You can use Zoom to alter the background of your video call to any image you like. The ability to use virtual backgrounds not only gives you a new way to present oneself in a conference, but it also gives what’s around you a sense of seclusion.
Remote collaboration tools now provide a background blur option in addition to the ability to change the background image. Can you, however, utilize background blur on Zoom? That is the topic of this article.
Does Zoom allow you to blur your background?
Yes, indeed. Although Zoom was the first video conferencing platform to allow users to modify their backgrounds, it wasn’t until February 2021 that users could add a blur effect to their existing backdrops.
Microsoft Teams and Skype, on the other hand, already have the ability to blur the background of your video broadcast, and Google plans to do so in the near future with its Meet service.
How to Use Blur effect on Zoom on PC
With recent updates to its desktop apps on Windows and Mac, Zoom has added the option to blur your current background directly from the app, thus negating the need for an alternative.
Update the Zoom Desktop Client
Before you begin, make sure that the Zoom desktop client on your Windows or Mac computer is up to current. To do so, run the Zoom desktop client on your Windows or Mac computer and select your profile image in the top right corner.
Now, select the ‘Check for Updates’ option from dropdown menu.
If you haven’t updated the Zoom desktop client in a while, you’ll be notified right away if there’s a new update available. When an update is available, click the ‘Update’ button at the bottom, and then ‘Install’ once the update has been downloaded.
Wait for the update to finish installing, and you can rest assured that Zoom’s new Blur feature will be active. You will see a notice that says “You are up to date” after the update is installed.
Enable Blur effect inside Zoom
You can apply the Blur effect to your Zoom background after you’ve upgraded the desktop client. To do so, go to the top right corner of the main Zoom window and click the Cogwheel icon.
This will load up Zoom’s Settings window on your computer. Here, click on the Backgrounds And Filters tab from the left sidebar.
Now, click on the Blur option under the ‘Virtual Backgrounds’ tab on the right pane. This should trigger the Blur effect to your surroundings and only your face will be highlighted in the camera view.
All the meetings you host and join will now have the Blur effect enabled by default unless you change it inside Zoom’s settings.
Can you use Blur Effect on Zoom app on iOS or Android?
Yes, but it’s not available yet. Zoom’s Blur effect is coming to its mobile apps on iOS and Android as part of an upcoming update that is set to release on May 24, 2021. We are yet unable to test this feature on both Android and iOS at the time of writing. When the Blur effect is added to the Zoom app via an official update, we’ll make sure to update this area.
Blur Effect not working on Zoom? Here’s Why
There’s one reason why you can’t get the Blur effect to function in the Zoom client (Windows or Mac) or the Zoom app (iOS or Android). Because blurring your video background necessitates some additional CPU power for Zoom, make sure your desktop or phone satisfies the Virtual Background and Blur requirements. You can check out the comprehensive list of system requirements by going to this Zoom support page.
To put it another way, using Blurred background on Zoom necessitates the use of separate CPUs for macOS and Windows. Going to the Backgrounds And Filters page (after following the advice above) and unchecking the ‘I have a green screen’ box under ‘Virtual Backgrounds’ is a quick way to see if your computer can use the Blur effect. If unchecking the box immediately fades off Zoom backdrop presets, your machine doesn’t support Zoom’s background blur.
We tested this on a MacBook Air from early 2015 that wouldn’t show the Blur option, and it’s true that unchecking the “I have a green screen” box removed the settings.
Unfortunately, there’s no way around this unless you upgrade your gear or switch to an other collaborative app that supports Background blur on low-end hardware, like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams do.
Other options to blur the background on Zoom
If you’re not satisfied with the results from the guide above, you can check out the methods below to apply the background blur effect on Zoom.
Click a picture and add Blur
If you don’t want other participants to see the room you’re in but don’t want to alter it totally, there’s a way to achieve it. While Zoom does not have a built-in background blur option, it does allow you to quickly change backgrounds. By capturing your background, manually blurring it, and then putting it as your virtual background, you can obtain a comparable look to that of a blurred background.
Here’s how you can go about it:
Step 1: When you’re at a meeting, take a picture of your empty background or the view that’s generally visible to others. You can take the photo with your PC’s native webcam or a smartphone, but make sure it’s pointed in the same direction as your webcam.
Also, make sure you follow these checkmarks:
- The captured picture should NOT include you
- Elements that are usually moving aren’t in the frame like your chair, clock, etc.
- The setup is well lit and not THAT shabby
Step 2: Head over to the Kapwing editing tool and create an account for free.
Step 3: After you’re signed in, click on ‘New Project’ and then select ‘Start with Studio’.
Step 4: On the next page, click on ‘Start with a blank canvas’.
Step 5: Now you need to upload the picture that you clicked earlier. You can do so by clicking on ‘Upload’ at the top left and dropping the picture you clicked in Step 1.
Step 6: After your picture is loaded onto the canvas, click on the ‘Adjust’ button on the right-hand side of the screen.
Step 7: You can now proceed to blur the image the way you want. To do so, you can slide through the ‘Blur’ adjustment at the bottom and adjust the blur effect the way you want. A preview of the blurred image will be shown on the left side of the screen.
We recommend keeping the Blur setting at ‘2′ for the best effect. After you’ve finished adjusting, click the ‘Done Adjusting’ button in the bottom right corner.
Step 8: To save the altered image, go to the top right and select the Publish option, then Download.
Step 9: Within Zoom, you may now use the altered image as your virtual background. To do so, launch the Zoom client, go to Settings > Virtual backdrops, and then click on your profile photo in the top right corner. To add the blurred image to your Zoom virtual background, follow the instructions in the link below.
Virtual background effect using ManyCam
The Chroma Key function in ManyCam allows you to change your background during a video conference. Open the Chroma key tab after installing ManyCam on your PC, and activate the switch next to ‘Virtual Background.’ Select the Blur option after turning on the Virtual Background feature.
Glow In The Dark lens on Snap Camera
Snap Camera is a useful tool that gives you more raw power if you want to change the background of your photo. The solution, which was created by Snapchat, can be deployed as a virtual camera and used with any video collaboration platform, such as Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, and others.
Snap camera lets you create several looks with lenses, and one of them is the Glow In The Dark lens. Despite the fact that the lens highlights your face in green, it provides the cleanest look by toning down the background, which is especially useful when your surroundings are shabby. Check out the links below to learn how to use Snap Camera on Zoom with this lens.
▶ Use backgrounds from across the internet as your background
Although Zoom doesn’t have a native feature to let you blue your background, the company suggests that you may download and set any image on the internet to use as your background for all video calls. You can download royalty-free images from any of these websites: Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay without paying a dime and even search for the images you want categorically.
For example, if you search for backgrounds using the terms “office” or “work from home,” you will be able to find and download a large number of photos. This manner, you may freshen the look of your video calls by changing the background from time to time. Additionally, you can use the techniques we stated above to blur the downloaded backdrops.
Which video conferencing app lets you blur your background
If the outcomes from this article don’t meet your expectations, you may want to try a different video conferencing tool for your backdrop blur needs. Check out the apps that provide custom backgrounds at the link below.