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How to Add a Virtual Background in Zoom

Whether you’re using Zoom for work or to talk to friends and family, there are lots of ways you can spice up your video chats. By adding a virtual background, you can look like you’re in outer space, the Grand Canyon, and anywhere in between. Here’s how to add a virtual background in Zoom, and how to make it look great.

How to Add a Background in Zoom Using the Desktop App 

To add a virtual background in Zoom, open the app and go to Settings > Virtual Background. Then select an image or click the + icon to add your own images or videos. Then select the color box to key out your background color.

  1. Download and install the Zoom app. You can download the app from Zoom’s website here.
  2. Launch the app and sign in.  
  3. Then click SettingsThis is the gear icon in the top-right corner of your window.
    zoom settings
  4. Next, select Virtual Background. You can find this in the left sidebar.

    Note: If you don’t see this option, make sure that you have virtual background turned on in your settings on the Zoom website. To do this, go to your Zoom profile and sign in. Then go to Settings, and scroll down until you see Virtual background under In meeting (advanced). Then click the slider to the right to turn it on. This option should be turned on by default.

    virtaul background settings web
  5. Then select a virtual background from one of Zoom’s default images. 
    How to Add a Background in Zoom Using the Desktop App
  6. Then click the color square above Mirror my video and choose the color you want to key out of your background using your cursor. Clicking this box will cause your cursor to be locked into your video window. Once you click a part of your background, it will key out that color (or replace it with the virtual background).

    Note: Make sure you have the box checked next to I have a green screen. Otherwise, you won’t be able to add a virtual background in Zoom.

    How to Add a Background in Zoom Using the Desktop App

    Note: It is helpful if your background is one solid color (a green background is best). Any clothing you have that is the same color as the background will also be keyed out. Also, sitting too close to your background will cause the color to bleed onto you, which will cause it to be keyed out as well. Finally, make sure your background is evenly lit to get the best results.

  7. You can also add your own virtual background by clicking the + icon and selecting Add Image. You can find this option below the right side of the video. The image or video will then appear alongside the default options. Then you can select it to use as your Zoom background. 
    How to Add a Background in Zoom Using the Desktop App
  8. To add a virtual background in a meeting, tap the upward-facing arrow icon next to the camera icon at the bottom of your window.
  9. Then select Choose Virtual Background.
How to Add Background in Zoom Using the Desktop App

Now that you know how to add a virtual background in Zoom, check our list of the best webcams for 2020 to make your video as clear as possible.

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Updated on March 26, 2021

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