The world has started working at home en masse for several weeks. Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used applications for chatting, calling and video calling. Since the beginning of April 2020 it is possible to add background effects to your video conferences. In this blog post, you explore how to set the background effects in Teams meetings and how to test it without others to see you.
What are background effects?
Background effects give a conscious effect to your video meetings. If you don’t use any effect, other meeting participants can see your environment. For example, that you are in a dilapidated basement, that you were actually watching TV, or that your husband is walking around in his underpants.
By adding effects to your video, the environment is blurred or filled with a surprising environment. Think of a natural landscape, or a colorful world of balloons.
How to set background effects in Microsoft Teams meetings?
To set background effects in Microsoft Teams meetings:
- Start or join a meeting.
- Make sure your camera is turned on. If your camera is not already switched on, click on the camera icon
- Click the 3 dots and click Show background effects
- Choose the desired effect on the right (none, blur, or an image)
- Then choose Preview (click twice) or Apply to apply the background effect.
How to set the background before joining the meeting?
If you join a meeting with video, participants will still see your environment. Even if you click very quickly. To set your background before joining the meeting, do the following:
- Go to the home screen to join the meeting. Don’t click Join Now yet.
- Click on the diffused shaded icon , between the camera and the microphone.
- A bar will appear on the right where you can blur or customize the background.
- After making the desired adjustment, click Join Now to join the meeting.
How to test background effects without others seeing you?
Of course, you want to test this yourself first. You don’t want to spend 5 minutes in your next meeting figuring out how to set this up.
To test how to set background effects, do the following:
- Open Teams and click on Calendar at the left
- Click Meet Now
- Make sure your camera (and possibly microphone) are switched on
Click Join now
- You are now in your own meeting, without participants. Feel free to click all options to discover all the possibilities of Teams meetings.
How to set your own custom background in Teams
It can be even more fun! You can set your own background!
- Open Windows Explorer
- Make sure Hidden Items is turned on (under View tab)
- Go to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds
%APPDATA% is a placeholder for C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\. You can also navigate to C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft \Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads\
- The Uploads folder is empty by default. Copy your desired image (.PNG, .JPG or .GIF) to the Uploads folder.
- The background effect is immediately available. You don’t have to restart Teams.
Unfortunately, animated GIF’s are not played in the background. That would have been terrific.
Good things to know
Microsoft Teams is known for taking much CPU and memory. If you’re experiencing performance issues, make sure to read my post Easy fix performance issues Teams high cpu and extreme memory usage
If you experience difficulties scheduling a meeting, view my other blog post on how to schedule a Teams meeting.