How to Hide Your Background in Microsoft Teams Video Calls

We previously showed you a hack that will unlock custom backgrounds for your Microsoft Teams video chats, allowing you to put yourself in front of an island, a static image of a room in your house, or your favorite video game. Well, you can ignore this tip for now because Microsoft has officially rolled out this feature to both free and paid Teams users.

One of the things I love the most about Microsoft’s implementation is that you can customize your virtual background before you join the meeting. To do this, simply look for the weird “person in the background” icon that sits between the buttons you use to turn on or off the video or microphone before joining the meeting:

Select that radio button and you will now see the Background Settings sidebar, which you can use to load your own background – a 16 by 9 image, preferably – or choose from a pre-created list (including the classic “blurred” background). Yes, you can even work with the Halo Array because Microsoft:

If you’re already in a meeting and want to add or change your own background, you’ll need to click the three-dot icon that appears on the menu bar when you move your mouse:

From there, select Show Background Effects and you will open the same sidebar as before. If you want to preview what a new background might look like before applying it, you can do so. Only you will see how it looks; all other meeting attendees will continue to see the background you previously selected, if any, until you click Apply to confirm your new selection.

If you need a little inspiration to get started, Microsoft has created a number of additional backgrounds for you to download, including themed solitaire, as well as 20 different pride-themed backgrounds (coming June 16). Any other background you find for a competing video chat service should also work, with one caveat: Microsoft Teams does not support .GIF or video for the background, only static images.

To learn more about optimizing video calls, watch the video below:

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