June 20, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Microsoft Teams Finally Lets You Easily Add Custom Background Images

2 min read

(Credit: Microsoft)

You can now easily add custom backgrounds to your video sessions on Microsoft Teams.

Previously, users had to manually add the background images into the Teams’ directory. Microsoft is now simplifying the process by including it as a built-in feature. 

“No need for a green screen, or even a blank wall,” the company wrote in a blog post. “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.”

Rival product Zoom has had the custom background feature for years now. So Microsoft is finally catching up. To access the feature on Microsoft Teams before you start a meeting, go to the “Background effects” button to the right of the mic switch. A window will appear letting you replace your background with a custom image.

Microsoft Teams Background effects(Image: Microsoft)

“To use an image of your own, choose Add new and then select one to upload from your computer. Make sure it’s a .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file,” Microsoft says in a support document for the feature. To change the background after you’ve joined a meeting, go to the meeting controls and select the three-dot “…” button, and then click on “Show background effects.”

Microsoft screenshot of 'show background effects'(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams is also getting a new perk for free users: They can now schedule meetings and send out invitations in advance.   

“Meeting schedulers have the option of either copying the meeting link to send directly to other participants or sending an invite via Outlook or Google calendar,” the company said. “This much-requested capability is being rolled out to current users, while users who are just signing up now will be able to experience it soon.” 

The option should pop up next to the standard “Meet Now” button in the Meetings panel. To learn more how you can use Microsoft Teams for free, check out our guide.

A third feature arriving to the product for free users is the “live captioning” function, which relies on Microsoft’s software algorithms to detect what’s being said to display a real-time caption. The company is currently making the function available as a preview to US English users.

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