Zoom – How to Change the Background

The Zoom app has flourishedover the course of 2020. Although it’s far from the world’s first videoconferencing app, it certainly does the best job overall.

As a pragmatic app, Zoom is notthat customizable in its appearance, but you may have noticed a cool littlesetting that transforms the background during a video call. These backgroundsrange from the Golden Gate Bridge to outer space.

In this entry, you’ll learn howto change the background for your Zoom video meetings.

How to Change the Virtual Background Image in Zoom on a Windows, Mac, orChromebook PC

Zoom is available across platforms.However, there is no app or add-on for Chrome OS so you won’t be able to useZoom in the app form. To change your virtual background on Zoom, you’ll have toaccess it on an app. So, even with the Zoom web app, you won’t be able tochange the virtual background on a Chromebook.

For PCs and Macs, however,things are fairly easy. All you need is the Zoom app, which is available forfree on Zoom.com and a web browser.

By default, your accountsettings should have the virtual backgrounds option enabled. Just to be safe,before proceeding to use the app, make sure that the virtual background optionis enabled.

  1. Go to Zoom.com
  2. Sign in to your account
  3. Navigate to My Account
  4. From the left bar, select Settings
  5. Scroll down to the Virtual background entry.
  6. Flip the switch on
  7. Check the box next to Allow use of videos for virtual backgrounds

Once you’ve enabled virtualbackgrounds on your account, you can move on to using the Zoom app to tweakyour virtual background settings. Zoom apps for Windows and macOS look andfunction in the same way. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to have atleast Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.9.

  1. Open the Zoom app
  2. Select the cog icon below your account photo in the upper-right corner or click the profile icon and go to Settings
  3. In the window that pops up, navigate to the panel on the left
  4. Select Background & Filters
  5. You should immediately see the sample of your webcam feed
  6. Under Virtual Backgrounds, you’ll be able to select three backgrounds
  7. Choose whether you want the San Francisco, Grass, or Earth backgrounds
  8. If you want to use the Northern Lights and the Beach background, your computer will have to download a package first

If you want to add videofilters to your Zoom experience, you can only do it via the computer app. Toadd filters, simply go to Video Filtersinstead of Virtual Backgrounds under Background& Filters in the Zoom Settingsfeature. From here, you’ll be able to choose from various filters. Note thatyou can use the filters and the virtual backgrounds simultaneously. So, forinstance, you can add the Mosaic Eyewearfilter and use the Beach virtualbackground.

You can also add a custompicture or video by clicking the plus icon in the top-right corner of thebackgrounds/filters section.

How to Change the Virtual Background Image in Zoom on iOS and AndroidDevices

The Zoom app is built in such away that it works the same across Android and iOS devices. So, whether you havean Android phone/tablet, an iPhone, or an iPad, things work the same across theboard. Keep in mind that you’ll have to be in a meeting to enable the Virtual Background.Also, make sure that the video is enabled by selecting Start Video.

  1. While in a meeting, go to More
  2. Then, select Virtual Background
  3. You’ll have the same three backgrounds available, as listed above
  4. However, by selecting the plus icon, you can add any photo from your phone and turn it into a background

There you have it. Changing the virtual background in Zoom is that simple. Keep in mind that mobile and tablet apps also require you to enable the virtual backgrounds on your Zoom account first.

Add Studio Effects

In the desktop version of theapp, you can add various studio effects to your webcam feed. Although thisfeature is still in Beta, it works perfectly. In the Background & Filters menu, simply go to the bottom-right cornerof the screen and click Studio Effects(Beta).

This feature allows you toswitch between various eyebrow filter and mustache/beard options. You can evenchange the color of your lips. Select the color that you want or find it using thepalette. Oh, and you can change the opacity of these effects using the providedslider.

Add a Beauty Filter

You mightwant to “beautify” your appearance, especially if you’re using the HD featureor are using a good camera. Thankfully, this has been made very simple.

Windows/Mac App

  1. In the Settings menu, navigate to Video in the panel to the left
  2. Check the box next to Touch up my appearance
  3. Use the slider to adjust the beauty filter

Android/iOS App

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Meetings
  3. Scroll down and select Touch Up My Appearance
  4. Flip the switch on
  5. Use the slider to adjust the level of “beautification”

Zoom Tips

To make your Zoom experience morefluid and better, we’ve rounded up a few tips for you. These will help you makethe most out of Zoom.

  1. Use the Recurring meeting option to automatize recurring meetings. No, you don’t have to create a reminder to create a Zoom meeting that takes place on a regular basis. You’ll find this option under My Meetings.
  2. Record your video conferences for later use or legal reasons. You can store the video locally if you’re using the free version of Zoom and on the cloud if you’re a paid member.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcuts. Cmd+I on macOS and Alt+I on Windows will automatically take you to the invite window. To promptly mute everyone in a meeting, Use Cmd+Ctrl+M or Alt+M on Windows for macOS and Windows, respectively. Cmd+Shift+S will share your screen on macOS, while Alt+Shift+S will do the same on Windows.
  4. You can access the list of meeting attendees under Account Management > Reports. Check out the Usage Reports and navigate to the meeting you want to check the attendance for. This is a very useful feature for larger meetings.

Additional FAQ

Can I use an animated gif or videos as a background in Zoom?

Unfortunately, GIF files aren’t supported in Zoom – only static JPG, PNG, and BMP files are supported. A workaround, however, does exist. Seeing as how Zoom does allow you to use videos for your background if you can find a way to convert the GIF file to MP4 you will be able to use it in Zoom. You can do this conversion using various tools available online. You won’t have too much trouble finding these online tools.

Can I use whatever image I want for a Zoom virtual background image?

As long as the static photo is a JPG, PNG, or BMP, you can use any photo you have on your device as your Zoom virtual background. Keep in mind that any images that violate the Zoom user agreement may get reported. GIFs, as mentioned above, aren’t supported, but MP4 videos are.

Can I do a virtual background without a green screen on Zoom?

Although a green screen can significantly improve your virtual background, you can use virtual backgrounds without a green screen. Most tablets and smartphones are equipped with cameras that support virtual backgrounds without a green screen, but your laptop/desktop webcam might not. So, if your camera supports this feature, you might be able to use a virtual background without a green screen.

Why is my zoom background blurry?

If you’re using a custom virtual background, the background might get blurry. If this happens, your custom image might be too low resolution. Ideally, a virtual background should be 16:9 in aspect ratio or 1280×720. Even better, go with 1920×1080, if at all possible. If Zoom is acting up and is blurring your custom high-resolution background, contact customer support.

What happens if you don’t have a green screen for zoom?

Nothing, really. If you try using a virtual background without the I have a green screen setting turned on, the virtual backgrounds will most likely be displayed on your face. If your webcam is decent enough, you should be able to uncheck this option and still use the backgrounds. Filters, however, work independently from the green screen.

Changing the Zoom Background

Zoom offers diverse options forchanging your background. If you aren’t happy with the supplied options, youcan always add your own images, as long as they are one of the supportedformats. In the end, you don’t necessarily need a green screen or anythingfancy. Just the Zoom app and a good webcam or another type of camera.

Hopefully, this article hashelped you customize your Zoom virtual background experience. If you have anyadditional questions, don’t refrain from using the comments section below – ourcommunity is more than glad and happy to help.

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