How to use the Virtual Background feature of Zoom

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Hide your messy room from the next Zoom video conference. Zoom is an extremely useful way to host video conferencing chats or webinars. It offers some very useful features that other video conferencing tools don't provide, such as the option to use a virtual Zoom background during calls.

Once configured, you no longer have to worry about your messy room or your living space looking a little too 'lived in', which is perfect when you have to work from home. You can enable virtual wallpapers for Zoom on PC, Mac and iOS (iPhone 8 or later, iPad Pro and 5th and 6th generation 9,7-inch iPad or later).

How does Zoom's virtual wallpaper work?

To use Zoom's video chat background feature, you need a high enough spec PC or Mac to enable it. This means that your Mac or PC will need a very recent version of its operating system and a high-end quad-core processor.

If you have an older, lower spec operating system, you will need to place a physical green screen behind you for the Zoom conference to be able to pick it up and display a more aesthetically pleasing background than it used to be.

The support site offers full details on what is required by your system. At least a quad-core processor or higher is required to fully utilize the functionality.

How to set the Virtual Background function of Zoom

We recommend that you use a high quality webcam and avoid wearing clothing that is the same color as the virtual background.

1. Open the Zoom desktop client. You may need to sign in at this stage.

2. Click the Settings icon.

3. Click Virtual Background.

4. Click on a virtual background of your choice.

5. If your PC / Mac is powerful enough, the virtual wallpaper will immediately be applied to your image.

If you have a lower spec system, set a green screen behind you and check the I have a green screen box to see your virtual wallpaper correctly.

How to add a zoomed virtual background in the middle of the meeting

If you are in the middle of a meeting and have found that you need to hide your background, there is an easy way to do it. Here's what to do.

1. During the call, click the up arrow next to Stop Video.

2. Click Choose Virtual Wallpaper.

3. Select a virtual wallpaper from the list of available options.

4. Close the settings.

The virtual background should now be in place, hiding whatever was previously seen behind you during the video call.

How to add your own images to enlarge the virtual background

Zoom comes with its own baggage of virtual backgrounds, but you can add your own images. Here's how to do it.

1. In the Zoom app, click the Settings icon.

2. Click Virtual Background.

3. Click the plus sign next to Choose virtual wallpaper.

4. Browse to find the image you want to add.

5. Click Open.

Your image is now your virtual background. To remove the background, click the x on the image thumbnail.

Further Reading:

  • How to record a Zoom meeting
  • How to download and use funny wallpapers with zoom
  • How to use Zoom on iPhone
  • How to add and manage Zoom meetings using Google Calendar
  • How to add a custom background to Microsoft Teams

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