Participating and Using Zoom Tools in a Breakout Room

In Zoom Meeting Breakout Rooms, breakout room participants have full access to chat, screen share, and audio (even if those functions are disabled in the main room).

Audience: Faculty, Staff and Students

This KB Article References: Zoom, Zoom for Faculty, Zoom for Students
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Students
Last Updated: May 26, 2020

When a host opens breakout out room and attendees join them, each breakout room functions like it's own zoom meeting with open permissions. 

In Zoom Meeting breakout rooms, breakout room participants have full access to screen share, chat, and audio (even if they are disabled in the main room). Here's more on how features work in breakout rooms:


  • Within each breakout room, attendees can chat with everyone in the breakout room or a specific person in the breakout room even if participant chat is disabled in the main room.
  • Breakout room chat is only viewable in that breakout room. 
  • Main room chat does not show in breakout room chat
  • Each time a breakout room is opened, the chat starts empty (it does not include a previous instance of the breakout room's chat nor the main room chat).
  • Anyone in a breakout room can click Ask For Help to request that the Host join the breakout room.

Share Screen

  • Within each breakout room, attendees can screen share even if screen share for attendees is disabled in the main room.
  • Only one person can share at a time in each breakout room (even if multiple people are allow to share simultaneously in the main room).


  • All participants can unmute/mute their audio within the breakout room even if all participants were muted and not allowed to unmute in the main room.
  • If participants unmute in a breakout room when a main room has everyone muted and not allowed to unmute, when they rejoin the main room, they will again be muted.


  • If a host turns a participant's video off, the participant cannot turn it back on, even in a breakout room.


  • In cloud recording, only the main room is recorded (regardless of what room the meeting host is in). 
  • If participants are allowed to record locally (given permission by the host before opening the breakout room), their local recording will record whichever room they're in.
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