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How To Create a Custom Background in Microsoft Teams

Josh Logozar
August 28, 2020

Learn how to change your backgrounds to set your own feeling and mood. We will show you the basics of how to change it to a set background, or how to customize your own.

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Sick and tired of seeing the back wall that you stare at in every single Teams meeting? Gloomy day out and want to feel like you are on a beautiful sunny beach, or maybe you want to be on the moon? Maybe your office is messy, and you want to hide it during a meeting. I know these are things that you probably can’t do right now, but I have a way to show you how to at least make it look like you are somewhere amazing, and not just in your office.

Check if you can use custom backgrounds

Make sure you have the Microsoft Teams desktop application installed. If you are using the web application or mobile, you will not be able to use the custom backgrounds. This can be downloaded from here: Microsoft Teams.

Use the standard backgrounds

As I spoke about on my first blog post, The Four Best Things About Teams I Learned On My First Day, I taught you how to use the standard background, but we will review it one more time, just in case you missed it.

Step 1: Enter your meeting. You can do this by entering your calendar and clicking join meeting.

Screenshot of Joining a Meeting in Microsoft Teams.

Step 2: You will see your input selection screen come up, and in the middle of the selection bar, you will see a Background effects switch button. Click on that.

Screenshot of the background effects toggle in Microsoft Teams.

Step 3: It will bring up a selection on the right side, giving you numerous default backgrounds, including skyscapes, video game backgrounds, and beautiful beach layouts.

Screenshot of the background settings in Microsoft Teams.

This is also where you can select to blur your background if you have something behind you, such as family, pets, or anything else you may not want your boss to see. Select the one that best represents your personality.

Using your own custom background

Don’t like any of the backgrounds provided to you? Well, let’s show you how to do custom backgrounds.

The steps are the same as above, but instead of selecting the background, this time select the Add new Selection up top.

Screenshot of the 'add new' button for the background settings in Microsoft Teams.

There are a few properties you need to know before you can upload your image.

  • The image must be a minimum of 360 Pixels by 360 Pixels.
  • The image can be a maximum of 2048 Pixels by 2048 Pixels.
  • The image must be a .JPEG, .PNG, or a .BMP file.
  • You will get the best results from using a Landscape photo over a Portrait style picture.

So this means that you may have to do some editing of the photo, or you can download numerous images from the Microsoft website directly. If you do download from an external website, just verify the image parameters in any image editing software.

So that’s it, now you have yourself a new background. I know we are working in times now where you don’t get to see much more than your household, but this is at least one way to change up the scenery, literally. Don’t forget to find a background that best represents you, and have some fun with it, but only when it is the right time.

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