How to create breakout rooms in Google Meet

How to create breakout rooms in Google Meet

Private rooms in Google Meet allow moderators to divide video conference participants into smaller breakout groups.

This creates one or more separate video calls within the main video call, where each group cannot see or hear the other groups. Other video calling services, such as Zoom, also offer this feature, which is useful for dividing employees into teams or for classroom settings. When you want everyone to rearrange, you can end breakout rooms and everyone will rejoin at the main call.

Although Google Meet is free, the breakout room feature is only available to users with certain paid upgraded versions of the service such as Google Workspace Essentials or G Suite for Education.

Creating breakout rooms takes just a minute and could change the way you think about remote meetings.

How to create breakout rooms in Google Meet (as a moderator)

You can create up to 100 breakout rooms in Google Meet. Google recommends limiting breakout room privileges to moderators, especially teachers with a full classroom of students.

1. Start a video call in Google Meet.

2. Click on the “Activities” icon (a circle, square and triangle icon) in the upper right corner.

3. Click on “Private Rooms”.

4. Click the “Edit” pencil icon and choose the number of subgroup rooms you want to create.

5. The participants are then distributed in the rooms. You can move people to different rooms by entering someone’s name in the room or by clicking and dragging them there. The button shuffle shuffle groups randomly.

6. Click “Open Rooms” at the bottom right to activate the rooms.

google meet graphical interface

Once attendees are in their breakout rooms, they may ask for your help. A notification will appear to enter his virtual room: click “Join” to join or “Later”. A banner with the words “Ask for help” will appear above the rooms that have contacted you.

You can also set a timer for subgroup rooms by visiting the top of the subgroup rooms panel and clicking on the hourglass icon. You can change or remove the timer at any time.

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How to enter, exit, modify or end all virtual rooms

Once you’ve created breakout rooms, you can edit them or go in on your own. A note to you and breakout room attendees: Moderators can only see internal messages of a breakout room while in that breakout room.

  • Enter a room by selecting a room number and clicking “Join”.
  • Exit the same room and click “Exit” next to the room number.
  • To make changes to the number of groups or who is in them, click “Edit virtual rooms”.
  • End all subgroup rooms by selecting “Close rooms” at the top right of the subgroup rooms panel. Click “Close all rooms” in the pop-up window.

How to join breakout rooms in Google Meet (as an attendee)

You will receive an invitation to enter a virtual room that has been created for you. When breakout rooms finish, you will be notified that you are returning to the main room.

1. Join the call.

2. A prompt will appear to enter the virtual room that a moderator has invited you to. Click on “Join”. You will stay in the main room if you click “Cancel”.

3. If you are calling by phone, dial * 2 to go to your breakout room or to return to the main room.

4. If you are using a computer or mobile app, click “Return to main call” at the top of the screen if you want to access the main room.

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