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Here's how to set up Zoom Android virtual backgrounds

How To
September 14, 2021
Zoom start a meeting

If you don’t want to rearrange your bookshelf before jumping into a Zoom call, virtual backgrounds are a good way to have a little fun or improve privacy during meetings. 

Zoom backgrounds were available on iOS and computer platforms long before they became available on Android. Zoom virtual backgrounds allow users to mask their location or add some variety to their online meets.

Read more: Zoom Vs Facetime

The feature is available on Android devices running version 5.3.52640.0920 of the app. The update also brings the ability to share phone audio directly with meeting attendees, and the addition of breakout room selection.

But these features can’t transport you to a desert island or The Simpsons’ living room.

How to enable Zoom virtual backgrounds on Android

To enable Zoom’s virtual backgrounds feature:

  1. Join or create a meeting.
  2. Tap the “More” option in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap “Virtual Background.”
  4. If you haven’t already, grant Zoom permission to access your camera.
  5. Select an image, or use an image from your device by tapping the + icon.

You can also choose to keep this background for all future meetings or just your current session. This option can be found in the app’s overarching meeting settings.

If you don’t already have it installed on your device, be sure to grab Zoom for Android below.

Next: Zoom tips and tricks you should know about

Special note for Samsung Galaxy S21 owners 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G display zoom android virtual backgrounds
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series of phones also allow owners to enable some special Zoom Android virtual backgrounds as well. As spotted by Android Police, those phones, which have One UI 3.1 installed, can create custom video call effects. If you own one of these phones, here’s how to enable them:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap on Advanced Features.
  3. Tap on the Video Call Effects option.
  4. Once you run Zoom you should see a floating bubble with three effects to choose from: Background blur, Background color, and Background image. Tap on the latter to enable a background image.

In addition to Zoom, Galaxy S21 One UI 3.1 phones also support these features on other video conferencing apps, including Google Duo, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex.