How to Customize Your Background in Microsoft Teams Video Calls

Microsoft’s big office communications app, Microsoft Teams, has a fun new feature that makes it as wacky as Zoom. Now you have the opportunity to pretend you’re on the beach, in some distant city, on the moon, or sitting in front of your favorite meme during a video call – yes, customizable backgrounds are deployed and that’s a silly feature that all video conferencing apps should have. …

Since it is being deployed , there is a good chance that you do not have access to this feature yet. This is fine. I don’t know when you’ll get it , but Microsoft hasn’t buried it in the settings menu, so it will be easy to check it out during weekly hangouts with your team.

To find it, simply start a video chat – it can even be a one-to-one call with yourself – and click on the three-dot icon to open advanced settings. Since I don’t have access to custom backgrounds yet, all I can do is blur the background (a useful feature in and of itself):

If you have access, you will see a context menu that looks something like this:

Click on the Show Background Effects option and you’ll see a sidebar that looks something like this:

Choose one of the preset backgrounds and you will be transported to a new country for a meeting. Exciting, isn’t it?

How to add your own background to Microsoft Teams

Again, I do not have access to this feature, so I cannot verify these steps myself. However, I’ve seen a tooltip that supposedly lets you add your own backgrounds – whatever you want! – for use in Microsoft Teams. As Steve Goodman of Practical 365 writes:

Backgrounds are downloaded by the Teams client and stored in the %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds folder, which contains a folder named Uploads .

In other words, copy this address, which starts with% APPDATA% and ends with background, and paste it into the address bar of the explorer. When you hit Enter, you should go to a specific folder where you will see a bunch of image files for Microsoft Teams if you have access to the custom background feature. Add your own image files, ideally the same resolution or aspect ratio you see in the folder, and you can use them as a custom background the next time you call Microsoft Teams.

My choice?


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