In a Zoom meeting, you can set a virtual background by displaying an image or video. Although a physical green screen is not necessary, this feature works best with uniform lighting to allow Zoom to differentiate between you and your background. If you want a blurred background, you can upload your own images or videos to use as a virtual background, or you can just use nothing and use nothing at all. The web client offers a simple Mask Background option, as well as Virtual Background in Zoom Rooms.
Prerequisites for video conferencing virtual backgrounds
Virtual Background requires a computer that meets certain system requirements.
Recommended setup With Green Screen
Green Screen with a Virtual Background provides the best virtual background effect during a meeting while consuming fewer system resources. In order to use this method, you will need to have a solid-colored screen, curtain, or wall behind you. Zoom will use that solid color to replace the image or video you have selected with. With this method, you can improve the sharpness and definition of the virtual background effect around your face, head, and ears, as well as your hair.
- Using a solid color background, such as green, will provide the best virtual background effect. Webaround or Amazon offer physical green screens.
- The best virtual backgrounds are created by high-quality cameras. See our camera recommendations for more information.
- Light and color should be uniform.
- Make sure your clothing does not match the background color.
Setting up without a green screen is recommended
If you use a Virtual Background without using a green screen, the effect you get is roughly the same as if you were using a green screen, but with less sharpness and definition around your face, your head, your ears, and your hair. As a result, without a solid color that contrasts with the background, you are less likely to be distinguished from the background in an accurate manner by the system. Therefore, this method takes up more resources, therefore it has greater system requirements.
In order to achieve the best results, you should:
- An improved virtual background is the result of better quality cameras. Click on the following link to learn more about the recommended cameras.
- Make sure that the lighting and the colors are uniform.
- In order to help distinguish yourself from the background, it is important not only that your face is well lit, but you should also be able to see some of your background as well.
Video and image specifications
- You can add your own virtual backgrounds of any size, but we recommend cropping the image before uploading it so that it matches the aspect ratio of your camera.
- For a 16:9 screen, a 1280 by 720 pixel image or a 1920 by 1080 pixel image should work well.
- Use a background image that has a minimum resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels if you are unsure of the aspect ratio of your camera.
- these virtual backgrounds Zoom has collected, or find other royalty-free images using these sources: Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay ixabay.
- 480 x 360 pixels (360p) is the minimum resolution, and 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p) is the maximum resolution.
How to enable Virtual Background
Virtual Background features can be accessed in a few ways. On the account, group, and individual user levels, you can enable virtual backgrounds during video conferencing.
In order for Virtual Backgrounds to take effect, users must sign out of Zoom and sign back in.
For all users in the account, enable the Virtual Background feature:
- As an administrator with editing permissions, log in to the Zoom web portal.
- Go to Account Management then select Account Settings from the navigation menu.
- Under the Meeting (Advanced) section, select the Virtual Background option and verify that it is enabled.
- If the setting is disabled, you can enable it by clicking the toggle. To verify your changes, click Turn On if a confirmation dialog appears.
- For all users within your account, you can make this setting mandatory by clicking the lock icon, and clicking Lock to confirm the setting.
- To allow users to use video virtual backgrounds, check Allow use of videos for virtual backgrounds, then save the change to confirm the change.
- (Optional) Check the box to Allow users to upload custom backgrounds, then click Save to confirm the change, so that your users can also upload their own virtual backgrounds along with the ones currently uploaded.
- You can upload a default background image to make it available for users by clicking Manage virtual background (optional).
- The background images you upload need to be viewed in client/app version 5.1.1 or higher.
- If you wish to require users to always use virtual background, click Require users to use virtual background and then save.
The Group Management section of Zoom has been renamed to Groups if you registered for a new account after August 21, 2021; or if you enable the New Admin Experience on your Zoom account.
For all members of a group, you must enable the Virtual Background feature:
- You need to be an administrator to edit user groups on the Zoom web portal.
- To edit user groups, click Groups under User Management.
- Go to the Meeting tab, then click on the name of the group.
- Check that the setting for Virtual Background is enabled in the Meeting tab.
- Toggle the Status toggle if it is not enabled. Select Turn On to confirm the change.
- Changing the setting at the Account level is necessary if it is grayed out.
- (Optional) Click the lock icon if you want this setting to be mandatory for all members of the group, and click Lock to confirm it.
- To allow your users to use video virtual backgrounds, check the box for Allow use of videos for virtual backgrounds then save the change.
- You can choose to allow your users to upload their own virtual backgrounds in addition to the current backgrounds uploaded by checking Allow users to upload custom backgrounds and then saving the settings.
- You can upload default background images for users by clicking Manage virtual backgrounds (optional).
- Uploading background images requires clients/apps with version 5.1.1 or higher.
- If you want to make sure the virtual background will always be used, click Require users to use it then Save.
For your own use of Virtual Background, you can enable it as follows:
- Zoom’s web portal can be accessed by signing in.
- From the navigation menu, select Settings.
- Make sure the Virtual Background setting is enabled (under In Meeting (Advanced) in the Meeting tab).
- You’ll need to toggle the status if it’s disabled. To verify the change, choose Turn On in the verification dialog.
- You will need to contact your Zoom administrator if the option is grayed out because it has been locked at the group or account level.
How to manage Virtual Background for Admins
You can have an admin upload a virtual background that all users on your account can use, or you can assign a virtual background to certain groups of users. Admins can allow users to add their own virtual backgrounds or restrict them to only those provided by the administrators.
- In Account or Group Settings, turn on the virtual background feature.
- The Virtual Background Management page opens.
- To upload an image, choose it from your computer or drag it to your desktop.
- When the upload is complete, close this window. Once the upload has been successful, a small banner will appear at the top of the page.
The user will need to sign out of the client and then back in to retrieve the new backgrounds from the web once the backgrounds have been uploaded.
- The account must be a Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise account in order to access this feature.
- Users must be on version 5.1.1 or higher of either the desktop client or the mobile app to use this feature.
- Users cannot remove the default Zoom background from the web portal.
- There is currently no way to upload video virtual backgrounds.
How to apply a Virtual Background
Change virtual background on desktop
- Open Zoom on your desktop.
- Navigate to Settings by clicking your profile picture.
- Find the Background & Filter tab.
You need to sign out of the Zoom desktop client and sign in again if you don’t see the Virtual Background tab after you enabled it on the web portal.
- If you have a physical green screen set up, check I have a green screen. Select the appropriate color for your green screen by clicking on your video.
- Choose the virtual background by clicking on an image or video.
- If you wish to add a picture or a video, you can click and choose.
- For a virtual background without a green screen, click Download if prompted.
- You can disable Virtual Background by opening the virtual background options again and selecting None.
- When I have a green screen, make sure you are using a solid background color.
- Your future meetings will use this virtual background if you select it after choosing it.
- See the Blurred background article for more information about the Blur option.
- Log in to the Zoom desktop client.
- Click the Settings button.
- Select the Virtual Background option.
Sign out of the Zoom desktop client and re-sign in if the Virtual Background tab is not available after you enabled it on the web portal.
- To select a virtual background, click on an image.
- (Optional) Select the image you wish to upload by clicking and selecting it.
- Choosing None from the virtual background options will disable the virtual background.
- Please use a solid color as your background.
- Your virtual background will be used for future meetings once you select an option.
Change Virtual Background on mobile
- Open the Zoom mobile app.
- Select More in the meeting controls.
- On Android, tap Virtual Background. On iOS, tap Background and Filters.
- Tap the background you would like to apply or tap + to upload a new image. The background will be automatically applied.
- You can return to the meeting by tapping Close.
- Choosing an option will use that virtual background for future meetings.
- Refer to the Blurred background article for more information about the Blur option.
- You can disable Virtual Background by opening the virtual background options again and selecting None.
Troubleshooting Virtual Background issues
Try these troubleshooting tips if you’re having problems with Virtual Background:
- You must sign out of the desktop client and sign in again if you do not see the Virtual Background tab after enabling it.
- You must manually choose the appropriate color for the background. You can only choose this option after clicking an image and selecting I have a green screen.
- It’s important to have a solid color background with little shadow. In addition, the background should have uniform lighting. It’s always betterto have three points of lighting.
- Ensure that your green screen doesn’t match the color of your shirt, hair, or eyes.
- Some VDI plugins do not support virtual backgrounds, and less powerful thin clients may not be able to support the feature either. Customers should check with their sales representative for updates on support for additional VDI platforms.
Contact Zoom Technical Support if you continue to experience issues.