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How To Change Your Zoom Background + 20 Virtual Background Ideas

Aug 11, 2020

How To Change Your Zoom Background

Remember when ZOOM was not one of the top ten most common words used in daily life?!!? #2020 (This was one of my favorite memes of the year 😂)

Like it or not, here we are–and Zoom is very much a part of our lives even years later. Whether you’re constantly using it for work, virtually calling friends and family, or using it for school or other courses, video calls have officially become the norm. So if you’re needing a little reprieve from the Zoom grind, this post is for you.

Just because you’re communicating or working from your home office (or wherever you like to take virtual meetings and conference calls) doesn’t mean you can’t embrace a little wanderlust— mix up your next Zoom call with a fun travel background!

Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite travel images taken on various trips over the years that I think would make for great Zoom backgrounds. (Kendall even resized them for you and helped pull together some other Zoom tips below!) With all the time we’re spending on video calls, we might as well take advantage of the little things that can make us smile, right?

There a number of reasons why you should shake up your default background from time to time. 1.) Virtual backgrounds are good icebreakers, especially if you’re meeting with new people or are in a casual setting. 2.) They help keep your home sanctuary private. (Or also just disguise your mess. 😬) Why not instantly transport yourself and your audience somewhere more fun? And 3.) They create a sense of fun (and maybe even calm?) in Zoom rooms — something we could all always use more of!

Okay, let’s jump in!

How To Change Your Zoom Background

Skip if you already know how to do this, but if you need a quick tutorial, here’s a crash course on how to change your background:

Changing a Zoom Background On The Desktop App

1. Sign in to your Zoom desktop app.

2. Click the icon in the top right to access account settings.

How To Change Your Zoom Background

3. Scroll down to settings.

How To Change Your Zoom Background

4. Tap ‘virtual background’ in the left menu.

How To Change Your Zoom Background

5. If you have an old computer and are using a green screen, check the button to select the correct color for your physical green screen or background.

How To Change Your Zoom Background

6. You’ll see a handful of virtual backgrounds / Zoom background templates that are preprogrammed. If you click on the ‘+’ button to the right, you can upload your own images or videos as backgrounds.

How To Change Your Zoom Background

7. For the best quality, you may want to ensure your background images are a 16:9 aspect ratio. Recommended dimensions of Zoom images are 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Changing a Zoom background during a meeting

If you want to add or change a virtual background while in someone else’s Zoom meeting, follow these steps:

1. Hover over the pop-up menu next to the ‘stop video’ option at the bottom of the video window.

2. Select ‘choose virtual background.’

How To Change Your Zoom Background

3. Find your image from the options available in virtual background settings. 

How To Change Your Zoom Background

Changing a Zoom Background On The Mobile App

1. Open the Zoom app and sign in. 

2. After selecting the meeting tab, tap ‘more’ in the controls.

How To Change Your Zoom BackgroundHow To Change Your Zoom Background[/one-third][one-thirHow To Change Your Zoom Background

3. Select the ‘virtual background’ feature option.

4. Find the background you’d like to use or click ‘+’ to upload a new image.

5. Click ‘close’ to return to the meeting.

Other Zoom Background Tips

After witnessing and participating in many a Zoom call fail, here are my tried-and-true tips to look your most professional best on video calls. Of course, these aren’t always necessary when joining a meeting or video conferencing, but if you’re trying to make a good impression, these always help!

Avoid being backlit

For the best lighting possible, your light source (lamp or window) should be in front of you, not behind you. If you have a window right behind you, you’ll be a shadowy silhouette for your meeting!

Position yourself an arm’s length from your computer

Not sure how close to your computer you should be for video calls? A good rule of thumb is sitting an arm’s length away from the screen — not too close, not too far.

Pick a stationary backdrop that is close to you

Virtual backgrounds work best when your physical background is stationary and relatively close to you, such as a simple wall. Avoid sitting on your bed or in a heavily-trafficked hallway that could detect a lot of potential motion.

Make sure your computer is eye level

Lastly, prop up your laptop or lower your desktop to eye level for optimal video call aesthetics and the most flattering angle!

20 Travel-Themed Zoom Background Ideas

And now, queue the wanderlust! I dug into my travel archives and selected 20 of my favorite images that I think would make great Zoom virtual backgrounds! They’re already properly resized for you!

To download, just right click and save to your computer! Feel free to save as many custom backgrounds as you’d like to your desktop to shake up your virtual background library!

City Views

Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas
Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas
On top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy 
Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas
View of the bridge in Porto, Portugal
Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas
Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas

Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas

More Paris rooftops 

Zen Vibes

Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas
Travel-Themed Zoom BG Ideas

Poolside at Unico 

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

Luxembourg Gardens, Paris 

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

The beach in Tulum 

Beautiful landscapes

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

Coast of Normandy, France 

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
The Tuscan countryside 
Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

Rocky cliffs in Mallorca 

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
The beach in Normandy, France 
Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
Waterfall in Iceland

More beautiful vignettes

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
Lisbon streets 
Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
Mallorcan cafe at sunset 
Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas

Stunning tile facade on a building in Lisbon

Travel-Themed Zoom Backgrounds Ideas
Tiny cobblestone streets in Mallorca 

Where will you be going on your Zoom calls today?

You might also like:

How to be the most productive (and happy!) working from home

How to stay happy at home right now — 16 tips to implement 

I hope you enjoyed this virtual field trip!

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