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How to make your Microsoft Teams meetings more interactive by using Breakout Rooms


Breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams allow you to create virtual rooms of small groups.

If you have multiple participants in a Teams meeting it can be a challenge for everyone to be heard and get involved. Breakout rooms can help facilitate open discussions and brainstorming – enabling more collaborative work.

By splitting participants into pairs or smaller groups, this gives everyone the opportunity to participate.

Breakout rooms still allow participants to use the chat feature, use whiteboards and screen sharing in each room. Participants can also be moved into different rooms during the meeting.

How do I use Breakout rooms during a Microsoft Teams meeting?

1. When in your Teams meeting, click the Breakout room icon:

Breakout room icon in Microsoft Teams

2. Choose how many rooms you need (max 50).
You can choose to allocate attendees to Breakout rooms Automatically or Manually.

Automatic or manual breakout room in Microsoft Teams

3. Click Create Rooms.

Create room in Microsoft Teams

4. The Breakout rooms panel will open.

5. You can rename your Breakout rooms by clicking the three dots (ellipsis) and clicking Rename Room.

Rename breakout room in Microsoft Teams
How do I choose my Breakout room settings?

NOTE: You can change your Breakout room settings by clicking on the room settings cog.

1. Click on the Rooms Settings cog.

2. You can now make changes to your Breakout room settings to suit your needs, such as allowing participants to return to main meeting or setting a time limit.

3. To return to Breakout Rooms click the Settings arrow.

Settings in Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms
How do I start the Breakout Rooms?

1. Once you are happy with your settings, you can start using the Breakout rooms.

NOTE: By default, meeting participants are moved to their assigned rooms as soon as you open them. You can turn off this setting by choosing to turn off automatic entry to breakout rooms.

2. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms

3. Then do one of the following:

  • To open all the rooms at the same time, select Open.
  • To open a single room, hover over the room, select More options, and choose Open room.

4. You can open and close breakout rooms more than once during a meeting.

TIP: Once the meeting has started, the host can join any Breakout room, by simply clicking the ellipsis for the room they wish to join and clicking the Join button. 

How to join any Teams meeting room as host
How do I end the Breakout Rooms?

You can choose to the close the breakout rooms individually or all at the same time. When you close the breakout rooms, the participants return to the main meeting.

How to close rooms individually

1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms.

2. Hover over the room and select More options then Close room.

How to close all the rooms at the same time

1. In the meeting controls, select Breakout rooms.

2. Select Close.

You’ll know rooms have successfully closed when their status changes to Closed.

When everyone is back from their breakout rooms and you’re ready to meet as a larger group again, select Resume.


  • Breakout rooms remain open until the organiser manually closes them or sets a timer.
  • If Breakout rooms are reopened later in the meeting, participants will keep the same room assignments that they had before.

Additional Information

There are some important things to be aware of before creating Breakout rooms: 

  • Only meeting organisers on the desktop versions of Microsoft Teams can create and manage Breakout rooms.
  • Participants can join a Breakout room, whether you are accessing from a desktop, web or mobile device.
Further Information

If you have any questions about this or need assistance, then please contact the GCC Group Support Team on 0345 260 1151 or

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