How to Blur Your Background in Microsoft Teams
Remote team meetings are the norm nowadays. But what do you do when you can’t find a suitable background when you attend them?
Of course, you can try to find that one place in your house that looks pristine and orderly. However, that isn’t the most convenient option for most people. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams has a solution for you.
Instead of looking for the perfect background to portray your professionalism, you can blur it. We’ll show you how.
Before the Meeting Starts
If you have time before your meeting starts, you can set up a blurred background before it. Simply go to the Background effects icon located next to the mic switch. When you select it, the background options pop up to the right.
Click on Blur to subtly conceal everything behind you. Don’t worry, though. You’ll appear clear in the video.
Just remember that blurring your background isn’t a perfect solution. So, be careful if you have sensitive information behind you. Blurring won’t necessarily keep meeting participants from seeing it. When in doubt, remove it from the camera view or move to another space entirely.
Also, all background effects, including blurring, are only available for scheduled meetings. If you have an emergency call, you may want to move to an area with a clean background.
During a Meeting
Imagine that you’re in a Teams meeting, and you notice that the participants are looking over your shoulder. They’re reading the titles in your book library. Or they’re watching the antics of your death-defying dog.
Whether it’s the odd titles in your book collection or your attention-seeking pet, your background makes a difference in meetings.
So, what do you do if you already started your meeting?
It’s not too late to blur your background, even during a meeting. Go to your meeting controls and click on the three dots for More Actions. From there, select Show Background Effects and then Blur.
You’ll also get a preview of what the chosen background looks like before you apply it to your screen.
You may run into situations where the Blur effect simply isn’t enough to eliminate distractions. Prepare yourself because you may need to choose a different background or relocate.
Unfortunately, Linux users won’t be able to use this feature – for now, at least. Also, you can’t use Background Effects for Teams if you log on through virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI.
Other Background Options
Speaking of choosing backgrounds, did you know that Blur isn’t the only background option on Teams?
Microsoft is working hard to provide a wide variety of backgrounds for your meeting space. There are around 20 backgrounds right now. They range from business environments to more exotic locales. It all depends on your personal preferences.
Do you want the no-nonsense sterility of an all-white office? Teams have a background for you. Or maybe you’re looking for something a bit more fantastical? Microsoft has a space-scape that may be right up your alley.
According to the company, eventually, you’ll be able to upload custom designs. They’re not there yet, though, so until then, the cosmic background of celestial proportions will have to suffice.
Choose the Right Background for the Occasion
There’s no excuse for an unsightly background when using Microsoft Teams. Whether you want a basic Blur effect or choose something a bit more whimsical, you can do it with a couple of clicks.
Just remember, though, that the Background feature is not available for all devices at this time. Don’t worry if you don’t see a list of Background options when you check your settings. Microsoft says that they’re working on bringing this feature to all users, so check back periodically.
Do you use the Blur Background feature for Microsoft Teams? If you’re using a themed background, which one is it? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.