Breakout Sessions can be used to subdivide the participants in a Webex Meeting. Users can be assigned to a breakout session manually or randomly while scheduling or during the Meeting.

  • Breakout Sessions may be controlled by the Host and Cohosts. Only one user may alter the Breakout Sessions at a time.
    Learn more about Cohosts here: Cohost Role in Webex.
    If you have facilitators/TAs for breakout sessions, assign them the co-host role so they may alter the breakout sessions.
  • The Host and Cohosts will not be automatically assigned to a session, they must be assigned manually. They can move from session to session.
  • Breakout sessions may be enabled and disabled repeatedly during the Meeting.
  • Participants can be automatically sorted or manually sorted. A manual sort will take some time if you have many Participants. Breakout sessions can also be pre-assigned.
  • Up to 100 breakout sessions and 1,000 Participants split among those sessions.
  • Sessions can be named and renamed.
  • If you have a live captionist for the Webex session and will be using breakout sessions, be sure to move the live captionist with the attendee(s) who use live captioning into the same group.

Beginning the Breakout Sessions

  1. Begin your Meeting (Personal Room or scheduled session).
  2. You will see Breakout sessions in your bottom panel between Record and the More Options button (...).
    1. If you do not see the button, click on Breakout in the top toolbar. Then click on Enable Breakout Session.
  3. Click on Breakout sessions. A window will appear asking how you would like to split up your Participants (students). 
    1. You may have the Participants automatically sorted. This will randomly sort the participants equally among the sessions.
    2. You may manually sort the Participants.
    3. You may allow the Participants to move between the sessions without your help. You will still have the opportunity to manually sort them before beginning the sessions and you may lock certain sessions.

      Breakout Sessions can be pre-assigned to save you time during the Meeting. Learn how to Pre-assign Breakout Sessions

      Participants must have the Webex Desktop App installed on their computer to participate in the Let participants choose any session function. Therefore, those using the Web App (Linux users such as those using Chromebooks) will not be able to move themselves but can still be moved by the Host.

  4. The Breakout Sessions Manager will now appear. This window gives you an overview of the breakout sessions. 
  5. You may now rename the sessions. If you chose to Let participants choose any session, you may also lock certain sessions so that those participants will not be interrupted.
  6. Note: The Host and Cohosts are not automatically assigned to a session. They may be assigned and then move from session to session during the breakout session portion of the Meeting.
  7. Click on a Participant to change their session assignment, exchange them (swap them with another Participant), or to exclude them from the breakout sessions (move them back to the main session).
  8. Click on the Settings button in the bottom-left to open the settings. You cannot adjust these settings while the breakout sessions are running.
    1. The first option allows Participants to leave their breakout session at any time and return to the main session.
    2. Enabling the second option will give the Participants a prompt when the breakout session begins. The Participant may choose to either join the breakout session or stay in the main session.

      You may want to uncheck this box to ensure that all Participants find themselves in their breakout session automatically.

    3. The countdown warning begins after you click End all breakout sessions. This timer gives participants a warning that the sessions are about to close and time to wrap up their conversations.
      If you enable this option, the countdown cannot be skipped if needed. All will wait for the countdown to expire.

    4. If you would like the breakout sessions to end automatically, you may set a countdown timer. When the time arrives, the Host will have a choice to continue with the countdown or cancel the countdown and allow the sessions to continue.
  9. Click Start breakout sessions to begin the breakout sessions.
  10. You can send a broadcast message to all the breakout sessions at once or to a certain breakout session. 
  11. Note: Chat only works within individual sessions. Participants cannot Chat the Host if the Host is not in their session.

If a participant joins late, they will need to be manually added to a breakout session. If you do not see them in the Breakout Session manager window, close and re-open the manager to sort them into a room.

Navigating in-progress Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions are now available in the mobile app (smartphones and tablets). The process is the same in the mobile app, but will look slightly different. Find pictures of the mobile app here: Webex Breakout Sessions: Mobile App

The Host and Cohosts

  1. To move between different sessions, click on the Breakout sessions button at the bottom to re-open the breakout session manager. You will see all the breakout sessions listed, each with a Join button.
  2. To return to the main session, click Leave on the session you are currently in.
  3. You may also use the toolbar menu at the top to move from session to session.
  4. When you join a session, your audio will quickly disconnect and reconnect solely to the session that you have joined.

To end the breakout sessions, return to the breakout session manager by pressing the Breakout sessions button. Then click End all breakout sessions.

When attendees return to the main session, they may be automatically muted during the transfer.


Participants may move freely between sessions if the Host has chosen to let participants choose any session.

  1. While in the Breakout Session, look in the green box that sits on top of the Participant Panel. If you do not see the Participant Panel, click on Participants in the bottom-right corner of your window.
  2. Click on Show other sessions.
  3. Click Join on the session that you would like to join.

Recording during Breakout Sessions

The recording will not pause during the breakout sessions. For the duration of the breakout session, the recording will only show the Main Session (not a breakout session). If there is no one in the main session, the recording will simply show user tiles and play no audio.