How to Change Your Microsoft Teams Background
Update your background on Microsoft Teams
Want to make your video meeting a little more exciting?
Changing your background could be just the thing. Microsoft Teams, one of the market leaders in the collaboration landscape, offers one of two ways for users to transform their backgrounds. You can blur out what’s going on behind you, effectively smudging your messy office into a grey mess. Or, if you prefer, you can choose from a series of custom backgrounds to replace your real-life office.
While the blurred background option was fine for a while, most of today’s users will much prefer the custom route. After all – what could be better than having your end-of-week meeting from a beach, on the moon, or in your favourite field?
Today, we’re going to show you how to change your Microsoft Teams background so that you can get the most out of every video meeting.
Changing your Background with Microsoft Teams
To change your background on Microsoft Teams, you’ll need:
- Microsoft Teams access
- A high-quality camera or a laptop with one built-in
When you’re setting up your video and audio, preparing for your upcoming meeting, click on the tab that says Background effects. The option is located to the right-hand side of the microphone. Your background options will show up on the right of the screen.
If you just want to blur your background, then click on Blur. This will only blur your background, and leave you looking crisp and clear. If you want to change your entire background, click on one of the images provided.
If you want to alter your background after having already joined a meeting, click on your meeting controls, and tap More Actions > Show background effects. Once again, you’ll have the option to blur your background or choose an image to replace your office entirely.
Don’t worry, Microsoft lets you preview your background before you apply it, so you can make sure that you look as great as you think you do.
Notably, changing your background on Microsoft Teams is only available if you’re not a Linux user, and you’re not using Teams through a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).
How to Add Your Own Backgrounds
Initially, Microsoft launched Custom Backgrounds as a service with only the option to use the images pre-selected by the company. That meant that you couldn’t add your own vacation shots into your video meeting, or anything else for that matter. Although Microsoft is planning on extending the number of backgrounds you have to choose from, for now, you might have to rely on a workaround:
If you’re keen to bring more of the freedom that you would get from Zoom into Microsoft Teams, then you can add your own custom backgrounds by accessing the Microsoft Teams folder from the desktop version on the service on your Mac or PC.
To implement your own custom background, navigate through the file system by using the following pathway on Windows: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads – you can just copy and paste that into your search bar in Windows.
Remember, you’ll need the latest version of Microsoft Teams to use this workaround option. Make sure that your platform is fully updated before you start digging around for custom backgrounds. The same rule applies if you want to add your own images to Microsoft Teams from a Mac computer. On a Mac, your backgrounds will appear within the client folder for Microsoft Teams, search for: /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds.
Hold down the option key if you’re having a hard time finding the right library here. Once you have access to the right folders on Windows or Mac, then you can add your own backgrounds in a couple of clicks. Copy-paste the file that you want from your pictures or documents into the folder that you have within Microsoft Teams. Alternatively, drag and drop your images into place.
Make the Most of Your Custom Backgrounds
If you’re having trouble accessing custom backgrounds, then consider updating your Microsoft Teams client, or refreshing it to check whether it appears. If you can’t find the folders above, you may not have access to the feature yet. You might be one of the people who were slow to get this feature.
We also recommend making sure that you have an extremely high quality image as your background if you want it to look awesome. Stick to something with a high resolution and avoid anything that might have a copyright attached to it (see our article).
Next time you join a meeting, you should be able to select your Background Effects tab and choose between a custom background, or blur option with ease!
UPDATE: You should now be able to simply select “Add New’ in the Background Settings menu: