Using Pre-assigned Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Audience: Faculty and Staff

This KB Article References: Zoom, Zoom for Faculty
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff
Last Updated: October 15, 2020
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Pre-assigned Breakouts rooms allow participants to breakout into assigned groups apart from the main Zoom meeting.   To prevent any students from being unassigned a breakout room, make sure you have all the correct email addresses and all participants signed into the Zoom client.  Here is a check list with instructions to ensure that your Pre Assigned Breakout Rooms are set up correctly:

  1. First: You must have the correct email addresses for your participants. Instructors can get the a list of student emails in SOLAR following these instructions:
  2. Second:  Follow the instructions  below  to create Pre-assigned Breakout rooms in the Zoom Web Portal at
  3. Third: Instruct participants on downloading, installing, updating, and signing into the Zoom Client prior to meeting times (check for updates regularly!):

*Please read through the remaining article and keep it available the first time you initiate a Pre Assigned Breakout room:

Troubleshooting and Resolving Unassigned Students

This article will show you: 

in your breakout rooms.

Note: Users joined using Chromebooks/Chrome OS or Zoom Rooms are may not be able to join breakout rooms, but the main room can be used as an alternative session for these users.


Before the meeting

  • The Host and Participants must download and update the Zoom Client and be signed in with SSO/NetID prior to the meeting. Follow these instructions:
    • Please note that if you update the client you will need to sign into it again.
    • *This is the most difficult task because participants can easily click on the link to your meeting not knowing that they are not signed into the Client.  Please remind your participants to sign into the client before clicking your meeting link.  
  • Host must set up their meetings with at least these restrictions:
    • Enable Join before host
    • Only Authenticated users can Join...
    • Breakout Room pre-assign


  • The Host must create the breakout rooms with correct emails addresses.  You can get correct email address for students in a course from SOLAR.


During the meeting

  • If a participant joins after you (the host), they will not be automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting. See Missing Students below and to learn how to select  “Recreate”> “Recover to pre-assigned rooms” to revert to pre-assigned breakout rooms to assign participants to their pre-assigned breakout rooms
  • If you have registration enabled and external participants register for the meeting, you need to manually assign them to breakout rooms during the meeting.  See below for instructions on Unassigned Students

Missing Students

If you see that your assignments are missing students in the Breakout rooms and "Open All Room" is not clickable:

Click on Recreate Recover to pre-assigned rooms

Then click Yes at the prompt:

This will re-assign students according to your breakout room setup.

Unassigned Students

Students must be signed into the Zoom Client for them to be pre-assigned.   

If there are unassigned students, Zoom will alert you:

This can happen if a student was omitted during  the pre-assignment breakout room setup or if a student leaves (i.e. internet down) and then comes back into the meeting.

To assign the student, click More > Breakout Room

Click Join next to the Breakout room and enter the unassigned student's name.  Do this until there are no unassigned students.




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