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It’s easy for video conferences to feel overwhelming when there are a lot of people on the call. “Breakout Rooms” is a feature in Google Meet that makes it easy to divide into small groups. We’ll show you how.

“Breakout Rooms,” which can also be found in Zoom and Microsoft Teams, is the same concept as working in small groups in a real-life office or classroom. You can all gather in the main conference call, break out into smaller rooms for a while, and then reconvene. This all happens in the same meeting.

Note: Breakout Rooms in Google Meet can only be started by moderators. They also can only be started from Meet on a computer, and they can’t be live-streamed or recorded.

RELATED: How to Use Breakout Rooms in a Zoom Meeting

First, you’ll need to be in a Google Meet meeting on your desktop PC that you started or scheduled. Click the shapes icon in the bottom right.

Select “Breakout Rooms” from the Activities menu.

Select "Breakout Rooms."

Click “Set Up Breakout Rooms” to get started creating the rooms.

Now you can choose the number of rooms you want to have, set a timer for how long the rooms will last, or “Shuffle” the participants into groups. “Clear” will empty all the rooms.

Set up the rooms.

The rooms are listed underneath. You can simply drag and drop participants into the rooms as you wish.

Move people to the rooms.

Once everything is set, click “Open Rooms.”

While the rooms are happening, you can also “Edit” them after the fact and “Close Rooms” when you’re finished.

In-rooms options.

Participants will need to confirm that they want to “Join” rooms before they can be added. When the timer is about to run out or you manually close the rooms, participants will see a 30-second countdown before they’re closed.

That’s all there is to it! This is a handy little feature to know about if you organize a lot of large conference calls. Rather than having a bunch of smaller, separate meetings, you can do it all right from the main call.

RELATED: How to Use Virtual Backgrounds in Google Meet

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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