Where does Microsoft Teams store virtual background images?

Here’s a question from Annie:

I often use Microsoft Teams for video conferences with my colleagues and customers. I have seen that i am easily able to apply a virtual background in a pretty seamless manner, such as when working with Zoom backgrounds. I can also quite easily add new image files and then use them as background filters in my Teams calls. The thing is that i don’t use any of the canned background filters that are installed with Teams and would like to remove them. That said, there is no simple way to remove those backgrounds from the app. Is there a way to access the Teams background folders in Windows 10 and delete any needed backgrounds manually?

Remove Teams background from its folder location

Thanks for the question, indeed a good one. You are correct, as of today, Microsoft Teams does not provide a simple user interface that allows to delete unneeded entries from the background folder. That said, you are able to remove images manually, directly from the backgrounds folder, as shown in the step-by-step guide below.

Accessing the Teams background folder location

  • First off, start by closing and signing out from Microsoft Teams.
  • Now, go ahead and open your Windows computer File Explorer (by hitting the Windows key + E).
  • Navigate to the Teams default image backgrounds directory: C:\Users\<enter_your_windows_your_user_name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds .
  • Make a copy of the Backgrounds folder. This will serve as a backup in case that you will need to restore any of the backgrounds you’ll remove. Don’t proceed further before completing this step.

Removing unneeded backgrounds

  • In Windows Explorer, open the backgrounds directory.
  • You’ll see the default images shipped with Microsoft Teams, as well as the ones you have uploaded.
  • Now go ahead and select the unneeded files and delete them.

Access Teams background filters

  • Now, go ahead and open Microsoft Teams.
  • Start a video call.
  • In the Audio and Video Settings dialog for your call, enable video.
  • Now hit, background filters.
  • Your unneeded virtual background images have been removed and won’t be available.

Where to put new Microsoft Teams background images?

So far, we showed howto get rid of those unnecessary canned Teams backgrounds that everyone seems to use. If you are interested to add new custom photos as Teams backgrounds, you can simply do that by copying those to the background folder location (specified above).

  • Transfer your pictures from your camera, tablet or mobile phone to your computer or OneDrive.
  • Copy the image files to the Teams background folder.
  • In Teams, create a new meeting and select your own custom background!

Additional learning