How to Change Background During Zoom Video Calls to Hide Your Messy Room

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 17 Mar 2020

Zoom video call logo

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people around the world have been forced to work from their homes. This has led to a spike in usage for video calling and conferencing services like Zoom so that employees can easily hold virtual meetings. The thing is that while working from home, you don’t always have the best room to work out of.

You could be working in your laptop sitting in a room that’s filled with toys of your kids or more embarrassingly, you could have your toddler walk into the room while you are on a video call. Just ask this dad whose kids walked into the room while he was on a live BBC interview video call.

The good thing is that Zoom offers users an option to mask the background while they are on a video call. They can change the background with some of the pre-defined themes so as to not show off the messy room that they are working out of in their home.

If you use Skype for video meetings, you can blur your background on that video calling service by following this guide.

Hiding Your Background During Zoom Video Calls: Things to Know

  • This feature available on PCs, Macs, and iPhones.
  • You will need a fairly new PC with at least a recent dual-core or a quad-core CPU.
  • It is a bit glitchy and might not work properly if you move around a lot. It also does not seem to work well with multiple faces.

Hide Your Background During Zoom Video Calls on iPhone

What’s great about Zoom’s virtual background feature is that it is also available on the iPhone. You can follow these steps to change the background during Zoom video calls on your iPhone so you can take them to new and visually pleasing places.

Step 1: On your iPhone while on a Zoom video call, tap the More button.

Step 2: Then select Virtual Background after which you can select the virtual background of your choice. The options on the iPhone are limited when compared to Zoom’s PC version, though you can still use a custom background if you wish to.

iPhone Zoom Video Call

How to Change Background During Zoom Video Calls on Mac or PC

You can change the background of your Zoom video calls without having to be in a call first. This is useful as you can decide which background works best for you beforehand. You can follow these steps to change the background during Zoom video calls on your Mac or PC.

Step 1: Open the Zoom app on your Mac or PC.

Step 2: Click on the Settings cog located on the top-right corner and go to the Virtual Background option in the window that pops up.

Zoom virtual background

Step 3: In total, there are five different virtual backgrounds that you can select from. The first time you select any of them, you will be prompted to download them first.

If you want, you can use a custom image or video as your background as well. Just click the ‘+’ icon and then select the source image/video file. Admittedly, the default backgrounds in Zoom are not professional looking so you might just be forced to use a custom background of your own.

Step 4: Do not move around much while on the video call as that might lead to some glitchy effects. If you are taking this entire thing work from home and video meeting thing seriously, you can always invest in a green screen setup as that would help with the virtual background effect.

You can also enable a virtual background while on a Zoom video call as well. Just click on the Up arrow beside the Stop video button and select the ‘Choose virtual background’ option.

Customizable Zoom Backgrounds

You can also download free customizable Zoom backgrounds from Canva and use them in meetings. You can select from over hundreds of backgrounds and customize them as per your liking.

Zoom Virtual Backgrounds


Have you been using Zoom for holding video meetings? If so, how has your experience been? Have you found the virtual background feature in the app handy? Drop a comment and let us know!