Microsoft recently delivered controls for background effects that allow users to upload their own background images for Microsoft Teams meetings. If you're looking for a good selection of beautiful pictures to spice up your daily meetings, Office 365 MVP Martina Grom recently detailed an unofficial way to grab Microsoft's Bing Daily pictures and use them as Microsoft Teams backgrounds. The process is a bit technical, but we'll go through all the different steps below.
Step 1. Download the PowerShell script
The first step before doing anything is to download the ready-to-use PowerShell script file GetDailyBingPicture.ps1 from this GitHub repository. We suggest heading to this link to directly download the script file, then to do a right-click on the browser window, and click Save As to save the file on your PC.
Note: Keep in mind that the Local Group Policy Editor (GPO) that is required to run the script isn't available in Windows 10 Home editions, and the script that may also not work on some PC configurations.
Step 2. Automate the Bing daily image download process
To get the daily Bing picture in your Teams Uploads folder automatically, follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key + R to open the Run command box, type gpedit.msc to open the Local Group Policy Editor (GPO), and press Enter.
- Now, navigate to User configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Logon/Logoff), as shown below, and double click the Logon option in the right pane.
- In the Logon Properties window, select the PowerShell Scripts tab, and click the Show Files button.
- The Windows Explorer with the file path C:WINDOWSSystem32GroupPolicyUserScriptsLogon will open on your screen. Copy the downloaded script GetDailyBingPicture.ps1 to the Logon folder.
- Then move back to the Logon Properties windows, click Add, select the file GetDailyBingPicture.ps1, and finally click the OK button.
Note: You must set the PowerShell Execution Policy from Restricted to RemoteSigned to allow the PowerShell script to run. To do this, press the Win+X keys, select PowerShell as administrator and then run the following command:
Once the Local Group Policy Editor (GPO) configuration is complete, log off/reboot your PC to apply the changes.
Step 3: Navigate to the Teams system subfolder
Next up, open the File Explorer, and just copy and paste this address into the bar at the top:
In the Uploads folder, you should see the daily Bing image with a formatted filename containing the image title/date as shown in the screenshot, and your custom background is now ready to be used in your next Teams meeting.
Step 4. Launch Teams to use the new Bing custom backgrounds
Now that you have the file you want, open your Microsoft Teams desktop app, join your meeting, and select the Background effects toggle button next to the mic switch. Your new Bing background will appear now on the right side of your screen. Finally, select and preview the background to see how it looks and then hit the Apply button.
Have fun with tons of custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams!
With this trick, you now have endless possibilities of exotic custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams. However, if you don't want to fill hundreds of images in your Uploads folder, you need to manually delete all old images from that folder after a while. If you want, feel free to tweak the PowerShell script to use the same file name, and automatically overwrite the daily Bing image for you.
You can also play around with different parameters in the script to explore different customization options under the "Use the Bing.com API" section:
- The idx parameter determines the day: 0 is the current day, 1 is the previous day, etc. This goes back for max. 7 days.
- The n parameter defines how many pictures you want to load. Usually, n=1 to get the latest picture (of today) only.
- The mkt parameter defines the culture, like en-US, de-DE, etc.
If you're looking for more custom backgrounds options, we invite you to check out our dedicated Teams background Hub where we provide lots of cool background images to choose from.