Zoom, how to change the video call background

Zoom allows users to change the video conference background by inserting a custom one. Here's how it works

Zoom is one of many video chat, video conferencing, webinar, phone call and instant messaging apps that you can use to stay in touch with colleagues or clients, even if you're dozens and dozens of miles away. Among the features of Zoom that many people appreciate is the one that allows us to change the background.

Apps like Skype give you the possibility to blur the background, leaving only our figure in focus to make it stand out or, perhaps, hide parts of the room that we don't want to show to those who are connected with us. Zoom can do even more: we can completely replace the room behind us with an image of our choice. The functionality isn't perfect and still has some limitations: if we move a lot or if someone passes behind us, then those connected will see artifacts in the background. But, in principle, changing the background on Zoom is possible and works quite well. Here's how to do it.

How to choose a background image on Zoom from PC

To change the background image in a video call on Zoom, if we're using it from a desktop or laptop computer, we need to open the app and click on our profile, in the top right corner. Then we need to go into the settings and, in the menu on the left, choose "Virtual Background". Zoom will show us a series of standard images that we can choose as a virtual background, but we can also upload an image of our choice. To do this, press the "+" button next to the "Choose Virtual Background" label. The usual upload window will open from which we can choose which photo to use as the background.

How to choose a background image on Zoom from your smartphone

It's even easier to change the background of Zoom if you're using it from the mobile app: when you're making a video call, tap on the menu with the three dots at the bottom right and choose "More". Here we'll find "Virtual Background" and, after pressing it, the window will open to choose the custom background image for Zoom.

Apply beauty filter on Zoom

Finally, Zoom also allows us to apply a "beauty filter" to the video we're streaming. Filter that, this time, is applied to our image and not to the background. To activate it we have to launch a video call and then click on "Video Settings > My Video > Touch Up My Appearance". The filter will be activated immediately: it's basically a filter that applies a slight gradient to our face, like those in Instagram or those built into many camera apps.