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How to Use Virtual Backgrounds in Zoom Meetings

Make the most of your remote-work station by utilizing Zoom’s Virtual Background capabilities. Learn how to disguise any background – whether it be a slept-in bed, fighting children, or a messy kitchen – with a simple photo or video upload from CloudApp.

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Why Zoom Virtual Backgrounds?

With today’s constantly changing work atmosphere, Zoom meetings are becoming the new normal. As companies shift into a “remote-first” attitude, the skill of handling Zoom meetings has become more and more in demand. 

Now, with Covid-19 driving the rest of us to work-from-home (WFH), many of today’s employees are driven to hold meetings remotely from makeshift meeting-places such as kitchens, playrooms, and even showers. 

With all this madness surrounding us, we might be having a difficult time limiting the amount of distractions in our meetings. Luckily, Zoom has a Virtual Background feature that allows you to filter out at least some of the bedlam.

How Do I Use the Virtual Background?

Utilizing the Zoom virtual background is not complicated. Follow these steps and you will have instant access to a world of virtual destinations.

1. Select the image. Identify the image you would like to use as your Zoom Virtual Background. If you don’t already have it downloaded, make sure to download the image prior to moving on to the next step. 

2. Navigate to “Settings” within Zoom. Open your Zoom App and click on the settings icon in the top right corner. 

Zoom Settings to Use a Virtual Background

3. Open “Virtual Backgrounds.” Follow the side navigation pane to find the “Virtual Backgrounds” section of your settings. 

Virtual Background Option on Zoom GIF

4. Select a background. You can either select one of the preselected backgrounds, or you can upload one of your own by clicking the “add” button in the upper right corner. 

Choose no virtual background Zoom
Choose a virtual background Zoom GIF

Pro tip: Use CloudApp to create your background. Check out how to create a screen recording or a screenshot.

5. Zoom on. Enjoy the rest of your meetings (without the stress of whatever mess may be waiting for you in the background)!

Virtual background behind a man

Tips and Tricks

Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a couple fun tips and tricks for you to make the most of your Zoom Virtual Backgrounds. (Warning: use at your own risk.)

  • As long as you meet these device requirements, you won’t even need a green screen in order to utilize this neat feature!
  • You can use videos as dynamic backgrounds so long as it is a MP4 or MOV file with a minimum resolution of 480 by 360 pixels and a maximum resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels
  • A virtual background doesn’t mean virtual noise! Make sure to mute your mic if you have kids, pets, or other creatures making noise in the background!
  • Make a video of yourself listening attentively as your background – and spook your coworkers at your delayed arrival! 
  • Reference this video for a complete walkthrough! Or view this one for video backgrounds. 
  • See our favorite backgrounds at CloudApp in this collection here
  • Access even more virtual backgrounds at

Have more questions? Get in touch or head over to our FAQ.

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