How to (finally) set a background image in Microsoft Teams

Arif Bacchus

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If you’re looking for a little extra privacy or a way to hide a mess when on a web conference and using Teams, Microsoft has your back. It’s long been possible to blur your background in video calls in Teams, but recently, Microsoft also introduced an ability to change your background image, too.

This new option changes the scenery behind you to make it look like you’re in a different place. That can be a professional setting like an office or something wackier like a game of Minecraft. Here’s a look at how you can use it if it’s available to you.

On the join a meeting or call page

Teams Background Part 1

The easiest way to set a background image on Microsoft Teams is via the join a call page, sometimes known as the waiting room. This is the page you get to before you enter a call and where you can check your settings for your microphone and webcam. We’ll also discuss how you can change the settings during an actual call, too in the next section.

From this page, you’ll want to look for a purple toggle switch, it’s the second one from the left, under the Join Now button. It’s also in between the picture of the microphone and the webcam. Once you click it, you’ll see a settings page pop up on the right-hand panel. It will have a list of various options.

The first option, which appears in the left on the top left is for no background. Next to that, will be the standard blur background option. You’ll then see a list of other backgrounds. There’s a total of 24, some of which range from office backgrounds, Minecraft, or some more wacky things like space or a forest. Once you find one you like, you can click it and then join the meeting by clicking Join Now.

During a call

Sometimes you might also want to change your background during an actual call. To do this, you’ll want to first hover your mouse over the middle, bottom part of the screen. Once there, click the … More Options button. You should then see an option that says Show background effects. You’ll want to click that.

Once you click this option, you’ll see a list appear on the right-hand side of the screen. The first option is for no background image, and the second is for the classic blur background option. You’ll then see the list of 24 default background images. Once you see one you like, you preview it by clicking the Preview button.

Just be aware that others on the call might not see your video if you’re previewing a background.  Once you’re satisfied with the preview, you can click Apply and Turn on Video. You also can skip the preview and keep your video active during the call and get the background right away just choosing one from the list and clicking Apply. 

Custom images on the way soon!

At the time of publication, it only is possible to choose a set of pre-listed images as your background during a call in Teams. If you’re looking to set your own image, you’ll have to wait until Microsoft enables the option for everyone. The company last said it would be coming within the quarter, so you might want to stay tuned. Until then, though, Snapchat Camera might also be an option for you to check out and customize your background as well.