Zoom Meetings: Troubleshooting Breakout Rooms

If during your meeting, breakout rooms are not working as expected, the following may be the cause:

  • Email address: The participant's meeting invitation reflects a Zoom account email address different from the one that they are joining from (e.g. first.last@duke.edu was the invited email address, and the user joins from their personal Zoom account associated with name@gmail.com).
  • Guest (anonymous) participation: The participant has not logged into a Zoom account before joining, and appears as a guest.
  • Outdated client: The participant has an older version of the Zoom client. 

Email address

Participants should join the meeting using the Zoom account/email address that was invited.

If you want to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling your meeting, first find out which email address is associated with the participant's Zoom account. Read more about pre-assigning participants to breakout rooms

Duke participants

Invite Duke participants using their NetID@duke.edu email address and advise them to log in before joining. To ensure they're logged in correctly, Duke participants should do the following:

  1. In the Zoom desktop application, click the initials/profile photo (upper right) and select Sign Out. The Sign In window appears.
  2. Click Sign in with SSO. The Sign In with SSO window appears.
  3. Enter duke for the company domain and click Continue.
  4. Follow the prompts to log in.

Note: If the participant is unable to log in, they do not have a Duke Zoom account. All Duke faculty, staff and students are eligible for an account. To obtain an account, users should do the following:

  1. From a web browser, visit https://duke.zoom.us/
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Follow the prompts to log in with Duke credentials. If the user is eligible, the account is automatically created, and the Duke Zoom page appears and displays upcoming meetings.

Once logged in, the user should re-attempt to join the meeting and visit a breakout room.

Non-Duke participants

Non-Duke participants should make sure to join the meeting while logged in to the Zoom account that was invited.

Guest participation

To avoid appearing as a guest and being unable to join a breakout room, participants should log in to the Zoom account that was invited. 

Outdated client

To update the client, with the Zoom desktop application open, do the following:

  1. Click the initials/profile photo (upper right) and select Check for Updates.
  2. Follow the prompts to update and install the latest version.

Article number: KB0032732

Valid to: April 7, 2025