The Zoom logo.

People often use Zoom for work meetings and conference calls, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play! You can create your own custom background image and stand out from the crowd while remaining professional.

Create a Custom Zoom Background

Professional designers can, of course, create their own Zoom backgrounds in software like Photoshop, but not all of us have that kind of talent. Luckily, there are online applications at your disposal that require little-to-no experience to use. Plus, a majority of them are free.

RELATED: How to Set Up a Zoom Meeting

We’ll be using Canva. It’s extremely easy to use, has a free plan, provides a large library of images, and offers a ton of editing tools. Before you can use it, though, you’ll have to create an account.

After you set that up, head over to Canva’s Zoom Virtual Background Maker and click “Create a Zoom Virtual Background.”

You’ll now be in the “Templates” tab of the console. Here, you’ll find some custom images with text and special effects. You can also browse under the “Photos” tab to find an image you like and edit it. Most of these are free; if not, you’ll see the “Pro” label.

Browse under the "Templates" or "Photos" tabs in the Canva console.

If you want to upload and use your own photo, just click the “Uploads” tab.

Next, click “Upload an Image or Video,” and then drag one over from your desktop.

It only takes a few seconds for your photo to upload. When it appears, click your image.

Your image will appear on the canvas at the right and you can now freely edit it. If you click the “Elements” tab, you’ll see stickers, charts, lines, gradients, and a bunch of other stuff you can use in your image. We’re adding a gradient element to our image.

To resize an element, select it on the canvas, and then click and drag the corners. To move it, click and drag the entire element to the appropriate location.

You can also add content to your image under the “Text” tab. Here, you can explore different fonts, and add a heading, subheading, or some text to your image.

We’re adding a little bit of everything to our image.

A heading, subheading, and some text added to an image in Canva.

When you’re finished editing your image, click the Download icon at the top right.

In the drop-down menu, select the file type you want to save your image as, and then choose a resolution. Click “Download” when you’re ready to save your background image.

After your image downloads, you can use it as your Zoom background.

RELATED: How to Use a Custom Background in Gmail

Use Your Custom Zoom Background

Now that you’ve created your custom background, let’s see what it looks like in Zoom. To do this, open the Zoom client on your Windows 10 PC or Mac. Click the Settings gear icon at the top right.

In the settings window, click “Virtual Background.”

In the “Choose Virtual Background” section, click the plus sign (+) to open File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

Navigate to your custom image on your computer and select it. Once it’s added to Zoom, it will appear in the background of all your video calls.

Custom image

You’ll now stand out from the crowd!

RELATED: How to Hide Your Background During Video Calls in Zoom

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall 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 based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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