Adding custom backgrounds to Microsoft Teams meetings

After working from home for so long, your house is probably one big mess, right? So, what do you do when you have meeting? Find that one kind of clean spot in your house so you can turn on the video? Blur the background? Keep the camera off?

Well, now, Teams has got you covered! You can blur your background or choose to replace it with your own image. Move over Zoom and make way for Teams.

Choosing a background effect

To set a background effect during a Teams meeting, click on the '...' menu item and click on 'Show background effects'. This will open a settings window at the right where you can select one of the default images.

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Click an image and then click 'Apply' to replace the background on your camera with the background you selected. You can also try out the images using the 'Preview' button. This will display a small video preview in the background setting menu where you can see what your video will look like.

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Keep in mind that while previewing backgrounds, your video feed will stop, and you either have to switch it back on manually (when you stop the preview), or it will be automatically switched back on when you click on the 'Apply and turn on video' button.

Custom backgrounds

There are a lot of nice default images to choose from, but what if you have the perfect background picture you'd like to use? Not too long ago that was only a feature on Zoom. But we'e got a trick to make this possible on Teams.

Currently, Teams doesn't have an option to upload custom images through the app itself, but there is a way to add custom images.

Open Windows Explorer and paste the following path in the 'address bar':

%AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\

This will open a folder with a couple of background images, and there is also an 'Uploads' folder. Click on the 'Uploads' folder to open it, and copy your image to that folder.

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That's it! When you go back to Teams, reopen the 'Background settings' menu, and scroll to the bottom of the list of backgrounds. Your custom image will be shown there, and you can select it just like any other background image. Enjoy! And happy calling!

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