Microsoft Teams Backgrounds Hack: How To Change Your Background In Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Backgrounds
PaulLeng

Here’s an easy hack for your Microsoft Teams backgrounds that lets you upload your own custom backdrop images. And since this isn’t an official feature yet, you’ll probably be one of the only people in your company that knows how to set a background image in Microsoft Teams.

With millions of people around the world working from home during the Coronavirus quarantine, video conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have surged in popularity.

One of the most talked-about features in Zoom is the ability to add a custom virtual background image or video. It’s fun to see the creative backgrounds that people are using. Some are even buying green screens from Amazon (~$50) to help make the effect look more authentic.

Zoom Virtual Background Settings
Zoom Virtual Background Settings

Compared to Zoom, Microsoft Teams offers a lot of additional features, including various Microsoft integrations and increased security. But one feature that is painfully missing from Teams is the ability to upload custom backgrounds like in Zoom.

How To Change Your Background In Microsoft Teams

Although Microsoft Teams recently added the ability to use a small library of background images, including scenes from the video games Halo and Minecraft, you still can’t easily upload your custom Microsoft Teams backgrounds. However, there’s a hack that lets you add background images to Microsoft Teams right now. Let’s do this!

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Teams account
  • A newer computer with a CPU that supports AVX2
  • (1) or more background images (1920×1080)
  • 5 minutes of free time

1Download Images To Use For Your Microsoft Teams Backgrounds

Free Microsoft Teams Backgrounds on Pixabay

You can find a variety of fun royalty-free backgrounds online on sites like Pixabay and Pexels. Try adding the words “background” and “backdrop” to your search queries. For example, search for phrases like “alien backdrop” or “city background.”

Your custom Microsoft Teams backgrounds need to be 1920×1080. So crop your downloaded images using Adobe Photoshop or a free Photoshop alternative app like Pixlr X or SumoPaint. If you add a backdrop image with a different pixel ratio, then it will get stretched and look weird.

2Locate The Microsoft Teams Custom Images Folder On Your Computer

How to change your background in Microsoft Teams for macOS

To make a custom background available in Microsoft Teams, you just need to add your 1920×1080 images to a special folder on your computer. Here’s how to do this for both Mac and PC. Just add your custom images to the Uploads folder. You don’t even need to restart the Microsoft Teams app.

How To Change Your Background In Microsoft Teams:

  • macOS: In the macOS, select “Connect To Folder” from the Go menu in the Finder. Then copy and paste this file directory address and press “Go.” The “Uploads” folder will then appear. You might be able to navigate to this folder manually, but often the user Library folder is hidden.
    • ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
  • Windows: PC users can find the Uploads folder here. Just copy your custom background into this folder:
    • C:\ Users\ [USER] \ AppData \ Roaming \ Microsoft\ Teams \ Backgrounds \ Uploads

3Select Your Customized Background Image From The Microsoft Teams Background Effects Settings

Microsoft Teams Virtual Backgrounds: Background Effects Options

To select one of the new Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds that you added to the Uploads folder, just click on the “•••” button in Teams. Then select “Show Background Effects” and scroll down to the bottom of the images. You should see the new Microsoft Teams backgrounds that you just added to the Uploads folder. Pick an image and press the Apply button. That’s it! That’s how to add a custom background to Microsoft Teams.

Troubleshooting

If you don’t see your new Microsoft Teams’ custom backgrounds, then you might have added them to the wrong folder. Double-check where you copied the images or try restarting your computer.

Also, check to see if your version of Microsoft Teams needs to be updated. Open a window in Teams, then click on your profile picture in the top right of the screen. Then select “Check For Updates.” Only newer versions of the app will support these Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds features.

And if you have an older computer that doesn’t support AVX2, then unfortunately, you won’t see “Background Effects” as an option. Sorry, these Microsoft Teams backgrounds hacks won’t work until you upgrade your computer.

Microsoft Teams Customized Backgrounds Release Date: When Will Backgrounds For Microsoft Teams Be A Native Feature?

The good news is that manually adding background images to Microsoft Teams will probably be temporary. A Microsoft Teams custom backgrounds feature is coming very soon. The company plans to make customizing your Microsoft Teams Backgrounds a native feature by later this summer.

NERD NOTE: Microsoft Teams was created at Microsoft as part of an internal hackathon. It officially launched on March 14, 2017, to Microsoft customers worldwide. The service is a competitor to both Slack and Zoom and serves as a successor to Microsoft Skype for Business.

Related Articles: