Pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms

You can create your breakout rooms and populate them with participants where you’re scheduling your meeting or if you edit the meeting settings. As the participants enter the room, they will be added to the room.

To do so, first you need to create a list of your participants in an excel spreadsheet and the save that file as a Comma Separated Values (.CSV).  When saving your excel spreadsheet, select save as, name of file.csv (MyRooms.csv).

The file must contain the following information in the exact format.  The first row of the first two columns must contain the text (Col1 Pre-assign Room Name) (Col2 Email Address) see example below.  The first column must contain the room that you will assign each participant. The second column must contain the email address of each participant. You can pre-assign up to 200 participants to rooms. Download a template (MyRooms.csv)

Pre-assign Room Name

Email Address

Room 1

Room 1

Room 2

Room 2



Once you have your list of participants in the required format, you can now schedule a meeting and then create the breakout rooms and populate them.  You can schedule your meeting using either the Zoom App or the Web Portal, however – you must use the Web Portal to upload the csv file create the breakout rooms.  If you are comfortable using the desktop app to schedule your meeting, you can easily access the web portal to edit the meeting and upload the csv file. 

How to schedule a zoom meeting using the desktop application

Open up the Zoom desktop application and click on the schedule icon.

Schedule Icon


Complete the settings as required.  You can always go in and edit the settings later.

To create the breakout rooms and pre-assign participants, you need to access your zoom  settings using the Web Portal ( you will need to login using your ACU credentials.  You can access the web portal from the desktop app by selecting the settings cog icon or your profile picture, located in the top right of the application.

Click settings

The click on the view more settings located at the bottom of the screen.

View More Settings


This will take you to the web portal where you can also create and edit Zoom meetings. Click on Meetings located in the left-hand menu.




You should see a list of your upcoming meetings.  Click on the one you created earlier to edit that meeting OR go ahead a schedule a new meeting in the Web Portal.

Schedule a meeting


To edit a meeting already scheduled, select it from the list by clicking on it and then scrolling to the bottom and select edit this meeting.

Edit this Meeting


In the next stage we’re going to upload the .csv file. Make sure you have this access this file.

In order for participants to automatically go into the pre-assigned rooms, you need to select the option Enable Before Host AND the participants need to log in before the host. This may not be an ideal way for you work, so you can leave this unticked, however you will need to click on an option in the breakout rooms to complete the process. 

enable join before host option

Scroll to the bottom of the settings and put a tick next to the option Break-out room pre-assign and click on the Import from CSV option and locate your .csv file.  You can drag and drop the file into the space provide.

import from CSV

Once the file has been uploaded, you can edit the rooms, move participants between rooms, remove participants and delete rooms.  Click on save to complete the import. If you make any mistakes, you can always go back in and edit the room settings at a later stage.  You can easily re-import the .csv file if you need to.

delete room


Start your meeting to test that the rooms have been created.  Click on the start button in your list of meetings or on the Start this meeting from the meeting settings page.

start the meeting
start meeting icon

Once your meeting has started, click on the breakout room icon in the toolbar along the bottom of the window.

Breakout rooms

If you don’t see the participants in the pre-assigned rooms, click on the breakout rooms popup window and click the Recreate option, followed by Recover to pre-assigned rooms, followed by Yes.  The participants should now be assigned to their breakouts rooms.

It’s important that you don’t click on the open Recreate all Rooms as this will delete all the rooms you have created.

recreate rooms
Page last updated on 24/07/2020

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