Zoom: Using Virtual Backgrounds

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If you're in a location where you would prefer not to show your background, you can obscure it by using Zoom's Virtual Background feature. This feature will allow you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting. Zoom does support and recommend the use of a green screen for best results. 

You can also upload your own images or videos as a virtual background. There are no size restrictions when adding your own virtual backgrounds, but it is recommended to crop the image to match the aspect ratio of your camera before uploading it.

UO custom backgrounds are also available. See Adding UO Custom Backgrounds below to access a selection of photos of the University of Oregon and Eugene.

Device Requirements

Zoom has very specific device requirements which may determine how you use Virtual Background. This includes whether you will need to use a green screen, if you are able to use a video as your virtual background, or are limited to an image. Please review the technical specifications that match your device here.

Enabling Virtual Background

To enable the Virtual Background feature for your own use:

  1. Sign in to Zoom.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. The Meeting tab should be pre-selected.
  4. Select In Meeting (Advanced) sub-section link. This will jump you down the page.
  5. Find the Virtual Background option and verify that the setting is enabled. 
    • If the setting is disabled (or the toggle is grey), click the toggle to enable it (it will turn blue). 

You must log out of the Zoom Desktop Client and log in to it again for this setting to take effect. 

Setting Up Virtual Backgrounds

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture in the upper right corner, then click Settings.
  3. Select Background & Effects.
  4. If you have a physical green screen set up, check I have a green screen. You can then click on your video to select the correct color for the green screen.
  5. Click on an image to select the desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking and choosing if you want to upload an image or a video.
    • If prompted, click Download to download the package for the virtual background without a green screen. 

Adding UO Custom Backgrounds

While Zoom offers a few out-of-the-box virtual backgrounds, below are instructions on how to add custom UO backgrounds to your Virtual Background portfolio in Zoom. If you want to use a UO custom background, visit our Virtual Backgrounds page and download your desired UO background(s), then follow steps 1 through 5 above.

Additional Notes

  • Ensure that you are using a solid background color for the best results with a green screen.
  • After you select an option, that virtual background will display during your meetings.
  • To disable Virtual Background, choose the option None.

Using Virtual Backgrounds

Using the Zoom Desktop Client...

  1. In a Zoom meeting, click the ^ arrow next to Start/Stop Video.
  2. Click Choose a virtual background...
    • If prompted, click Download to download the package for the virtual background without a green screen. 

Using a Zoom Room...

  1. Tap the Settings gear icon on your Zoom Room controller.
  2. Tap Virtual Background.
  3. Then tap the background you would like.
  4. Then tap Done.


If you are experiencing issues with Virtual Background, try the following troubleshooting tips:

  • If you do not have the Virtual Background tab in your Desktop Client settings after enabling it, sign out of the client and sign in again.
  • Review Zoom's support article on Virtual Backgrounds and their System Requirements for Virtual Backgrounds article to see further device requirements if you do not meet the above requirements. 
  • If using a green screen: manually pick the background color to ensure the correct color is selected. This option is only available after you click an image.
  • For best results, ensure that your physical background is a solid color with minimal shadows and uniform in lighting. A three-point lighting setup is ideal.
  • If using a green screen: ensure that your green screen color does not match your shirt or eye color.

To request help, submit a ticket via the Zoom Support service.


Article ID: 101741
Tue 3/17/20 10:14 AM
Fri 9/8/23 2:48 PM