[Solved!] How to Change Your Background in Microsoft Teams: 3 Best Ways

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With 320 million users, Microsoft Teams has become an essential tool for remote collaboration all around the globe, allowing teams to connect seamlessly through video meetings. Offering ease of communication, Microsoft Teams doesn't limit itself to it, featuring many other useful functions, one of which is the ability to customize your background, ensuring a professional, private, and distraction-free environment during calls. Whether before or during a meeting, changing your background is a straightforward process and in this article, we’ll explore how to change the background on Teams fast and easy.

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And now it's time to take a closer look at how to change your Microsoft Teams background and three different methods to do so to further personalize and enhance your virtual interactions. Whether you're preparing for a meeting or adjusting settings on the fly, these methods will explain how to add and apply backgrounds and help you tailor your digital environment with ease:

Method 1: Changing your background before a meeting

Desktop:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams. Launch the Microsoft Teams application on your desktop.
  2. Join or start a meeting. Either join an existing meeting or start a new one by clicking on the Meetings tab and selecting New meeting or choosing an existing meeting from your calendar.
  3. Set up your video. Before joining the meeting, ensure your camera is turned on and your video feed is active.
  4. Access video effects. Look for the Effects and avatars icon, usually located in the toolbar or menu options. Click on it to open the pre-meeting effects menu.
  5. Choose background options. Within the pre-meeting effects menu, select Video effects and then choose Blur Background to blur your background, or select a Teams background to apply to your video feed.
  6. Upload your own image (optional). If you prefer to use your own image, select More video effects > Add new and then upload your image from your computer to add the background to Teams. Ensure it's in JPG, PNG, or BMP format.
  7. Apply and join. Once you've selected your desired background option, click Apply or Done to save your changes. Your chosen background will persist throughout the meeting.

Mobile:

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app. Launch the Microsoft Teams app on your mobile device.

  2. Join or start a meeting. Tap on the meeting you want to join from your calendar or start a new meeting by selecting New meeting.

  3. Set up your video. Before joining the meeting, ensure your camera is turned on and your video feed is active.

  4. Access background settings: Look for the Background effects or Background settings option at the top of your screen. Tap on it to access your background options.

  5. Choose the background effect. Below your image, select Blur to blur your background, or choose one of the provided background images to replace your background.

  6. Upload your own image (optional). If you want to use your own image, tap on the plus sign to upload an image from your device. Make sure that you are adding files in JPG, PNG, or BMP format.

  7. Save and join. Once you've chosen your preferred background option, tap Done or Apply to save your changes. Your chosen background will remain active throughout the meeting.

Method 2: Changing your background during a meeting

Desktop:

  1. Access meeting options. While in the meeting, navigate to the top of your meeting screen and locate the More options icon (usually represented by three dots or lines). Click on it to open a dropdown menu.
  2. Open effects and avatars. From the dropdown menu, select Effects and avatars. This will bring up a submenu with various options.
  3. Choose background settings. Within the submenu, select Blur Background settings to blur your background, or select from the available images to replace it with a virtual background.
  4. Upload your own image (optional). If you prefer, you can upload your own image by selecting Add new and choosing a JPG, PNG, or BMP file from your computer.
  5. Preview and apply. To preview your chosen background, select Preview. If you're satisfied with how it looks, click Apply to set it as your background for the remainder of the meeting.
  6. AI decoration (optional). If you want to use AI-generated backgrounds for further personalization, follow the same steps and select Decorate. Choose from available themes like Clean up, Fancy, Greenhouse, Celebration, or Surprise me. Preview options and apply your chosen theme.

Please note that Linux users or those on optimized virtual desktop infrastructure will not be able to change their backgrounds during a meeting.

Mobile:

  1. Access meeting controls. While in the meeting, tap on the screen to reveal meeting controls.
  2. Open more options. Look for the More options icon (usually represented by three dots or lines) and tap on it to open additional options.
  3. Select background effects. From the additional options, choose Background effects or Background settings. This will open a menu where you can adjust your background.
  4. Choose the background option. Within the background settings menu, select Blur to blur your background, or select from the provided images to replace it with a virtual background.
  5. Upload your own image (optional). If desired, you can upload your own image by tapping on the plus sign and selecting a JPG, PNG, or BMP file from your device.
  6. Apply changes. Once you've selected your desired background option, tap Done to save your changes. Your chosen background will persist in all your meetings and calls until you change it again.

Method 3: Setting a default background for all meetings

Microsoft Teams lacks a direct option for setting a default background, but IT admins can achieve this workaround:

  1. Access Microsoft Teams admin center. Open your web browser and go to the Microsoft Teams admin center.

  2. Navigate to Customization Policies. Within the admin center, find and select Meetings followed by Customization Policies.

  3. Choose policy to configure. From the list of customization policies, select the policy you want to configure to set the default background.

  4. Enable custom backgrounds. Within the selected policy settings, locate the option labeled Custom Backgrounds and ensure it is turned on.

  5. Assign a default background image. After enabling custom backgrounds, you'll have the option to assign a default background image. Upload or select the desired image that you want to set as the default background for all meetings.

  6. Save changes. Once you've configured the policy settings, remember to save your changes to apply automatically the default background to all meetings.

Please note that participants who have enabled high-contrast display settings won't be able to see branded content. Additionally, organizational-defined backgrounds are exclusive to Teams Premium license holders; guests and anonymous participants won't be able to use them.

Summary

In conclusion, while Microsoft Teams offers various options to customize your background during meetings, including blurring it, replacing it with an image, or utilizing virtual backgrounds, there are limitations and considerations to keep in mind. Users can adjust their backgrounds before joining a meeting on both desktop and mobile devices, but certain features may not be available for all users, as well as the default background can not be set by anyone. 

Overall, understanding these options allows users to improve their meeting environments and tailor their experiences to suit their preferences and organizational needs, while leveraging tools like Movavi Screen Recorder can help to enhance even further the virtual meeting experience.

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