Custom Background Feature Support For Microsoft Teams Coming In Mid-April, But A Hack Lets You Enable It Today

With the increase in the number of coronavirus cases worldwide, people are now more dependent on video conferencing tools as compared to the past. The sudden increase in the remote work resulted in increased popularity of Microsoft Teams. As more than 44 million people are now using Microsoft Teams to collaborate with their coworkers on a daily basis.

Considering the surge in demand, the Redmond giant is bringing new features to improve the chat and meeting experience in Microsoft Teams. Amongst the other features, custom background support for Microsoft Teams calls is a highly anticipated feature.

Microsoft Plans To Rollout Custom Background Feature This Month

Microsoft has been working on the feature for quite a while and some Microsoft employees were spotted testing it. Now it seems like the feature is all set to leave internal testing at Microsoft, and you would be able to use it soon during Microsoft Teams meetings.

Microsoft has recently sent out an email to Office 365 subscribers which indicates that the custom background effects will be available later this month. More specifically, Microsoft plans to begin the rollout process in mid-April, but Microsoft Teams will allow you to upload custom backgrounds in May.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap description reads: “We are building upon the heavily popular background blur feature in Teams meetings with background effects. This new feature in Teams allow meetings attendees to customize their background from a list of pre-selected images.”

For those who are curious, the custom background feature works as follows:

While the feature is not officially available, you can use a hack to set a custom background right away.

Steps To Set Your Custom Background On Windows PCs:

  1. Download JPEG file for your custom background (with max 1 MB file size)
  2. Copy the image file and paste it in the folder “%AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads“.
  3. Now start a video call in Microsoft Teams, select the background icon.
  4. You will see the new custom background image along with the default backgrounds.

Steps To Set Your Custom Background On Macs:

  1. Download JPEG file for your custom background (with max 1 MB file size)
  2. Copy the image file and paste it in the folder “/users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads“.
  3. Now start a video call in Microsoft Teams, select the background icon.
  4. You will see the new custom background image along with the default backgrounds.

As a quick reminder, the popular blur background feature is already available in Microsoft Teams. The feature lets you blur your background during team meetings. With the release of this new feature, Microsoft plans to provide a seamless video calling experience to people currently working from home.

Did you try the new custom background feature? Sound off in the comments section below.

Alex Schoff
Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.