Webex - Breakout Rooms

Breakout sessions are now available with a Cortland Webex account.

Breakout sessions are smaller groups that are split off from the main Webex meeting. They allow a subset of meeting participants to collaborate and share ideas over audio and video. You can use breakout sessions for workshops, classrooms, or for when you need a moment to talk privately with a few participants, outside of the main meeting.

Hosts and cohosts create breakout sessions, assign participants and then when they're ready, start the sessions.

Attendees can share content and use collaboration tools such as Chat, to collaborate in smaller, more focused discussion groups.

Each breakout session is a separate audio and video conference. If you connected to audio when you joined the meeting, it switches over automatically when you join a breakout session. You can mute or unmute your audio and start or stop your video at any time during the breakout session, just like you would in the main session.

When all breakout sessions end, your audio switches to the main meeting automatically. If your video is on during the breakout session, it remains on when all breakout sessions end and you return to the main meeting.



Enable Breakout Sessions when scheduling

When scheduling a meeting from the Webex home page or from the installed version of Outlook you can enable breakout sessions. This option is not available when scheduling using Outlook webmail

Schedule using Webex home page

  1. From the Home tab on the Webex home page choose Schedule
  2. Enter necessary meeting information
  3. Choose Show Advanced Options > Scheduling Options
  4. Click the box in front of Enable breakout sessions

Enable breakout session checkbox


Schedule using installed Outlook

To use this feature, you will need to have installed Webex Productivity Tools (sunycortland.webex.com > Downloads tab > download Productivity Tools)

  1. Open your Outlook calendar
  2. From the Webex group select Schedule Meeting < Schedule Webex Meeting
  3. Select the box in front of Enable Breakout Sessions

Enable breakout sessions checkbox Outlook

  1. Enter the rest of the meeting information


Now, whether you have scheduled your meeting from the Webex homepage or from Outlook, when the meeting starts, the breakout session button will be in the menu bar at the bottom of your screen.



Start a Breakout session

  1. Start your Webex Pro Meeting or Personal Room meeting

breakout tab

  1. If the breakout session has not already been enabled, choose the Breakout tab from the menu at the top of the meeting window
  2. Select Enable Breakout Session

Enable breakout session button

This will add the Breakout button to the bottom menu of the meeting window

  1. Select the Breakout sessions button
  2. Select the number of sessions/rooms and whether the participants will be assigned automatically or manually

Breakout session assignments

If you choose to assign people manually:

  1. Select the checkbox in front of each person’s name
  2. Choose Move to Session
  3. Select the Breakout session to move the selected people to

Breakout session dialog box

If you choose to assign people automatically:

  1. Select the checkbox in front of each person’s name
  2. Choose Move to Session


  1. You can now choose to close this dialog box using the ‘x’ in the top right corner, if the breakout sessions will not be starting right away
  2. When you are ready to start the breakout sessions, open the dialog box if necessary and select Start Breakout Sessions



Add, Rename or Delete a Breakout Session

Before selecting Start Breakout Sessions and sorting people into their respective new separate audio and video conference, you can make changes to the number of breakout sessions you have created and you can rename them.


To add a breakout session

  1. Select the Breakout sessions button to open the dialog box

Webex meeting menu

  1. Click Add session, and then enter a new name for the session or press Enter to use the default name.

Add session button


Rename a breakout session

  1. Hover over the session name
  2. Click Rename
  3. Enter a new name

Rename button


Delete a breakout session

  1. Hover over the breakout session
  2. Click Delete
  3. All participants in the session will be unassigned




Move or Exchange Attendees in Breakout Sessions

  1. If the Breakout session assignment dialog box isn’t already open, click the Breakout sessions button to open it.
  2. In the list of breakout sessions, locate and hover over the attendee that you want to move or exchange
  3. Either:
    1. Click Move to, to move the attendee to another breakout session
    2. Select the breakout session
    3. To move the attendee to a new breakout session, select New breakout session

Move command

  1. Click Exchange to swap the attendee with an attendee in another room
  2. Select the attendee

Exchange command

If you move an attendee after the breakout sessions have started, the attendee sees this message:

moving message



Remove a Participant from a Breakout Session

A host or a co-host of a meeting can remove a participant from a breakout session before the sessions start. If you need to remove a participant from a breakout session after the sessions have started, you must remove the participant from the meeting.

  1. If the breakout session assignment dialog box isn’t already open, select the Breakout sessions button to open it.

Webex meeting menu

  1. In the list of breakout session, locate and hover over the the participant you want to remove
  2. Click Remove

Remove command





Join or Leave a Breakout Session

A host or co-host can join any breakout session to participate in the discussions or to provide help.

Depending on how the host has set up the breakout sessions, will join the breakout session that they are assigned automatically, or they can join themselves, after the session starts.


Host or Co-host

  1. Open the Participant pane
  2. Select the Breakout session tab
  3. Click Join next to the breakout session that you want to join

Join command

  1. When you want to leave the session, select the Leave session button in the menu bar at the bottom of your Webex window

Leave button




If the host has chosen to have you join the breakout session automatically, you see the following message when the breakout session starts. You will automatically put in the breakout session

start breakout message

Otherwise you will be notified when the breakout session starts. You can join the session you are assigned to when it starts or later.

Join when the session starts
  1. Select Join Now in the message that appears.

Join now button

Join after the session is in progress
  1. Open the Participants pane
  2. Select Join in the upper right corner

Join in progess

Leave a breakout session
  1. Click the Leave session button in the menu bar at the bottom of the Webex window

Leave button

  1. If the Leave session button is not available choose the Leave Meeting button in the same location

Leave button


Ask All Participants to Return to the Main Meeting

  1. Select the Breakout tab
  2. Choose Ask All to Return

Ask all to return command

  1. All participants will receive the following message


End All Breakout Sessions

As a host or cohost, you can end all breakouts sessions. When you end all breakout sessions, everyone who's in a breakout session returns to the main meeting automatically.

Alternatively, you can set breakout sessions to end automatically after a specified number of minutes when you create them.

The following features aren’t currently supported while participating in a breakout session but will be addressed upcoming versions of Webex:

  • Raise hand, People Insights profile, and the notes taker role
  • Webex Assistant for Meetings
  • Closed captioning
  • Recording breakout sessions
  • High frame rate content sharing ("Optimize for motion and video")
  • Sharing web browser
  • Sharing multimedia
  • Annotation and Whiteboard
  • Remote control
  • Live streaming
  • Polling
  • Saving chat
  • Users who join from the Webex Meeting web app can’t share content


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Article ID: 118069
Fri 10/9/20 3:22 PM
Wed 2/2/22 3:59 PM