IT Teaching Resources

Zoom Breakout Room FAQs

Answers to common questions that arise when using breakout rooms in Zoom

Technology FAQ

This article contains information current as of Zoom Version 5.2.0 (August 17, 2020). For the most up-to-date guidance on using breakout rooms, please visit the Zoom Help Center.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about breakout rooms

Creating and opening breakout rooms:

Pre-assigning rooms:

Chat and screen sharing:

Navigating between rooms:

Q: Can a co-host create breakout rooms?

A: No, only the host can create and manage it. 

Q: I’m a TA. Can I create the breakout rooms during the meeting and give my instructor the host privilege so my instructor can open all the rooms? 

A: No, if you hand over your host privileges before opening the breakout rooms, all the breakout room setup will be lost and your instructor has to set it up all over again. 

Q: I’m a co-host, but I don’t see the breakout rooms menu. 

A: You won’t see the breakout rooms menu until your host opens all rooms AND if you are assigned to a breakout room. 

Q: I pre-assigned my breakout rooms, however, when I join my Zoom session, the breakout rooms are empty. What happened? 

A: You can bring it back by clicking the Breakout Rooms menu > Recreate > Recover to pre-assigned rooms option. 

Q: I pre-assigned my students into breakout rooms, but I noticed some students are not assigned to a group even though I pre-assigned them. 

A: Make sure (1) Your students are logged into their Stanford Zoom account AND (2) Students have updated their Zoom to the latest version. 

Q: I’m a TA, and I’ve created the meeting and pre-assigned the students for my instructor. Will my instructor still see the breakout rooms I’ve pre-assigned if I give my instructor the HOST privilege during our Zoom session? 

A: Yes, your instructor will still see the pre-assigned breakout rooms even if you are the meeting creator. Just be sure to have your instructor click the Breakout Rooms menu > Recreate > Recover to pre-assigned rooms option to refresh the setup. 

Q: I want to use pre-assigned breakout rooms and then use the random/auto breakout room assignment in the same Zoom session. Is this possible? 

A: Yes, you can re-create breakout rooms as many times as you’d like. 

Q: If I want to use my pre-assigned breakout rooms, then have the random assignment, and then use my pre-assigned breakout rooms again, is this possible? If so, how? 

A: Yes, it is possible! You can always bring back your pre-assigned breakout rooms by clicking the Breakout Rooms menu > Recreate > Recover to pre-assigned rooms option. 

Q: After I pre-assigned the breakout rooms, will it be saved if I used the same Zoom link?

A: Yes, it will be saved if you are using the same link. However, for recurring meetings, you’d have to save them to ALL of your meetings for it to be saved for all your recurring meetings. 

Q: For participants, when they are in a breakout room and write in the chat, who sees that? 

A: Only other members of the Breakout Room 

Q: Can I share my screen with the participants in different breakout rooms? 

A: Unfortunately, no. You can only share screens within the same breakout room. You can, however, send text-based messages to all breakout rooms by using the “Broadcast a message to all” option. 

Q: How can I jump from one breakout room to another as host? 

A: You can enter a breakout room by going to the breakout room tab, located next to the reactions tab at the bottom of your Zoom window. Once in a room, you can switch or go from room to room by going to the breakout rooms tab again and choosing your desired breakout room. Make sure you have host privileges before you do so.

Q: How can a co-host join different breakout rooms? 

A: The host should be sure to assign the co-host(s) to a breakout room when setting up rooms. GSE-IT recommends assigning all cohosts to an extra room without students. Once the host opens up the breakout rooms, the co-host will be able to enter their assigned room. Then, the cohost will be able to move between breakout rooms by clicking the “Breakout Room” tab on the bottom of their Zoom window, to the left of the Reactions tab. If a cohost goes back to the main room, they may need to re-enter the last room they were in to jump between rooms.