How to use a custom background image in Microsoft Teams

Got a messy background but too many conference calls to straighten up between meetings? Microsoft Teams has added the capability to use backgrounds during Teams meetings to hide your untended laundry piles or your lack of an extensive and telegenic private home library, but right now, your alt-backdrop choices are “background blur” and a selection of curated images with no readily apparent way to upload custom images.

While the curated images provided by Teams are pretty nice, you might want to upload a background that reflects how you’ve been spending your time during quarantine:

tiger king

animal crossing outside nook's cranny

Microsoft Teams doesn’t offer a one-click easy solution for uploading custom backgrounds (yet), but it can be done pretty easily if you’re comfy with poking around in your folders a little bit. These instructions are for Windows 10, but you can do it on a Mac, too.

  1. Open File Explorer (easily do this by holding the Windows key and the E key simultaneously).
  2. Click This PC.
  3. Select Windows (C:).
  4. Open the Users folder.
  5. Select your user profile.
  6. Click the View tab at the top of File Explorer.
  7. Check the Hidden items
  8. Open the AppData folder (Note: this won’t appear if you haven’t checked to see hidden items.)
  9. Open the Roaming folder.
  10. Open the Microsoft folder (Do not go to the Microsoft Teams folder by mistake!)
  11. Open the Teams folder within the Microsoft folder.
  12. Open the Backgrounds folder.
  13. Open the Uploads folder.
  14. Place the image you want within the Uploads folder.
  15. Once your image is in the Uploads folder, it should be visible from within Teams when you click the ellipsis and Show background effects.

Easy-peasy! Now you, too, can be part of The Simpsons couch gag on your Microsoft Teams meetings!


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