Workspace Privacy with Background Blur and Replacement in Microsoft Teams

With people working from home or public places one of the reasons they do not use video in meetings is because of their lack of privacy. Whatever situation you are working in, if you feel that the location you are in is best not shown on camera, then you can use background blur or replacement in Teams meetings instead. All without a green-screen!

It may seem gimmicky, but when you think about it, your surroundings are causing you to decide not to enable your camera and you and your coworkers are missing out on that full meeting experience. Not being on video means participants cannot pick up on facial expressions or mannerisms and that can lead to innocent comments being taken in the wrong manner and bringing a negative effect on the meeting.

In order to use these features, your computer needs to be relatively up to date. Most laptops and computers from around 2016 or newer should work no problem. Older ones can be a little hit and miss.

Enable Background Filters

You can enable your background blur or replacement at the meeting pre-join screen. In order to set this your video toggle must be switched to the On position. Then you will see the Background Filters option highlight.

From the Background Settings slider you can choose your effect

Background Blur
Background Replacement

Add Your Own Background

You can add your own custom background by choosing a high resolution image that is no larger than 2048 x 2048 pixels. PNG, JPG and BMP files are supported. From the Background Settings blade, press Add New

Upload your image and it will auto select. Note that this will only work on the PC that you upload the artwork too. It will not replicate across your devices, so you’ll need to add it manually to each of your devices as you use them.

Custom Background Filters in Teams

One thing you will notice is using any filters will degrade the video quality and you may appear slightly blurry. You can help this by investing in a better webcam and lighting, such as the Logitech C925e webcam and Elgato keylights

Apply Background Filters Mid Call

You can also apply these filters during a call if you want to escalate from audio only to video. To do this click on the ellipsis (…) in the call control bar and select Apply Background Effects

From here, you get the same options as you did in the pre-meeting join experience, plus an additional option to preview changes before applying them.

Teams will remember your choice and the next time you turn on video in a call or meeting, your last chosen background filter will automatically be applied.

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