How to Blur Background on Microsoft Teams

Video Call Google Meet

If you’re apprehensive of the background on a Microsoft Teams call, this guide will help you figure out a way around and through the problem!

Microsoft Teams is one of the best when it comes to collaborative platforms out there. In the wake of recent events, collaborative platforms have become crucial to help routinize our daily flow of work and life. We may have embraced the new normal and done our best at adjusting almost everything according to the work or study cycle, but everything calls for a little privacy – video calls included.

Many times, users are uncomfortable displaying their video backgrounds for participants to see on a call. And sadly, many don’t have the option to hide their cameras and only participate strictly via audio. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams allows you to stay on video and protect your background at the same time. How? By blurring the background. Here’s how you can use this Teams feature to your advantage.

Blur Background on Microsoft Teams on Desktop

Blurring the background hardly takes a minute. However, a blurred background would only draw more focus to yourself and hence would require you to look your best. Teams also provides you with the option to blur backgrounds before joining or initiating a call. If you prefer to consistently have a blurry background, here’s what you need to do.

Blur Background Before Joining the Call

If you are initiating the call, click on the ellipsis icon (three vertical dots) at the top right corner of the Teams window. Next, select ‘Apply background effects’ from the list of options. You can now see all the background effects to the right.

Alternatively, if you are joining a meeting, click on the ‘Background effects’ icon next to the ‘Microphone’ toggle. This will open a ‘Background settings’ panel to the right.

Note: Camera toggle must be enabled to enable the ‘Background effects’ option.

Next, locate and click on the ‘Blur’ tile to blur your background. Teams will automatically detect your surroundings and blur them while highlighting you.

Note: You can only apply background effects on modern CPUs that support AVX2. If you cannot locate the ‘Blur’ option, your PC may not be supporting this feature.

Click the ‘Apply’ button at the bottom right corner of the screen to confirm and initiate the call.

If you are joining a scheduled meeting, click on the ‘Join now’ button to join the meeting.

You have now successfully blurred your background. Now, participants will see a blurred background on your video.

Blur Background After Joining the Call

In case you find the need to blur your video background during a call, you can do it in a couple of clicks.

Click on the same ellipsis icon (three horizontal dots) as mentioned before. Then, click on the ‘Apply background effects’ option from the overlay menu. This will open a ‘Background settings’ panel to the right.

From the panel, locate and click on the ‘Blur’ tile.

Then click the ‘Apply’ button on the bottom right corner of the screen to confirm and blur your background. This will take effect immediately.

Next, click on the ‘X’ (close) icon right beneath the ‘Leave’ button to close the ‘Background settings’ panel.


Blur Background on Microsoft Teams on iPhone

If you are joining a meeting or video call using a handheld device and wish to blur the background, Microsoft Teams has got your back here as well.

Blur Background Before Joining the Call

If you are joining a meeting, from the ‘Join now’ screen, tap on the ‘Background effects’ option at the top of the video frame. This will take you to the ‘preview’ screen.

Click on the ‘Blur’ tile from the grid of options to blur your background.

Then, tap on the ‘Done’ button on the top right corner to confirm and close the ‘Background effects’ window.

You can see a blurred background in the preview box. Now, click on the ‘Join’ button to join the call. You will be joining with a blurred background.

Blur Background After Joining the Call

Blurring the background during a call is a little different from priorly blurring it. However, by no means is it any more complex.

To do this, click on the ellipsis icon at the bottom bar of an ongoing call. This will bring up an overlay menu.

Next, tap the ‘Background effects’ option from the overlay menu to open an overlay selection menu.

Now tap the ‘Blur’ tile from the selection area to blur your background.

Note: While on the ‘Background selection’ screen, participants cannot view your video on their screens.

Finally, tap on the ‘Done’ option at the top right corner to confirm and close the selection window.

Notice the blurred background after the effect has been applied

Your computer and iPhone backgrounds during a Microsoft Teams video call are now blurred and none can clearly see the backdrop.