Microsoft introduced virtual backgrounds for Microsoft Teams in April 2020. Microsoft said that in the future you'll also be able to create your own images and upload them to Teams. But isn't there a way to customize your background in Microsoft Teams? There sure is, let's do it.

You may have noticed that virtual backgrounds shipped with only a few pre-selected backgrounds – a few offices, homes, a beach, plus a selection of education and gaming images.

To find these backgrounds, you simply launch a video chat, tap on the triple-dot icon to pull up your advanced settings. It's the same option you’ve previously used to access background blur (which is still available within background effects):

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Pick one of the backgrounds and you’ll be whisked away to a new location for your meeting. Thrilling, isn’t it?

How to customize your OWN background in Microsoft Teams

Since it's my job to help you make the most of Microsoft Teams, let me show you how to add a few more images so that your experience becomes even richer (and much more fun). First let's find where background images are stored.

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  • On a Windows PC, backgrounds are downloaded by the Teams client and stored within %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads.
  • On a macOS, backgrounds are stored within the Microsoft Teams client folder ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads. To get to that folder, simply type Command+Shift+G from the Mac OS X desktop or a Finder window.

A custom background is as easy as dropping a file into this folder. You should ensure you own the rights to the photo, but if you don’t have any suitable landscapes, you can always appeal to this amazing GitHub REPO for Video Chat backgrounds. There are also a number of royalty-free images sites as well. If you use Canva, or similar graphic app - creating your own, unique background is easy, too.

Make sure you download any image in a suitable size (such as Medium, or 1920×1280) and format (JPG or PNG).

Once you create your image background, simply copy it to the folder (above) and you'll find that background image available to you in Microsoft Teams! It's really that easy.

Microsoft is undoubtedly revolutionizing the market for video conference applications, and right now we are anticipating the ability to share 9 screens at one time. Fresh updates to Microsoft Teams are ongoing! To learn how to keep up with all updates, take a look at my shortcuts 101 article for a quick shortcut to updates in app. Again, hope all of this helps! There are so many ways enrich your experience in Microsoft Teams, make sure you try them out.