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How to Change Your Background on Zoom

Knowing how to change your background on Zoom is almost essential these days. Not only does this feature help you hide your messy room, it also gives you something fun to talk about during your meetings. Here’s how to add a virtual background on Zoom, before and during your meeting, and how to use video filters and studio effects to customize your video even more.

How to Add a Virtual Background Before Your Meeting on Zoom

To add a background on Zoom, open the desktop app and click the gear icon in the top-right corner. Then select Background & Filters from the left sidebar. Finally, select an image or click the plus sign > Add Image to upload your own background.

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app and sign in. If you don’t already have the desktop app, you can download it from Zoom here.
  2. Then click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the window.
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  3. Next, select Background & Filters. You can find this in the left sidebar.
    How to Add a Virtual Background Before Your Meeting on Zoom

    Note: If you don’t see this option, go to zoom.us/profile/setting and sign in to your account. Then click Settings in the left sidebar and scroll down to Virtual background under In Meeting (Advanced). Next, click the slider to the right to enable it. You can also check the box under Virtual background to enable video backgrounds.

    How to Add a Virtual Background Before Your Meeting on Zoom
  4. Finally, select a virtual background from one of Zoom’s default images or click the plus sign to upload your own. 

You can select Blur to hide your background without changing it, but it will also blur out any objects that are too close or far from your camera, including objects you are holding.  

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While Zoom doesn’t give you many default backgrounds, you can use any of your own photos instead. To do this, click the plus sign on the right side of the Zoom window. Then click Add Image and select an image from your files.

How to Add a Virtual Background Before Your Meeting on Zoom

Once you have added an image to Zoom, select it to change your background. You can add several images to use as backgrounds, and all of them will be there the next time you open the app.

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Note: If your background isn’t working properly, and it is either bleeding onto your clothes or there are empty spaces, try unchecking the box next to I have a green screen.

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This box should only be checked if you are sitting in front of a wall or sheet that is one solid color (a green background is best). Then click the color square above Mirror my video and click the color you want to key out of your background using your cursor.

How to Add a Virtual Background Before Your Meeting on Zoom

Clicking this box will cause your cursor to be locked into your video window. Once you click a part of your background, it will replace everything in your video that is close to that color with your chosen Zoom background.

So, you don’t want to wear any clothing that is the same color as your background, or it will disappear. For best results, your background should also be bright and evenly lit.

How to Add a Virtual Background During a Zoom Meeting

To add a virtual background while you are already in a Zoom meeting, tap the upward-facing arrow icon next to the camera icon at the bottom-left corner of your window. Then select Choose Virtual Background and select the background you want to use.

How to Add a Virtual Background During a Zoom Meeting

How to Add Video Filters and Studio Effects on Zoom

In addition to changing your virtual background on Zoom, you can also change your video and even your appearance. With video filters, you can change the color of your video, add sunglasses to your face, and frame your video inside a TV. With studio effects, you can add facial hair and change the color of your lips.  

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

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HelloTech editors choose the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Updated on August 31, 2021

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