Microsoft Teams’ custom background has been a long-awaited feature. While Teams had already rolled out background blur and pre-set images to use in video meetings, the custom background in Microsoft Teams has put Teams at par with its rivals like Zoom. 

Microsoft Teams, one of the current leaders in the collaboration landscape, now lets you hide your messy office room into a smudged grey mess. Or, if you want, you can host your video meeting with a customized background. After all, what could be better than attending a video meeting from the beach or maybe from the moon?! 

Here we will go over the steps to blur your background, add one of the pre-set images, or use your own custom image. Let's get started. 

Note: To change the video background, you need to use the desktop client on a PC or MAC. 

How to Change Background in Teams before Joining a Meeting?

To add a background in Teams before your meeting starts, click on your meeting link or if you are hosting, click on the Meet Now option to start a meeting. 

  • Turn on the video button and select Background Filters before you join a video meeting. You will find this option right below the video image.
microsoft teams background filters
Apply Background Filters in MS Teams
  • Background options will open up on the right side of your screen. Select Blur to blur your background for the meeting or click on any pre-set images from the available collection. You can upload a new image from the Add New option. This will automatically change your background for a Teams Meeting.
microsoft teams backgrounds before meeting
Add Background in MS Teams Before Meeting Starts
  • Once done, you can now join the meeting.

Now let’s see how you can do the same thing while on a video call with your team.

How to Blur the Background in a MS Teams Video call?

Microsoft has now expanded the background blur effect support for more computers since June 2020. Previously, you could only blur on a modern CPU that supported AVX2. Currently, it includes AVX which means this feature is available on Surface Go and other older computers. 

You can blur your background while in the meeting.

  • Go to meeting controls and click on More [...] option
  • Select Apply background effects 
background effects in microsoft teams
Apply Background Effects in MS Teams
  • Select Blur > Preview your background and click on Apply.
blurred background microsoft teams
Blurred Background in MS Teams

How to use pre-set images for background in Teams Video Meetings?

Microsoft Teams initially had images of modern workspaces and some fun cartoon-like beaches and fields. Recently, Microsoft Teams ramped up its collection of pre-set images. Now, you have options to add Simpson’s background, lego background, choose from event-specific collections like support for the LGBTQI+ community, XBOX collection, Solitaire collection, and more. There is something for everyone. 

To use one of these images as your background:

  1. Go to meeting controls and click on More option [...] while on the call.
  2. Select Apply Background Effects.
  3. Select any image you like or that suits your mood.
  4. Preview your background before you apply.
preset images background microsoft teams
Pre-set Background Images

How to add custom images to the background in MS Teams Video Meetings?

Not happy with the pre-set images? You can upload your own custom Teams background image and use it as your background. To upload your image -

  1. Go to More[...] option while on call
  2. Select Apply Background Effects
  3. Click on the Add New option to upload your choice of image [.JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file] from your computer
  4. Preview and click on Apply to set it as your video meeting background
upload background images microsoft teams
Custom Images to the background

MS Teams Custom backgrounds are now available in the free version of Teams to enable productivity and interactive collaboration for remote teams.

While these are a few quirky ways to change your background in Microsoft Teams video calls, there is another feature that is changing the face of remote video meetings. Microsoft Teams has launched the Together Mode to give users a feel of being together in a common space like an auditorium. This feature has been designed to give a feel of face-to-face meetings as well as to combat the 'video call fatigue'. From a psychological and productive point of view, this feature is enhancing the ways of remote collaboration. 

To switch on the Together mode on MS Teams -

  1. Before you start your meetings, click on your profile > Select Settings
  2. Select Turn on the new meeting experience
  3. Now start a video call in MS Teams with at least 5 people. The maximum number of people you can add is 49. 
  4. On the top, click on the three dots [...] > Select Together Mode

That's it. Enjoy the auditorium view. 

Note: The Together Mode is being rolled out in phases. If you are not able to see the option at this moment, wait till it rolls out for your computer

That's all in backgrounds for MS Teams. 

If you are looking for more tips to use Microsoft Teams, check our blog on Best Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks. To use MS Teams with other work apps, check our available MS Teams integrations