The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people interact with each other. Many have been forced to interact through virtual platforms instead of in person. This includes work, school, social gatherings, playdates, and more.
To continue with these activities people have begun using Zoom. Zoom has included some fun features for the entertainment and delight of its users. These include virtual backgrounds, filters, and a “touch up my appearance” feature. Users can enjoy the playful aspects of these features but they are also useful for important meetings.
This article will discuss how to change your background on Zoom for use on a desktop and mobile device.
Benefits of Using Zoom Backgrounds and Other Effects
For the first time, going to school or work has opened up the possibility of others seeing your personal space like your house or bedroom. Zoom backgrounds protect the privacy of its users by preventing clients or workmates from peering into their homes.
Virtual backgrounds are also helpful when a house or room is a little cluttered and not presentable enough to display on an important call.
Zoom also has the answer for those days when users do not feel like they are looking their best. There is a “Touch Up My Appearance” feature. It applies a softening effect to smooth skin and hide imperfections.
For those that feel like they need more than soft tones, Zoom offers Studio Effects. This feature allows users to add eyebrows, mustaches, and lip color to the face.
Another feature to enhance video appearance is the “Adjust for Low Light” feature. It improves video brightness when a user has low lighting.
A feature that allows users to bring some entertainment and flair to their meetings is the Zoom filters. Filters add effects like sunglasses, dog ears, smiley faces, and more to the video.
Enable Zoom Backgrounds
To change background images on Zoom, the virtual background setting needs to be enabled. Here is how to enable Zoom virtual backgrounds on different types of accounts.
For a personal account follow these steps:
- Download the Zoom app
- Sign in to the Zoom web portal
- On the left-hand side, click on Settings under the Personal menu
- Next select In Meeting (Advanced)
- Scroll to Virtual background
- Enable Zoom virtual backgrounds by switching the toggle to the on position
- Checkmark “Allow use of videos for virtual backgrounds”
For licensed accounts with several users:
- Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with permission to edit settings
- On the left click on Account Management under the Admin menu
- Then select Account Settings
- In the Meeting tab scroll to Virtual background
- Switch the toggle to the on position to enable Zoom backgrounds
For Zoom Groups:
- Sign in to the Zoom web portal
- In the menu on the left under Admin click User Management
- Next select Group Management
- Select the group then click the Meeting tab
- Navigate to the Virtual Background option
- Switch the toggle to enable the feature
After adjusting the settings users need to sign out and back into the Zoom Desktop Client.
How to Change your Background on Zoom
Change Zoom Virtual Background During a Meeting
After enabling Zoom backgrounds users can change their background during a meeting.
Follow these steps:
- Join or start a meeting
- Click the arrow next to the Start/Stop Video icon
- Select Choose Virtual Background
- If prompted download the background image package
- Select which background you want
- Close the window to go back to the meeting
- To turn off the background, go back to the virtual background page and select None
How to Change your Background on Zoom Before Entering a Meeting
Users can turn on a virtual background before entering a Zoom meeting. To do so follow these steps:
- Sign in to the Zoom client
- Before joining or starting a meeting, click on the setting icon represented by a gear in the right corner. Or click on your profile picture and then select settings.
- On the left-hand menu click on Backgrounds & Filters
- Click on the background image you want
- A preview video will display what your image will look like during the Zoom meeting
- When you enter a meeting you will have a Zoom virtual background
Change Zoom Backgrounds on a Mobile Device
As with the desktop version, to change a Zoom background on the mobile app, virtual backgrounds need to be enabled. To change the background image on a mobile device users need to be in a meeting.
The Zoom mobile app is designed the same way for Android and iOS devices. Here is how to change your background on Zoom on a mobile device:
- Open Zoom
- Join or start a meeting
- During the meeting click on More that appears in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
- Click on Virtual Background
- Select one of the provided background images or add your own by selecting the plus icon
- Click on Close to go back to the meeting
- To turn it off, click on More, Virtual Background, then select None
Uploading your Own Background Images
Zoom allows its users to upload their own images or videos to use as a virtual background. To do so, from the Zoom Client click on the gear icon to open the settings window.
Click on Background & Filters. Then click on the plus icon and select Add Image or Add Video. A window will open that will allow you to select a picture or video from your computer.
During a meeting, users can also add their own background images. Press the upward arrow by the start and stop video option. Then click on Background & Filters and click on the plus icon and select Add Image or Add video.
To delete an image you have uploaded click on the X in the top right corner of the image. Zoom supports the formats JPG, PNG, BMP, and MP4 for virtual background images and videos.
GIFs are not supported and any images that violate the Zoom user agreement may get reported. There are no size restrictions for adding background images but it is best to use images that match the ratio of the camera.
Zoom recommends a ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1280×720 or 1920×1080 pixels. If the background image is blurry with these recommendations contact Zoom customer support.
Tips for Zoom Backgrounds
For virtual images to work well on Zoom, a user needs to have a solid color background. A green screen would produce the best results but it is not necessary to have a green background.
Here are some tips for Zoom backgrounds to work the best:
- Use a green screen
- If you do not have a green screen use a solid color background
- Do not wear the same color as your background
- The background cannot be the same color as your skin
- Make sure to be well-lit
- Make sure your face is directly in front of the camera
- Zoom can have difficulty distinguishing more than one person with virtual backgrounds. For the best results, have one person on screen
How to Use Zoom’s Other Effects
As mentioned before Zoom has several other features that enhance video appearance. Use the following instructions to enable them.
To enable the Touch up my appearance and the Adjust for low light features:
- Sign in to the Zoom client
- Click on the gear icon to open settings
- Click on Video
- Checkmark the “touch up my appearance” or “adjust for low light” box
- Use the slider and menu to adjust them to your preference
Zoom remembers the settings for the touch-up appearance feature and will use it the next time you join a meeting.
If you are already in a meeting, follow these steps:
- Click on the upward arrow next to the stop and start video button
- Select Video settings
- The settings window will open where you can enable those features
To enable the Filters and Studio Effects features:
- Go to the settings window by clicking on the gear icon in the Zoom client. Or during a meeting click on the upward arrow next to the stop video button
- Select Background & Filters
- Click on the Video Filters tab
- Click on the filter you want
- Or click on Studio Effects (Beta) option in the bottom right corner
- Select the options you want and use the slider to change the opacity
- Close the window to join the meeting again
Zoom will remember your preferences and will use them in the next meeting.
Ending thoughts on how to change your background on Zoom
The virtual background feature of Zoom is a helpful tool for all who conduct meetings online. Zoom’s features are beneficial for those who do not want clients to peek into their homes or who need some extra help to look their best on a bad day.
May these instructions on how to change your background on Zoom assist you in conducting business online.
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If you enjoyed reading this article on how to change your background on Zoom, you should check out this one about how to record a Zoom meeting.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like Zoom integrations, Zoom keyboard shortcuts, create a Zoom meeting, how does Zoom work, Zoom waiting room, how to add Zoom to Google Calendar and how to schedule a Zoom meeting.