How to create a custom background in Microsoft Teams

Recently, Microsoft announced that the ability to use a custom background when on a Teams video call. This was a nice upgrade from the background blur feature that allowed you to blur out the guest bed or your kids pouring a bowl of cereal in the background. But, the 24 options Microsoft has given us are simply not enough. We want to create our OWN custom backgrounds!

This feature is not officially available and not supported by Microsoft, but were able to enable it by following the simple steps outlined below.

Microsoft has announced that this feature will be released and supported in May of this year. Clients that are in the Government Community Cloud (GCC) may have to wait a while for this feature.

By toggling the highlighted switch, you can blur your background or choose from 24 preset backgrounds provided by Microsoft.

To upload your own background for use on a Microsoft Teams video call

Again, this feature is not supported by Microsoft.

Find an image

Choose a background. You can find some great images that are under 1 MB all over the web. Once you find an image you like, save it to your computer. We recommend that you then open the image in Microsoft Photos and resize to a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Save the image for use in Microsoft Teams

Open File Explorer and paste this location in the File Explorer Address Bar.


Drop your resized photos in the folder.

Choose your background and join your call

When you open Teams to participate in a video call, choose your background and have fun! Here are my favorites.

Just a word of advice, we have heard that a fellow partner added 15 photos and it crashed Teams. We didn’t test how many photos you can add but were able to load 3 without any issues.

Photo of someone on a video call with a custom background.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub (London, England)
Photo of someone on a video call with a custom background featuring the Bixby Bridge.
Bixby Bridge (Big Sur, CA)
Photo of someone on a video call with a custom background of a coffeehouse.
Coffeehouse background

We can help you with Microsoft Teams

Kiefer Consulting can help you in planning, deploying, and getting the most out of Microsoft Teams. Contact us to learn more about our Modern Workplace Consulting Practice that is helping clients improve how they communicate & collaborate.


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