Moderators can use breakout rooms to divide participants into smaller groups during video calls. Breakout rooms must be started by moderators during a video call on a computer. Breakout rooms currently can’t be live streamed or recorded.
Tip: Anyone who schedules or starts a meeting will be the moderator. There can only be one moderator per meeting. If you transfer or schedule a meeting on someone else's calendar, the other person could become the moderator.
Breakout Rooms is currently available to users with G Suite Business, Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus editions. This is also available to users with Google Workspace for Education Plus license and permissions to create meetings.
Requirements to use breakout rooms
You can participate in breakout rooms if:
- You are signed into your Google Account.
- Tip: Participants not signed in to a Google Account will appear as “Can't be assigned.” They can’t be assigned to a breakout room and will stay in the main call where the moderator can run a breakout group.
- You use a computer or the updated version of the mobile Meet or Gmail app .
- You dial into the meeting with your phone.
- You're invited through a phone call.
- You aren’t signed into your Google Account.
You can’t participate in breakout rooms if:
- You aren’t using the updated versions of the mobile Meet or Gmail app .
- You are using Meet hardware or Interop devices.
Create breakout rooms
- On your computer, start a video call.
- In the top right, click Activities Breakout rooms.
- Tip: To prevent students from having the ability to create breakout rooms, admins should ensure Meet creation privileges are reserved for faculty/staff organizational units only.
- In the Breakout rooms panel, choose the number of breakout rooms. You can create up to 100 breakout rooms in a call.
- Call participants are then distributed across the rooms. To manually move people into different rooms, you can:
- Enter the participant’s name directly into a breakout room.
- Click the participant’s name. Hold down the mouse, drag the name, and then drop it into another breakout room.
- To randomly mix up the groups again, click Shuffle .
- In the bottom right, click Open rooms.
Tip: A notification will show at the bottom of the screen when participants ask for help from the moderator. To join that participant's breakout room, click Join. To return to that question later, click Later. On the breakout room panel, an “Asked for help” banner shows above rooms that ask for help.
Optional breakout room features
Optional: To remove participants who are currently not in the meeting or to redo your breakout rooms:
- At the top of the breakout room panel, click Clear. At the bottom, click Clear on the “Clear disconnected users” notification that appears.
- Tip: If you are reusing a meeting link where breakout rooms were previously set up, clearing disconnected users will move all participants into the main room and undo any previous breakout rooms.
- Optional: You can set up a timer for your breakout rooms. Each room will display a 30 second countdown before the timer ends.
- At the top of the breakout rooms panel, click Timer.
- Set the timer amount then click OK.
- Tip: You can edit or remove the timer at any time. On the breakout room panel, click Timer to edit.
Edit, join, or leave breakout rooms
Once you’ve created breakout rooms, you can make changes to the rooms or join each breakout room to monitor and participate in discussions.
Tip: Moderators won't see chat messages that were exchanged between participants before they join or after they leave a breakout room.
- To make changes to the participant groups or number of breakout rooms, click Edit rooms . Once you’ve made your changes, click Save.
- Tip: Before moving to a different room, participants must click Join.
- To join an individual breakout room, next to the breakout room number, click Join.
- To leave all breakout rooms and return to the main room, next to the current breakout room, click Leave.
End breakout rooms
- In the breakout rooms panel, at the top right, click Close rooms .
- In the notification window that appears, click Close all rooms.
Join a breakout room
Your moderator will create breakout rooms and invite you to join one. Your moderator can join each breakout room at any time during the video call.
- On a computer or mobile device, sign in to your Google Account.
- Join a video call from your computer or the Meet mobile app. Learn the different ways to join a video call if you're a student.
- When your moderator invites you to join a breakout room, you’ll see a prompt on your screen. Click Join. If you click cancel, you’ll remain in the main room.
- Tip: If you dialed in through your phone, tap *2 to go to your breakout room, move between breakout rooms, or return to the main room.
- Once you’re in a breakout room, you can speak to or send chat messages to other participants.
Tips for using breakout rooms
- If your moderator moves you to another breakout room, you’ll see a new prompt on your screen. To switch rooms, click Join.
- If the moderator sets a timer, the time left in the breakout session is shown at the top of your screen.
- When the moderator ends the session or the timer runs out, you’ll have 30 seconds to finish your breakout room discussion and rejoin the main room.
- If you need help during your breakout room session, you can ask for help by:
- Computer: On the top of right of your screen, click Ask for help. If you don’t need help anymore, click Cancel ask for help.
- Mobile: On the bottom right, tap Menu Ask for help. If you don’t need help anymore, tap Cancel ask for help.
- Dial-in users currently can’t ask for help.
Return to the main room
During a video call, you can choose to leave a breakout room and return to the video call’s main room.
- On a computer: At the top, click Return to main call.
- On a mobile device: At the top, tap to Return to main call.
When your moderator ends all of the breakout rooms, you’ll see a prompt that you’re returning to the main room. Click Return to main call.