Microsoft Teams finally adds custom background support, just like Zoom

But are video backgrounds supported? Microsoft hasn't said.

Credit: Microsoft Europe

If you’re a Microsoft Teams user who’s enviously watched Zoom users install fun, silly virtual backgrounds to mess with their coworkers, your wait is over. Microsoft Teams now supports custom backgrounds, the company said Thursday afternoon.

Microsoft announced the ability to add your own custom backgrounds more than a year ago, but the company hadn’t yet delivered on its promise—even the third Teams anniversary came and went without support. However, Microsoft announced the update in a tweet late on Thursday, ending the drought. It’s not clear, unfortunately, on what platforms the feature will be supported, or whether all users will be receiving the new feature immediately.

Zoom offers support for custom backgrounds built into the app itself—static images and video loops, that can be used as motion backgrounds. (We’ve offered a guide on how to create your own custom Zoom backgrounds.) Teams, like Zoom, can combine your webcam with artificial intelligence to “see” you and distinguish you from your background. Both apps now will be able to substitute that background with your own hand-picked static image. 

Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether the new Teams update will allow for video backgrounds. Microsoft’s original announcement only described static images, “such as a company logo or office environment.”

Still, the addition of a custom background within Zoom has been a game-changer. Instead of the banal option of simply blurring your background environment, you can make it go away altogether. That’s a decided advantage if you have a “home office,” as I do, with exercise equipment, packing boxes, and other random stuff scattered about. Making that virtual clutter go away will be enormously helpful for employees forced to work out of small apartments or simply those embarrassed about their mess.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?