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How to Create a Background in Microsoft Teams Fast

Learn to personalize your virtual space in Microsoft Teams with ease. Tips on selecting, uploading, and troubleshooting... read more

John Michaloudis
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How to Create a Background in Microsoft Teams Fast | MyExcelOnline How to Create a Background in Microsoft Teams Fast | MyExcelOnline

The Era of Personalized Video Calls

In a world where video conferencing has become the norm, personalizing your Microsoft Teams background adds a layer of professionalism and branding to your calls. Creating a background in Microsoft Teams can reflect your personality or represent your brand without detracting from the meeting’s purpose. It’s about finding that perfect balance – a backdrop that complements your professional image while also signaling your individuality or company culture.

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Step by Step: How to Add Custom Backgrounds

Before You Begin: Setting the Stage

Before you dive into personalizing your virtual space, it’s key to set the stage for a seamless experience. Ensure you have a stable internet connection and that your device meets the Microsoft Teams system requirements. Additionally, find a spot with good lighting and a camera angle that frames you well – this will enhance the effect of your custom background.

Uploading and Selecting Your Custom Background

It’s time to infuse your meetings with a touch of creativity! Here’s how to upload and select your custom background in Microsoft Teams:

STEP 1: Start a new meeting by clicking the camera icon from your channel or chat.

Background in Microsoft Teams

STEP 2: Once the meeting begins, select “More,” then “Video Effects” to open your options.

Background in Microsoft Teams

STEP 3: Click on “Add New” to upload your custom file.

Background in Microsoft Teams

STEP 4: Scroll to find and select your image, then click “Apply” to set it as your background.

Background in Microsoft TeamsBackground in Microsoft TeamsBackground in Microsoft Teams

Remember, text in the background appears mirrored to you but displays correctly for others.

Creative Ideas for Your Custom Background

Reflecting Your Brand or Personality

If you’re looking to make a statement, your Microsoft Teams background serves as a virtual canvas to showcase your brand or personality. Select images aligned with your company’s aesthetics to reinforce your professional identity during external calls. For internal meetings, feel free to express yourself with backdrops that resonate with your interests, be it a serene beach scene or a snapshot from your favorite TV show. These visuals can spur conversations, deepen connections with your team, and set a relaxed atmosphere.

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Background in Microsoft Teams

The Dos and Don’ts of Background Selection

Choosing the right backdrop can make all the difference in how you’re perceived during a virtual meeting. Here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts to guide your background selection:


  • Opt for high-resolution images that look professional.
  • Consider using subtle branding elements tied to your organization.
  • Select calming, non-distracting images like landscapes or abstract art.
  • Test your background before the meeting to ensure it looks good on camera.


  • Pick images with inappropriate content or unprofessional humor.
  • Use overly busy or loud designs that can be distracting.
  • Choose images that could potentially offend or alienate colleagues.
  • Forget to check the rights of the images you’re using to avoid copyright issues.

Stick to these guidelines to maintain a balance between professionalism and personality.

Background in Microsoft Teams

Technical Tips for Flawless Execution

System Requirements and Compatibility

To ensure a glitch-free experience with custom backgrounds, it’s important to know the system requirements and compatibility:

  • Teams mobile app for Android (version 1416/ or later)
  • Android version 10 or later
  • GPU with Qualcomm Adreno 610, Arm Mali-G71, or Arm Mali-T720 or later

Supported clients where custom backgrounds are visible include the web client, desktop client, Android, and iOS. However, if you’re using Microsoft Teams on Linux or through optimized virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), you won’t be able to change backgrounds. This feature is also not accessible on some devices that lack the “Background filters” option in the menu.

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Troubleshooting Common Background Glitches

Sometimes, your custom background may not work as planned. Here are quick fixes to common issues:

  • Restart Microsoft Teams: If your background is unresponsive, exiting and relaunching the app can often resolve the issue.
  • Check Image Quality: Ensure your image is high-resolution; low-res images often result in blurriness.
  • Update Graphics Drivers: Out-of-date drivers may affect background functionality, so visit your device’s manufacturer website for the latest updates.
  • Enable Feature in Settings: Double-check that the custom background feature is enabled within Teams settings.
  • System Requirements: Verify your computer meets the necessary requirements for using this feature.

Try these steps if you encounter any hiccups, and you’ll likely be back on track.

Ensuring Consistency Across Team Meetings

For a cohesive look during team meetings, enforcing a standardized background can be beneficial:

  • Create and Distribute a Background: Design a custom background that reflects your team or company branding and make it available to all team members.
  • Admin Settings: If you’re an admin, use the Teams admin center to enforce background settings across your organization.
  • Guidelines: Provide clear instructions or a background policy to employees, explaining when and how to use the official background.

By ensuring consistency, you’ll not only present a united front but also reinforce your organization’s identity in every virtual interaction.

Best Practices to Maintain Professionalism

When and Where Custom Backgrounds Are Appropriate

Custom backgrounds can enhance your Teams meetings when used appropriately. Consider the following to maintain professionalism:

  • Client Meetings: Opt for more conservative backgrounds that align with your organization’s branding.
  • Internal Team Calls: Feel free to show personality or thematic elements, especially if they can foster team spirit.

To keep the focus on you instead of your backdrop during calls, aim for visual clarity:

  • Select backgrounds that contrast well with your clothing to avoid blending in.
  • Avoid complex patterns that might cause visual ‘noise’ or glitching effects.
  • Check lighting conditions; they can significantly impact how you appear against your background.
  • Make sure no moving objects are present in a custom background, as it can be distracting.
  • Regularly preview your video before meetings to ensure your background looks professional and clear. Encouraging visual clarity ensures that the attention remains on the conversation – not on what’s behind you.
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Background in Microsoft Teams

Anticipating Future Updates in Microsoft Teams

Latest Features for Custom Backgrounds

Microsoft Teams continues to evolve with new background features. Recently introduced:

  • Custom Background Uploads: Not only can you blur your background or choose from Microsoft’s preselected images, but you can also upload your own custom designs.
  • Collections Online: Microsoft has expanded their preset collection, offering a wider array of professional and fun images, available for download.

Keep your eyes peeled for further enhancements like potential 3D effects, and remember to update Microsoft Teams regularly to take advantage of these new features.

What to Expect in Upcoming Releases

As remote work and virtual collaboration continue to shape our daily routines, expect Microsoft Teams to roll out even more innovative background features. In future releases, we may see:

  • Advanced AI Integration: Smarter background blur and replacement, adapting to your movements in real-time.
  • Interactive Backgrounds: Dynamic backgrounds that react to meeting events, like celebrations for completed tasks or project milestones.
  • Integration with Other Microsoft Tools: Seamless transitions of background settings between Teams and other Microsoft 365 applications.

Stay tuned for updates that make your virtual meetings more engaging and personalized.

FAQ: Mastering Custom Teams Backgrounds

How do I add a custom background in Microsoft Teams?

To add a custom background in Microsoft Teams, join or start a meeting, click on “More actions” (three dots), choose “Show background effects,” click “Add new,” and upload your image. Once uploaded, select the image and hit “Apply” to set it as your background.

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Can I use animated backgrounds during Teams meetings?

Currently, Microsoft Teams does not support the use of animated backgrounds in meetings. You can only use static images as custom backgrounds.

Can you create your own background in Microsoft Teams?

Yes, you can create your own background in Microsoft Teams by uploading custom images. Just ensure they’re appropriate for your meetings and adhere to professional standards.

How do I save a picture as my background in Microsoft Teams?

To save a picture as your background in Microsoft Teams, during a meeting click on the three dots for “More actions,” go to “Show background effects,” upload your picture using “Add new,” then select and apply it as your background.

Why isn’t my custom background working properly?

If your custom background isn’t working properly in Teams, check if custom backgrounds are enabled, verify system requirements, update Teams and your graphics drivers, choose a high-res image, or restart Teams. Contact IT if issues persist.

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How to Create a Background in Microsoft Teams Fast | MyExcelOnline How to Create a Background in Microsoft Teams Fast | MyExcelOnline
Founder & Chief Inspirational Officer at

John Michaloudis is a former accountant and finance analyst at General Electric, a Microsoft MVP since 2020, an Amazon #1 bestselling author of 4 Microsoft Excel books and teacher of Microsoft Excel & Office over at his flagship Academy Online Course.

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