How to Blur Your Background in Microsoft Teams

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Bernard Perron
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Remote team meetings are the norm these days. But what do you do when you can't find suitable training when you attend? Of course, you can try to find that spot in your home that looks spotless and tidy. However, this is not the most convenient option for most people. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams has a solution for you.

Instead of looking for the perfect background to portray your professionalism, you can blur it. This article will show you a few ways to do that.

Before the start of the meeting

If you have time before your meeting starts, you can set up a blurred background before it. It's as simple as following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Background Effects icon located next to the mic switch.

  2. When you select it, the background options appear on the right.

  3. Click Blur to subtly hide everything behind you. Don't worry, though. You will appear clearly in the video.

Remember that blurring your background is not a perfect solution. So, be careful if you have sensitive information behind you. Blurring won't necessarily prevent meeting participants from seeing it. If in doubt, remove it from camera view or move to another space altogether.

Also, all background effects, including blur, are only available for scheduled meetings. If you have an emergency call, you may want to move to an area with a clean background.

During a meeting

Imagine you're in a Teams meeting and notice people looking over your shoulder. They read titles from your book library. Or they watch your dog's death-defying antics. Whether it's the odd titles in your book collection or your attention-seeking pet, your experience makes the difference in meetings.

So what if you've already started your meeting?

  1. Access your meeting controls.

  2. Click on the three dots for more actions.

  3. From there, select Show background effects.

  4. Choose Blur.

You will also get a preview of how your chosen background will look before applying it to your screen.

You may encounter situations where the Blur effect just isn't enough to eliminate distractions. Prepare yourself because you may have to choose another course or move.

Unfortunately, Linux users won't be able to use this feature, at least for now. Also, you can't use background effects for Teams if you're connecting through Virtual Desktop or VDI.

Other background options

Speaking of background choices, did you know that blurring isn't the only background option on Teams?

Microsoft works hard to provide a wide variety of backgrounds for your meeting space. There are currently about twenty backgrounds. They range from commercial environments to more exotic locations. It all depends on your personal preferences.

Do you want the no-frills sterility of an all-white office? The teams have an experience for you. Or are you looking for something a little more fantastic? Microsoft has a spatial landscape that might be right for you.

Depending on the company, you may be able to download custom designs. They're not there yet, however, so until then, the cosmic background of celestial proportions will have to suffice.

Choose the right background for the occasion

There's no excuse for an unsightly background when using Microsoft Teams. Whether you want a basic blur effect or go for something a little fancier, you can do it with just a few clicks.

Remember, however, that the background feature is not available for all devices at this time. Don't worry if you don't see a list of background options when you check your settings. Microsoft says they're working on bringing this feature to all users, so check back regularly.

Are you using the Background Blur feature for Microsoft Teams? If you are using a themed background, which one is it? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

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