Google Meet is finally catching up with its rivals in the video conferencing ecosystem and has brought some much-needed upgrades to the platform. It now has one of the most sought-after features that the users have wanted to see for a long time – Background Replace and Blur.
It’s safe to say that users have been in waiting a long time for this one. There have been whispers in the community of the arrival of the feature for too long. Many moons ago, we revealed that the feature was coming to Google Meet from the scrutinization of Google’s upcoming release documentation. But as there was no official announcement, and that made it hard to anticipate the timeline or even the certainty of the release.
Then came an official announcement from Google on the matter. And even though there was no concrete release date yet either, it became certain that G Suite Enterprise and Education users would soon be able to change and blur their backgrounds in Google Meet. But the fate of Google Meet Free users was still uncertain.
But finally, the dance is over. The Change background feature is now adorning all desktop users’ screens and will soon make its way to the mobile app too. And it’s not just for Google Workspace (formerly, G Suite) users. Google Meet free users will also be able to change and blur their background in meetings.
How to Blur or Replace your Background
You can change your background both before joining the meeting or during. By default, the effect is off.
To blur or change your background before joining the meeting, click the ‘Change Background’ button on the right corner of the Preview window.
The options for changing your background will appear from the bottom of the screen.
To blur your background, you have two options. The first is the ‘Slightly blur the background’ where the blur effect isn’t too prominent, but it renders your surroundings undecipherable.
The other is ‘Blur your background’ that completely blurs your background.
To replace your background, you can either select one of the preset images from Google that include a lot of options, or you can upload one from your computer. Click on the effect thumbnail to select it.
You can see the preview of the effects on the screen. When you’re ready, click the ‘Join now’ button to enter the meeting with the selected background.
To change your background during the meeting, click the ‘More options’ icon (three-dot menu) on the right of the call toolbar. Then, select ‘Change Background’ from the menu.
The window to change backgrounds will appear on the right. There’ll be a preview thumbnail on the window where you’ll be able to see the background effect. Click on the effect thumbnail to select it.
Note: When you change your background in a meeting, there is no ‘Apply’ button or anything else of the sorts. As soon as you select a background, others in the meeting will be able to see it too.
Google Meet will also remember your background choice, i.e., if you had a background selected when you left a meeting, it’ll apply the same background for you in the next call.
It’s about time that Google has decided to adorn its users’ screen with the Background Change feature in Google Meet as the feature is not only fun, it is super helpful in a lot of situations when we don’t want our surroundings to embarrass us in an important meeting.