If you are hosting an online event and want to facilitate group work, you can use the Breakout rooms feature in Microsoft Teams. Breakout rooms allow meeting organizers to move attendees into several smaller sessions for focused discussions.


  • This feature should be used for meetings with 300 or fewer participants. The Breakout Room option will be grayed out when a meeting reaches 300 participants.
  • Only the meeting organizer has the option to add the breakout room tab to a meeting. The organizer can then assign a presenters to help manage breakout rooms.
  • This feature is available to meeting organizers in scheduled meetings (including recurring), “Meet now” meetings, and meetings on standard channels (not private or shared).


Create breakout rooms before the meeting

Schedule the meeting from your calendar in Outlook or Microsoft Teams.

  1. After scheduling, open the meeting invitation from you calendar in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Open the tab called Breakout rooms.

Create rooms

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Select Create rooms.

  1. Select the number of breakout rooms you need from the menu (2-50) and select Add rooms.
  2. Select the gear icon to the right of your rooms to customize settings for all rooms:

  • You can Assign presenters to help you create and manage breakout rooms before and during your meeting.
  • You can Set a time limit for breakout rooms. Attendees will be returned to the main meeting when the time is up.
  • By default, when you select Start rooms, participants are automatically moved to their room without warning when breakout rooms are opened. If you would like participants to have the option to join or decline the breakout room, toggle Automatically move people to rooms to off.
  • ​​​​​​​By default, participants must wait to return to the main room for you to close the room (or for the time to run out if you set a time limit). To allow participants to return to the main room at any time, toggle Participants can return to the main meeting to on.

Select Recreate rooms to delete and recreate rooms without any of your previous customizations and assignments.

Select the Room settings menu […] for each room to customize your rooms:

  • To name your rooms, select Edit.
  • To customize the room’s meeting options, select Settings.
  • To remove a room, select Delete.​​​​​​​

Assign participants

You can assign participants Automatically or manually.

  • If you select Automatically, Teams will randomly assign participants to rooms.
  • If you select Manually, you can choose the people you want in each room.
    1. Select the check box to the left of their names to choose the people should be in a room together.
    2. From the Assign menu, select their room name.
    3. Repeat for each room.
    4. Select Assign.

Create and breakout rooms during the meeting

Learn how to create and manage breakout rooms during the meeting:

Manage breakout rooms during the meeting

Retaining breakout rooms

Once you create breakout rooms in a meeting and assign participants, each participant remains appointed to their breakout room even if they leave the meeting. Also, you can start the breakout rooms with the same participants in the next meeting in the series or when rejoining the same meeting.

If the organizer starts configuring Breakout Rooms when meeting participants are less fewer than 300, the meeting size will be automatically limited to 300 people (more than 300 participants won’t be allowed to join if Breakout Rooms have been created for that meeting). That will stay until the Breakout Rooms are removed (not closed) and the meeting restarts. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Join breakout rooms

When the meeting organizer opens your assigned breakout room, you will automatically be moved there. If the organizer deselected the check box for Automatically move people into opened rooms, you will see this dialog box.

Note: Participants in breakout rooms cannot add others to the meeting chat, copy meeting details, nudge others to join the meeting, or use “call me back.”​​​​​​​

Leave breakout rooms

If you select Return from the control bar, you will return to the main meeting. If you select Leave from the control bar in your breakout room, you will hang up—leaving both the breakout and the main session. You can rejoin the main session from your Outlook or Teams calendar.

Once the meeting organizer closes your breakout room you will automatically return to the main meeting. If the organizer deselected the check box for Automatically move people into opened rooms, you will see this dialog box: