In all but the smallest meetings, it can be difficult to have open discussions and a meaningful exchange of ideas. With breakout rooms, people gather in small groups for lively conversation and brainstorming sessions.

The meeting organizer can create and manage breakout rooms; but they can also appoint a presenter as breakout room manager.

Participants can be automatically assigned or rooms or can be manually placed in rooms.

Note: People connecting by telephone cannot participate in breakout rooms. 

Create Breakout Rooms (when scheduling a meeting)

Use these steps to create a breakout room once a meeting begins:

  1. Open the scheduled meeting in the Teams desktop client and select breakout rooms from the control bar.


  2. Click Create Rooms


  3. Use the dropdown menu to select the number of rooms you would like to create and click Add rooms. NOTE:You can create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single meeting.

  4. The rooms will display along with the list of participants. Click Assign participants.


  5. Choose the breakout room option you prefer and click Next.

  • Automatically: Teams divides participants equally between the rooms.
  • Manually: You can choose which room each participant is placed in.


Create Breakout Rooms (when already in a meeting)

Once the meeting is started, participants can be assigned to breakout rooms by the organizer or the appointed room manager.

  1. Click on the room icon in the top tool bar


  2. Choose how many rooms you would like to create and choose whether you want the rooms to be divided up automatically or whether you would like to manually assign participants to a room.


  3. Once the rooms have been created, you can assign participants. Choose the participants for each room and click Assign.


  4. After the rooms are created and the participants are assigned, you can open the rooms.

Open Breakout rooms

Whether rooms have been set up before the meeting, or during the meeting, the process of opening the rooms is the same.

Note: Participants are not notified of being assigned until the rooms are opened

  1. Click Open

  1. Participants will receive a popup message to enter a breakout room.

  2. The rooms will now indicate open.


  3. The organizer or breakout room manager can enter any room by hovering over the room, then click on join room.

Appointing Breakout Room Managers

If you're the meeting organizer, you can delegate presenters to manage the meeting's breakout rooms.

Breakout rooms managers can:

  • Add and delete rooms
  • Assign and reassign participants to rooms
  • Open and close rooms
  • Join any rooms
  • Set time limits for room sessions
  • Send announcements
  • Recreate rooms

Note: Only one person can manage a meeting’s breakout rooms at a time.


If you are appointing room mangers before the meeting begins:

  1. Go to your Teams calendar and open the meeting invite.

  2. Go to Breakout rooms and select Room settings.


  3. Switch the Assign presenters to manage rooms toggle on.

  4. Select Search for presenters and choose who you want to be breakout rooms managers.


If you are appointing room mangers during the meeting:

  1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms.

  2. Select Room settings.

  1. Switch the Assign presenters to manage rooms toggle on.

  2. You can either change or add managers.