Create Breakout Meetings in Teams

Have a larger meeting or class session? Break out your attendees into smaller groups for discussion and collaboration in Microsoft Teams.

NEW: Breakout Rooms in Public Preview

Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms are rolling out in a public preview and will be available for your use during the week of September 7, 2020. Breakout rooms allow a meeting organizer to split your attendees into multiple online rooms for discussion and collaboration in Microsoft Teams.


Breakout Meetings in Teams Classic "Single-Window" Experience

Watch this video by Dr. Melissa Shew, Philosophy and Center for Teaching and Learning, about using channels for breakout meetings in the Teams Classic "Single-Window" Experience.


Breakout Sessions with Teams New Meeting Experience

  • These updated instructions use the New Meeting Experience. Note that the classic single-window version of Microsoft Teams is shown in the video above.
  • Use or create a Team that includes all members that will participate in the main meeting session and the smaller group breakout sessions.
  • The Team's General channel may be used for the main meeting session.
  • Create channels for each group's breakout session. For example, you could create Team A and Team B as channels or use color names. Or you may want to give clear, meaningful names to the channels.
  • You will need to add specific attendees as members of each private channel.
  • For private channels, you cannot schedule or record meetings.

Setting up Channel Meetings for Breakout Sessions

  • From each breakout session channel, select the Meet Now meeting icon.

    Meet now

    Join the meeting. Upon joining, a conversation is added to the channel with a Join button for channel participants.

    Join breakout meeting

  • For standard, non-private channels, all members in the Team can join, but the meetings are specific to the channel.
  • When the breakout meetings have started, attendees may join via the channel, using the conversation with the Join button.

Switching Among Meetings

  • In the New Meeting Experience, multiple meetings appear in separate Teams windows. You can join up to four meetings at once. You can only participate in one of those four meetings. Three of your four meetings will have you on hold.
  • As you switch meetings, the original meeting will be placed on hold for you. (Participants in that breakout meeting continue without you.)
  • Note that when Iggy the Golden Eagle joined the Team B breakout meeting, the Team A breakout meeting was placed on hold in a separate window. You can quickly move from meeting to meeting by switching windows and selecting the Resume button.

    The image below shows Iggy the Golden Eagle in the Team B meeting and switching windows to the on-hold Team A meeting. Upon selecting the Resume button, Iggy joins the Team A meeting, then the Team B meeting is on hold for Iggy.

    On hold


Please contact the IT Services Help Desk for questions about Microsoft Teams.