Enabling breakout rooms

To enable the breakout room feature, Sign in to the Zoom web portal - https://syracuseuniversity.zoom.us/

In the navigation menu, click Meeting Settings, enable Breakout rooms and Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling


Under the Recording Settings, Enable Local Recording and Hosts can give participants permission to record locally. (This will allow participants to record the breakout rooms).

Creating breakout rooms

Start an instant or scheduled meeting.

Click Breakout Rooms.

Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:

Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.

Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.

The host can also allow participants to select and enter rooms on their own. 

Click Create Breakout Rooms.

Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. Click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

Pre-assigning breakout rooms


  • The host can only pre-assign participants that have a Zoom account (internal or external Zoom users).
  • Note: When joining a meeting with pre-assignments, participants need to be signed in to the Zoom account associated with the email address used for pre-assignments for the pre-assignment to be applied. If they are not signed in or signed in with a different account, the pre-assignment will not be applied to them. 
  • Zoom desktop client or mobile app, version 5.3.0 or higher; OR
  • Web client

Pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms using the web portal

Sign in to the Zoom web portal.

Click Meetings and schedule a meeting.

In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms.

Click the plus icon beside Rooms to add breakout rooms.

Hover over the default breakout room name and click the pencil icon to rename it.

In the Add participants text box, search for participants' name or email address to add them to the breakout room.

(Optional) Use these options to edit your breakout rooms and participants:

  • Click and drag a participant's email address to change the order.
  • Hover over a participant's name to see options to move them to another room or remove them from the current room.
  • To delete a breakout room, hover the room name in the left panel and click the trash bin icon. 

Click Save.

Pre-assigning participants to breakouts rooms using a CSV file

Sign in to the Zoom web portal.

Click Meetings and schedule a meeting.

In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Import from CSV.

Click download a sample CSV file

Open the CSV file with spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel.

Fill in the Pre-assign Room Name column with the breakout room name, and the Email Address column with the assigned participant's email address. 

Save the file.

Drag and drop the file in the web portal.
Zoom will verify that the email address has a Zoom account.

Editing breakout rooms assignment

If you have already pre-assigned participants to breakouts rooms, you can edit the assignments before you start the meeting. 

Sign in to the Zoom web portal.

Click Meetings and click the meeting you want to edit.

In the Breakout Room section, click View detail.

Edit the breakout rooms as needed. 

Click Save.

Note:  Recurring Meetings, Trying to Edit a Single Occurrence to Add Pre-Assignments Will Not Work

  • When editing a recurring meeting to add breakout room pre-assignments, you must make the change to all recurrences of the meeting, or the change will not be saved. (In the Edit Meeting dialog, after clicking Edit This Meeting, click All to add pre-assignments.)

Starting a meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms

Start the meeting with participants pre-assigned to breakout rooms. 

Click Breakout Rooms in the meeting controls to access the breakout rooms you created.


  • If a participant is not automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting, recover to pre-assigned breakout rooms to re-assign participants to their pre-assigned breakout rooms.
  • You can manually assign participants using the in-meeting breakout room controls.

Recovering to pre-assigned breakout rooms

After starting the breakout rooms, you can recover to the breakout rooms assignment you previously specified. This can be useful if you changed your breakout rooms during the meeting, or pre-assigned participants have joined the meeting after you joined the meeting or started breakout rooms. 

Click Recreate then Recover to pre-assigned rooms

Participants will be re-organized into the breakout rooms you specified when scheduling the meeting.

Click Open All Rooms to start the breakout rooms.

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