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Microsoft Teams Custom Backgrounds

Microsoft Teams has adoption has grown dramatically over the last few months with more and more people working from Home. It has meant that Microsoft have released more features and this one is something people have been waiting for. For a couple of weeks Microsoft has given us the ability to change backgrounds in teams conversations. Unlike Zoom, Teams has given more backgrounds to choose from and it does not have the same restrictions for use without a green screen.

A list of background images from Microsoft Teams
Another list of images from Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has come to market with a good group of backgrounds already, going from the formal to more casual options.

However, one feature seems to be missing and that was the ability to add custom Teams backgrounds, until now.

For anyone who doesn’t know a custom background would be one where you could use your company logo or some other message to cover up what is happening behind you. Ideal for all of us working from home.

It seems at the moment that there is no way through the teams software to add the image you want to use, but you can add it to the correct folder if you know where to look. I’m assuming at some point this will change and there will be an option to add it from inside Teams. When that happens I will try and update this article. For now this is the process:

Creating your Custom Background for Microsoft Teams

First of all you need to create the custom background as a jpg or png file. I have tried with both and they appear to work.

We would recommend using jpg or png file with a minimum resolution of 1920×1280

Remember you must have rights to use the image. We would recommend businesses make use of some backgrounds that incorporate their logo and branding.

Once your image has been created save it somewhere safe and then copy it to the locations mentioned below.

Adding a Background on Windows

On Windows the images are all stored in a specific folder on the computer. It is a hidden folder but easy enough to find when you know it exists.

Go to your start menu and search and open run (or to get their quickly press the Windows Key + R)

From here type: %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads

An example of how the run box will look once the correct path has been entered.

Press OK

Copy the image you have chosen for your custom background to this folder and once done go into teams and select the custom image.

Adding a Background on MacOS

Like with Windows all the images are stored in a specific location.

On the keyboard press Command + Shift + G

From here type: ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds

Press Go

Copy the image you have chosen to this location.

Enabling your background image

As yet I know of no way to force Teams to always use the same custom background for every call. Instead you can select it when you join a meeting or during a call.

Before joining a meeting you will see the following bar appear where you would select whether you want video and audio enabled before joining. Select the middle option:

Then you should find your custom background at the end of the list of backgrounds. Select the image and press Join Now.

If you are already in a meeting and want to add the background then click on the menu and select Show background effects

Not working?

If you can’t see the options for background effects then make sure your Teams is up to date by clicking on the menu button in the top right of Teams, this will either be your profile picture or your initials. Then choose Check for Updates.

Find Out More

To find out more about Microsoft Teams you can visit the video training portal Microsoft has created to help train you and your team.

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