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How to set a custom background in Microsoft Teams meetings

Microsoft Teams has a background blur feature. This feature, added recently, allows users to hide what’s in their background and has come in useful for new Microsoft Teams’ users working from home and joining meetings from a messy room.

Custom background in video calls

Background blurring is useful and practical but for a lot of users, it can become mundane. To make up for it, lots of other video conferencing tools have an option to add a custom background.

A custom background is basically an image. It replaces the blurred background with an image. Your background is hidden but creatively so. 

1. Custom background in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has video backgrounds other than just the blurring option. Out of the box, the backgrounds are limited but users can upload/use a custom background.

Using a custom background in Microsoft Teams used to be complicated but it has now been simplified so that users can easily upload an image, and select it as their background.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Initiate a video call.
  3.  Before the call starts, or you click Join, click the blur background button.
  4. In the panel on the right, click the ‘Add’ button.

  1. Select the image you want to use.
  2. Scroll down, and select the newly added image.
  3. The custom background will be applied and you can join your call.

Note: You can add a new background any time you want, and change it whenever you like.

2. Remove custom background in Microsoft Teams

If you get tired of using a custom background, you can remove it without defaulting to the background blur.

  1. Initiate a video call in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click the blur icon before you join the call.
  3. In the panel that opens, select ‘None’.
  4. The background will be removed.

3. Delete a custom background in Microsoft Teams

Removing a background is not the same as deleting it. When you remove a background, it still appears in the list of backgrounds. If you add one too many backgrounds, finding the one you want to use may become difficult.

  1. Initiate a video call in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click the blur background button.
  3. In the panel of backgrounds, look for the background you want to delete.
  4. Click the more options button at the top right of the background. 
  5. Select Remove.
  6. The background will be deleted from your library.

Selecting appropriate backgrounds

Microsoft Teams users, and users on other video conferencing tools that support custom backgrounds, have been getting creative with the backgrounds they use. Microsoft Teams features one from Minecraft, and there are popular Avatar: the last airbender ones that are going around. 

The backgrounds are cute, and they may be appropriate in some meetings but not all of them. Use your best judgement when you pick a background keeping in mind that it will be used in a work-place setting.

Sometimes, it might just be a good idea to not use a background, or to use the blur feature.

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