How to configure Microsoft Teams to change the background | Digital Trends Spanish

If your work team uses Microsoft Teams, you surely spend a good part of the day using this remote work tool to stay in contact with your colleagues and make their video conferences. But, how thoroughly do you know how to use it? The application can be more complex than Zoom or Skype, and not all of its features are immediately apparent, such as the background change. Didn’t you know that you can do that here too? We explain how to configure Microsoft Teams to change the background.

Change the background before a meeting

Are you waiting for a meeting to start? You can change the background right now! This is what you should do:

Step 1: open Background Effects. Before joining a video with Microsoft Teams, you can easily see this icon to the right of the microphone switch. It looks like a small person sitting in front of a static background. If you don’t see this option on your device, select Settings to see it there.

Step 2: now a new side window should open on the right of the screen where you can see all the available backgrounds. The first option, the “forbidden” symbol, will restore your screen to your real background if you wish. The second option at the top is a blur effect, which uses artificial intelligence to blur the background and hide everything except the face. If you don’t have a lot of background preferences and just want a little privacy (or just hide clutter), enabling blur is a quick and easy way to change your background.

options to configure Microsoft Teams with different backgrounds

Step 3: If you don’t like the look of blue and prefer to choose something more original, scrolling down the Background Effects window will show you all the images that you can put as a background. Many are just basic white rooms that won’t cause any distraction, but there are also plenty of nature scenes and fantasy landscapes. When you find one you like, you can select the preview button at the bottom to see how it will look on your screen. Microsoft has announced that they will be able to add the ability to use your own images as a background but, for now, this is not possible.

Step 4: When you find a background that you like, select Apply and your background will be changed for your next meeting.

Changing the background during a meeting

window to select show Effects Background in Microsoft TeamsIf you’ve already started a video meeting, don’t worry! You can still apply a background effect whenever you want. It is a slightly different process.

Step 1: Look at the equipment control bar on the screen. It has icons for the camera, microphone, etc. Click on the three dots to access more settings.

Step 2: When your additional settings appear, look for the option that says Show Background Effects. Select it. This will open the same side window that we talked about in the previous instructions.

Step 3: the same options will now be available, including blurring the screen. However, since the video meeting has already started, the Preview button is more important than ever (especially if there are other people in the meeting). Use Preview to browse through the backgrounds you like the most until you find the right one: this will prevent the backgrounds from being changed in the video conference itself. When you find one that works, select Apply to start using it.

Important compatibility note

If you are following these instructions and you don’t see any of the options we discussed, they may not be available to you. Make sure your device is up to date and apply updates to devices if they are available. If you still can’t see any tools to change your background, the capability may not be available on your particular device, although you should have an option to clear your background (that feature was introduced in 2018). However, if you switch to an alternate device, like a desktop computer, you should be able to access all the background functions.

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