How to Change Your Zoom Background in 5 Easy Steps


It’s easy to change your background on Zoom.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Millions of people have taken the Zoom video chat app for job and study at home during the pandemic – and even with vaccines deployment, it looks like Zoom is here to stay. Many have also discovered a fun little setting that transform your video background from the room behind you to Cosmos or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. You can even upload a photo to personalize your own.

For the most part, Zoom – which has seen a huge increase in usage due to states impose shelter-in-place and other measures last year – will keep your clutter pretty well. It can be a fun way to express yourself or to hide the cluttered room behind you. After all, you might want participants to focus on you, rather than your collection of curiosities.

Just know that you need to make sure that your the system has the right requirements to change your Zoom background. And if you tend to gesture a lot or rock backwards in your chair, or if a finicky puppy or child lands on your lap during your call, the other party will notice pauses in the background. Don’t worry, they will resolve themselves shortly. (You should also be aware of the potential security issues like Zoombombing during your video chat and take the necessary steps to lock your Zoom account.)

Read more: 20 Zoom Video Chat Tips, Tricks & Hidden Features


What could be more fun than participating in conference calls from space?

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

How to change your Zoom background on the desktop app

1. In the Zoom app, click your profile in the upper right corner, and then click Settings.

2. In the left menu, click Virtual background.

3. You’ll see a few default background options provided by Zoom, including a spatial scene or blades of grass. You can choose one by clicking on it, and it will automatically change your screen as well. There is also an option if you have a green screen and want to use it.

4. If you want to upload a photo to use as a background, on the same Virtual background page, click it + icon next to where it says Choose the virtual background. A box will appear allowing you to upload a photo from your computer. Click on the one you want and it will appear next to the other images as an option for you to choose from.

5. To get rid of all the photos you upload, press the button X in their upper left corner.

Read more: Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 great tips to make video calls really fun

How to change your Zoom background on the mobile app

1. When you log into your account and join a meeting, tap the three dots at the bottom right of the screen to open the Following menu.

2. Faucet Virtual background.

3. Select a background from the default options or upload your own.

Read more: 10 free alternative apps to Zoom for video chats

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Another Zoom tip: add a beauty filter

You’ve probably heard all the advice on working from home before: wake up on time, take a shower, dress like it’s a day at the office. But if it’s one of those days when you think you’re not looking your best, Zoom has an answer: a feature called Touch Up My Look. Basically, it’s a softening filter, like you’ll find on Instagram, Facetune, or your phone’s selfie camera.

To activate, click on the up arrow next to Start video. Click on Video settings, and under My Video, check the box for Touch up my appearance. That’s it!

For more information, see how to add your personal pronouns on Zoom, how to fight zoom anxiety and the best equipment for online meetings and video chat.

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