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Breakout rooms troubleshooting guide in Microsoft Teams

Why can't I use breakout rooms in my Teams meeting? 

To see Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon  in your meeting controls, you must be a meeting organizer of a scheduled private meeting, a Meet Now meeting, a scheduled channel meeting, or a channel Meet Now meeting. Additionally, you need to join the meeting from a supported Teams client for Windows or macOS. 

Linux, web, iOS, iPadOS, Android (including Chromebook), PSTN, and VDI clients are currently enabled for breakout room attendees, which means participants joining from these clients can be moved to breakout rooms but cannot manage breakout rooms.  

You will not see Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon  in your meeting controls if: 

  • You are not a meeting organizer or you were not set as a breakout room manager.

  • The meeting was canceled.

  • The thread where the channel meeting was organized was deleted.

  • The meeting was organized in a private or a shared channel.

  • You joined from an unsupported client.

  • You are not from the same organization as the meeting organizer.

  • Breakout rooms are disabled by a policy through your admin portal.

Some of the meeting participants were not moved to the right breakout rooms. What should I do? 

Certain types of meeting participants can’t be moved to breakout rooms: 

  • Participants who joined from unsupported devices, like CVI.

  • Participants who are not currently in the meeting.

  • Participants who are using an older versions of Teams.

Tip: Your main meeting may serve as a breakout room for these participants who cannot be assigned to one.

If you’re the meeting organizer and still having trouble moving participants to breakout rooms, try re-assigning them to the rooms. Learn more about how to do that here

The meeting organizer can also try assigning a participant who failed to join a breakout room by navigating to Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon  in the meeting controls, hovering over the participant’s name until More options  More options icon appears next to the participant’s name, and then selecting Ask to join. The participant will then be asked to join a room.  

There are a few known limitations with moving participants who have been assigned to an open room: 

  • Participants who are not in the breakout room can’t be moved to another breakout room.

  • Participants who are moved from open to closed room will land in the main meeting.

I see an error message when I try to close all breakout rooms. What should I do? 

Try to right click the room that failed to close and select Close room from the menu options.  

Why didn’t some of my breakout rooms open? 

Empty rooms will not open. Additionally, if you set a timer for your breakout rooms and no one joins a room, that room will not open.  

Why did my breakout room with a timer close before time had elapsed?  

If all participants leave the meeting before the timer is up, the room will close automatically. 

How do I control lobby settings for the main meeting? 

You can control whether meeting participants need to be admitted in the lobby from these settings. For more info, click on the following link: Change participant settings for a Teams meeting.  

Does selecting End meeting in the main meeting end or close all active breakout rooms? 

No, selecting End meeting will just close the main meeting. To close breakout rooms, select Close rooms from Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon. You'll know rooms have successfully closed when their status changes to Closed. 

What should I do if my phone endpoint doesn’t move?  

Please notify the organizer or breakout room manager to do the following:  

  1. Check if you have a room assigned in the panel.

  2. If the room is already open, click on the Assign button again.

What should I do if my phone endpoint is dropped?  

You can redial into the meeting.   

  • If you are a dial-in user, you will join the main room. Please ask the organizer to assign you to your pervious room and move you.

  • If you are a call-me user, you will be able to join the previous room you were in by clicking Join room button.

What should I do if I find my Teams is in one room, but phone call is getting audio from a different room, while using call-me?  

Please drop your PSTN call and use call-me again with your Teams.  

What are known limitations for phone support?

  1. Dial-in participants need to be reassigned to a room if they drop off and rejoin the meeting.

  2. Accept/deny transfer is not supported for phone (PSTN) participants including call-me.

  3. Ask to join is not supported PSTN participants including call-me.

  4. PSTN participants including call-me will be auto-moved to rooms, even if the automatic entry to breakout rooms setting is OFF.

  5. Dial-out participants will land in lobby when returning to main room from breakout rooms.

    Tip: The organizer needs to admit the participants again to let them in.

  6. PSTN participants will not be able to move if the room is not created by audio conferencing license owner.

  • When an organizer has audio conferencing license, but a breakout room manager doesn't have audio conferencing license:

    • If the breakout rooms are created by the breakout room manager, PSTN participants can join the main room via dial-in/dial-out or call-me. However, they are not able to move to breakout rooms.

  • When an organizer doesn't have audio conferencing license, but a breakout room manager has audio conferencing license:

    • If the breakout rooms are created by the breakout room manager, PSTN participants can join breakout rooms directly via dial-out or call-me. However, they are not able to move back to the main meeting.

      Tip: Make sure both organizer and breakout room manager have audio conferencing license. 

What is the maximum number of meeting participants for breakout rooms? 

Breakout rooms can be organized for meetings of up to 300 participants. There are some scenarios that would disable Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon  in the meeting controls: 

  • If more than 300 participants join a meeting and at some point, the participant count goes below 300, Breakout rooms  Breakout rooms icon will still be still disabled in the meeting controls.

  • If the meeting organizer starts organizing breakout rooms when there are less than 300 meeting participants, the overall meeting size will be automatically limited, or locked, to 300 people. This means that no more than 300 participants will be able to join the meeting until all breakout rooms have been closed, deleted, and the meeting restarts.

Note: In subsequent occurrences of a meeting that has already been locked at 300 participants, no more attendees can join those future occurrences until breakout rooms have been closed and deleted. 

Will breakout rooms expire? 

Breakout rooms will expire if they're not opened within the past 60 days (like any other meetings). Expired breakout rooms aren't shown in room list. Organizers aren't able to recover expired breakout rooms, but they can still manage other rooms (if present and not expired). They can also add new breakout rooms (numbering will follow incrementally), or they can recreate all rooms from scratch.

What are known limitations for meeting organizers when they select breakout room managers? 

Meeting organizers have the following limitations when assigning breakout room managers: 

  • Only presenters in your org are able to be selected as breakout room managers.

  • Only invited presenters are able to be selected as breakout room managers.

  • The number of breakout room managers is limited to 10.

  • People joining as attendees and being promoted from roster can't be made breakout room managers, even if invited.

  • Breakout room managers can't be assigned to specific rooms, but they can move freely between rooms.

What are known limitations for pre-meeting breakout room creation and participant pre-assignment for breakout rooms? 

Meeting organizers using pre-meeting breakout room creation and participant pre-assignment has following limitations: 


  • Only meeting organizers can pre-create breakout rooms and pre-assign participants.

Pre-meeting experience availability: 

  • Meeting organizers can only access pre-meetings when the main meeting is not ongoing and when all breakout rooms are closed. Once the meeting has started, breakout rooms can only be managed via the breakout room panel in the active meeting (this requires organizers or breakout room managers to join the meeting).

Participant assignment: 

  • Only people in approved orgs are available for pre-assignment.

  • Only invited participants and those who were assigned in previous sessions, regardless of if they are invited, are available for pre-assignment.

  • Pre-assigning participants isn't possible if the meeting has more than 300 invitees.

  • Participants who were pre-assigned and joined the main meeting late, after breakout rooms were already opened, won't be automatically moved to those opened rooms.

  • Pre-assigned participants who join the main meeting from unsupported devices won't be moved to breakout rooms when rooms are opened.

Room creation and settings: 

  • Breakout room managers can be appointed prior to the meeting by accessing breakout rooms settings in the breakout room tab, which is available only after breakout rooms have been created.

  • The maximum time limit organizers can pre-create rooms in advance before the meeting starts is 60 days. After 60 days, pre-created rooms will expire.

How do I report issues with breakout rooms? 

Share your feedback on breakout rooms by selecting Help > Give Feedback in Teams. You can also ask questions in Microsoft Answers and the Microsoft Tech Community. To troubleshoot another issue with Microsoft Support, you’ll need to have log files from both the meeting organizer and meeting participant machines handy, which can be exported using these steps.  

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