How to set your Microsoft Teams virtual background filter?

This is a recent question from Doris:

Hello folks, just switching to Microsoft Teams from Zoom. Quick question about how to change my Teams virtual background picture to a custom one? And if possible, is there a way to do that ahead of joining the meeting and have the new background become the default setting for Teams?

Thanks for the question, see our answer below. We wrote the tutorial on Windows, but for the most part it will be completely relevant to Teams on mac or web

Setting Teams default background filters

A very cool feature of the leading online communication platforms is the fact that they allow their users to define customized video backgrounds for their calls. In this quick tutorial we’ll clarify how you can also set your custom background in Teams.

Upload your custom background

Microsoft ships pretty nice backgrounds that you can use in Teams. Those are used by millions of Teams users all around the world on a daily basis. If you would like to stand out, you might want to upload your own custom image to the Microsoft Teams virtual background image folder. You can then use them as described in this tutorial.

Set your Teams background when not in a call

Although you are able to set or switch your video background during your Teams call, you might want to get this out of your way ahead of the call.

  • Navigate to your meeting, either by using the meeting link in your Outlook calendar, joining a channel meeting or an ad hoc 1:1 video meeting via the Teams Chat app.
  • Before you can join the meeting, Teams will prompt you to review your Audio and Video Settings.
  • If video access is enabled for Teams, you’ll see the an option to set your background filter
Teams filters (Windows Desktop Client)
Teams Web background filter
  • Enable your video camera by hitting the camera icon (or slide it to the right).
  • Then enable your background filters (hit the filter icon or slide the filters button to the right).
  • You’ll see all available filters available in your Teams background folder.
  • Select your chosen virtual background filter.
  • Once done hit Join now.

Setting your video filter while in a meeting

As mentioned before, you can define or switch your background filter during your Teams meeting / call.

  • Once in your Teams meeting, hit the More Actions button (…).
  • Then hit Set Background Background effects.
  • Pick your selected filter.
  • Hit the Apply button at the bottom of the Background Settings dialog.

Permanently set your Teams background filter

Once you set up your filter before or after the meeting, your background will be permanently persisted unless you clear your Teams cache directory (relevant only for Desktop clients).