Custom Microsoft Teams video backgrounds

With COVID-19 keeping us mostly working from home as an IT guy/girl, or in my case really being quarantined, Microsoft Teams has become a huge part of our (social) interaction with colleagues, clients and business partners.

But not everyone has the ideal situation that the place you work from is ideal for a video call with a client or business partner (or even some colleagues). But there is a solution to that, custom Microsoft Teams video backgrounds. The Teams app comes preloaded with some nice ones already, but I wouldn’t be me, to have my custom one. Let me explain how I did it.

First let me show you what my video feed would look like without a custom background.

Nothing really needing to be hidden, right?

Looks like a normal window, living room background. Normally for more ideal facial lighting I would be sitting on the other side of the dining table but that would reveal the kitchen and not cleaned dishes instead. So, you might have something to hide. That is why Microsoft introduced the custom backgrounds in the Teams app.

If you have opened the Microsoft Teams application and are about to join a call, you have the options to mute your microphone and en- or disable your video camera. In between those options you have the option to blur your background or choose a custom background.

See the accented option in the orange eclipse to choose a custom background

Enabling the blur background option will open a dialog with the already available backgrounds provided by Microsoft. Those are descent as well, but not unique with the explosion of millions of new users for Microsoft Teams. Let’s add a unique and personal one.

To do so you need to have a photo/image/graphic that will do for a nice background. What I did was taking a picture of the serene setting in our living room of our couch in front of our bright blue wall. Yes, we have a bright blue wall in our living room.

Home, sweet home…

Looks nice and not to bright. One more thing, my wife pointed me on the photos of our children, which I blurred for privacy reasons. And once you upload this image you will see it is mirrored due to the camera settings. If you don’t like that, flip it horizontally before saving it.

Your private backgrounds should be saved in a specific location to show up in the background:


Use ⊞ - r and paste the above path and press Enter. This will open a Windows Explorer with the right folder to copy your backgrounds to. After placing my background there, opening Teams again and joining another call, it looks like this.

Wait!?! What!?! Ow no, I have Mickey Mouse ears!

Luckily I have Adobe Photoshop at hand and know how to use content aware fill to remove the paintings (and thus the Mickey Mouse ears) instead of removing the paintings, take another photo, do the blurring again. It is even more serene and Zen if you ask me…

No painting, no more Mickey Mouse ears…

And that will show up like this in Microsoft Teams.

Finally, some descent background…

And that is how you create a nice unique private background and take care of mirroring, blurring private items and removing “disturbing artifacts” so no one will make fun of you. Or ask you to clean up the dishes.

Exploring containers in the Microsoft Container Registry with Visual Studio Code

Have you ever wondered which containers are in the official Microsoft Container Registry (MCR)? If you try to access the URI endpoint ( by browser, you get redirected to . So, no overview of the containers inside the container registry shown. But luckily, we have tools like Microsoft Visual Studio Code with extensions like […]

There are never enough communities

  There is no such thing as enough communities. So, Sander van de Velde, Remco Ploeg and I, started a new Dutch technical community; the Azure IoT Community. Thursday the 2nd of November 2017 we will have our first community evening dedicated on the Microsoft IoT ecosystem. This ecosystem spans from the devices (eg. Windows […]

Organizing Global Azure Boot Camp 2017

Mark the date, April 22, 2017, Global Azure Bootcamp will also be hosted at Atos in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. For the second time at our Atos Benelux & The Nordics headquarters. Sander van de Velde, I and a few other colleagues will be your hosts during the boot camp. In cooperation with WAZUG and Microsoft […]

NodeMCU (ESP8266) & Azure IoT Hub

Since JFall 2016, I have two NodeMCU, ESP8266 based kits at home. I got them since a colleague that actually went to JFall got them at the stand of a competitor and didn’t know what to do with them. On one of the Microsoft Azure Advisory Board Yammer spaces, I read there was a dedicated […]

IoT Tech Day 2016

Today I visited the IoT Tech Day 2016 in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. Since we are interested in LoRa and LoRaWAN implementations at work, the main goal for today was to participate in the LoRa workshop, provided by The Things Network. At 11:40 am the workshop kicked off. A nice step by step walkthrough was provided together with […]

Skechers GoRun Ride3 Nite Owl review

When I got home from the Microsoft TechEd Europe 2014 conference in Barcelona last week, there was a package delivered to me. The Skechers GoRun Ride3 Nite Owl shoes had arrived. I have won these shoes in a raffle at Runner’s World Netherlands’ website and offered by Skechers Benelux. Unpacking the box showed a small […]