Use breakout rooms in Google Meet

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.

Anyone who schedules or starts a meeting will be the meeting host. If you transfer or schedule a meeting on someone else's calendar, the other person could become the meeting host. By default, there is only one meeting host per meeting but you can add up to 25 co-hosts once inside the meeting.

Eligibility

Requirements to use breakout rooms

Breakout Rooms are available to these Google Workspace editions:

  • Essentials
  • Business Standard
  • Business Plus
  • Enterprise Essentials
  • Enterprise Standard
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Education Plus
  • Teaching and Learning Upgrade
  • Workspace Business
  • Nonprofits
  • Workspace Individual Subscriber

You can participate in breakout rooms if:

  • You use a computer or the updated version of the mobile Meet Meet app or Gmail app .
  • You dial into the meeting with your phone. 
  • You're invited through a phone call.
  • You're signed into a Google Account.
  • You're an anonymous user (not signed into a Google Account). 

You can’t participate in breakout rooms if:

  • You aren’t using the updated versions of the mobile Meet Meet app or Gmail app .
  • You're using Meet hardware or Interop devices.

For video call moderators

You can create Breakout rooms for meetings in Google Calendar when creating an event or editing it. You can also create breakout rooms while a meeting is in progress. Co-hosts can only be added from the main meeting.

Create breakout rooms in advance on Google Calendar

In calendar.google.com choose either:

For a new meeting

  1. Create a new Google Calendar event.
  2. Click Add Google Meet video conferencing.
  3. Add participants.
  4. Click Change conference settings Settings.
  5. On the left, click Breakout rooms .
  6. Choose the number of breakout rooms, then choose an option:
    • Drag participants into different rooms.
    • Enter names directly into a room.
    • Click Shuffle to mix the groups.
  7. Click Save.

For an existing meeting

  1. Open an existing Google Calendar event.
  2. Click Edit event Edit event.
  3. Under Event Details, click Change conference settings Settings.
  4. On the left, click Breakout rooms .
  5. Choose the number of breakout rooms, then choose an option:
    • Drag participants into different rooms
    • Enter their name directly into a room
    • Click Shuffle to mix the groups
  6. Click Save.

Create breakout rooms during a meeting

  1. On your computer, start a video call. 
  2. At the bottom right, click Activities  right arrow Breakout rooms.
  3. In the Breakout rooms panel, choose the number of breakout rooms. You can create up to 100 breakout rooms in a call. 
  4. 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 .
  5. At 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
  1. 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 ClearClose X. 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. 
  2. 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 TimerEmpty hourglass.
    • Set the timer amount then click OK.
    • Tip: You can edit or remove the timer at any time. On the breakout room panel, click TimerEmpty hourglass to edit.
Learn how meeting safety features work in Breakout rooms

To keep meetings more secure, Google Meet users can use the following meeting safety features: 

Quick Access: Changes made to Quick Access in the main room only apply to the main room while Quick Access is always on for Breakout rooms. Participants in the Breakout room can’t see the Quick Access setting. 

Chat Lock & Present Lock: If Host Management is turned on before Breakout rooms are created, any changes made to Chat Lock & Present Lock apply to the main room and all Breakout rooms. After Breakout rooms are created, changes made to Chat Lock & Present Lock only apply to the room they’re set in.

If Host Management is turned off before Breakout Rooms are created then chat lock and present lock will be off by default and can’t be turned on.

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 Edit. 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

  1. In the breakout rooms panel, at the top right, click Close rooms
  2. In the notification window that appears, click Close all rooms.
Important: Participants have 30 seconds to finish their breakout room discussion and will be asked to rejoin the main room. To bypass the 30 seconds and close all rooms immediately, on the breakout rooms panel, click Close rooms . Participants will have to click join to re-enter the main room even if you close all rooms immediately.  
 

For video call participants

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. 

  1. On a computer or mobile device, sign in to your Google Account. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 More right arrow 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.

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