Microsoft Teams now lets you use your own custom images as your virtual background


You can upload a JPG, PNG, or BMP file from your computer and set it up as your Teams background. Here’s how.

Microsoft Teams users who want to change their background from a plain or messy real one to a more interesting virtual one now have another option. Beyond using the default images offered by Microsoft, you can upload and use your own custom image. The process is fairly quick and simple, and you can choose from a JPG, PNG, or BMP image on your computer.

SEE: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

“We are building upon the heavily popular background effects feature in Teams meetings with custom upload capabilities,” Microsoft said on its Teams Roadmap page. “This new feature in Teams allows meetings attendees to customize their background by uploading their own images.”

Here’s how to set up your own image. First, make sure you’re running the latest version of Microsoft Teams. Click your profile icon in the upper right and select the option to Check for Updates. Allow the update to install while you work. When the update is complete, you’ll be prompted to refresh the Teams app.

To change your Teams background during a virtual video meeting, click the ellipsis icon for More Actions and then select Show Background Effects (Figure A).

Figure A

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At the Background Settings pane, click the link to Add New (Figure B).

Figure B

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Browse to and select the image you want to use. Scroll down the Background Settings pane and select the image you just added. You can preview the image before you let the other meeting participants see it. If you’re happy with the image, click Apply, and your new background appears. You can add as many images as you like and swap among them for each new meeting. (Figure C).

Figure C

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As Teams competes with Zoom, Slack, Webex, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, and other virtual meeting apps, Microsoft has been striving to beef up both the free and paid flavors of its product. Zoom has long offered the option to add your own custom images as background. Beyond now doing the same, Microsoft has tweaked Teams in other ways, such as giving users of the free edition the capability to create their own video meetings. Still on the to-do list is a feature that will match Zoom by allowing as many as 49 participants in a single Teams video call.

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