  • Rename rooms to the title of your choice
  • Reassign room participants from one room to another before as well as while the rooms are open
  • Room transition: as an organizer, you can decide if participants get moved to the room automatically when you open the room, or, if they need to click to confirm the move. The “auto-accept” setting is available per meeting.
  • Send an announcement that will show up as a meeting chat message in each room.
  • Chats, files, and recordings: only the organizer will always have access to all rooms meeting artifacts


Features available for the participants::

  • Join breakout rooms from web, desktop, iOS, iPads, Android mobiles and tablets. Note that organizers cannot move participants who joined via Desk phones or Teams devices join to a breakout room, they can stay in main meeting as their breakout room.
  • Participants join the room as presenters, so they can present, share Whiteboard, etc. freely.
  • Participants cannot add others to meeting chat, copy meeting details, nudge others to the meeting, or use “call me back”
  • Hoping between rooms: Meeting participants cannot hop back to main meeting or between rooms on their own. They must wait for the meeting organizer to pull them back to the main meeting.
  • Chat during the breakout session. Chat and artifacts shared during meeting are viewable for room participants.
  • Chats, files, and recordings: Participants have access to artifacts, but only organizer has access to the links – if link is shared by meeting organizer, then participants will have access
  • Multi-device join: breakout room is not supported when the participant joins the same meeting and same account from multiple devices

Where and when can I set up breakout rooms?

  • You can set up breakout rooms after you join the meeting as the organizer. You can bulk create rooms at the start, or manually add or remove rooms.
  • You can set up breakout rooms from desktop client, but not in mobile and web.
  • We plan to enable the ability for you to set up breakout rooms before the meeting very soon.

When can I assign participants to breakout room?

  • You can assign participant when you are setting up the rooms. You can do so manually before the rooms open or reassign participants to a different room while the room is open.
  • You can also auto-assign the participants to rooms when you first set up the rooms in the meeting.

This is really good - just wish there was an easy way to tell if your tenant had the update or not. A PowerShell version check or something like that would be very handy!

Occasional Visitor



I'm a personal user but I need Breakout Rooms soon


In my Teams app I see the new meeting experience option enabled


I can't create breakout rooms, though


You confirm the release for me before mid december?

Thank you @Rima Reyes for Sharing with the Community :cool:

Education market is waiting for this feature :smile:

Occasional Contributor

@Rima Reyes can you please clarify. Does this mean its available in GCC and nowhere else?

New Contributor

Thank you for this information! Can you please explain what happens when a certain user is not running the latest version of the Teams app and is added to a breakout room? Will he/she not be able to be added to that room? Will he/she not be able to participate in that room?


@Sam Gray Breakout rooms were previously available in the Commercial release of Microsoft Teams so it is now available in both Commercial *AND* GCC.

Occasional Contributor

Thanks @Martin Ballard for the clarification. Not seeing yet, so will keep my fingers crossed it will come soon.

Occasional Visitor

Hello @Martin Ballard and @Rima Reyes 


I'm from Italy and yesterday I called the sales Microsoft team


No one in Microsoft was able to tell me if the breakout rooms are available in simple hotmail account, or in Microsoft 365 Personal or in Microsoft 365 Business Basic


I found this total lack of knowledge disarming and frustrating.


Can anyone of you just tell who will be able to enjoy breakout rooms feature and when?


Thank you all

Occasional Visitor

Hi all - still not seeing breakout rooms in my commercial release. Hopefully this gets rolled out this week? 

Any new news? Thanks!!

New Contributor

Shame this is taking so long to deploy, our annual sales meeting is going to be ran in Zoom this month instead of our preferred choice of Teams.  More ammunition for upper management to move us to Zoom.

Super Contributor

Whiteboards??? Is that rolling out at the same time because my tenant still does not have the Whiteboards feature.

Senior Member

Would be great to understand when this will be made available. The uncertainty on rollout and delay has meant that we are now also looking at purchasing Zoom, breakout rooms are very much needed whilst we are working remotely. It is also very difficult from a change and comms perspective to manage change when we don't know when it is going to happen. The new meeting experience was a great example of this, there was a gap of 3 weeks between the first and last person to receive this functionality at our firm.

Occasional Contributor

 break out rooms just arrived in our tenant here in DK and UK.  Gonna get that knowledge guide written up now for tomorrow!!

Occasional Visitor

My agency uses Teams to host our internal team meetings. However, we currently use Webex to host group facilitations for our youth employment preparedness program. We host four weekly sessions with about 30 youth each session. Typically, we have two facilitators. We would like to switch to Teams for these sessions as well. However, currently only the person who scheduled the meeting can manage breakout rooms. On Webex, the host/owner can name one of their co-facilitators as host in their absence so that they have the capability to manage breakout rooms should the host/owner not be able to make the meeting or is delayed. Are there plans for the meeting organizer to give permission for a co-host/presenter to be able to manage the breakout rooms in Teams? 

Occasional Contributor

@Rima Reyes  when "We plan to enable the ability for you to set up breakout rooms before the meeting very soon." is very soon? When this functionality will be rolled out? Is there a roadmap announcement or a uservoice for that?

Occasional Visitor

How can we enable video in the Teams break-out rooms? It seems as though my video is disabled. Is there a way to gain even temporary access to allow video in break-out rooms? Thank you!

Occasional Visitor

How can we enable video in the Teams break-out rooms? It seems as though my video is disabled. Is there a way to gain even temporary access to allow video in break-out rooms? Thank you! @Rima Reyes 

Occasional Contributor

@mljaco4  I tested it for you just a couple of minutes ago, because I must show breakoutrooms today in a meeting and I needed to know if you´re right that video is´nt working, but video as an attendee in a breakoutroom works, even in a browser. Maybe the browser plugin needs to be accepted or sth. like that. there must be a fix. I have to say that I am in the global cloud (not GCC). I hope it helps!

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‎Dec 03 2020 10:12 AM
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