The Zoom logo.

People often use Zoom for work and conference calls, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can use an interesting photo or video virtual background during the call to liven things up!

How to Change Your Background on Zoom

You can hide your background during video calls on Zoom. This setting replaces your actual background with a video or photo.

To do this when you’re on a Zoom call, click the up arrow next to “Stop Video.” In the menu that appears, click “Choose Virtual Background.”

Click the up arrow, and then click "Choose Virtual Background."

This takes you to the “Virtual Background” tab in the “Settings” menu. Here, you’ll see a few background videos (those with a Video Camera icon at the bottom left) and photos you can use.

The "Choose a Virtual Background" menu.

You can also use your own photo or video. Just click the plus sign (+) above the provided images and videos.

Click the plus sign (+) to add your own image or video background.

File Explorer (or Finder on a Mac) will open. Navigate to and select the image or video you want to use as your background. It will then appear as an option in the “Choose Virtual Background” window with the default Zoom backgrounds.

Which Videos or Images Can You Use?

The types of virtual backgrounds you can use on your computer depends on a few factors. The first of these is the specs on your PC or Mac. Zoom lists these on its website, but for easier access, we’ve included them below.

PC requirements Mac requirements
Image without green screen

Option 1 

  • Zoom Desktop Client for PC, version 4.4.53582.0519 or higher
  • Windows 7, 8, or 10 64-bit
  • 4th generation i7 quad-core or higher processor

Option 2

  • Zoom Desktop Client for PC, version 4.5.4 (5422.0930) or higher
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 6th generation Intel i5 dual-core or higher processor
  • If CPU is not i7 quadcore or higher, integrated GPU enabled and integrated GPU’s graphics driver version 23.20.xx.xxxx or higher
  • Zoom Desktop Client for Mac,  4.6.0 (13614.1202) or higher
  • 4th generation i7 quad-core or higher processor
  • 6th generation i5 dual-core or higher processor
Image with green screen
  • Zoom Desktop Client for PC, version 3.5.53922.0613 or higher
  • Dual-core 2 GHz or higher (i5/i7 or AMD equivalent) processor
  • Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 3.5.53922.0613 or higher
  • Dual-core 2 GHz or Higher (i5/i7 or AMD equivalent) processor
Video/Image without green screen
  • Zoom Desktop Client for PC, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
  • Windows 7, 8, or 10 64-bit
  • Supported processor
    • 6th generation i5 quad-core or higher (except u-series)
    • 4th generation i7 quad-core or higher
    • Any processor with a logical core of 8 or higher and frequency of 3.0 GHz or higher
  • Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
  • macOS 10.9 or later
  • Supported processor
    • i5 quad-core or higher
    • 6th generation i7 dual-core or higher, with macOS 10.14 or later
    • Any processor with a physical core of 8 or higher
Video/image with green screen
  • Zoom Desktop Client for PC, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
  • Windows 7, 8, or 10 64-bit
  • Supported processor
    • 6th generation i5 dual-core or higher processor (except atom and y-series)
    • i5 quad-core or higher processor
    • Any processor with a logical core of 6 or higher and a frequency of 3.0 GHz or higher
  • Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
  • macOS 10.9 or later
  • Supported processor
    • 6th generation i5 dual-core or higher processor (except atom and y-series)
    • i5 quad-core or higher processor
    • Any processor with a physical core of 8 or higher

You also want to use an image that’s equal to, or higher than, your webcam’s resolution.

If you’re not sure what your webcam’s resolution is, there are many places online where you can find out. On most of these websites, you just give them access to your camera, and then click a button to see the results.

Click "Check Webcam Resolution" at webcamtests.com.

Choosing the best image isn’t all that technical, though. Next, we’ll share some of our favorite sites for snagging fun background images, as well as a few things to consider when deciding which background to use.

Choosing an Image or Video

There’s certainly no shortage of online resources when it comes to finding interesting backgrounds for your Zoom calls. One company has turned the bedrooms from your favorite cartoons (from Sailor Moon to Rick and Morty) into real-life backgrounds.

Finn in his bedroom.
Finn’s bedroom from Adventure Time.
How Finn's bedroom would look in real life.
Budget Direct’s version of Finn’s bedroom. Budget Direct

There are also several places you can snag some nice GIFs, like Canva.

A GIF of seven running waterfalls.
Canva

Again, though, you’ll need a computer with higher processing power to use a video or GIF as your background. If your machine can handle it, though, they’re a lot of fun!


Regardless of the format, make sure your background suits the call. For example, if you’re having an important meeting with a client, you might not want to use that cat drinking a beer image you found.

Color also plays an important role in which background you should choose. If you’re wearing black, for example, a brighter background would probably be a good idea. If you choose a black background, you’ll look like a floating head.

Always choose a background that complements what you’re wearing and suits the type of video conference you’ll be attending.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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