How to add a picture background to Teams?

Here’s a question from a reader:

In a recent Teams video call with an external customer, i have seen that he was able to modify the backdrop of the room they were sitting in. I think they were using a tropical island as the custom background in Teams. Can you please explain how to change Microsoft Teams camera backdrop?

Thanks for the nice question. Microsoft Teams makes it very easy for us to modify the background of our video calls. In this tutorial we’ll go through a step by step process to do that.

Change your Teams virtual background to a picture

Using pictures shipped by Microsoft

  • First off, go ahead an join your video call either fro Teams or Outlook.
  • From the Teams meeting bar, hit the 3-dot button.
  • Now select Show Background effects
  • Next, you can select a virtual background of your preference.
  • We’ll first use one of the backgrounds that are shipped by Microsoft,
  • Next Preview your background.
  • When satisfied, you can hit the Apply button. At this point others in the call will see your cool background.

Upload backgrounds to Teams

Probably cooler is to show off your creativity and use a custom picture in your Teams videos. In the past, the process was a bit more elaborated and included copying your images to the Appdata folder in your personal computer or macOS. Today, it’s a breeze:

  • Join your meeting.
  • Hit the More Actions 3-dot button.
  • Hit Show Background Effects.
  • Now hit the Add New link button.
  • Navigate the a folder in your PC or OneDrive that has your picture.
  • Select the picture and hit Open.
  • Hit Preview as needed and last, Apply.

Remove Teams custom background

If you find your background inappropriate, you might remove it very easily during the meeting.

  • Hit the More Actions (…) button
  • Go ahead and select Hide background effects.
  • That’s it.

Deleting a picture from your background settings

It is still not possible to easily remove a a picture you have uploaded to Teams from the Background Effects panel. In case that you want to get rid of an uploaded pic, simply delete it from the following Upload directory in this Windows path:

%AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds

Background blur in Teams

Got a mess in your home office? Teams allow you to blur your virtual background without changing your computer video settings. You can do it from the meeting Setup options panel, alongside with enabling your camera and mic.

Notes:

  • You might encounter trouble if trying to upload pictures bigger that 2048 X2048 px, or with aspect ration smaller than 4.
  • Couple of readers asked whether it’s possible to modify their backgrounds during the same call. That’s of course possible.

Enjoy Teams.