How to Use Back­ground Blur in Microsoft Teams

Parth Shah

Microsoft answered Slack’s growing popularity with the introduction of the Microsoft Teams in 2016. And the software giant continues to add new features to meet consumer demand. Also, it has quickly adapted to a growing trend of video calling apps while many have to deal with messy backgrounds or inadequate lights during a call. In this post, we shall guide you on how to add background blur for video calls in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft teams blur

Microsoft Teams recently introduced video backgrounds to let you hide or change the background during video calls.

The Background Blur option in Microsoft Teams app detects your face and lets you blur out the background during video calls. One of the apt ways to mask your background and make it appear a bit pleasant. Well, it's not a new feature exactly since Skype also offers similar background blur feature along with virtual backgrounds.

You can use the background blur option to mask the background to keep it out of focus. Also, you'll find other video calling related tips for Microsoft Teams in this post. Let’s get started.

Where Is the Background Blur Option in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams allows you to create multiple channels in a team and add members to them. From any channel, you can use the Meet Now option to start the group video call with the members.

Meet now

When you tap on the Meet Now button in a channel, you will get the option to add a subject and start the video call. From the video call screen, you will see the bunch of options on the floating menu, as shown in the screenshot below. Tap on the three-dot menu and it will open another sub-menu of advanced video functions for Microsoft Teams.

Show background efferct

Select Show background effects from the context menu and it will open the Background Settings side menu. You'll find a bunch of options for the video background too.

Tap on the second blur effect and Teams will ask you to either preview or directly apply the effect in the video.

I would advise you to preview the effect first as it might not work as advertised in certain situations.

Preview

The good news is, other participants won’t be able to see the live effect while you are testing the background with a live preview option.

Note: When you are using the background blur effect or any background during video calls, try not to move a lot during calls. It will leave a glaring effect around the face. So your video feed will appear quite odd.

Tips For Making Video Calling Experience Better

You can always make the meetings better and more effective rather than letting them be a list of random video calls. Here are a few tips.

Add Subject to Meetings

When you create a meet with members of the channel, you should add a subject before starting the meeting. It might seem like a small detail, but that will make the video call easily searchable. Quite helpful when you want to find a specific meeting or a detail related to it at the end of a month.

I like how Microsoft Teams lets you invite the members from the other channel to the current video feed. You can also glance over the attendees from the side panel.

Invite others

Take Notes

During video calls, you might want to take notes (minutes of meeting) for later reference. While on call, you can tap on the three-dot menu on the bottom bar and select show meeting notes. Type the meeting remarks in it and hit the Enter key. Microsoft offers a text customization ribbon at the top to let you choose options like Bold, Italic, Highlight, and so on.

Meeting notes

After ending the meeting, the members can view those notes in the channel chat with the meeting subject as the title. During video calls, you can also have a chat with the team members. We use it all the time. Whenever our developer meeting is going on, the interns and junior developers use the chat function to ask the doubts and questions to the senior developer handling the video call.

Meeting chat

The presenter/organizer check those messages and address them if any concerns are shared during a meeting. The practice makes the whole conversation seamless — no need to disturb the admin during video calls. The good news is all the chat during the video call gets saved in the channel.

Share Screens During Meetings

Microsoft also offers a screen sharing option, which can be incredibly useful in certain situations. When you are having a conversation with hundreds of members in a video call, you might want to share the screen with them to discuss a certain topic in detail.

Whiteboard

In the video call screen, tap on the share screen button, and it will let you select from the multiple options. You can share the current screen, showcase PowerPoint presentation, open files from OneDrive or PC, or use the Whiteboard function to display the topic via drawing.

Use Microsoft Teams Like a Pro

Background Blur during video calls in Microsoft Teams can be helpful when you are attending the digital meeting from anywhere. You don't have to worry much about the background after blurring it from your video feed. You can also use the background change option if you don’t want other family members to pop in and disturb the meeting accidentally.

Next up: Microsoft Teams is a useful tool for team communication, collaboration, and video calls. Read the top tips and tricks for using Microsoft Teams efficiently from the link below.


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Parth Shah

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Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.