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How to Add a Custom Background Image in Microsoft Teams

Add your own custom images to background effects in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has begun rolling out the Background Effects feature to select users of the software. It’s gradually rolling out and should reach everyone soon enough. The feature lets users change the background image in Video Chats on Teams much like the famous ‘Virtual Background’ feature in Zoom.

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As of now, Background Effects in Microsoft Teams are limited to a few pre-defined images only, and the software giant has promised the ability to add custom images as backgrounds at some point in May 2020. But until then, you can manually add images to the ‘AppData’ folder of Microsoft Teams on your Windows PC.

Add Your Own Custom Image as Background

Microsoft has left the room open for advanced users to use custom background images in Teams Video calls by letting users manually place their custom images in the ‘Uploads’ folder under Microsoft Teams ‘Backgrounds’ folder where the app stores its internal data in the system.

To easily access ‘Uploads’ folder in Teams for adding your own images, first, right-click on the Start button and select ‘Run’ from the available options to open the ‘Run’ command window.

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Then, copy/paste the folder address mentioned below in the ‘Run’ window and hit Enter or click OK.

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads

Mac users can go to the following directory to add custom images:
~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads

This will open the ‘Backgrounds’ folder inside the Microsoft Teams AppData folder on your PC.

Put any image you want to set as a background image in your Microsoft Teams meetings to this folder. You can add as many custom images as you wish.

After you have manually added custom background images to Microsoft Teams, close the app if it was open, and ‘Quit’ from the Taskbar tray as well to completely close it.

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Now, open the Microsoft Teams app again on your PC. Start a video chat or meeting, click on the ‘Background Effects’ button. You should see all your custom background images available to select in the ‘Background Settings’ screen.

Your custom background image will be added to the bottom of the list of images on the Background settings screen.


Setting a Background from Pre-defined Images

Microsoft has bundled some great images as backgrounds for your Teams meetings. If adding you custom images as backgrounds seems like a daunting task, we suggest you use the backgrounds bundled by Microsoft in the app.

To change your background in a Teams meeting, first, click on the ‘More actions’ button (the one with a three-dot icon) on the controls bar.

Then, select ‘Show background effects’ from the available options in the menu.

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A ‘Background settings’ panel will show on the right side of the Microsoft Teams app. Scroll through the available images and select the one you would like to set as the background. The selected image will be highlighted with a purple border and a tick-mark on the top-right corner of the image.

After selecting a background image, click on the ‘Preview’ button below the list of images on the background settings panel. If it doesn’t work, try clicking it again to get a live preview of your face against the background you selected.

You can select and change backgrounds while ‘Preview’ is on to quickly find the best background for the meeting.

Note: While you’re previewing, Microsoft Teams will block your video feed to other members in the meeting. Members will only see your profile picture while you’re setting a suitable background for yourself.

Once you’ve set up a background, click on the ‘Apply and turn on video’ button to get back to the meeting with your camera on and a background image applied to hide the messy background you may have in reality.


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Background Effects in Microsoft Teams is only gradually rolling out to the users on the Teams Desktop client. You’ll need Microsoft Teams Version 1.3.00.8663 or above to get the ‘Background Effects’ feature.

💡 READ: How to Update Microsoft Teams Desktop app