How to Change Your Background on Microsoft Teams

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How to Change Your Background on Microsoft Teams

Upload your own pictures to the background effect using Microsoft Teams

The feature of virtual backgrounds went from being a luxury to an essential feature in the world of video conferencing within just a couple of months. Microsoft Teams too rolled out the feature earlier in the year, in a gradual manner. The feature allows users to change the background image of Meetings on Teams much like the infamous Virtual Background feature of Zoom.

In the past, Background Effects in Microsoft Teams was limited to pre-defined images only. The software giant had promised to provide the possibility of incorporating customized backgrounds in the near future. It has now fulfilled that promise. Users can now use any image they want to use for their background in just a few clicks. Before, those who did not want to be patiently waiting for the feature to be made available could manually add images to the folder ‘AppData’ of Microsoft Teams to enjoy a customized background. The method of adding images manually is as effective today as it was in the past.

Upload your own Background Image to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has made the addition of the option of a custom background image an easy task within Teams video-based meetings. You can choose to add a brand new background image either prior to joining or in the meeting.

When you join the meeting, Microsoft Teams directs you to a screen on which you can select the audio and video settings to join the conference. You can also choose the background of the meeting. To set a background that is custom you need to click the toggle under the option ‘Background settings’ to enable it.

The background Settings Panel will appear to the right. Click on the “Add New” button to create a customized background image.

In the File Explorer window open that opens, navigate to the folder in which your custom background images and choose an image.

The image will be displayed on the lower left of the list of images that you can choose for your background. Scroll down, choose the image you have just added, and then click Join now to join the meeting using the image you have selected for your backdrop.

To set an image to your background during meetings, click on the More icon (three dots) on the toolbar for meetings and choose the option ‘Show background effects’ in the contextual menu.

The panel for background effects will appear to the right. Click the ‘Add New button’ as you did before adding the image you have downloaded from your PC. The image will appear at the bottom on the page.

In a meeting, you can view the background image prior to applying it. Choose the image, then select the “Preview” button. Participants in the meeting will not be able to view your video when it’s in preview mode.

Click the “Apply and turn on the video’ button when you are happy. If not, you can select or upload another image.

Manually Add Background Image in Teams ‘Uploads’ Folder

Microsoft allowed for users who are more advanced to use customized background images for Teams video calls, allowing users place their own custom images into the ‘Uploads’ folder in the Microsoft Teams Backgrounds folder, where the application stores its internal data within the system. It is still possible to make use of this option.

You may be asking yourself why you’d need this now? In the first place, you can upload multiple images simultaneously using this method. It is also possible to use this method to remove any custom images that you have previously uploaded you don’t wish to clutter up your Teams background settings panel since there’s no way to delete these images from the application. In the end it is a great option.

To access the “Uploads” folder within Teams to upload your own photos First, click the Start button, then select Run from the options available to start the Run command window.

Copy/paste the URL of the folder in the Run window, and press Enter or hit OK.


Mac users can go to the following directory to add custom images:~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads

It will then open up the Backgrounds folder within your Microsoft Teams AppData folder on your computer.

Upload any image you wish to use as background images in the background of your Microsoft Teams meetings to this folder. You can include any custom image you like.

Once you’ve created custom background images for Microsoft Teams, close the application if it is open and then ‘Quit’ from the Taskbar tray to complete closing it.

Then, launch Microsoft Teams. Now, open the Microsoft Teams app again on your computer. To start a video chat or meeting, then click the button ‘Background Effects. You will see all of the background images you have customized to choose from the screen ‘Background Settings.

Your customized background image will be added at the very bottom on the image list displayed on the background Settings screen.

Making a Background using pre-defined Images

Microsoft has included some fantastic backgrounds to use to use in your Teams meetings. If using your own images as backgrounds sounds like an overwhelming task, we recommend you make use of the backgrounds provided by Microsoft within the application.

To alter your background in the Teams meeting,, select the ‘More actions’ button (the one that has a 3-dot icon) on the control bar.

Select “Show background effects” from the options available in the menu.

The ‘Background settings’ tab is displayed on the right-hand side on the right side of Microsoft Teams app. Browse through the images available and choose the one you want to set as your background. The image you choose will be highlighted with a purple border as well as tick marks on the upper-right edge on the photo.

After you have selected a background picture Click on the “Preview” button beneath the images listed in the panel for setting your background. If this doesn’t work, repeat the click to see a live view of your face in the background you chose.

You can choose and switch backgrounds when ‘Preview’ is active to quickly identify the most appropriate background for your meeting.

NOTE: While you’re previewing, Microsoft Teams will block the video feed from other participants present in the meeting. Members will not be able to see your profile photo when you’re setting a good background for you.

After you’ve created the background, click the ‘Apply and switch to video’ option to go back to the session with your camera turned on and a background image to cover the messy background you might be facing in real life.

Custom Background Effects for Microsoft Teams is only gradually being made available to users of the Teams Desktop client. You’ll require the most recent Microsoft Teams Version to get the Background Effects feature.

READ: How to Update Microsoft Teams Desktop app