Pre-assigning Breakout Rooms in Zoom

It is possible to pre-assign breakout rooms. You will need to set them up on the Zoom website, You should have already scheduled your class meetings in Canvas first.


Click on the Meetings menu item on the left

meetings tab highlighted


Click on the title of the class meeting where you will be using the student breakout groups


Click Edit button on the bottom of the page

If you are asked "Do you want to edit only this meeting or all recurring meetings?" click on the All button.

arrow pointing at edit button


Check the box next to Required, in the Registration section

Once you check that box you'll get the option to have students register once and can attend any of the occurrences, for each occurrence, or once and can choose one or more occurrences to attend. Leave the default Attendees register once and can attend any of the occurrences selected.

arrow pointing at Required checkbox with the first option highlighted


Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Show in the Options section to reveal additional settings

arrow pointing at Show button


Select the Breakout Room pre-assign option, then click Import from CSV

arrow pointing at Breakout Room pre-assign option with Import from CSV highlighted

Don't see the Breakout Room pre-assign option?

Click on Settings on the left-hand navigation of the page and scroll down to the In Meeting (Advanced) section (it's about two-thirds of the way down the page). Under the Breakout Room portion, click on the option "Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling." Click Save and return to the Meetings tab and repeat step 6.

User settings on, breakout room allow host to assign participants when scheduling


Download the template .csv file, then open it in Microsoft Excel, Numbers, or a similar spreadsheet program

Arrow pointing at download in the description


Edit the template .csv file by adding your student email addresses and assigning a breakout group room name for each student

spreadsheet with Pre-assign Room Name in first column and list of student email addresses in second column

  1. The easiest way to get a list of students' email addresses is by going into your Canvas course, clicking on the People page, then clicking on the Download Course Roster button.

    You can open the .csv file that will download and copy and paste the email addresses into the Email Address column on the template spreadsheet. (Note: Students will need to use their preferred email address from Banner when they register for the Zoom meeting.)

    After you have run a session of the class with the registrations turned on, you can check the Zoom registrants emails against the roster by going to, clicking on Meetings, clicking on the title of the Zoom class meeting, scrolling to the bottom of the page where it says Manage Attendees, and clicking on View (on the right side of the page).

    That will show you the email addresses that the students used to register for the Zoom class, and you can use this to update your CSV pre-assigned breakout room file.

  2. Breakout room names can include capital letters and spaces.
  3. You may create up to 50 breakout rooms and include up to 200 participants.

Be sure to save the spreadsheet as a .csv file


Drag and drop your .csv file onto the window or click on the browse link to select the file using your finder


You will see a preview of the room names and assignments and can move students between groups by hovering over his or her name, clicking on the Move to button, and choosing a different group name


When you are finished pre-assigning groups, click on the Save button


Finally, click Save on the meeting details page

As students join the class the first time they will be asked to register for the meeting. They will need to enter their first and last name and their preferred email address before they can enter the room.

During class, click on the Breakout Rooms button.

breakout rooms button within Zoom application

To recover the previously assigned breakout rooms, click Recreate, then Recover to Pre-assigned rooms. If students join the class late you may have to assign them to the group manually before opening the rooms.

breakout room window

You can only have one set of rooms pre-assigned for a single meeting time and it will apply to all the recurrences. So, you couldn't set up multiple breakout group sets (i.e. groups of four and groups of six) to use in a single meeting. However, you can load a different set of groups using a new .csv file before each class meeting.

Additional details on pre-assigning breakout rooms can be found on Additional details on pre-assigning breakout rooms can be found on Zoom's Help Center External Link Icon .