If you want to divide participants into smaller groups during meetings then you need to use the Breakout rooms feature of Microsoft teams. This feature is useful for organizing people into smaller groups for a particular project or a class into smaller groups. However, some users reported that the Breakout room is not working in Teams meetings and they want a quick remedy. In this article, we are going to learn how to resolve this issue.
Here is a list of some of the issues that cause this error and the probable causes:
- The breakout room option not showing.
- Participants can’t be moved to breakout rooms.
- Some of the breakout rooms not opening.
- The breakout room with a timer closed before the time was over.
- Breakout rooms got disabled even when the participants were 300 or fewer.
1] Breakout room option not showing in Teams
This issue may be caused because of the following issue:
- You are not the organizer or presenter of the meeting
- The thread where the meeting was organized is deleted
- You joined the meeting from an unsupported client.
- The meeting was organized in a private or shared channel.
- Breakout rooms are disabled by a policy through your admin portal.
- The meeting was canceled.
These are some of the reasons why you are not able to see the option of a Breakout room in the meeting. Hence, to be able to see the Breakout room option, try the following solutions:
- Make sure that you are the organizer of the meeting.
- Join the meeting from the supported client such as Linux, web, iOS, iPadOS, Android (including Chromebook), PSTN, and VDI clients
- Make sure that the meeting is organized in a public channel.
- Ask the admin if the option is disabled because of the organization’s policy.
- Make sure that the meeting isn’t canceled.
2] Participants can’t be moved to Breakout rooms in Teams
Users often report the issue of Microsoft Teams Breakout rooms not working, when they are not able to move the participants to the right breakout rooms.
Please note that certain participants cannot be added to a Breakout room if they:
- Have joined the meeting from unsupported devices
- Are not currently in the meeting (haven’t joined or left early)
- Are using an older version of Microsoft Teams.
These kinds of participants cannot be moved to a Breakout room.
Apart from these types of participants, if you are still facing an issue to add them to the Breakout room, then you can try the following solutions:
- Re-assign the participants manually to the breakout rooms.: You can do this before the meeting or even during the meeting. For more information on this, read the article How to create and use Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams.
- Ask to join: You can use this option when a participant fails to join the breakout room.
Apart from these issues, there could be the following limitations that stop you from adding a participant to a Breakout room. As per the current policy with Microsoft Teams, a participant who is not in the breakout room can’t be moved to another breakout room. Another limitation is when a participant is moved from an open to a closed room, he will land in the main meeting. Hence, remember these points when dealing with Breakout rooms.
3] Some of the breakout rooms not opening in Teams
If you are facing the issue where some of your Breakout rooms are not opening, make sure that it is not an empty room. For a Breakout room to open, at least one participant needs to join the breakout room. Besides, if you set a timer for the breakout rooms and no one joins a room, that room will not open.
4] Breakout room with a timer closed before the time was over in Teams
If you have set a timer for the breakout room and it gets closed before the time is over, you can check if the participants left the room. When all the participants leave the room before the time has elapsed, the breakout room gets closed automatically.
5] Breakout rooms got disabled even when the participants were 300 or less in Teams
As an organizer, you can arrange Breakout rooms for meetings of up to 300 participants. However, if you are facing an issue with the Breakout rooms despite having the number of participants as 300 or less, then you might want to investigate. There are some conditions in which the Breakout rooms get disabled.
- One of the scenarios is where the number of participants exceeds 300 for a short duration and then the participants leave the meeting. After they leave the meeting, the participant’s count goes below 300. In this scenario, despite the final count of participants going below 300, the Breakout rooms icon will still be disabled in the meeting controls. This is because, at some point, the count exceeded 300.
- In another scenario, when the meeting organizer starts organizing breakout rooms for less than 300 meeting participants; the size of the meeting gets locked to 300 people. After this, it won’t be possible to add new participants to the meeting or the breakout room until all breakout rooms have been closed, and deleted, and the meeting restarts.
Fix Breakout Room not working in Teams meeting
If the Breakout room is not working in Teams meetings then it is possible that you may have configured some of the settings that can interfere with breakout room settings. However, it is not the only reason, there are various causes, hence, various solutions. Therefore, we have mentioned below some of the potential causes and its solution.
- Update the Microsoft Teams app
- Check the Internet connection
- Clear MS Teams cache
- Change MS Teams settings to public.
- Reinstall the app
Let’s get started with our first solution.
1] Update the Microsoft Teams app
If users want to join the breakout room and are unable to join then make sure that you are using the updated Teams app. It has been seen that an outdated version of the app may cause this issue as there is a high chance that the person on the other end has an updated version, and this can trigger compatibility issues. To update the app, follow the prescribed steps.
- Open Microsoft Teams.
- Click on your Profile Picture.
- Click on Settings.
- Now, click on About Teams.
- It will check for updates and prompt you to update it.
Hopefully, after updating the Microsoft Teams app issue will be resolved.
2] Check the Internet connection
Breakout rooms require more bandwidth than regular chat rooms. If you are encountering the said error while using this app then to resolve this issue make sure that you have a good internet speed and stable Internet connection. Therefore it’s necessary to check the bandwidth and to do the same, you can use any of the free online Internet Speed testers. If it is slow, you have to restart your router, and see if the issue is resolved or not, however, if it persists, contact your ISP.
3] Clear MS Teams cache
The error in question can be due to the app’s corrupted cache, in this scenario, then we recommend you clear your team’s cache. Problems with Teams’ Breakout room feature and glitches will be fixed by deleting the Microsoft Teams cache. Follow the prescribed steps to do the same.
- Quit Microsoft Teams altogether. To do the same, open Task Manager, right-click on Microsoft Teams, and select End Task
- Double-click on This PC and go to %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams.
- Now, delete all the files inside the following folders but make sure to not delete the folders:
- %appdata%\Microsoft \teams\application cache\cache
- %appdata%\Microsoft \teams\blob_storage
- %appdata%\Microsoft \teams\Cache
- appdata%\Microsoft \teams\databases
- appdata%\Microsoft \teams\GPUcache
- appdata%\Microsoft \teams\IndexedDB
- appdata%\Microsoft \teams\Local Storage
- appdata%\Microsoft \teams\tmp
- Restart Teams and check if the issue is resolved.
Now, open MS Teams after deleting the Microsoft teams cache and check if your issue persists or not.
4] Change MS Teams settings to Public
You may encounter the said error if MS Teams is configured to Private, as that only allows users who are part of your organization to join the meeting. However, since, we are creating Breakout rooms, it is mandatory to start meeting in Public Mode. That is why, if you are launching a meeting and want to create Breakout rooms, make sure to start it in Public Mode.
5] Reinstall the app
If none of the above-mentioned solutions worked for you, uninstalling the app and then installing it again is the last solution. Follow the prescribed steps to reinstall the app
- Press Windows + I key to open Settings.
- Click on Apps then click on Installed apps.
- Locate the Microsoft Teams app and click on the three-dot line.
- Select Uninstall.
- You will be prompted to confirm your actions, click on Uninstall again.
- Go to teams.microsoft.com and download the app.
- Run the download package and install the app.
Now, launch Teams and hopefully this will do the job.
You should also know that if you scheduled recurring meetings and want the breakout rooms to work, make sure to apply the settings to all meetings in recurrence. It is not possible to configure a single meeting in the recurrent.
Hopefully, we have cleared all your doubts regarding Breakout rooms in MS Teams.
Has my Breakout Room expired? Why can’t I see it in the room list?
If you haven’t opened or used the Breakout rooms within 60 days, they will expire. Expired breakout rooms aren’t shown in the room list. Organizers can’t recover the expired breakout rooms. However, they can create new Breakout rooms and manage them as usual.
Is there any limitation for pre-meeting Breakout Room creation?
Yes, the option of pre-create breakout rooms and pre-assign participants is available only to the meeting organizers. 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.
Also Read: Microsoft Teams cannot change Team picture.