Self-Selection for Zoom Breakout Rooms

Zoom breakout rooms allow you to split meeting participants into separate groups for focused discussion. Previously, the host had to manually assign users to each room, but now users can select and join their own and move freely between them and the main room, if desired. Before the participants can access this feature, the host must enable it in the meeting settings, and all users must have Zoom version 5.3.0 or higher. Please see the following section for instructions, or see the next section to learn how to check your app's version number.


  1. After starting the Zoom meeting, the host can click More and select Breakout Rooms to open the room set up menu.
    Screenshot of Zoom app: click 'More', the 'Breakout rooms', to open the setup menu.
  2. In the set up menu, enter the desired number of breakout rooms and select Let participants choose room. Then click Create to generate the rooms. If you don't see this menu, please make sure that you have the host role for this meeting and confirm that your Zoom app has been updated to version 5.3.0 or later.
    Screenshot of the Zoom app: In the pop-up menu, set a number of breakout rooms, then select Let participants choose room and click Create.
  3. Use the Breakout Rooms menu to configure the following settings. These are optional settings, so you can skip to Open All Rooms to keep the default.​​​
    1 - Add additional rooms
    2 - Rename or delete rooms
    3 - Change settings
    4 - Open all rooms
    Screenshot of Zoom app: click 'Create' to open the breakout rooms menu, where hosts can edit breakout room settings.

    Zoom will prompt participants to Join a breakout room. Alternatively, you can use the above menu to pre-assign one or more users to any of the rooms.
    Screenshot of Zoom app: participants will be prompted to join a breakout room.
  4. When users are inside of a room, they can click the Breakout Room button (in the bottom menu bar) to select a different room or ask the host for help. Click Leave Room (in the lower-right) to exit this room and return to the main meeting. To access this setting, it must be enabled by the host in the Breakout Rooms menu > Options.



The self-selection feature is only available when the meeting host enables it, and all users must be using Zoom 5.3.0 or later (desktop app). Please see the following steps to check which version you have installed:

  • Open the Zoom application on your desktop (not the website), then log in with SSO and your NDUS.Identifier username and password (same as used for Blackboard and Campus Connection).
    Screenshot of the Zoom desktop icon
  • In Zoom's main menu, click your profile picture (or the icon with your initials in the top-right). From the drop-down menu, select Help, then click About Zoom.

  • This will open a pop-up with the version number. If it's lower than 5.3.0, please follow these instructions to update the app.


Note: For more information about Zoom Breakout Rooms (including technical requirements) please see our Knowledge Base article.


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Article ID: 128799
Thu 2/25/21 3:30 PM
Thu 5/2/24 3:53 PM

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