Using Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams

Using Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams

I think we’ve all now seen the following image. A live BBC interview with some unexpected attendees in the background.

When the Kids Crash Your BBC Interview - The New York Times

When using Teams for live video calls, you have a neat feature that either blurs the background or replaces it with an image completely.

When in a call, simple click on the ellipses (3 dots) and click on the “Show Background Effects”. This will open a new window on the right and give you options to blur your background or change it to one of the included images. Then at the bottom either click on Preview or Apply to make the change.

Other than instantly making you appear to be calling in from some exotic location, there are very good reasons you may want to do this when teaching a class or in a meeting.

  • You can only see the foreground meaning any parents/siblings in the background are not broadcast – a must for safeguarding.
  • Any displays or personal items are hidden from the rest of the callers.
  • It helps keep the focus on yourself and not what may be happening in the background.

There are a few devices this feature isn’t supported on, such as those using the Linux client or older devices that do not have the graphics support.

Microsoft’s support article containing further information can be found here.

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