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Here's how to set up Zoom virtual backgrounds

Now you can spend hours before meetings looking for that perfect background from your phone.

Published onJanuary 1, 2024

Zoom is one of the best video conferencing tools and saw its popularity skyrocket over the past couple of years. Many are still working from home, so Zoom remains a go-to for meetings and conferences everywhere. If you don’t want to clean up where you’re at or want to make your calls a bit more entertaining, Zoom has a feature that can help. On both the desktop and mobile versions of the app, you can use Zoom virtual backgrounds to change your backdrop and transport you to a more pleasant place.


To change your Zoom virtual background, click the ^ icon next to the Stop video button and select Choose Virtual Background. On mobile, tap More > Background & Effects.


How to set up the Zoom virtual background on desktop

  • Open Zoom on your device.
  • Go to a meeting room.
  • Click the upward arrow ( ^ ) icon next to the Stop Video button at the bottom left.
  • In the menu option, click Choose Virtual Background…; the pop-up Settings window will appear.
  • Select an image or a video from the available options. Then, click the x icon to go back to the meeting.

You can also select your own image from your device to set up as the background.

  • On the pop-up Settings window, ensure the Background & Effects tab is selected at the left pane.
  • Click the plus icon.
  • Choose between Add Image or Add Video, depending on what you want to set up as the background.
  • Browse and select the image or video on your device.
  • Click the x icon to go back to the meeting.

How to set up the Zoom virtual background on mobile

  • Open Zoom on your device.
  • After joining a meeting, tap the More button at the bottom right corner.
  • Choose Background & Effects.
  • Select an image from the available options, or tap the Add button to add an image or video from your gallery.
  • Tap the icon with two diagonal arrows pointing inwards to return to the meeting.


There are only a few Zoom virtual backgrounds in the app. Zoom has many more options available that you can download from Zoom’s website. You can also upload your own pictures and videos on both desktop and mobile.

It depends on your Internet connection. You won’t usually see a problem with a static image. There may be a noticeable lag with videos, though. If you notice your audio or camera video lagging, the best option is to disable the virtual background.

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