Custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams make video meetings more fun, comfortable, and personal

Video capabilities, once a nice to have, have become a critical component of collaborative work.

In fact, when the world moved to remote work earlier this year, Microsoft Teams customers turned on video in Teams meetings two times more than they did before many of us began working from home full-time. We also saw total video calls in Teams grow by over 1,000 percent in the month of March. These trends, along with daily conversations with customers navigating remote collaboration, inspired us to accelerate new features to customize your video experiences and make meetings more productive, comfortable, and fun.

Today, we are announcing the rollout of new custom background effects in Teams, along with new features in the free version of Teams. It’s all about enabling you and your team to work productively, collaboratively, and with everyone’s well-being in mind. Let’s get into the details.

Microsoft Teams custom background effects are now available!

When joining a Teams meeting, you want the focus on you—not that messy bookcase behind you. Last year, we introduced background blur to help everyone preserve privacy and keep their attention on their teammates. Our design team also created a collection of preset images that range from professional (a modern office) to pretty silly (a cartoonish beach scene). Today, we’re expanding these options so you can customize your background by uploading your own images or choosing one of the collections of backgrounds now available online.

No need for a green screen, or even a blank wall. Teams uses a highly trained model that differentiates the subject from their background and can impose a custom background over everything else, making it easy and fast to start expressing yourself in all your meetings.

Background collections to check out

With the whole world turning to video, companies are getting creative with collections of backgrounds you can easily download and then upload to Teams. Here are some options.

From a booth at Bob’s Burgers to a mountain of LEGO building blocks, there’s something for everyone in this collection from FOX.

If you want to be the coolest coworker when your colleagues’ kids wander on camera, our Xbox collection has you covered.

Celebrate 30 years of Microsoft Solitaire, one of the most played games on the planet every day, and show your love for the game with either the blue or green Microsoft Solitaire background.